The Pairing Red Wine, 2012
The best way to learn tasting is to taste a wine that shows signs that it is made to age, because it can balance our impressions of so many wines made for immediate consumption. The Paring Red Wine, 2012 is our example. As you taste it, note the fruit: no fruit, no future is the adage to keep in mind. Does this have lots of fruit? Then ask, “Are the acids strong, which if they are, signals aging potential?” And of the tannin (which is a preservative) ask again, “Is there a good amount of it that will preserve the wine for years to come?” I would answer there is a good amount of fruit, but not a great amount; the acid is strong enough and the tannin is there in plenty. It has a potential to age more and needs to, but how long? Safely, another 5-10 years. I’d check it at five.
Blackberry predominates. Dark cherry, cedar and reminders of licorice make for some complexity. Full fruit, acid and tannin take control of the palate alright. It is a wine that needs age and if you can’t keep it in good storage for a few more years, try decanting or use an aerator.
This is an example of a wine at four years that gives evidence of being made for the future, not the present. If you consume it now, do so with a rich meal to mellow its tannic grip. This wine will teach you what a wine that is made to age tastes like and it will familiarize you with the attack of a wine in its youth — out of balance, but making its journey to a balanced wine. This one reminds me of a mid range Bordeaux of 20 years ago. Besides, it is a Bordeaux blend with Cab Sauv 53%, Merlot 24%, Cab Franc 16% and Petit Verdot 7%.
As expected with a wine designed to age, the tannins on the finish show a little bitterness still and with age, they should mellow and integrate, becoming finer and softer as age lengthens their molecular chain.
Also as expected, after oxygen had been introduced by aeration, the wine rounded and became a rich, pleasant and smooth experience, which increased its score to 91.
Rating: Now 87; in a few years or after aeration, up to 91.
Emotional rating: Wait a few years and as it softens, it will please more.
Availability: Widely available.