Skip to main content

I see this often, where people say they have X wine in their cellar but have never tasted it. Why is this? I do not have one wine in my collection htat I have never tasted before. I do have wines that are waiting to mature a bit, but nothing I have not had.

Currious to others reasoning for this. Speaking of wines in excess of $75 value or so.
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I think there are other people on the forum who are at the other end of this argument. I think both sides are valid.

I myself, agree with Board-O, not wanting to waste am not going to buy $70 bottles of wine that are too acidic and too tannic. I just cannot taste through the acid and tannin. I would rather take a critics word for it and taste it ten years later when it is soft, perfumey and flavorful. My best wine experiences have been wines at good points of maturity. I need more experiences like those. I am tired of tatsing wine and saying, wow, this will really be something in 5-10 years.
I'm like you, Flaco, mostly. But, if I do have such a wine that I haven't tasted before, it's either a) a gift, b) an inheritance, or c) a purchase of a very rare wine in an exceptional circumstance (e.g. the monovarietal molinara from Serego Alighieri made from the pre-phylloxera, pergola-trained vines growing in their courtyard which yield something like 55 cases per year.)

Come to think of it, I should probably crack that molinara for this month's GTG...
It's gonna be pretty funny when, after so many years of priming their palates with young, cheap wines, all of these geezers finally get into their cellars to find that, "Eh...it's okay."

They'll be one-foot-in-the-grave by then, too, so, my prediction is: save your pennies, cuz there is going to be a glut of aged, prestige wines on the market in 25 years.

Maybe sooner, depending on when their mid-life crisis hits and they need that 'Vette.
There are some estates that make wines that I have enjoyed many times in the past, but may have vintages in my cellar that I have not tasted. If you like a winery and know that a few years in the cellar will soften up a wine, I dont see a problem in investing based on past tastings and laying down without opening a bottle on release.
If anything, opening a great Bordeaux or Napa Claret 10 years before peak will not tell you anything but how to throw away a good chunk of money.
quote:
It's gonna be pretty funny when, after so many years of priming their palates with young, cheap wines, all of these geezers finally get into their cellars to find that, "Eh...it's okay."


Don't talk about me like that, I have been grouchy and sensitive lately. Honestly thoough, that thought is why I have been so reluctant to start a cellar. I want to lay down a base of $20-$50 88-94 point wines. Then once a month I want to buy one $100ish bottle of wine. In the long run I want smooth drinking wines without tannin and acid making them hard to taste. Then I just want a special bottle for once a month when the wine geeks gather. I hope it all works as planned.
quote:
Originally posted by Flaco:
I see this often, where people say they have X wine in their cellar but have never tasted it. Why is this? I do not have one wine in my collection htat I have never tasted before. I do have wines that are waiting to mature a bit, but nothing I have not had.

Currious to others reasoning for this. Speaking of wines in excess of $75 value or so.


Because I could only afford a single bottle of Chave. Frown
quote:
Originally posted by spo:
quote:
It's gonna be pretty funny when, after so many years of priming their palates with young, cheap wines, all of these geezers finally get into their cellars to find that, "Eh...it's okay."


Don't talk about me like that, I have been grouchy and sensitive lately. Honestly thoough, that thought is why I have been so reluctant to start a cellar. I want to lay down a base of $20-$50 88-94 point wines. Then once a month I want to buy one $100ish bottle of wine. In the long run I want smooth drinking wines without tannin and acid making them hard to taste. Then I just want a special bottle for once a month when the wine geeks gather. I hope it all works as planned.

Naw, that wasn't aimed at you, that was aimed at the so-called "trophy hunters."

Your strategy doesn't sound bad at all; there's plenty of awesome juice in the $20 - $50 range. I can see some difficulty in trying to stash single bottles, however. It becomes really tough to justify the opening if it is your only one!

You know, you can become inured to the effects of tannin and acid if you taste often enough!

