Just capturing the last few wines of the reviewed wines of WS "Insider", I was curious if anyone had followed many/other reviewed wines in the past to see if they were accurate. I think RP does a stretch for the life, but in proper storage and with all conditions perfect, it's possible. I was just really surprised that "B.S." would predict a great french burgundy to easily outlast a top notch pinot noir producer and a single vineyard cabernet sauvignon of the US while "J.L." gives a short and safe window of life. I can bet I can inline skate better and faster than Bruce, but I would not bet anything against him and his colleague's knowledge of wine. But in my short time of experience in wine, I think they are both wrong in their "Drink through" windows. Is there some publication that differentiates WS and RP with their similar/competing rating systems?
Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Blue-Slide Ridge Vineyard 2007
97 points | $90 | 250 cases made | Red
A gorgeous Pinot that is striking from the get-go. Ripe and
sublime, with sweet plum, blueberry and wild berry flavors that
are fresh and vivid, this is at once intense and persistent, yet also
graceful and refined. Drink now through 2022. From
Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley 2010
96 points | $215 | 300 cases imported | Red
Pure floral, cherry and spice aromas and flavors highlight this
aromatic, lush and silky red. Finishes on the taut side, but with
intensity and a vibrant structure. Shows fine length, with soft tannins and a savory mineral aftertaste. Best from 2014 through 2029.
Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Marcassin Vineyard 2007
96 points | $125 | 1,250 cases made | Red
Ripe plum, olallieberry and black cherry fruit flirts with jam in
this intense and focused Pinot that is seemingly big and full, yet
also graceful and refined, ending with a touch of soy and porcini.
The richest and ripest of the 2007 Marcassins. Drink now through
2022. From California.—J.L.
Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Beckstoffer To Kalon
95 points | $275 | 509 cases made | Red
Big, rich and concentrated, with a gutsy yet soothing core of
tannic currant, blackberry, black licorice, fresh earth, cedar and
graphite. Very young and tightly wound, this is not quite ready
to drink and should only get better with time. Best from 2014
through 2024. From California.—J.L.
Puligny-Montrachet Champ Gain 2010
95 points | $90 | 100 cases imported | White
A haunting combination of creamy texture and bright structure
sets the pace for floral, peach, apple and hazelnut flavors in this
balanced white. Stays fresh, with the aftertaste honing in on
orchard fruit, spice and mineral. Drink now through 2022. From
Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Three Sisters Vineyard 2007
95 points | $75 | 325 cases made | Red
The magnificent aromas are centered on spicy, floral black cherry
and raspberry, with a dash of porcini and toasty oak. The texture
is seamless, gliding along gracefully, showing subtle hints of maturity and nuance. Drink now through 2022. From California.—J.L.
I was going to reply, but not sure what you are trying to say. Do different critics have different drinking windows, and should that surprise anyone, no.
As for stellar Burgundy, the '59, '61, '85 and '78 vintages are drinking well currently.
Yeah I got a little confused too.
But notwithstanding the fact that they're 2 different people, I don't know that either is too far off.
JL has had plenty of experience with CA wines at this point. Bruce has had plenty of Burgundy and I'm thinking that while both are probably conservative, Bruce's are more so than JL's, which seem pretty realistic.
As far as comparing to other critics, WS has stated that they'd rather be conservative in their estimates than not. That makes a lot more sense than giving some outlandish drinking window to a wine you've never had more than 4 or 5 years old. Take pretty much any drinking window with a grain of salt, but the longer the window, the more salt you need.
That makes perfect sense to me!
"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
(A HUGE) +1
"Grape works as a soda - sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie." - Larry David
I guess I consider top notch Pinot Noir to be Burgundy.
It is not unusual to see drinking windows in WS and WA for a single wine that do not even overlap. Usually, it is the WS that has the earlier drinking window.
In general, I think both WS and WA are often overly conservative on their drinking windows for most wines. But then again, I prefer wines that show those wonderful secondary nuances that come with age.
Stay thirsty my friends.
Coincidentally, I started reorganizing my cellar this weekend, pulling a number of bottles that WS suggested were past their prime. Of perhaps 10 bottles opened in the last 2 days, 2-3 were in fact on the decline. WS, for my tastes, is consistently conservative on the outer "drink by" window. And worse for some regions than others. For anyone who's into decent South African wines, ignore the WS "drink by" window.
Slightly OT, but I have found that many reviewers including WS tasters tend to give an earlier drinking window in their initial review. Subsequent reviews almost always indicate an extended drinking window. Anyone else notice this?
Where I have a problem with the WS drinking windows is the "from" date. It is almost always too early for me.
I guess that is not really a problem. I can just ignore it. I've found that Cellartracker can be a useful tool for ready to drink dates if you read the notes and not just the consensus dates.
Iv'e been opening older vintages of Bordeaux and and Napa Cabernets and I just tried 1999 Dunn Howell Mountain, 1999 Rubicon and 1999 Dominus and I didn't decant any of them and the Dunn and Dominus started to die after an hour of being open. Drying out and no fruit and becoming vegetal.. The Rubicon held up better as did a 1999 Ridge Lytton Springs. Just tasted these this afternoon. Had A 2000 Chateau Gazin Pomerol that was great and earthy with good fruit but dried out as well after an hour after being decanted by someone else at our tasting. I think from now on I'm just going to open up older wines and play with them rather than giving them a decant.
I always figure Parkers is a real window of life with peak drinking time in the second half of that window. Wine Spectators I find to be more of just a peak drinking window.
I've pulled some stuff in the last month or so that was past WS's window, for no other reason than it was past their and cellar trackers end of window dates, and found it to still be going strong. Maybe slightly past peak but nowhere near dead that's for sure.
Estimating when a wine should be at its best is difficult, because storage plays such a large role. And, of course, different people consider a wine at its best at different stages in its evolution.
In general, Wine Spectator editors are conservative in their drink windows, as several posters have noted. The "drink by" date generally refers to the time when, the taster believes, the primary fruit flavors of a wine begin to shade into more evolved, mature flavors, given optimum storage. But for someone who prefers those mature flavors, the wine may remain on that plateau for many years.
i still struggle how a pinot can outlast a cab.
This is my sig -> www.brownteacup.com
This is a very useful clarification. For my taste, that sort of "drink by" date is when the wine is likely to just start hitting its stride.
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