You have your wine storage act together.
You have moved beyond Phase 1 and Phase 2 of Wine Storage:
- Phase 1: You have a small cooler to keep a few bottles chilled
- Phase 2: You have a good storage solution for a couple of cases, but you rarely keep anything more than six to twelve months
You have arrived at:
- Phase 3: You realize some wines, but not most, will actually develop in some very nice ways with age – subtle flavors, layers of complexity, and intoxicating smoothness that is not often found in younger wines. You are ready to find some wine worth storing for a few years – or more.
And in the italics lies the rub… only a small percentage (some say less than 1-5%) of wines will actually improve with age. So if you don’t spend all your waking hours studying wine, what do you buy to avoid a 5 to 10 year disappointment?
Help! What are the Best Wines to Age?
Enter the experts! In this series, we will get advice from people who do spend their lives absorbing every detail and nuance of wine, and are extremely well qualified to help us pick wines that will get those wonderful and sublime qualities as they age – assuming they are stored properly!
Wine Guy Jack lives and breathes wine at BottleMixx in Raleigh, NC, and he writes well too! He jumped at the opportunity to share his current top five picks. We love just reading his descriptions, but we don’t want to stop at reading. We want to get some of these into our wine cooler – and put the date to drink on our perpetual calendar! We really appreciate that Jack came up with five wines worth storing across a wide range of price points, from just under $20 up to $200. And that’s not easy… Here are Wine Guy Jack’s picks, and be sure to read to the end because we’ll share a brief but fascinating chat we had with him too!
Bordeaux, because of course…Just a little bit less powerful than Pauillac and less rustic than Saint-Estèphe, this Saint-Julien wine is very harmonious and well balanced. This is value as far as Bordeaux is concerned, being classified as second growth according to some silly old laws. 30-80 year old vines and made of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon with the remainder Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Full bodied, concentrated, and structured to age; trampled blackberry, mulled black currant, smoldering tobacco, roasted earth and chocolate, destined to evolve for 30 years.
Spain brings the value…Family run to this day since 1877, this is an operation that values tradition and conviction. The 2002 is the most current release and has been aging in bottle already for some time. If we are ageing wines, this already has a head start! Artisan winemakers committed to the process and dedicated to crafting some of the world’s most unique offerings. Truly singular aromas of vanilla, spice, dried berry, orange peel, in a tender amber shell. Rich, dry, smooth, developed.
Don’t forget whites that are heavy in body and acidity… John Kongsgaard has been perfecting his radically powerful and delicious Carneros Chardonnays for over 30 years. A 5th generation Napan and relative of Daniel Boone, Kongsgaard’s wines are athletic and have great abs for the distance. His ‘death and resurrection’ production method ensures long lived Chardonnay of tremendous power and complexity. Equalparts cream and smoke on the nose with vivacious and deep fig, pear, and butterscotch honey. Drink between now and 2022.
Portugal is flying waaaaay under the radar…Believe me, it’s not easy coming up with $20 and under priced wines that will take well to 6-10 years of storage. So I had to mention this one! A small release from the Port wine producer made from the same grapes as the Port sans grape brandy. A throaty, dark, enigmatic kind of character with residual coffee and supremely dark chocolate covered mulberry and cassis with a smoky finish of white pepper or paprika. Perfect thing to keep the bones warm some dark, cold evening.
2012 was a sweet dream in the Willamette Valley…If you’re not aboard the 2012 Oregon Pinot train, get a seat while there is still room! Exceptional levels of ripeness and flavor development show up in nearly every offering we are tasting, but this wine takes it to the next level! From the man who helped put significant Oregon Pinot on the map in the first place, this is fruit focused with just enough moderate tannin and serious acidity to ensure a long life. Immediate, striking black cherry zing. This is big, sweet, authoritative, loaded with spice, and intense red fruits.
What a great selection – thanks Jack! I think the hardest part is going to be waiting any time at all to try these wines after reading your enticing descriptions. I know our readers will want to know a bit more about you, so let’s have a chat…
How would you describe your current position?
I am calledWine guy Jack, helping you drink better.
How did you develop your passion for wine?
The whole thing is about curiosity right from your very first sip; Its a bit of an infinite quest, so one needs inexhaustible passion.
How did you get into the wine business?
Totally by mistake! I needed a job after my radio gig was over and started delivering wine to pay the bills.
What do you like the most about being in the wine business?
Essentially, Its hard to get bored when your topics of work and study include: History, Geography, Horticulture, Agriculture, Geology, Biology, Microbiology, Business, Marketing, Art, Hospitality, Law, and now Social Media.
Who are your wine heros?
Paul Draper, Randall Graham, Wes Hagen, Jancis Robinson, Sean Thackrey, David White, Jon Bonne
What’s something interesting about you that has nothing to do with wine?
Most people find it odd or even obscene that I don’t own a television. Well, I can’t see how one could get anything done with one.
Jack, thanks so much for sharing your picks and expertise with us – it’s been fun and we welcome you back anytime!
What a cool guy! We admit to spending more time with HGTV and the Food Network than we like to admit, but I do think living without a TV has a certain focused appeal to it. And we probably spend four times as much time online as we do in front of the tube.
If Jack’s picks of Five Wines to Age inspired you to start your long term storage plan, make sure you take the time to read about storing wine properly so you have a great experience when you finally open it. And shoot us your questions, we’re here to help!
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