I Know Drinking Windows are Subjective But ...

I wish more wineries would put that info on their website or provide some insert in their shipment. Some do (and update the info), and thanks to them .
Yes critics and CT help, but it would be in the wineries best interest to do so.

Anybody disagree?

What triggered my thought is do I bring/open a 2020 Myriad Semilion today, or is it a bit too early. I don’t need it to be at the peak time, but this wine is roughly 1 year old and is it too young?

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No matter the wine I always try a bottle on release (I don’t really buy anything over $50 anymore so no big deal if it is not peak) and do the 3 day or more thing. It gives me a good idea of where the wine is going.

Yes for wineries it would not be a bad move plus it could clean up all the mislabeled wines that are on Cellar Tracker.

There’s no right time to drink, and people should drink wine at the age they find enjoyable. To some that involves ageing them, for others, young wines are what they enjoy.

I imagine this subjectivity is at least in part why some wineries shy away from stating drinking windows. A producer’s consumer base might have a wide array of palates and drinking window preferences, so coming out with a drinking window can end up favouring one palate preference vs. another. In cases where a producer just wants all their consumers to enjoy the wines, whether that means drinking them young or with age, they might feel drinking windows may incentivise one palate preference over another. So instead, they might opt to just release the wines with no comment as to the drinking window and let the consumers decide on when to drink them.

I do think though that some indication of the ageing potential of a wine is something interesting for producers to note. Is this a wine that can age for 10, 20, 30 year?

I think Ridge comes as close as any for putting things like this on their label (borrowed from 2019 Geyserville):

“Enjoyable now, this excellent wine will develop more complexity over the next fifteen years.”

Yeah. I’ve seen quite a few producers use similar language to that effect. I see it as an acknowledgement that part of their consumers enjoy, and want, to consume these wines young, and they are telling them that “yes, you can enjoy them young, and for those who want to age them, you will get plenty of upside as well.”

Also stating ideal drinking window on bottles might deter some consumers in effect losing sales. A big majority of the world has no interest in aging wines and even owning a cellar. They want to buy then drink now.

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I appreciate Mike Officer’s comprehensive drinkablility chart for Carlisle wines out of respect for well made superior wines and my desire to experience them in their prime according to his perspective and intentions.


I like that some producers will post tasting notes on their websites periodically for older vintages, to get a glimpse at what is drinking well now, what you should continue to hold, etc. But again, drinking windows can be very subjective based what stage in the evolution of a wine you like.

Yep, I came here to say the same thing. Pretty awesome that Mike posts the suggested drinking windows on his site and updates them from time/time. Super helpful and much appreciated.

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Yeah, it’s almost as important as ABV, say. One aspect that is often overlooked is that some wines shut down from, say, years four to eight or ten.

I also find that mid level bordeaux often significantly outlive indicated windows, but that is something that depends on ones liking of tertiary flavours.

But yes the more information we have the better. It just needs interpreting.

I find it useful when a conscientious producer provides that info on its site, yes. But the producer has an incentive to broaden the window as wide as possible (“drink it tonight or in 50 years!”). Grain of salt from all sources I suppose.

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I appreciate the Bedrock podcast. Morgan and Chris give good insight into the aging potential when they discuss the release. They also give you a good idea of which wines are “early drinkers”. I wish more wineries would do similar podcasts, but that might lead me to buying even more wine.

I appreciate the wineries like Carlisle, Bedrock and Rhys, for example, that provide (and update) that info on their websites. In the case of Myriad, I am sure that a quick email to Leah asking for some guidance would provide you with a great response (but not on Thanksgiving lol).

Happy Thanksgiving, Bruce.

Wineries generally have an interest in you drinking the wines as soon as they show well. <---- I said “generally,” not “all”; some wineries maintain updated vintage charts, with Drink/Hold recommendations, that do not encourage folks to drink their wines as quickly as possible (Tablas Creek has an excellent one, for example), but these seem to be the exception, not the rule.

Thx Sherri and all, and happy Thanksgiving to you all who celebrate.

I guess a drinking window is too subjective, but some additional info such as can be drunk upon release, the wine could really benefit from some cellaring, it has the stuffing to go decades and should be held a couple of years prior to drinking would be helpful .

Fair point Neal.

From personal experience though, it’s not uncommon for me to have someone ask when the wine will be “best”. It’s impossible for me to know their palate, and answer for that. So, while I am happy to give my opinion, it always worries me when someone buys significant amounts of our wines and then just puts it all in the cellar because of our reputation. I still think opening wines young, ready or not, is a good idea. I definitely do it with Burgundy producers that I am unfamiliar with.

I don’t really have an answer for that, as palates are different. And predicting Pinot Noir is far from an exact science to begin with. Especially with natural cork. Cork is pretty amazing, but Diam definitely seems to have a more consistent aging process from bottle to bottle.

I usually try to update our vintages page 3 times per year, so that the information is from somewhat recent experience rather than what my best guess at bottling was, but it’s still pretty subjective.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Yes only because I’ve yet to find a producer/retailer that isn’t biased in wanting you do drink the wine asap, so you come back for more. The windows they give when they do give them are typically extremely early and useless.

“This will improve with some cellar time, but drinkable now. 2021-2070”

Any wine that’s going to last 50 years is not going to be in its prime right out of the gate.

On the flip side I have yet to experience a winery giving a properly short drinking window when appropriate. I’ve been buying from Navarro for years and every time I call them to ask about ideal drinking windows for a 2015 Deep End for example, they say something like I’m holding mine for another decade. But their wines don’t have enough acid to hold for decades and peak at about 6-8 years and then decline pretty quickly.

I find that most winemakers recommend much earlier drinking than most WBer types would. I’m not sure if it’s their perspective constantly trying the wines very young, or a bit of self interest getting customers to open bottles, or what.

I used to ask winemakers that question a lot but over time have mostly stopped.

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Agreed with this thought. I have noticed that many wine makers and wine retailers often seem to prefer their wines younger. By the nature of their work, they must taste a lot of very young wines. It would seem like they get used to the flavour profiles of youthful wines. It is a business imperative for them, always a new vintage to sell (or for retailers) a new winery they are selling.

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I also appreciate the comprehensive drinkability chart on the Carlisle website. I have not found similar information on the Bedrock website, and I do wish it were available there.
I realize that drinkability windows are subjective and perhaps not extremely accurate, but they are much better than nothing. I hope that Bedrock will start providing that information on their website.