Old Vine Wine: The Power Play
As a Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator, it’s important for me to approach a glass as an opportunity to learn something new, so I always strive to learn about every style of wine that I can get my hands on. Whether it’s something I may have tried before or may never have before, I generally have a great idea of what the wine would taste like based on its production, vintage, and climate. But there is one style of wine that always piques my interests when it comes to wine tasting: old vine! Every time someone tells me about a wine made from old vines, I get excited and begin to growl like Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor when he screams “MORE POWER!”
Do you remember watching that show, Home Improvement back in the 1990s? This sitcom was about Tim Allen balancing family life while providing for his family with his regional show, Tool Time. I loved watching this show growing up because Tim Allen knew what the norm was when it came to his passion, but then attempts to take it to the extreme and begin wreaking havoc! He would find something that brought more power and began to growl, “ARG ARG ARG ARG ARG!” and I began to get worried (because he is about to get hurt.)
What does “Old Vine Wine” Mean?
That’s the kind of excitement that I get when I hear the words, “old vine”. The older grapevines get (we’re talking 30+ years, generally speaking, but some vineyards boast vines up to 100 years old!), the fewer grapes they grow, but those grapes are more concentrated in flavor, in turn creating a more intense wine. Every sip of an old vine wine feels much fuller and richer compared to wine made using grapes from younger vines. I love it, and it’s a style I tend to gravitate towards quickly. There’s no legal definition in any wine-producing country but the term is still commonly used and written on labels.
Red Zinfandel with 50 Year Average Vines
- Wine: Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel 2013 $30: BUY ME
Red Zinfandel with 85 years Average Vines
- Wine: Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 $18: BUY ME
Garnacha with some 100 year Average Vines
- Wine: Evodia Old Vine Grenache 2014: $11: BUY ME
Mario Luna is a Certified Sommelier and owner of Mario Luna Somm, a company that produces online wine courses, blogs, and other user-friendly content full of information perfect for the everyday wine drinker. He lives in Las Vegas, where in addition to working on the famous Las Vegas Strip, he serves as a consultant for large-scale wine events, specialty shops, and all kinds of wine tastings. You can contact Mario at his website or check out his courses here.