Last night, I opened a bottle that I knew was still young and not ready to drink. It was a reputable Reserva from the Rioja , a 1995, it would be 5 years old in one month. I hadn’t tasted it since I acquired it at the bodega four months prior and, perhaps it was because my birthday was in two days, or simply the desire to prove to myself that I had made a good buy. So I opened it.
What was interesting---the wine was, as I suspected, a bit too , not overly, but, young to please my palate, it needed three or four years of further aging--was the back label of this, up to now , unrevealed wine...
Before we go any further, may it be clear that I do not advertise . I am a journalist not a publicist , the latter would bias. Can you see anyone paying you to say their wine is so so ? This is not the case here fortunately, the wine is fine for its present evolution but the name of the bodega is not revealed in respect of the primary rules of journalism.
The back label read:
“Wines do not last in a bottle forever.
They evolve and mature,
but they also age...and die.
We would like you to share this reserve that you hold in your hands while
it is in all its splendour and fullness.
Store wine in the best possible conditions.
Don’t keep your bottle for a better occasion which will never come...
Decide to drink it in its best
moment and enjoy it.”
IDEAL STORING CONDITIONS +
•Darkness •Store at 14/16ºC
•Without noise or vibrations
• Without violent temperature • Bottle lying down.
changes. • Humidity 60/75%.
Continuing with this wine’s back label (not Black) the graph begins from zero to 4 years (Años) at the Bodega,(winery, the 4 should be right at the separating line) indicating that it stays at the winery and is only sold afterwards , then it moves along to 15 years under where it reads : Plenitud ( best drinking) , after 15 years the line descends even further indicating the Declive or decline.
Drink at 16/18ºC.
Naturally, this life span chart corresponds to a particular wine kept in the optimum conditions mentioned. Anyone who thinks that it will be fine to omit one of these factors ; is only fooling their own palate.
That said, this particular back label information is pretty cool for those of us who wish to immediately know more about the wine and its storage , obviously it’s a time saver for those who need to manage a cellar besides being a great label for collectors !
Written by Olga los Santos Alvarez