By all means, do start a cellar. Aged wine can be a supreme pleasure, even if it is fraught with pitfalls.
quote:
Originally posted by spo:
I think there are other people on the forum who are at the other end of this argument. I think both sides are valid.

I myself, agree with Board-O, not wanting to waste am not going to buy $70 bottles of wine that are too acidic and too tannic. I just cannot taste through the acid and tannin. I would rather take a critics word for it and taste it ten years later when it is soft, perfumey and flavorful. My best wine experiences have been wines at good points of maturity. I need more experiences like those. I am tired of tatsing wine and saying, wow, this will really be something in 5-10 years.

Ditto.
Ahhh...I do believe that this may have hit me square in the jaw. I have many wines I have not tasted yet(2000 Margaux, 2001 Valdi Madonna del piano, 2004 Shea Estate, 2004 Numanthia...the list goes on) however, I do taste a majority of my wines and that is what leads me into purchasing them. I am on three lists and I have tasted past vintages (Bergstrom, Beaux Freres, Caduceus) that have taught me the value of giving these bottles 3-5 years in the cellar. I splurge and open something very nice 3-5 times a year. This summer it was the 98' Grange and an 02' Insignia. Both were lovely...and both still needed time. They were still amazing. It's ok to have wines that you haven't tasted...but to have wines just to look at as a trophy...well that....THAT is just plain silly.
The problem I am having is wine availability where I live. Here is what is happening. I live in Canada and as I learn about the various wines and my taste/preferences I notice particularly Ontario, the wine offered in our stores (LCBO) are young, too young, way too young etc. etc. When I do find a wine I like, and one that I am sure can be appreciated even more as it ages, the product is gone, there is only one left or it has to be sourced from another LCBO....and that never goes as smoothly as it should for my LCBO Product Specialist or myself. If I lived in the USA I see I could get pretty much any wine my heart desires but try and get that wine shipped here, LOL. Another avenue is searching wine forums for ideas, leads, and personal experiences. When a wine of interest pops up I try to locate the product quickly and/or be ready when the "New Releases" are available and jump on it. More than half the wines mentioned on this forum aren't even listed in this country. Eventually I settle on one and NEED to "taste it" so I can quickly decide if I should continue the race to find more. Oh well...I am having a ton of fun so I guess all is not lost....but living around here sure makes it difficult to stock a cellar. Smile
I do both, but you can bet I'll read a professional critic's review before cellaring an expensive bottle without tasting. Also, when I was collecting (primarily) Bordeaux, I would travel to Bordeaux and taste their wines, return home and order Futures. ---- Another couple of examples: I'm familiar with the Mark Herold style, and bought the Kamen without trying it based on Herolds' reputation. I bought "Jean Edwards" at the suggestion of WS Forums member, BHVineyard. Make informed purchases, and hope for the best.

Most of the time I pleased with my cellared wines, but sometimes the wine doesn't develop as anticipated, and that's when I'm Red Face! Cool
quote:
Originally posted by Bill@IA:
Eventually I settle on one and NEED to "taste it" so I can quickly decide if I should continue the race to find more.


I've gotten around this problem by just buying as much as I can and then going back for refunds for things I don't like. My usual release day routine is buy at least 3 of everything that I think I'll like, and usually leave one on the kitchen table and the rest goes to the cellar. I drink everything on my kitchen table before the next release and take everything I don't like back for a refund when I go for the next release. But then again, the caymus didn't make it on my kitchen table simply cause I thought it would be wasted to drink it now. (My last mistake was a couple weeks ago when I cracked the belle glos PN, now I only have 2 left and the province is out. But that's 2 more than what I would have if I went with a single to taste first.)

