Factors in assessing a drinking window

Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.

Factors in assessing a drinking window

Postby Jon Tabak » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:19 am

Hi Rogov,

In my quest to continuously learn from more experienced others, can you share some of the things that you look for when assessing a wine's drinking window? I know that wine-drinking experience plays a big role, but I'm wondering if things other than pure "gut" are taken into account. For instance, I tasted Yatir Forest 2005 a couple of weeks ago. It's powerful wine with a bright fruit, full body, well-structured tannins, high alcohol, took about 3+ hours to fully open,and was still drinking exceptionally well the next day. You have the wine pegged as drinking well until 2014. In my mind - and I'm clearly not as experienced as you - this wine should easily be able drink well for another 4+ years. What am I missing?

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Jon
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Re: Factors in assessing a drinking window

Postby Eli R » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:31 am

Jon,

Based on previous discussions, I will throw in a couple of additional factors:

- The winery and specific wine track record
- The specific vintage year

For the top emerging Israeli wines there is not enough history, it is only in the last 2-3 year that Rogov started to estimate a drinking window of 10 years or more to these wines (other than wines like the Kazrin)

Therefore I believe Rogov initial window is on the conservative side

When the wine reaches it's peak period, repeated tasting may result in extending the window
One example I am very familiar with is the Yarden Merlot 2003, a wine that reached it's peak early, but may stay there until 2014 and beyond.

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Re: Factors in assessing a drinking window

Postby Ian Sutton » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:14 am

Jon
I think this may have come up a couple of times before, so also worth a search.
Here's one of the threads (but not the one I had expected to find)
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=36332&p=303801&hilit=longevity#p303801
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Ian
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Re: Factors in assessing a drinking window

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:40 pm

Jon, Hi...



Predicting drinking windows (cellaring potential if one prefers) is based on a number of factors, some that can be gained entirely from earlier experience and others that are dependent entirely on the varieties of grapes and the winemaking methods.

Experiential factors:

1. History of the specific wine in question as compared to the track record of previous vintage releases. To some great extent comparison must also be made in the variety or the blend

2. Knowledge of the qualities of the current and past vintage years

3. Familiarity, when necessary, of winemaking procedures with the wine (e.g.use of oak, new or changed methods of harvest, introduction to the winery of new owners, a new major winemaker or the use of a specific wine consultant and his/her track record)

Specific Oenological Elements:

1. Knowledge of varietals and their ability to age as well as of familiarity with the wine-growing region, the more detailed the knowledge the better one's predictive ability

2. Structure – The perception of wood, tannins, acidity, fruits and other elements that make up the flavor and aroma of the wine. In the case of a wine with an extended drinking window those should stand comfortably together and, during the youth of the showing the potential for the elements to develop in a harmonious manner.

3. Balance – As opposed to structure, a cellar-worthy wine must show an intrinsic balance potential even in its youth. That a wine may show heavy oak or dominating tannins in its youth is not to be held against its aging potential so long as those elements show (and/or have demonstrated in the past) the ability for those elements to find their ideal structure as they develop.

4. Potential faults – One cannot lose consideration of factors of sediment, potential oxidation and, faults such as TCAor Brett, early browning or clearing at the rim; tainted aromas or flavors.

5. Make and keep tasting notes as those will help the data enter into long-term memory. I suppose author Ray Bradbury put it rather well when he said "I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true –hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it"


6. No less important, especially for the professional or other true wine devotee, is the ability to at least periodically carry out re-tastings, those often together not only with the specific wine at issue but others in the same or similar conditions and over the period of many years, that as a check on one's predictive abilities.



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Re: Factors in assessing a drinking window

Postby Jon Tabak » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:04 am

Sorry, but I fell of the map for a bit. Eli, Ian, Rogov - All great info...thank you!

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Jon
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