Friday, March 21, 2014

Aging white wine? Is it worth it?

Well I just asked a question that I can't answer - probably very few can - but I'll give you one good example.

I stumbled into a store in Chilliwack called "Liquor Depot". Generally any time you've got the word "Depot" in the name I'm not too optimistic of what I'm going to find there (OK Home Depot is an exception).

As I expected, their wine selection was just OK, and their prices (it's a private store) were pretty high. But I did come across a couple of beauties.

2007 Wolf Blass Grey Label Shiraz

The current vintage in most stores is 2010, so finding wine already aged three years is a bonus. Of course, this wine usually sells for around $35 and these guys were selling it for $51, so I paid $16 for those three years of aging, but I expect it to be worth it. I'll be cracking this one open soon I expect so I'll let you know.

The other one was this baby:

Quails' Gate 2009 Chardonnay

The current vintage in stores is 2012; so another three years of aging has occured. Keep in mind this isn't "proper" aging, either; these bottles have been on store shelves, or in warehouses, not in a wine lover's cellar at the right temperature and humidty.

They had four bottles, and I bought them all. I was pleasantly surprised to see, the next time I went there, they had restocked with more of the 2009 vintage, so I added to the collection.

The three years had made quite a difference; while the 2012 vintage was good, this one is quite spectacular (of course, 2009 was also a very hot summer in the Okanagan, which only helps as well).

Notes of oak, vanilla and floral notes on the nose. The palate will experience some of that big, buttery flavor that I love, without being overwhelmed by it. Extremely rich and bursting with flavor. 90.

Absolutely one of my favorite BC Chardonnays; and this is their "regular" version. I currently am holding on to one of their 2009 Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnays that I am going to let age a little longer and pull out for a very special occasion. Tough to imagine it would really be much better than this but we'll see!

So this is just one example of what aging white wines can do. It's not an exact science; certainly there is some difference in quality between the 2009 and 2012 wines as the growing seasons were different.

I still have a few more of these and I'll put a couple of them away (if we can just stop drinking them!!), to taste the differences between today and 2015 and 2016. We will see if they still get better....

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