Sometimes I buy wines that are clearly too old, just to review with myself what a “too old” wine is. WSET method says that a wine to age must not only have concentration and structure, but also flavours that can develop interestingly. This last requirement is sometimes more difficult to understand.

So today I went and bought a 2014 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, an 8 years old wine that is normally supposed to be drunk at most within 2 years after the harvest. In addition, it even came in a 375ml under synthetic cork, all conditions that favour faster oxidation.

The wine was gold in color, dangerously leaning to brown. The aromas were extremely oxidixed: dried fruit, honey, marmalade. “Yummy”, may say someone, and I respect that, but it is not how a Muscadet is supposed to taste. The cahier des charges of the appellation itself specifies that these wines “présentent un équilibre gustatif subtil, entre rondeur et fraîcheur, et développent un bouquet complexe d’arômes à dominante fruitée ou florale”. Fruity and floral, not oxidized and dried.

So, granted that each one of us can enjoy wine the way we like, ageing 10 years a Pinot Grigio delle Venezie or a Beaujolais Nouveau for example, WSET educates people that sell wine, serve wine, talk about wine, and as such it has to take a precise perspective on the expectations of consumers and wine drinkers in general. 

From there, we can move the way we prefer.