Nothing is more frustrating than taking a long-awaited bottle out of the cellar to realize that the wine is completely outdated. In our hyper-connected world where everything is sorted out, is putting an expiration date on the label a good idea?
First of all, in the opinion of producers, who know the limits of their wines, they are often surprised by their “performance”. Some wines that needed to age well can turn bad after just a few years. Others that were intended for immediate consumption can give surprising surprises after being forgotten for years.
Then there is the appreciation of an aged wine which can vary from person to person. It’s like bananas: you can like them green, yellow or brown. The notes of moldy mushrooms, damp earth, rancio, ether, even putrefaction in an old wine can turn off many. For others, it is the ultimate culmination, the quintessential wine.
Finally, all wines are not created equal. A very small number of wines – I would say 5% at most – are really intended for aging. This is why it is best to consume the majority when young. Especially since today’s winemaking techniques allow the production of surprisingly accessible wines from their earliest youth, including “aging” wines!
Drink less. Drink better.
Volpaia, Citto 2019, Tuscany
2,4 g / L – BIO | ★★ 1/2 | $$
SAQ code: 14044653
A family estate that I love very much. Almost everything produced there can be bought with your eyes closed. The latest arrival is the “little” Citto, which translates into Tuscan dialect like the little brother, in reference to the great house wine, the Castello di Volpaia. A blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. It’s nicely scented, slender and silky. The perfect “wine of the week” to always have on hand.
Tetramythos, Roditis 2019, Patras
2,4 g / L – BIO | ★★ 1/2 | $ 1/2
SAQ code: 12484575
Roditis is an ancient grape (100 BC) that stands out for its red skin, although it produces a white wine. As endearing as it is eccentric, Panayiotis Papagiannopoulos cultivates it with care on the limestone slopes of Mount Helmosen, near Patras in the Peloponnese. He draws an astonishing white from it. The 2019 stands out for its finely spicy side, its aromas of peach, lemon and lily of the valley. A tender wine, almost round while being endowed with a frank acidity and a salivating salinity. Original and devilishly refreshing.
Quinta de Azevedo, Vinho Verde Reserva 2018
3.4 g / L | ★★ 1/2 | $$
SAQ code: 14375111
With enticing prices, a unique personality and rising quality over the past few years, Vinho Verde wines are second to none in the summer. Here we are treated to a typical blend of loureiro (70%) and alvarinho (30%). Tones of flower, almond and pear. We feel a nourished substance and an energetic acid structure. Final on the bitters which invigorate you the palate.
Au Bon Climat, Pinot Gris 2018, Santa Barbara
1.2 g / L | ★★★ 1/2 | $$$
SAQ code: 12510690
Get off the beaten track and set your sights on this delicious blend dominated by Pinot Gris and completed by Pinot Blanc. We owe this Alsatian inspiration “made in the USA” to Jim Clendenen, whose wines stand out for their finesse and gluttony. It’s floral to perfection with hints of apricot. The palate is full, juicy and precise. Happiness and change of scenery guaranteed.
Prà, Morandina 2019, Valpolicella
4.2 g / L – BIO | ★★★ | $$ 1/2
SAQ code: 12131964
We are closer here to fruity and easy-drinking Beaujolais than to concentrated and tannic classic Valpolicella. It must be said that Graziano Prà, to whom we owe the rebirth of Soave, is an artist obsessed with quality and … the pleasure of drinking well! A pale and shiny robe. A nose full of red berries, liquorice and thyme. It’s delicious, juicy and delicious. Serve chilled (1 hour in the fridge).
★★★ Very good
More stars than dollars: well worth the price.
As many stars as dollars: worth the price.
Fewer stars than dollars: wine is expensive.