Ever have the urge to open a bottle of wine "before its time"?
As an avid reader of Wine Spectator, both the print and online editions, I always look through the database to find information on a bottle of wine I've recently purchased or am getting ready to drink.
With several bottles of Châteauneuf du Pape lying on their sides in the basement, I've abstained because these bottles will likely show greater promise in a few years. On a whim, I purchased a bottle of 2000 Chateau Cabrieres ($29) yesterday and opened it a few hours after purchase. Wine Spectator recommended opening it between 2005-2010.
So, I got crazy (yeah, right) and uncorked it. What did I find?
The aroma was subtle, and the first sip was a bit tart with a burn on the finish. Once I had a few healthy sips, the fruit came forward, tasting of black truffles and smoky jam. A fine bottle of wine, indeed, but definitely a few years early. The full flavors are clearly simmering below the surface and need time to develop in the bottle. It was well worth opening, but those who wait will reap the rewards.
Wine Spectator rates the Chateau Cabrieres an 87. There were 11,665 cases made. I agree with the rating, although this may drink more like a 90 or 91 later this decade. If you have the storage capabilities and the patience, hold onto this one.