I have been interested in collecting wine since 1997, when I first tasted good champagne – a bottle of Moet Chandon Non-vintage a German colleague had brought to a party. Hence when an opportunity arises, I would tend to buy a good bottle or two to store for the future (in fact I prefer collecting than drinking it).
So why can wine collecting be so addictive? Is it the thought of a wine you’ve bought, slowly maturing in store waiting for the right time to open? Is it the anticipation of the first aromas to escape from the bottle once the cork is removed? Is it the numerous different tastes bursting on the palate as the wine sloshes in your mouth, each trying to capture your attention (and in fact trying to identify all the different tastes)? Or is it the thought that the wine you are drinking is now worth far more than what you paid for it originally? Is it the thought of sharing that bottle with someone special or with a group of friends?
I would say it is all the above, and for me it is my wife I love sharing wine with. We tend to play the game of: what smells and taste are in the wine, what grape it is and where it is from. I have to say she tends to do better at the smell and taste test than I do, which is why I will refer to the tasting notes and tell her when she is right (which is very often).
Today (Tuesday 2/12/14), we opened a bottle of Chateau Lagrange 2004, a second growth from Bordeaux. It was bought in Bordeaux in 2007. Now that it is 10 years old, it was time to open it for drinking. There was strong smell of oak, coffee and pepper. There was plum, blackcurrant and loads of tannin which have refined for the last 7 years and is no longer too harsh.
Robert Parker gave it a score of 89 points, with drinking window of 2011 to 2025. According to my wife, there is lots more potential in this wine. So perhaps I have opened it a little to soon. But it did go well with the steak, so no regrets.
I have to say this bottle was worth the wait. We still have the other half to drink tomorrow, so perhaps it will taste even better; as always, I have used the Presorvac vacuum sealer to preserve the wine. This vacuums out the air in the bottle, so there is minimal oxygen in contact with the wine, allowing it to last longer after opening.