Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby David Creighton » Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:34 pm

of course there are exceptions; but you can't go too far wrong abiding by my rule. sorry, older ice wines usually don't make it. and yes, there are some wonderful older white burgundy and rieslings as well as sweeter loire chenin. but as you say about reds, for every good one there are numerous failures - not necessarily worth the risk - esp. since they are good when young - which reds often are not. i particularly to not like chablis, muscadet, sancerre, pinot blanc, and similar wines when more than 2 years old. i'm drinking up my '04's now in preparation for the '05's. btw, joel tells me you liked the '05 chantal cab franc - as did he - though i have to say it was not obvious from your brief note. wish i could have seen you over the weekend; but i had to work both days.
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:39 pm

creightond wrote:btw, joel tells me you liked the '05 chantal cab franc - as did he - though i have to say it was not obvious from your brief note. wish i could have seen you over the weekend; but i had to work both days.


Wish you could have made it, David! As for the brief note, sorry ... I tend to keep it short when I'm taking a lot of TNs. The short answer, though, is that as an avowed lover of Loire reds, when I say "Chinon style," I mean "This is darn good Cab Franc." :oops:
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:01 pm

Glenn Mackles wrote:.... but I know what I like.

Glenn - Welcome to the forum. This quote is perhaps one of the simplest and profound statments I've read regarding wine. That's what counts.
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:12 pm

RichardAtkinson wrote:Depends on the situation...

If we're eating, I prefer a young acid driven, somewhat tannic red. If we're just sipping, I'll take a more mature wine.

Welcome Richard! The difference in whether a wine is paired with food is an absolute essential. One of the problems I see with wine "experts" sitting down to taste several wines and award "points" to them, is that they are not pairing the wines with food during these tasting sessions. Wines that may be great for sipping on their own will tend to get big points, while wines that complement certain foods may seem lacking when the food is not present, and thus get low points. That's one of my reasons for ignoring points.
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Bob Henrick » Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:18 pm

Good subject Bob. But I am not sure I know what constitutes an aged wine. We had more than 50 1990 vintage red wines at Mo'Cool this past weekend. Most were bdx and burgs, bit a good showing of cal cabs too. I had three 90's myself that I sort of thought were going to be sucky wines that would have forever ruined my reputation. But even the regular Napa Mondavi, the regular Ch. Souvrain, and the Silver Oak Napa all showed relatively well. I thought that most of the dill in the SO was pretty well muted and that there was plenty fruit. As others have written the bdx and burg were the shining lights no question. Back to Cal, we did a side by side of the Mondavi Napa with it's big brother reserve and it stood up pretty well. Of course the reserve was the better wine, but the Napa did well.

The question though is which do I prefer? This is a difficult question to answer. if I am drinking wine just for enoyment then I think I prefer the secondary and Tertiary aromas and flavors. There are times though with higher acid foods such as tomatoes etc that a big young jammy tannic wine is best. If I were to drink one all the time though, give me the older wines. Thwere are too many excepts though for me to give one solid answer for all time(s).
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Bob Henrick » Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:54 pm

Richard, you really should try some aged marsanne, rousanne, chenin, and semillion with a clear mind. (By clear mind, I mean that the wine should be approached with a mind that is not already predisposed). My wife is a lesson in approaching food with her mind usually already to like or dislike a food before she has ever tasted it. Age these wines and well made ones from good much less great vintages are sublime. All IMO of course. I think that white wines that are meant to be aged, become a bit reductive, and if that is so, then I like reduction.
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby David Creighton » Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:30 pm

what i thought was significant was that it only received a silver medal - and there were 4 golds for that varietal. it pleases me immensely that we have such depth - not just one winery carrying the whole game.
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Glenn Mackles » Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:34 pm

Howie Hart wrote:
Glenn Mackles wrote:.... but I know what I like.

Glenn - Welcome to the forum. This quote is perhaps one of the simplest and profound statments I've read regarding wine. That's what counts.


Thank you for the welcome. I've been reading for some time and recently joined up. I'm really a simple person. I am terrible at identifying all the hints and essences that people seem to routinely draw from wine. But I do know if I liked a wine and want to drink it again. I also can tell you if I liked "this one" better than "that one."

