Perhaps I am a troglodyte, in a camp of one, on the outside, not part of the mainstream, etc. But I don't get all the fuss about aged wines.
Tasting with really knowledgeable and experienced wine drinkers often, there hasn't been a time when someone questioned whether the wine was too young, too old; lamented "infanticide" of a recent vintage, harkened longingly back to that dusty old Bordeaux .
One of the most amazing aspects of wine is its constantly mutable character. The first sip is different than the last; the last bottle of the case showing immense differences from the first. But often, these changes aren't for the better. I am an unabashed lover of young wine. There, I said it!
My father's model was Bordeaux. Growing conditions and winemaking culture necessitated long-term aging before those wines revealed any of their charms. "Charms" is used loosely here. For those wines, to me, have great intellectual interest and curiosity, but little gustatory gusto.
I appreciate the effects that time have on wine, the polished curves, the brandied aromas, soft tannins, melding of fruit and wood. But give me the corners and the over-reaching; the impertinence of youth.
I think critics are on the wrong track in factoring ageability into the matrix for quality. What is a 20-year California Cabernet, but a circus freak? Gone is the exuberance of fruit, the astringency of tannin, the mouth-coating wonderfulness of that glorious richness. Ageability is a vestige of a paradigm that has nothing to do with California...a vinous appendix. Let the Bordelais celebrate their aged and dimmed wines. Raise your glass to impetuosity.
What do you think? How important is a wine's ageability in assessing its quality? Am I just a heathen, or am I on to something here?