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Indulgence

At lunch today a friend provided a 1969 Wynns ‘Claret’. This was something of a misnomer as the label revealled it was, in fact, a cabernet-shiraz blend. It was a supremely aromatic, elegant aged wine that at 42 years of age was more than just perfectly sound and a curiousity – really close to perfection. Went well with a spicy duck dish.

As I always say if you are going to cellar wine it is important to focus on big name brands such as Wynns and Penfolds. These brands have a reputation to defend and even their less expensive brands can age into something that is close to perfection.

Update: 14/11.  Today I encountered, again over lunch,  a 1988 Taltarni French Syrah.  Not nearly as good as the Wynns and a mere youthful adult in terms of ageing at a mere 23 years. It needed a fair bit of breathing – a great plum bouquet and a strong acidic palate – a bit past it though as the fruit has faded. Perfectly sound but not a great old wine.  I can remember it was a glorious wine in its youth which is when it should have been drunk. Taltarni sell these old wines now for $120 a bottle.  That’s a bit pricey in my view.

Update: 24/11. A 1994 Lake’s Folly “Cabernets”. Its drinkable and quite pleasant – ranked high among the post-1980 Lakes Folly cabernets – but, to be objective, well past its best.   I’ve got 11 more of these and they should have ideally been drink 5 years ago.  You learn. They will not last long.

2 comments to Indulgence

  • KB Keynes

    Nonsense Harry,

    You smell a wine first. A good nose will undoubtedly mean a good tasting wine.
    Once you agree on the wine then you buy a dozen. you buy that many because no-one gets it right about when a wine matures.
    You take your first one out a some day and realise the wine still needs some more years.
    When you do not believe the wine can get any better you then proceed to drink them.
    ( not all at once of course.)

    There are plenty of other brands as good.

    I got an Elderton shiraz which was as good as a Grange, mind you Grange is the most over-rated red around.

  • hc

    I’ve has many disappointments with smaller vineyards and smaller producers but I agree generally with your suggested sampling procedure, Homer.

    I bought a few magnums of burgundy – from a supposedly reputable wine merchant who suggested them – to drink at my children’s 21st birthdays. When I got to drink them they had turned to expensive vinegar. Yes, you do need to buy many and to sample.

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