I have found in recent years that I am drinking what to me seems like quite a bit of wine... say, averaging a glass or two a day. I thought I better learn some more about it. I go through various "kicks" but recently I have been drinking quite a bit of Pinot Noir. I know there must be better or at least more professional ways to describe this but to me most pinot's either seem to be either male or female... masculine ones seem to have a touch of an edge to them and have a sharpness and mineral influence.... whereas female ones to me seem rounder and softer and more fruity. But that's about the best I can describe it.

Anyway, I have hijacked the thread... my apologies....

I'll just sit back and listen to the experts now.

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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby DebA » Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:25 pm

Robin Garr wrote:I do think there's an unfortunate tendency among many wine geeks - and I don't deny that I do it myself - to go ga-ga over wines that are essentially spoiled, just because we know they're older great labels.


Loved that candid assessment, Robin :cool: I would be interested in knowing how you gentlemen qualify a "young" vs "old" wine? It would seem to be quite a subjective factor, almost as dependent upon one's tolerances and tastes as a wine's vintage, so are there some general guidelines? I find that I tend to prefer a "younger" wine alive with fullness and fruit for sipping, perhaps 3-5 years old. When it comes to pairing wine with food though, for me, it is critical that the wine complement the menu and those tend to be times for a mellow, mature wine. Thanks very much for your responses.
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:38 pm

Deborah Ackerman wrote:I would be interested in knowing how you gentlemen qualify a "young" vs "old" wine? It would seem to be quite a subjective factor, almost as dependent upon one's tolerances and tastes as a wine's vintage, so are there some general guidelines?


No guidelines. I think it is different for everyone. It's also different for every type of wine. I love older wines, but have almost zero experience with wine the age of the stuff Francois Adouze drinks.

In looking for older wines I am trying to strike a balance between young fruit and secondary character. So for me I see that at 10-15 years for most German Rieslings, 15+ for most Bordeaux and Burgundy, and I still do not know when for sweet wines (many of which seem to be immortal). Tonight I am drinking a 5 year old California Pinot. Now these days a 5 year old Cali Pinot is considered near death by most of the impatient wine geek crowd, but I think it still needs 2 more years to hit peak drinking.

So many things go into the evaluations. Certainly producer (paramount within a type of wine), vintage and perosnal preferences are all important. I don't like sherry flavors in my table wine, so my guidelines, while they seem long, are actually quite short.

And just for fun I am going to lay down some wines for loooooooonnnnnnngggggggg term storage. I keep the cellar at 55 degreees or so, and the wife likes very old Bordeaux and Barolo (not to mention Port). So we'll see how that 1996 Haut Brion is at my retirement party in 2030.
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby DebA » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:15 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:No guidelines. I think it is different for everyone. It's also different for every type of wine. I love older wines, but have almost zero experience with wine the age of the stuff Francois Adouze drinks.


Thank you, David. I appreciate your comments and agree. Since you hail from Lothlorien, you will understand when I say that wine, like Galadrial and Celeborn, often shows no sign of definitive age unless it be in the depths of the eyes of those imbibing. :cool:
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Paul Savage » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:35 pm

As David says, "young" and "old" depends on the type of wine one is talking about....

But I find myself redefining "old"! For Bordeaux, for instance, about 30 years seems like a decent minimum! Actually, I would say that in the case of Bordeaux, that isn't necessarily old, but only "mature"! :wink: There is a retailer in my area with a deep cellar, and that is a great advantage and resource. Wines that are not famous examples from great vintages often go for quite reasonable prices. For instance, this weekend I had a '79 Chateau Durfort-Vivens that I just paid $39.95 for. Excellent wine! BUT... BUT... BUT...

... As a wine gets older and older, you HAVE TO pay more and more attention to the serving details. For instance, I ALWAYS use Monsieur Audouze's "slow oxygenation" approach now - much better results than with decanting. Pull the cork at least 6 hours ahead of time and allow the wine to breathe very slowly. Keep it at a cool temperature. Serve right from the bottle, pouring gently. This of course presumes that the bottle has been standing up and the sediment has been allowed to settle to the bottom. Keep the wine cool too, very important to preserve the fruit of an old wine. I use a small insulated picnic bag and a plastic "freezer block" or two, both items obtained from a local supermarket. Usually, it will take a wine an additional hour or so to really "peak", so plan accordingly and consume slowly! You can also cheat a bit, especially with somewhat younger wines like the ones I have been experimenting with in the 20 - 30 year-old category, by pouring out a few ounces of wine and pouring back into the bottle at the "serving time minus one hour" point. This introduces a bit more oxygen, but not anywhere near as much as would happen if the wine were poured into another container, as with decanting. Decanting still is probably necessary as the wines get younger and bigger - they just need more air and won't be affected negatively by too much.

