July 31, 2014
After a comparative tastings of some 10 year old French Burgundies a while back I complained to a retailer about how hard and acidic the wines were even after that amount of bottle age. He told me I didn't understand and that I need to wait at least 15 years before drinking Burgundy. Really? Do any of us want to have to wait for 15 years before we drink a wine?
Why not turn up the cellar from 55 to 65 degrees. If you are cellaring wines to drink this might be a great option. We recently re-released our 2008 Lenné Estate Pinot Noir in the tasting room. I consider the 2008 vintage to be an epic one for Oregon and I bit the bullet and held back one third of my production in 2008. If you know anything about the 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs you know they closed up after bottling and are only know starting to open back up. They were effusively fruity in the barrel but the fine grained tannins took over once we bottled them and they haven't been very enjoyable wines until now. Maybe a little like those Burgundies I complained about.08LEbig
But after trying some from my cellar in the last three months, I decided it was time to bring the 2008 out again. So I brought in some stock for the weekend from the warehouse where I store my wine which is kept at 55 and below. Interestingly enough the wines from the warehouse weren't as developed as the ones from my cellar which fluctuates from about 60 to 68 degrees. The cellared wines had shed the reductive notes that characterized the 2008 wines recently and started to exhibit the secondary flavors I have been waiting for. The wines from the warehouse were a little further behind and had the reductive aromas when opening but shed them to reveal a beautifully balanced wine whth a long life ahead of it.
But it got me to thinking that if you aren't storing collectable wines for resale, if you are aging wine to enjoy, maybe its time to turn up the cellar temperature. Maybe I won't have to wait until my old age to enjoy those Burgundies afterall.