New World Wines, are we drinking them too soon?

Much discussions about new world wines centre on their “in your face” style, their “flounce”, their brashness of single varietal approach, but, are we just going at them too soon? TWS Brokenwood Semillon at a wonderful price has longevity that many of us would likely eschew, yet could be so rewarding. The Liberator Blood Brothers 2011 Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Zinfandel is lovely and thankfully offered with those years of slumbering and integration.
What are your thoughts and enlightenments of the New World?

This is a great topic, but a very broad question, so hard to answer properly. However, on the specific question you raise in your title, I COMPLETELY agree.

For most ‘New World’ countries, consumers have been hooked on high volume, immediate consumption wines that are imported in bulk. Our palates, and our minds, have been trained to look for young wines from recent vintages because they represent ‘value’.

While we may (finally) have accepted that there is not only quality, but ‘terroir’, wine in continents outside of Europe, we don’t usually want to pay as much for it, so there is little incentive for producers, distributors or retailers, to keep wine back to age it.

That’s a shame!

Luckily there are plenty of great producers who do have important home markets that do appreciate these mature wines, so the older, quality wines do exist … but that makes them even more rare, and more expensive, for consumers over here.

I trust that this is a temporary issue. That recognition is still a relatively recent phenomenon, so as more producers, importers and consumers create a market, the more the world will change. You can already get some decently aged Argentinean or Australian wines, for example.

I doubt we will ever get to a place where whole regions age the majority of their wines in the way Rioja or Brunello do, for example, but maybe we will recognise the individual producers who do, or rediscover traditional wines made this way that were ignored for being too odd or expensive in the past, but now offer something distinct (such as Hungary, Lebanon or Georgia).


Obviously it all depends on the Wine. But there are many new world wines which demand a bit of age and some which are lovely to with a lot.

My guess is that the greater volume of Wine is produced to drink young and better for it. It is as always the exception that proves the rule. The finer examples need a bit of time. Take D’Arenberg, why drink the latest Dead Arm it will be big, fruity but not as nice as say the foot Bolt. Wait 10 years and I’m guessing the opposite will be true and by a huge factor.