Product transfers between LCBO is rarely successful since half the time, the inventory on the website is wrong and the other half the time, the bottles are prepaid through futures, classics, etc...
I have many wines in my cellar that I have never tasted. Like mentioned in earlier posts....when it's a $60+ bottle of wine I figure it's worth a bit of a wait to find out if it was worth it.....kind of makes it more fun IMO. Don't get me wrong i have also cracked open many just to try young and follow the evolution....but thats if I have 6+ bottles....if it's only 2-3 bottles I usually wait. Some of these are wines that I may of had early vintages of and found a liking to their style....others are bought just on TN's in hope they are right.
You shouldn't cellar wine without experience in the producer, region, vintage and a high degree of certainty the wine will be enjoyable to you when you are ready - again based on your experience. Don't just go with "hold until 2011" in a magazine if you nothing about the wine, area etc. and forget the price tag - no guarantee there.

If I feel the above with something - I have no problem putting them to sleep to near projected drinking window.

There are people who like their wine with youth in it and you may be one of them. I don't test wines to the limit unless you're talking pretty classic stuff. That's sadder in most cases then drinking them a little too soon. Smile

And let your inventory dictate your evaluation (tasting) of them while holding. Having 2 cases of something and holding them for 10 years without trying any is risky and almost stupid IMO. I like the evolution process myself - again, if I have enough Cool
I have lots of bottles in my cellar I haven't tried before. I'll take my best guess based on the available information about when to open them, and they'll be what they'll be, I don't see any big problem with it.

I think the big difference on here is between people who mainly by cases of a smaller number of wines, for whom it would make sense they would try the wine first or try the first bottle out of the case for reference and education, and people who buy a lot of 1-3 bottles of a large variety of wines, the latter more typically being (a) people who haven't been enthusiasts for as long and are still trying a wide range of wines for experience, and/or (b) people with limited budgets.

If you can only afford one or two bottles of some classified growth Bordeaux or some good Barolo, why not wait until a reasonable guess at the right age for those wines? If you can buy 24 bottles of that same wine, then sure, you should try it first, plus sample a few along the way.

Interesting topic, anyways.
quote:
Originally posted by WEc:
I've gotten around this problem by just buying as much as I can and then going back for refunds for things I don't like. My usual release day routine is buy at least 3 of everything that I think I'll like, and usually leave one on the kitchen table and the rest goes to the cellar. I drink everything on my kitchen table before the next release and take everything I don't like back for a refund when I go for the next release. But then again, the caymus didn't make it on my kitchen table simply cause I thought it would be wasted to drink it now. (My last mistake was a couple weeks ago when I cracked the belle glos PN, now I only have 2 left and the province is out. But that's 2 more than what I would have if I went with a single to taste first.)

Product transfers between LCBO is rarely successful since half the time, the inventory on the website is wrong and the other half the time, the bottles are prepaid through futures, classics, etc...


WEc, I remembered seeing the red waxed bottles of the Bella Glos PN here in London. They were there today when I went to pick up that 1997 Barolo I wanted to try. (Proof their systems are messed up as you said) I would be happy to go back and pick up them up for you, cellar them and bring them down to you the next time I am in Toronto. I was in TO last night and I usually go 2 or 3 times a month. Anyways the offer is there....consider it my appreciation for your early "Vintage Release" posts. Smile
While it certainly makes sense to be familiar with a particular winery's style, or that of the winemaker, I see nothing wrong with holding wines that you have personally never tasted. That is the beauty of the internet and forums such as this one. You can rely on others to taste/waste the wine for you. If I see a review by Laube that recommends drinking a wine in 2010, and another by Parker that says of the same wine: "Best from 2012-2020", and then I see a thread on Mark Squires (a/k/a "e-Pantload") that brags of a huge tasting of "Big Boys" where the tasting notes all say: "Wow. This will really sing in 5 years", then I can't think myself anything other than an idiot if I burn a bottle now. If 5 people all report that sticking forks in their eyes hurts, then I don't need to stick one in my eye to prove to myself that which I already know.
I think it's rather odd that someone would have tasted all their bottles in cellar. I'm guessing if that's true, 1) they either don't collect Bordeaux, or 2) buy wine in high quantities of at least 6-12 bottles each. Then that would make sense to me. That said, 65% of my cellar is Bordeaux. Also, I only have a few with 3 or 4 bottles in cellar, the rest are all 1-2 bottles. Additionally, I have usually tasted the wine from the producer, just not the particular vintage. I have more recently gotten into CA cabs, so I have some single bottles of wines that I wanted to try out and are waiting for some of them to hit a more optimum window. Most of what I'm talking about is in the $35-70 range, somewhat below what the original poster stated, so I think he is directing his comments towards "trophy hunters" which is not what my cellar is about.
I have wines of certain vintages that I have not tried (ie, 1998 Grange) but have tried other vintages. I don't think that I have any wines (other than my 1 1989 Mouton) that I have never tried anything by that producer and would only cellar without trying if it was pretty much consensus around the world that a certain wine was just not ready to drink. I will probably try that wine, whatever it is, prior to the official drinking window, just to see where it is for me, and then gauge the rest of the bottles off that personal taste, but will let them sleep, untried for some period of time that would be considered necessary for such a wine.

