When to start checking on wine progress?

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MikeY
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When to start checking on wine progress?

#1 Post by MikeY »

Hi all, I’ve been reading in other posts about the “Rule of 15” for Northern Rhone and maybe the “Rule of 25” for Bordeaux. But part of the fun of wine is seeing how it evolves over time. So, how many years past the vintage date would you start checking on wine progress? And do these rules help avoid drinking a wine during its dumb phase?

Many thanks for your guidance!

Mike
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Jud Reis
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Re: When to start checking on wine progress?

#2 Post by Jud Reis »

Such a tough question to answer Mike. On Bordeaux, wines are made differently today than 25 years ago, and generally drink better younger than they used to. I like to wait at least 10 years, and then start to look at Cellar Tracker reviews to see how others are experiencing the wine. With enough reviews, you can get a sense of where the wine is on its aging curve.

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Re: When to start checking on wine progress?

#3 Post by Andrew K. »

I like to drink one soon after I get it for the most part to get a feel for it. The only ones I might not do that with are the really high end ones where I only have a couple. That's why I prefer to buy in min 6 qty.
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Re: When to start checking on wine progress?

#4 Post by Andy Sc »

MikeY wrote: February 4th, 2021, 4:58 am Hi all, I’ve been reading in other posts about the “Rule of 15” for Northern Rhone and maybe the “Rule of 25” for Bordeaux. But part of the fun of wine is seeing how it evolves over time. So, how many years past the vintage date would you start checking on wine progress? And do these rules help avoid drinking a wine during its dumb phase?

Many thanks for your guidance!

Mike
Tough question. I think it mainly depends on how many bottles you have and what kind of maturity you prefer in your wine. Here's how I do it.

For Bordeaux: I prefer my Bordeaux mature. But a lot of young Bordeaux these days can be spectacular. I usually try one early on (first year after delivery), then we do a 5 years on tasting, then a 10 years on tasting, then a 15 years and a 20 years on tasting and so on. No rule without exception: if a young wine is incredible and I love it, a few more bottles go early on. That's the reason why I would buy less Chateaus in a given vintage but at least 12 bottles. This way, you can drink 3-4 bottles along the way and still have 8 bottles once the wine is mature at 20 to 30 years. What helps: Do your 5, 10, 15 years tasting in a wine group, where everybody brings some bottles.

Burgundy: I prefer them mature too. Here it is much more difficult as you get so tiny quantitites allocated of the top wines. I don't touch the top wines until I know they are mature. Professional critics but especially Cellartracker helps here. Usually it will take at least 25 years. I was lucky enough to taste some incredible Burgundies in tasting groups. As I'm not yet that long in the game, I've never opened a high end Burgundy from my cellar. In the meantime I drink lower tier Burgs or Pinot Noir from other regions.

Northern Rhone: It is less in my focus than Burgundy and Bordeaux. I'm buying Chave every year and in top vintages maybe one or two more (Guigal, Rostaing, Jamet, Chapoutier). The Chave allocations are not that big. So I never opened a bottle thus far (but luckily others did for me), despite buying it for almost 10 years now. If you have an extensive Rhone collection I would take the Bordeaux approach.
Andrew Scheppler - Based in Europe, a special place for Bordeaux and Burgundy but with love for so many regions every now and then.

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