I’m pretty skeptical these days about aging estimates that come with wine reviews–mine included, I suppose. In 1970, you could taste the most recent release of Latour and based on past vintages and the tannic structure of the wine, put out a reasonable estimate as to when the wine would hit its peak. But my experience of tasting the 2009 and 2010 vintages(both great) of Bordeaux leave me completely puzzled as to how the wines will age, given that many of them are drinking so well right out of the gate. And by so well, I don’t mean they taste like classic Bordeaux. Many of them taste like new world wine–the very best new world wine–and have alcohol levels that likewise have more in common with Napa than 1970’s Bordeaux. So who knows how they’ll age?
The entire crapshoot of aging hit home last week when I happened upon a bottle of 2005 Periquita that had been overlooked in Vancouver Magazine’s wine room. The label has long been synonymous with bargain wine and so years after years it was passed over for more expensive, frankly classier wines until I came along. And thank God I did because if I’ve had a bigger treat with a under $10 wine in the last decade I don’t remember it. The wine’s signature earthy/gravelly bite had faded, leaving some nice, still vibrant fruit and a smooth medium length finish. So while we try and figure this aging business, do me a favour–plunk down $10 on the most recent vintage of Periquita and hide it away somewhere for a few years. What’s the worst that could happen?