As I have gotten older (made it to "59" so far!
), I much prefer older wines, but then the way I drink may not be "standard". As I am a single guy, I have a whole bottle of older wine all by myself once or twice a week, and maybe a half bottle of something a couple other days of the week. There is nothing like the soft, complex, interesting subtleties of something where the tannins are fully resolved and the flavor components have all melded into a seamless unity.
I find my "success rate" is just about 100% too. The only wine I have poured down the drain in the last 10 years or so was part of a bottle of 1994 Aussie Cab/Syrah that apparently had been acidified when made, and the acidity just became nasty when the primary fruit faded!
Since I encountered Monsieur Audouze's "method" of slow oxygenation, I have specifically been looking for really questionable older bottles too!
I've picked up a few '81 red Burgs for instance, a vintage that is just not even reviewed, except to say it was "forgettable" etc. Well, with slow oxygenation, the wines have been excellent! But they were perhaps exceptions to the the general rule from that vintage perhaps - a Beaune from the Hospices, a Beze from Lupe Cholet (not exactly an esteemed negociant though, I think?). Likewise, with Bordeaux, I have been exploring '76s and '79s with great success. The '79 Gruaud is amazingly excellent. Wines like the '76 Duhart Milon are also excellent (and even Parker recognized early on that that wine was better than their '75, for instance).
I think if you use common sense in regard to vintages and wine genres, and *above all*, exercise care in serving, which means the Audouze slow oxygenation approach AND a cool serving temperature, you will be very happy with many bottles, including ones that initially may seem bad! This last point is important too. I remember an '82 Bonnes Mares I opened a couple months back that was so tired and smelling and tasting of varnish and orange peel, even after being opened for 3 1/2 hours, that I gave up on it and went down and pulled another bottle from the cellar. But what do you know... after 5 hours, the darn Bonnes Mares gained strength and fruit and became quite attractive, with only hints of decline left. I had to drink TWO bottles that night!