Monday, March 7, 2016

Drink or Hold

Drink and enjoy the wine now, or hold on to it for greater pleasure later on.  It’s the eternal dilemma that faces the wine lover with bottles put away in their collection or cellar.  One has to be aware of the intricacies and details of a wine, the variety and style, the producer, the vintage and its previous performance, if one is to make an informed decision.  Quite often there are straightforward clues, such as the vintage: a younger wine usually can usually do with more time and an older one will have softened and developed complexity.  But it doesn’t always work like that…

The I-Spy Man and family were guests, and SWMBO and I are always happy to share a bottle or two.  The first red was the 2014 Felton Road ‘Block 5’ Central Otago Pinot Noir.  It’s their latest release, and wines under this label seem to age really well.  It has old vine richness, and the plants are ungrafted, mainly clone 5 and 6.  Well the colour showing some lighter ruby with garnet gave it away.  Already soft with waves of red fruits entwined with dried herbs, a hint of stalk and undergrowth, the tannins quite supple, if not mellow, the fruit sweetness and lusciousness was the feature.  Sure, there was good extraction and structure, but the words accessibility and drinkability came straight to the fore.
Then served blind, the 2005 Te Mata ‘Coleraine’ Hawke’s Bay.  Dark, black-garnet, near impenetrable.  The nose bold and strong with intensity and power.  Packed with blackberry and blackcurrant fruit.  Beautifully ripened, and no trace of leaf or mint.  In fact some ink and cedar the latter suggesting a little age.  On palate fulsome, powerful, black-fruited, with a touch of savoury secondary dried herb, pencil case and cedar.  Plenty of depth tannin and grip to match the sweetness, but also acid vitality and laciness.  Interestingly with some development, but with a long way to go.  No-one thought it nearly a decade old.  Most thought it was 2008.  2005 was one of the great years.  Maybe we shouldn’t have broached it yet?  No, the enjoyment we all had was more than worth it.     

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