By John ~ April 24th, 2009.
How often have you opened a bottle of wine that was great the night you opened it, but fell flat on its face when you tried the rest of the bottle the next day? What about the flip side, a bottle that was just okay the first night but you loved it the second day? What’s going on here?
Wine changes the moment you open the bottle due to exposure to air. Obviously, the best of all worlds is a bottle that’s great tonight, but you love it even better in the morning (or more likely tomorrow evening). A wine that’s better the second day is usually a wine that will age well. A wine that has really dropped off overnight is a wine that is best consumed young.
One value label I’ve found that fits the profile of more love the second day is Penfolds Koonunga Hill from Australia. These are $8 wines and both their Shiraz Cabernet and Cabernet Sauvignon will often last 15 to 20 years.
Since we returned from our South African wine journey, I’ve discovered another $8 gem that might age better than you would think, the 2005 MAN Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa’s Coastal Region. The first day we tasted it we gave it a decent Quality Rating of 3.5 stars (out of 5). The second and even third day I loved it more and more, a clear 4 stars.
In sum, decanting young wines, and then tasting them the next day to see if you still love them, or even love them more, is the best way I know to determine how well they might age. That way you can decide whether it makes sense to buy a case to drink over the next 5 or 6 years, or whether to buy just another bottle or two to drink now.
Filed under: Australian Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, General Wine Information, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, South African Wine, Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25