Friday, January 11, 2013

Stocking the Wine Cellar

  When it's time to restock the old wine cellar, I try to pick up a variety of wines that will obviously age well but are also a little off the beaten path so that there's some mystery when I open them. The day that you finally pull the cork and draw in that first aroma is like opening a Christmas present. Is it a good smell, a bad odour or no change at all? Has it gotten better with age, is it past due or does it need another year in the cellar? Sometimes you hit that magical sweet spot when a wine reaches it's full potential and you're left with a warm feeling of satisfaction after the first taste.
  There's always a bit of risk when you select the wines to be stored for future consumption as you never know how well they will age. You can certainly perform some do diligence and search the web to find which wines age better than others. Personally, I only age wines for 3 to 5 years because wine in my house is like a bowl full of M&Ms at a kids birthday party. You know it's not going to last very long. Although I do stock some Bordeaux's for long term aging (5+ years) as a kind of wine cellar experiment. I like to enjoy wine with friends and family rather than treating it like an investment. To each his own.
 Some people will cellar a case of wine, some like half cases but I prefer to buy 3 bottles to start and try one before I commit to further purchases. If I'm not particularly fond of the wine then I will store the other 2 for future use and move on. If I do like it, I can always go back and purchase additional bottles at a later date.
  As always you should store your wine in a cellar with the proper temperature and humidity or in a wine refrigerator to prevent the wine from degrading or spoiling.
So here's my latest picks for the ole wine cellar.

2011 Garnacha Centenaria - Coto de Hayas - Rioja Spain
  I tried this wine recently (I told you they don't last long in my cellar) and I am impressed by it's rich dark fruit flavours and hints of clove. This is 100% from the Garnacha grape variety (Grenache) and was stored for 4 months in American oak barrels. I'll try another bottle in 2014 to see if the spiciness is still there.
Price -  $17 - LCBO (Vintages)

2010 Bonterra Zinfandel (Organic) - Mendocino California
Zinfandel's are not known for their aging ability like it's California cousin Cabernet Sauvignon but there are some Zins that age well and I'm willing to invest a few bucks in this organically grown Zinfandel to see how it ages. They've also added some Petite Sirah for added depth in colour and taste
Price - $17 - LCBO (Vintages)

2010 Ring Bolt Cabernet Sauvignon - Margaret River Australia
A big bold Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon stored in a combination of French and American oak barriques. According to the tasting notes supplied by Ring Bolt, this wine can be enjoyed through to 2022. I'm sorry my little Cabernet friends, you'll never see that date.
Price - $20 - LCBO (Vintages)