The slow oxygenation and cool serving temperature can provide optimal and memorable drinking experiences! Some bottles of Burgundy that have seemed hopeless when first opened, tired, oxidized, etc., actually revive somehow and can become quite excellent after 5 hours or more of this very slow aeration! This may seem impossible, but I think the "oxidation" flavors in an old wine do not become affected in the short term, rather the fruit comes up and covers the defects that were apparent at first. Strange but true! ...Paul
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Eric Ifune » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:36 pm

Definitely old for me. Over the past few days, I've had several German wines from from the early-mid ninties. Still too young in my opinion. They were still fresh and fruity, but didn't have enough of the complexity, both aroma and on the palate, that only age brings. Also of late, I've been drinking a lot of late 70's California cabernet. Some are just right, some are still young for my tastes.
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:59 pm

Welcome to this forum Richard! SB, I usually drink up within 2 years. Some Rieslings will need 10 years in my opinion (Germany, Alsace, some Oz). The one problem is Semillon for down under, have not mastered them yet.

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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby John Treder » Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:27 pm

Absolutely!
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:55 pm

Deborah Ackerman wrote:I would be interested in knowing how you gentlemen qualify a "young" vs "old" wine? It would seem to be quite a subjective factor, almost as dependent upon one's tolerances and tastes as a wine's vintage, so are there some general guidelines?


Deborah, welcome to the forum! Glad you found your way here. You've had some good answers already. I'd generalize a bit by pointing out that this varies very much depending on the grape variety, region and style. It's worth bearing in mind that probably 99 percent of wine isn't meant to be aged at all but should be consumed within a year or so of production; most wines don't benefit from aging and just lose freshness with time.

For those wines that <i>are</i> ageworthy, cellaring at controlled cool temperatures fosters a process of evolutionary in which the primary flavors of fruit are gradually supplanted by the more complex "secondary" and "tertiary" aromas and flavors that develop with a variety of chemical processes that occur over time. Again, this process is variable and can't really be boiled down to a single rule of thumb. A Cru Beaujolais (like the 1999 Chenas I tasted earlier this month) may develop very tertiary flavors of earth and toast and coffee after five or six years. A good Burgundy may peak in 10 years, a top Bordeaux in 20, a great Vintage Port in 40.
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:02 am

Robin Garr wrote: A good Burgundy may peak in 10 years


Though it is unlikely. More like 15-20.
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Ian Sutton » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:25 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Welcome to this forum Richard! SB, I usually drink up within 2 years. Some Rieslings will need 10 years in my opinion (Germany, Alsace, some Oz). The one problem is Semillon for down under, have not mastered them yet.

Bob/ex Brit.

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For an easy route to the taste, if you can get hold of the Brokenwood ILR, it's released with some age and doesn't need extended cellaring. Tyrrells are well worth looking at (I've got some 97 Stevens vineyard semillon, that at 7 years old was still wound very tight, but looking very capable. The 2nd and last bottle is lined up for sometime over the next 3 years). McWilliams Mt Pleasant are the other big player, but only one taste so far :(

Just starting to venture out of the Hunter Valley into Margaret River Semillon and have been relatively impressed, but I still think the best value is in the Hunter.

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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Sam Platt » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:38 am

David Lole wrote:I don't think we need to wait for an answer on this from Monsieur Audouze!


Actually I would like to hear him explain his approach to old wines. My impression is that he views each old wine as an experiment. Some experiments produce a desireable result, and some produce a negative result. Where I would be devastated if a $2,000 bottle of wine was inferior he just shrugs it off and moves on to the next experiment.
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby DebA » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:00 am

Thank you for your very comprehensive comments, Paul. Surely, Monsieur Audouze would be pleased and my limited knowledge of "mature" wines has been enhanced. :cool:
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby DebA » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:22 am

"It's worth bearing in mind that probably 99 percent of wine isn't meant to be aged at all but should be consumed within a year or so of production; most wines don't benefit from aging and just lose freshness with time."

