What’s better than sharing an amazing bottle of wine with the best of friends? If you’re like me the answer is “very little” but I can think of one thing. When you have nursed that bottle of wine through many a year, resisting the urge to drink it right until that perfect moment when the wine itself and the company are both perfect.
I’m not going to write an article about the technicalities of storing wine, the subject has much more scope than a few paragraphs before some wine reviews. What I can go on about is how special it is. I have been lucky enough to enjoy this situation a few times as both the maturer of the bottle and as the good friend of one.The enthusiasm someone gets is infectious, their pride and joy is explosive before they open the seal.
So, my tips are not about cellar conditions, they are about picking wines – not for the technical ageing potential but about choosing wines that connect to you, you remember what they were like when they were young, you saw them through their tough, teenage years.
Wines that you will enjoy sharing.
This wine has a special place in my heart because it’s my fathers go to Bordeaux, collecting vintage after vintage and lovingly placing them away in a spot so dark and cool that they are easily forgotten about until that right moment. Clearly this performance was not just saved for great family moments, with people in the wine trade still talking about they time shared one with him.
Owned by the Duboscq Family this wine continues to build its reputation with many believing it should have cru classé status. Buying the latest vintage would see an ageing potential of easily 25 years or more but, unusually for a wine located as it is in Saint-Estèphe, its large Merlot percentage means that within 8 years you will be able to enjoy some progress.
Deep, deep richness with cassis and vanilla all balanced out with a strong tannic structure. The many layers of this wine are constructed to just fall into one another once the perfect drinking time arrives.
Cousino Macul Lota
Cousino Macul is the longest running family owed vineyard in Chile. To celebrate their 150 years they created this prestige wine in 2003. Since that time its pedigree has grown and grown and so has its scarcity and price but I still put it as great value and is the wine I am tucking away to try in the future.
A Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend from 80 year old vines untouched by the phylloxera epidemic that destroyed its European cousins. It shares the same make up as a fine Bordeaux but its deep blackberry and plum, serious ripeness is very much indicative of its country, vineyard and family’s style.