Beginners Corner

Snooth User: Anna Savino

Which wine would be best to drink NOW!?

Posted by Anna Savino, Jun 6, 2012.

I am confused because as I am a beginner and trying to start a barolo collection, most of my bottles are from 2000, 2001,2004. However I am hearing that Barolo 2000 is very good now! Should I be opening these already?

I also have a 2001 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cab that I read is already on the decline (which would be disappointing!) Any of you recently taste one?

There is also a bottle of my very precious Chateau Musar 2000 wine. I think I should drink this soon too. From these choices which would you open tonight!

thanks.. i know it is impossible to have insight into the peak period to drink.. but thought i would ask the forum! thanks



Reply by Eric Guido, Jun 6, 2012.

The 2000 Baroli are ready for drinking.  That's not to say that there aren't some bottle that might still be young, but 90% of what's out there can be enjoyed (I would however, open the bottle early in the day and let it breath, in bottle, for a number of hours before pouring).  2001, is entering the eayliest stages of maturity.  With coaxing, they can be enjoyable.  However, I think another 3 - 5 years is the soonest you should really consider digging into 2001.  2004 should not be touched for some time. 

As for the Silver Oak, I would open it, but don't always read into other's opinions about wines on the decline.  If there's one thing i've learned in doing this, it's that everyone's opinion of maturity is different.  If you like aged wine, then you'll likly enjoy it.

The Musar, I'll leave to those that know this wine better than I do.

Reply by Anna Savino, Jun 6, 2012.

Thanks Eric! 

I really appreciate your feedback! I also have a 1996 Terre Del Barolo. I would be interested to see if it's still any good. 

When a wine is over the hill it basically means that it lacks body and flavors right?

This weekend I am going to Beppe Rinaldi and can't wait to pick up a bottle of that barolo!:)

Take care!


Reply by Eric Guido, Jun 6, 2012.



Yes with the fruit, but not necessarily with the body, some Baroli can lighter in body and quite feminine with beautiful bouquets and drier red fruits with earth tones on the palate.  Often a resolved Barolo will have shed all of it's tannin and taken on a vibrant sweet red fruit on the palate, I find that very pleasant but it usually comes with a good amount of bottle age.  If Barolo is over the hill, it's usually out balance.  Lacking fruit or the fruit tastes dirty (or imagine what you'd expect a piece of moldy fruit to taste like) acidity can be out of balance with all earth but little fruit.

I haven't had the '96 Terre Del Barolo but if it's been properly stored, then it should still be a good bottle of Barolo.  '96 was a very structured vintage and some of the wines seem ungiving, only because the tannins have still not resolved.  In any case, it would benefit from being open in bottle for a few hours before drinking (In my experience Barolo doesn't react well to large decanters).

Reply by Anna Savino, Jun 6, 2012.

ok! i will let you know!:)

Reply by GregT, Jun 6, 2012.

To Eric's good advice I'd only amplify his contention that you shouldn't pay all that much attention to the opinions of others (including mine). Problem is, everyone can make an announcement but they often have very little real life experience to back up those announcements.  So you go to a wine forum and read all kinds of things, much simply repeated and much simply wrong.

If someone says a wine is declining, ask how many bottles of that wine they've had over how many years, and if not that particular wine, how many bottles of ANY wine they've had over a number of years to mark its evolution. I'd suggest it would need to be many dozen to have any meaningful data. And then of course, there's the matter of personal taste and opinion, as Eric mentions.  I have 2 friends who are extremely knowledgable, particularly regarding Spanish wine.  One doesn't drink a wine unless it's at least 20 years old, preferably much older.  The other calls him a necrophiliac. Loves the exact same wines, but drinks them all by 20 years.

Some of the 2001 Cabs out of CA have been a little disappointing to me in that they seem to be aging rather quickly.  I've only had that vintage of the Silver Oak a couple times and not recently, so can't say much about it.  And FWIW, last night we had a 2006  Barolo. Not a top producer, but hey, it's what I wanted.  Too ripe and alcoholic, but still pretty good. And yeah, that's really young.

Reply by Terence Pang, Jun 6, 2012.

Anna, w.r.t. Musar, I am still holding on to some 1994, 98 and 99s.. of course the Gastons have been drunk awhile back though.

You are in a tough spot since you only have a single bottle of the 2000. Wouldn't go past having it on any special occasion on your calander soon if you want to have any chance of some freshness on the palate.

Reply by Terence Pang, Jun 6, 2012.

Also, just looking at my notebook, I did taste the Terre Del Barolo 1996 two months ago, and to me, it was a tired soul. So I would recommend you drink that soon. Probably decant for 30-45min, then finish it fast.

The 1999 and 2000 was also showing marked signs of aging already. The 2001 and 2004 weren't far behind either.

Reply by Anna Savino, Jun 6, 2012.

Wow! thanks guys you are great:) So incredible Terence that you just had that 96 Barolo! I think I am going to go with the silver oak cab tonight and not worry about it! 

Unfortunately I only have single bottles so I just get paranoid that I am going to ruin something really good if i wait to long!:) 

GregT ... you make some great points... thanks so much!

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jun 6, 2012.

Save the Musar!

Reply by Mike Madaio, Jun 6, 2012.

As many good points have already been made, I will only add the thought that it is far better to drink a wine too young than too old.

Reply by Wai Xin Chan, Jun 6, 2012.

I agree with Mike.

If you drank an under aged wine, run to your favourite wine store and stock it up.

If you are left with cases of over aged wine, the misery...

Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Jun 6, 2012.

I must agree with Mike, the worst disappointment is to drink a dead wine.

About Terre del Barolo the right question is which barolo you have? Terre del Barolo produce some different wines from different cru. Different cru likely have different evolutions. Anyway my advice about what wine to drink NOW is, leave barolo in the cellar, too hot, now is the perfet time for some good barbera and for piedmont sparkling wines!

A little fun: someone theorizes drinking  0 km wines, easy to say if you live near Alba. :)

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