________________________________

Thank you for your approach to my query, Robin. Concerning the very high percentage of wines that you believe should not be designated for extended cellaring, I would agree that it is a true and excellent general guideline. Which leads me to inquire why many oenophiles seem to believe the opposite and cellar just about every bottle they come in contact with far beyond the wine's expectations? In my opinion, life is too short to miss out on a great moment with a great wine merely to possess an impressively full cellar! As for those wines that are considered ageworthy, I would appreciate a few recommendations for cellaring until 2034. I am not knowledgable enough in that department to choose. Again, thank you all for your comments. :cool:
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Robin Garr » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:30 am

Deborah Ackerman wrote:Which leads me to inquire why many oenophiles seem to believe the opposite and cellar just about every bottle they come in contact with far beyond the wine's expectations?


To be fair, Deborah, I don't think most "wine geeks" - people who enjoy wine at some level as a hobby interest, not just a drink - do understand the difference between drink-now and ageworthy wines and in general don't try to cellar White Zin or Lambrusco or even cheap Chardonnay.

As for those wines that are considered ageworthy, I would appreciate a few recommedations for cellaring until 2034. I am not knowledgable enough in that department to choose.


First, it's important to know that for very-long-term cellaring, 10 to 20 years or more, a constant, controlled temperature approximating 55F (13C) is all but mandatory, or the wine won't last. (It's not coincidental, I think, that this is the natural temperature of underground caves - great wines evolved in the age before mechanical refrigeration, and wine cellars really were cellars, built underground where the temperature stayed constant).

Anyway, only a few wines can reliably be expected to hold, and evolve, for that long. Red wines: The best Bordeaux (and a few very good California Cabernets); an even more restricted selection of top Burgundies; quality Syrah-based reds from the Rhone Valley, and a few top Italians, mostly from Piemonte and Tuscany. Dry white wines: Some top German Rieslings. The best Loire Chenin Blancs. A limited selection of high-end White Burgundies. And the rare, offbeat Chateau Musar white from Lebanon. Dessert wines: Sauternes (the great ones); late-harvest Rieslings. Some Loire dessert wines. Vintage Port, and maybe most ageworthy of all, Madeira.

If I had to choose just one wine that's most likely to last for 20 years even under less-than-ideal cellar conditions, it would be Madeira. But note that Madeira rarely bears a vintage on the label.
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby DebA » Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:03 pm

"Anyway, only a few wines can reliably be expected to hold, and evolve, for that long. Red wines: The best Bordeaux (and a few very good California Cabernets); an even more restricted selection of top Burgundies; quality Syrah-based reds from the Rhone Valley, and a few top Italians, mostly from Piemonte and Tuscany. Dry white wines: Some top German Rieslings. The best Loire Chenin Blancs. A limited selection of high-end White Burgundies. And the rare, offbeat Chateau Musar white from Lebanon. Dessert wines: Sauternes (the great ones); late-harvest Rieslings. Some Loire dessert wines. Vintage Port, and maybe most ageworthy of all, Madeira."
________________________________

Thank you for your suggestions, although, you have left me to wonder how Mr. Audouze even begins to find enough "satisfaction" in the wines he appraises! :cool:
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Re: Troll: Do you prefer young wines, or old wines?

Postby Ruth B » Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:06 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Are you a Francophile or an Italianophile? Or a Britophile?

So asks Matt Kramer.

"The French, for example, will almost always choose a young red wine over an older one when ordering from a restaurant wine list. Ditto for Italians."


Well lets face it--at a restaurant, the selection of good aged wines is sometimes limited and if it is not limited, the price point might be pretty steep!

I love complex older wines, and sometimes a young big fresh glass of fruit is exactly what is called for.

I like good wine.

Trying to choose old vs young or French vs Italian would be like saying I only like one style of music. Anyone who has been to my house knows you can end up with jazz, rock'n'roll, singer/songwriter, blues or chamber music (or anything else for that matter).

Oh, and btw, sometimes the wine dictates the music or vice versa!

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