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What drinking a 42yo aged wine reminded me to do

There€™s something exciting about drinking an aged wine€¦. It€™s a different experience, it€™s different complexities, often a different world€¦ And there€™s something about drinking a bloody good aged wine, one that just blows you away. So, having said that you need to find a wine that will stand the test of time and improve with age, and you need to find a way to store it well. Now the storage side of things is probably another blogpost in itself so I will save that one for another day, but here€™s something that occurred to me the other day, something that I really should do.

The other day I pulled out a 1973 Hardy€™s McLarenVale Hermitage. I€™ve posted my tasting notes / musings below as a few people from Instagram and Facebook have asked me to share what this one was like. It€™s always fun trying an old red wine, hoping that the cork is ok and the wine tastes good. When it does, it can blow you away€¦ But it was nearly the sense of occasion that made me remember something that I always said I would do one day. So, Here€™s my notes on the wine and then I€™ll chat about what this reminded me to do.

Tasting Notes – Hardy’s 1973 McLaren Vale Hermitage

Cork condition
  • almost perfect
  • beautiful deep red colour still, with a touch of copper colour on the sides as you can see the colour starting to brown a little as it ages
  • becoming more medium bodied in weight
  • I was 50/50 as to how this would be after getting some jammy / raisin flavours on the nose
  • after a little bit more time in the decanter it certainly started to smell ok, although a little more like a good Port
  • silky smooth as you’d expect for a 42yo wine, subtle berries coming through. Probably lost some ‘bang’ over the years but still ripe berries coming through after all these years with some chocolate
  • did taste a little too much like a Port indicating some oxidation but I thought it may be much worse after smelling such like a Port on the nose
  • quite drinkable though, but probably 5-10 years to late. I had planned to drink this one many birthdays ago!

Did I enjoy it?

Yes and no… Yes, because of the experience and it actually drank ok and if you do like an old Port you would think this was pretty ok, however the nose puts you off a little. At the end of the day, it seemed like a really good wine that was 10 years past its best. So, what did this remind me I should be doing? Well, this is something that everyone should try…  I really should be putting a dozen bottles of my favourite good red wines, for the birth year of my kids, away to cellar. How good would it be giving them a dozen of your faves on their 21st? My little ones aren€™t very old yet so I can easily get some of the vintages of their birth years.

Here’s the challenge…

So this is the challenge I have set myself (and feel free to do it as well if you can or if it suits). Pick 12 bottles of good red wine (or try a couple of bottles of white also if you are brave) of the year of your child€™s birth. Find your favourites in that vintage over a few months and make your dream dozen. Find somewhere that you can store them well. Give them to your kids on their 21st birthday€¦ Are you up for it? Leave a comment below if you are keen or if you are way ahead of me and already started!