Dale
There are so many big reds that I have that are no way near maturity. Why would I want to taste/ drink now when I know if will drink differently and more than likely better when I open the bottle anyhow? As Hunter mentioned I use my previous experiences and knowledge of the grape, winery, vintage, etc for most purchases. I will buy a first growth blind as building my vertical collection of first growths has become someone of an obsession of mine. I wish I could have afforded to taste or purchase an extra bottle for each first growth I have but I do not have that type of capital nor would my wife stand for it. That being said I do have multiple cases for some mid priced wines which I will drink and record notes on a few times a year to check on progress (usually a month or so after turning the bottles) A great example a craggy range Sophia gimlet gravel hawkes bay 02 which had a storng metallic ting to it when I first got it a few years back. While it needs another year or so to fully mature the metallic ting has subsided and now disappeared from the nose and taste. Someone who did not know this wine would evolve may not have purchased based on the initial taste, whereas a person who purchased wine without tasting, lay it down for 4-5 years then drank it would have never known about the metallic ting. Sometimes tasting could be misleading and sometimes not tasting could be beneficial.
quote:
Originally posted by Bill@IA:
WEc, I remembered seeing the red waxed bottles of the Bella Glos PN here in London. They were there today when I went to pick up that 1997 Barolo I wanted to try. (Proof their systems are messed up as you said) I would be happy to go back and pick up them up for you, cellar them and bring them down to you the next time I am in Toronto. I was in TO last night and I usually go 2 or 3 times a month. Anyways the offer is there....consider it my appreciation for your early "Vintage Release" posts. Smile


Thanks and really appreciate the offer. On that note, I will check a few LCBOs in my area to see what availability is like. I'll let you know if I require your assistance. (They really should do something about that online inventory system!)

Cheers!
I only have around 60 wines in my cellar of which 20 or so are long-term (3+ years) storage as well as 20 wines that I just picked up following a tasting last week (only 4 of those were more than $20). I probably have 8 that I haven't tried but am storing.

Of the wines I have stored but have not tasted, I have at least had one bottle from the same producer (i.e. I have a 2001 Silver Oak Cabernet, but didn't try it. But I have had the 1997 Silver Oak Cabernet which I thought was great). The other 3 I am basing on my knowledge of my tastes as well as professional and non-professional reviews. They are rare/great wines that I am betting I will not be let down by (one being a 1990 Chateau Margaux I recently acquired for dirt cheap).

I have no problem buying/storing wines that I have not tried before. I am to the point where I know my palette pretty well and have a good idea what regions and vintages are going to be pleasing to me. My collection is small, my budget (as a grad student) is not extravagent, so until I can afford to try every wine before I cellar it, I'm willing to take the risk.

I guess that's part of the fun for me!

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×