foodwine.com | WineDay | Annex

"Age Which Wines?"

  by Fred McMillin

Brotherhood Harvest Blush  


"Knowing which wines will age best is, in the long run, a matter of becoming familiar with many different wines and styles of winemaking; in other words, a lifetime of research." ...Larry Walker, San Francisco Chronicle


The Rest of the Story

To save you a little research time, here are my tasters' ratings of the last 16 wines we've poured that were over 10 years old.

  Rating Age (Yrs.) Type Price Range The Wine
16th - 66.5 13 Pink Low Brotherhood Harvest Blush (U.S.A.'s oldest winery) (pictured)
15th - 68 12 Red Low Historic Mission wine I had made for my classes by Story Winery
14th - 68.5 23 White Low "Pinot Chardonnay" by Wente ('76)
13th - 69 13 White Low Scuppernong by Mother Vineyard
12th - 69.3 11 Red Medium Pinot Noir by Eyrie Vineyards, Oregon ('88)
11th - 69.5 11 Off-dry Pink Medium Tokachi Rosé (brought from Japan by my son)
10th - 70 25 Red $29 Clos Du Bois' 2nd release of Pinot Noir ('74)
9th - 72 12 White Low 3rd Symphony vintage by Chateau De Baun
8th - 74 15 Red Low Cabernet Sauvignon by Fetzer ('84)
7th - 77 16 Red Low Reserva Rioja, Cerro Anon, Spain ('83)
6th - 78 14 Red Medium Cabernet Sauvignon by Clos Pegase
5th - 79 13 Red Medium Crozes Hermitage, Bernard Chave, Rhone Valley
4th - 88 11 Dessert $22 Ficklin Aged-10-Yrs. Port
3rd - 88.5 14 Red Medium Lake's Folly Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia
2nd - 89 14 Red $20 Chateau Magdelaine, St. Emilion, Bordeaux
1st - 92 12 Red $16 Cabernet Sauvignon by Robert Mondavi, Napa Valley ('87) 1990


1. Wines rated below 80 to 82 do not please the majority of my tasters. Only the last four were good enough to be recommended.

2. No white or rosé made the cut.

3. The two wines over 20 years of age bombed.

4. Seven of the top eight were red, the other a dessert port.


Conclusion for Beginners

Until you gain more experience, don't bother to age whites or rosés, (or sparklers). If you want to try aging, buy a Robert Mondavi Cab.

Note: A number of the low-rated wines were much better earlier, including the Clos Du Bois, the Eyrie & the Clos Pegase.


foodwine.com | WineDay | Annex  

Copyright © 1999, The electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc.
All Rights reserved.