Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Madeira, you are such a tease.....

Follow up to my blog entry a few days ago about the 2004 Cedarcreek Platinum "M" wine I have in my cellar; big thanks to Darryl Brooker, the winemaker at Cedarcreek, for answering my questions as below. My questions are in black, his responses in blue:

1. How long can we age this bottle before it deteriorates? – The wine has had 5 years in barrel, in the sun.  It will last indefinitely.  We recently tried a M from the 1990’s and it was looking great.  You are safe for up to 15 years from vintage.

2. The bottle says it should be an after dinner wine, how sweet is it? As sweet as dessert ice wine? – it is nothing like an ice wine.  It is hard to even call it sweet.  It can be used as an aperitif or after dinner.  It has approximately 20g/L of residual sugar, which is about 10% of an ice wine.

3. What temperature should we be serving this at? – I would serve at room temperature, between 15-20oC would be ideal.

4. Madeira wines are supposed to be stored upright to protect the cork, but this bottle is a screw cap, so I presume it's not important how it is stored? – You can store it anyway you like.  The screw cap allows for easy storage and easy re-sealing.  Remember that you can have some and put the cap back on and keep on ‘sampling’ for as long as you like.  The wine will not spoil as it has been exposed to oxygen and the elements during its aging.

5. Once it is opened, how long will it stay good in the fridge? the wine does not need to be refrigerated.  It has seen a lot of oxygen during its aging and will not be affected.  You should be good for up to 1 year open

As a follow up to his Email, I asked one more question:

6. oh I might as well ask one more say we have a good 15 years from vintage, is there a reason to age it longer? In other words, will aging further enhance the wine? Will it be better in 2015 than it is today?

Good question and the answer is probably not.  The wines does go through minor changes as it gets older, however I think the improvements from bottling to 10 years in the bottle are very minor and it is not a wine I would deliberately age.  The bottom line is that there is no hurry to drink it (even after opening) however there is no real advantage to aging it either.

Wow, it's great to get that kind of detailed information directly from the winemaker! Excellent service, IMO.

And even more exciting is the opportunity we have to pop this baby open, have a little, and re-seal it with no ill-effects! I think this weekend is going to have to be the time that we try it out!

I will report on our findings!


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