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Aging Wine

What red californian wines do you recommend for aging that will improve in taste and value ( more importantly taste) ? Wine that is good now but even better in 5 to 10 years ...?
Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

That's a great question, as many American collectors have cellars full of California cult wines with no proven record of improving with lengthy bottle aging. Some of these wines may benefit from cellaring of 5 years or so while others may simply reach a plateau, or fall apart over a longer period.

I can give you my personal recommendations for selected California red wines that do have a history of developing beautifully in bottle. Most are wines that would be considered to be closer to classic Bordeaux rather than part of the current fashion for ultra-ripe, high alcohol examples. Here is a very short list of A league cellar-worthy wines:

Ridge Monte Bello
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23
Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Napa
Dominus Estate Proprietary Red
I also admire Peter Michael Les Pavots although its history is shorter. Some might add Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, generally a more opulent style.

A second group is more variable, but certain vintages have performed very well:
Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Opus One
BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve
Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon & Howell Mountain
Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon (all vineyard selections)

About Our Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey, Portugal, China and the U.S. Roger is one of America's first Masters of Wine.

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