This past weekend I was able to answer a question that has been on my mind for a few months. Do I like wine with age? I felt it would be a good idea to source a bottle so I could find out if I would enjoy wine with age. My main reason for doing this was to educate myself and also I did not want to go through the trouble of aging my wine if I did not like the taste of it aged.
It was very hard to find a bottle of wine at the LCBO that was of an older vintage, as they mostly sell new vintages in their stores. Luckily they had an offering of older Lynch Bages and their sister chateau, Les Ormes de Pez. Not wanting to break the bank I was able to pick up a bottle of Chateau Les Ormes de Pez 1996 (St. Estephe) for $58. A bottle of Lynch Bages of the same vintage would have cost $349. A tad bit expensive for this experiment.
The bottle was bought back in May and was stored in my cellar until I could find a time to enjoy it. Just recently my wife and I completed our kitchen renovation, so I felt this was a good time to use it to celebrate!
In preparation of this experiment, I stood the bottle upright (Instead of its usually resting place, which is on its side). I stood the bottle up 48 hours in advance so that the sediment could make its way down to the bottom of the bottle. This makes decanting a lot easier as you do not want to drink the bitter sediment that develops in wine over time.
Before I decanted the wine, I tried a small amount first to insure that the wine was good and not flawed. Thankfully, we were blessed with a good bottle, as it gave out a beautiful aroma of cedar box, dark fruit, minerality and earth. The rest of the wine was slowly decanted and left to breath for an hour, while I prepared dinner.
***** Just a little side note on what happens to wine as it ages. As wine gets older it goes through many changes.
- Colour: Older wines will take on more of a garnet colour (orange rim) and almost look brown.
- Aroma: Earthy notes develop (mushroom, tea, floral, etc)
- Palate: Tannins soften
The wine was consumed during dinner and afterwards. It was interesting to see the wine change as time past (aroma and taste). Both my wife and I enjoyed the experience and I scored the wine an 89. It didn’t wow me but it was still very good!
Overall this experiment was a success. I am looking forward to seeing how the wines in my cellar will develop into.