Tag: Matt Kramer

Oct 10 2011

The Joy of Drinking Aged Wines

Posted on October 10, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Before I boarded the bus to Orange, I enjoyed some terrific aged wines over lunch at the Wine and Food Society of NSW. One of my favourites was the Leasingham Classic Clare Cabernet Sauvignon 1992.

What struck me most about this wine was that you couldn’t mistake it for anything but a superbly aged cabernet sauvignon. The bouquet was alluring – blackcurrant fruit subtly enhanced with tobacco, dark chocolate and cedar aromas. The dark stone fruit flavours were still fresh and full, delivering complexity and great length. And while the tannins were now soft and silky, the wine still had excellent body and structure.

In his reviews of first growth Bordeaux wines, the Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker will often remark that the wines need a decade or more of cellaring. Not only does bottle age help to soften the tannins and make the wine more accessible, but cellaring gives the wine time to evolve and, if it’s really good, to transform into something quite extraordinary or even transcendent.

Today, of course, most wines are made for immediate appeal, and well north of 90% are consumed within the first year of their release. Interestingly, Matt Kramer of the Wine Spectator argues that, “We must age wines today not merely to tease the genie out of the bottle, but rather, to see if it’s in there at all.” Kramer asks, “Will the modern Argentine Malbecs that are so delicious today, become with 20 years of bottle age as profound as they teasingly suggest? No-one knows.” (Why We Age Wines. And Why it Matters by Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator, 30 April 2010)

In my post, Cellaring Australian Pinot. How long do they last?, I mentioned that the longevity of many great pinot noirs were defying critics’ expectations. Wines expected to peak after five to ten years of cellaring were still drinking beautifully 15 years later.

These wines have passed what Kramer would call the test of “character” or “substantiality.” In his view,.. [Read More]

Mar 03 2011

Great Advice from the Wine Spectator’s Matt Kramer on Interpreting Wine Scores

Posted on March 03, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Matt Kramer of the Wine Spectator recently wrote an article about what he likes to tell people who are new to wine appreciation. (What Should Newbies Know? If you were teaching newcomers to wine, what would you tell them? by Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator, 15 March 2011) It’s a great read, and I thought I would share with you his advice on how to interpret wine scores because it struck a chord with me.

Deduct two points from any score over 90 and add three points to any score over 80... [Read More]

Dec 12 2010

Australia’s Old Vine Wines

Posted on December 12, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The list of acclaimed wines made from old vines in Australia are many and would include, to name a few, such renowned names as Henschke Hill of Grace, Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, Torbreck RunRig, Wendouree Shiraz, Chris Ringland Shiraz, Clarendon Hill AstralisD’Arengberg The Dead Arm and Yalumba The Octavius Barossa Old Vine Shiraz.

So what makes old vine wine so special? Matt Kramer of the Wine Spectator addressed this very question in his article If it Says “Old Vine,”.. [Read More]

Dec 12 2010

Argentine Malbec: The World’s Best Value Red Wine?!

Posted on December 12, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The Wine Spectator recently released its Top 100 Wines for the year. Argentina was well represented with five wines (Australia had six), and all of the Argentine wines were malbecs, mainly from the Mendoza region at the foothills of the Andes in Argentina.

According to the Wine Spectator’s wine critic Matt Kramer: “There is no greater value in red wine anywhere in the world today than Argentine malbec.” (Augustus Weed, 2010 New World Wine Experience: Miraculous Malbec, The Wine Spectator, 1 November 2010). .. [Read More]