Trying an older wine for the first time (billy)
Being a newer wine enthusiast, I’ve not had the opportunity to sample much less put away a bottle of aged wine. So several visits to the wine store ago, I went looking for something that was aged for at least 10 years – just to try it. I wandered the aisles of wines from around the world and read the labels to see if anything struck me. I had already decided against a US wine (for no reason other than I wanted to try something from Spain). So, I came home with a bottle of Vegaval Plata Gran Reserva 1994 of the Tempranillo varietal (for those of you who are interested).
According to the label the “Gran Reserva” designation means that, “the wine must be from a high quality vintage and spend two years in oak barrels, another three years in bottle, and not leave the winery until the sixth year after the harvest.” Cool, it was older than my kids, my marriage and my car. And unlike my car, the label promised that it had aged gracefully. I bought it and took it home and opened it right away. After all, I bought this for drinking not for keeping.
I wanted to simply experience the subtlety of the aging and maturation of this wine without worrying about getting too technical, so I decided to not take any notes. The memory of this wine is certainly something that makes it special, perhaps more so than the actual drinking of the wine.
The wine was deep and dark, nearly black. It had a scent of leather that was like, “WOW, that’s leather”. Now, I’m not one to get all up-ons about leather smelling wines, but when it’s there, it’s there. After breathing for a while the wine was quite nice with a long and soft finish that I tend to associate with Spanish reds.
I paid under $20 or so for this bottle at a store that I know prices a bit high. So this was by no means a top of the line aged wine. Still, the experience was educational for me and the finish of this wine was worth the rest.