We always champion mature vintages and try to sell as many as we can by the bottle. Buying older vintages by the case load to garner a better understanding of a particular producer or region can become an expensive task. But the odd bottle here and there can offer a wealth of knowledge and enjoyment.
Below is a selection of mature vintages from a variety of producers, regions and styles.
Etna Rossos vary in their capacity to age with some preferring to be approached young. However, the 2012 Aetneus from Il Custodi is just getting into the swing of things: the fresh strawberry notes have mellowed and begun to meld with the mineral and herbal tones so prominent in these wines.
A great value Pomerol from a wonderful year that has settled into itself well. Full but fresh with a good savoury backbone and years of life still to come.
A Bordeaux style wine made in the Bekaa Valley in Lebannon was always going to stand out but the winemaking skill behind Chateau Musar has ensured a solid reputation. A few vintages take it to the level of exceptional winemaking with 1999 being one of them. The weather was kind for this vintage and the result is a well-balanced wine full of depth and energy – fresh with soft but defined fruit.
The 2006 Valdicava needed time. When young it had a tendency to be too tightly knit, closed even, but the time in bottle has softened and mellowed the tannins to reveal dark fruit, leather and smoke in abundance.
Ribera del Duero wines, like Rioja Reservas, need time and yet you very rarely find mature bottles listed in restaurants or on merchants shelves. They are strong, powerful wines that age beautifully and reveal a wealth of character over time but can be dry and one dimensional when young. Bodegas Aalto was set up by the former head winemaker at Vega Sicilia and their PS wine is made from selected old vines from across the estate. This is a serious wine that offers a great opportunity to understand the complexity that Ribera del Duero wines can achieve in the right hands and with age.
A classic Rioja that highlights the elegance and complexity that can be found in these wines if made well and allowed to age properly. 1998 was an excellent year in Rioja and the 904 has a wonderful balance of fruit and oak whilst remaining fresh and savoury on the nose.
La Conseillante has a reputation for elegance and finesse which is no mean feat in Pomerol where power and concentration tend to rule. 2006 wasn’t the greatest vintage but La Conseillante did well to produce a wine that was true to their style rather than forced or over extracted. It has also lasted very well with a good dose of acidity keeping it lively and layers of fruit continuing to evolve.