One of the most esoteric functions of the wine writer/reviewer is the prognostication of when the wine should be drunk. The truth is, it’s hellishly hard to know. You generally try to gauge the tightness and denseness of the tannins and structure and guestimate when they might come around to softening. And if you’re wrong, hope that everyone has forgotten by the time the reader finally rolls around to opening the wine. To make things even more difficult, wines that used to be built to age —Bordeaux being a prime example—are often drinking wonderfully of out of the gate.
I tried this week’s wine—the Bordeaux-inspired flagship wine from Hester Creek—2 years ago and it was quite dense and had a few hard notes in it. I assumed it would work best after mellowing out for 5 years plus. But I tried it again last week over a casual dinner of burgers, and it is completely hitting its stride. It had lost none of its power—you still get waves of slightly sweet dark fruit—but it’s shed all off its faults. This is clearly a new world wine, but if you love that easily approachable flavor profile, then this wine is drinking beautifully.
Hester Creek The Judge 2007