Not an easy question to answer when it comes to wine but certainly one that should be given more consideration by the average wine drinker. I recently saw someone boasting their good fortune at opening a bottle of 2015 Chateau Margaux. That’s like eating Wagyu beef before the cows had its first massage!
I know I’m sounding like a terrible snob (Wagyu beef and perfectly aged Margaux are not my average Wednesday night dinner I assure you) but I am mostly outraged on behalf of the person drinking such an amazing wine so young. Aside from the knowledge that the wine they were consuming was one of the greats they can have received no other true enjoyment from it. A wine so big needs at least 20 years in bottle before it can offer its best.
The problem is you’ll be hard pressed to find anything pre-2005 in your local wine merchants. Even the more prestigious merchants won’t sell anything pre-2000 more than once in a blue moon. These days few producers age their wine for any considerable length of time before releasing it and merchants don’t want to be sitting on stock for 10 years.
One of the main obstacles that will be faced by the wine industry in years to come is that all those wines that needed 20 years in bottle to age have nearly all been drunk or, are sitting in the private cellars of the wealthier set. This will leave an industry where those at the top will be privy to tastings but the rest of us will have to either search high and low for them, take out a second mortgage to afford the one bottle for sale at Berry Bros, or just resign ourselves to the fact that the rest of the world ruined it for us.
We set up Nemo Wine Cellars partly to try to solve this problem for those of you who want to drink wines as we do. We like wines that are old by current drinking standards.
We try to stock as much wine at perfect drinking age as we can get hold of. Sometimes this means the odd rare and wonderful bottle of Bordeaux or Burgundy from a top producer, at other times it’s a 1980’s Rioja Gran Reserva from a minor producer. We pride ourselves on buying wine that we believe to be good value, as well as good drinking. And when we say good value we mean in the true sense of the word – it’s not that it’s always cheap it’s that the experience you get when drinking that wine makes it good value to you. Every drop being worth every penny.
We then also sell wines that are not quite ready for drinking now but will be in a few years’ time: cases that can be kept in a home cellar or professional storage ready to be drunk when the time is right.
We have no fear of age it is just a case of appreciating what it can do.
Pick of the week
Chateau d’Angludet. Consistency in a producer is an undervalued quality. Angludet will never be one to make a song and dance about but it is a decent Bordeaux that offers the opportunity to drink wine with age without parting with big money. Two vintages on offer this week – 1985 and 1998.
The 1985 vintage is smoky and smooth whilst still being bold for its age. The 1998 offers more fruit but still has that wonderful mellow finish of an aged Bordeaux.