January 28th, 2010 – Great BC Cabernet and Knowing When its Time to Drink A Wine

Just a beautiful BC Cabernet tonight — the 2005 Township 7. This wine would easily pass for a mid level California Cab (reminds me a bit of the Beringer Knights Valley), but at half the price! Great nose of blackcurrants and vanilla, and really intriguing flavours of blackcurrants, chocolate and a touch of oak. Right at the peak of maturity, as the wood is just starting to take over a bit from the fruit. Glad it was my last bottle.

So you can guess the topic of today’s blog…how to know when it is time to drink a wine in your cellar.  Well, the first trick is by more than one bottle – nothing you can do if you just buy one and try it, only to find it isn’t ready.  I usually buy two or three, which allows me to track the progress.

But how do you know when the wine is ready to drink?

As is the case with most things wine-related, it depends a lot on what you like.  For me — with my preference on fruit flavours — it is when that balance between wood and fruit starts to tip over. I like when the fruit loses a bit of its “grapiness”, because that adds some complexity. For me, that means the wine is at its perfect state of drinkability!

 But when I start to smell and taste almost as much wood as fruit, that is the sign — for me — that it is time to drink up!

But to give you an example of how it is all about your personal style, I give you Rioja Grand Reservas from Spain.  They are aged so long in oak — before they are released — that they come out oaky right away.  But those who like that style, love them, driving prices into the $100’s of dollars.

So it is up to you, depending on what you like.  But once you taste that a wine is there, drink it before it dries up.

SB

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