Twenty one years old. Still dark, rich and a lovely wine. Who says Virginia can’t produce stellar red wine?
We bought Linden wine for the first time in 1992 at the Virginia Wine Festival. It was then we met Jim and Peggy Law, who were producing their first vintages on their farm off I-66 east of Front Royal and just below the Appalachian Trail. We bought a couple bottles of 1989 back then, because what we tasted held great promise. The 1989 and 1990 vintages are gone from our cellar, but one lonely 1991 bought at one of the earliest visits to the winery was still down there.
What is amazing is that 21 years after production, it still tastes like the description. This wine probably cost us $15 back then. Not cheap for a Virginia wine then, but I have California wines that never reached the complexity this Virginia wine has. We paired it with our monthly filet splurge. Sunday night dinner, then football. The dinner.
Mostly local with steaks from Boarman’s. The potatoes from the CSA. The tomatoes are mine, as is the basil. The mozzarella, not local, bought at David’s Natural Market.
This meal, our next to last summer challenge meal, was so satisfying because the wine stood up to the steak. No brown edges. No off odors. Really an amazingly complex, flavorful wine. The dried fruit aroma was still intense although the other descriptors were a bit faded and hard to find. The taste was still there, though. A long finishing wine. The tannins has definitely softened , yet there was still structure there.
I keep saying Linden makes wines that would command twice the price if they were from Bordeaux or California. Having the luxury of the cellar allows us to be patient and enjoy the wine’s development over time. Glad we opened this one last night. Too bad it is the last of that vintage. I had brought up a bottle of ’99 in case the ’91 wasn’t still good. Looks like the ’99 will get put on the shelf for a while longer.
Now, the oldest Linden wines we still have are the 1997 reserve. Three left. This winter we will have to try one to see how they are doing.