I’m like Leonardo di Caprio in reverse. I only drink old wines.
It’s not because I’m a wine snob. It’s because I’ve built up a big collection and it needs to be drunk. It’s also because it’s wildly interesting to get a better feel for what happens to wine as it ages.
However, I’ve decided to take the WSET Level 2 course, and most of the varietal descriptions, and most of the wines we’ll be tasting as part of the course are going to be young. So I figured it was a good idea to remind myself what young wines taste like!
So I made a Total Wine run and picked up a bottle of everything I haven’t tried before or haven’t tasted in a long time: Fiano, Verdicchio, Pinotage, Gruner Veltliner etc. And as I was racing through the aisles, I saw Clos de los Siete on special. Michel Rolland + Mendoza + Bordeaux blend + Malbec. I knew it was going to be rich and lush.
I followed the WSET’s “SAT” method (Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine) and started familiarizing myself with the steps and the vocabulary. But that’s too boring! This was a very dark ruby wine with black fruit and oak that erupted out of the glass. I smelled cedar and smoke, and by the second sniff couldn’t get grilled ribs out of my head.
I expected my mouth to be coated with tannins, but they were ridiculously smooth and ripe. ‘Creamy’ one critic wrote, and that’s spot on. With the vanilla-ish flavors from the oak, it was like a black plum creamsicle.
I didn’t tell my wife what she was drinking. “Gosh, that’s rich!” she exclaimed, and asked for the glass again.
By WSET standards, I’d consider this a “very good” wine 🙂 A bit Napa Valley-cartoonish, but certainly very enjoyable.