The aim of the Octavian Vaults Library Collection was to highlight readily available wines at 5 and 10 years old, with particular attention to their cellaring potential. Wines were blind-tasted by experts including Tim Atkin MW, Sam Harrop MW, Charles Metcalfe and Derek Smedley MW, and scored out of 100.
This panel of well-regarded experts provided tasting notes and estimates of when the wines will reach their peak. Some of the wines were ready to drink, while others may benefit from up to 30 years of cellaring in the pristine conditions of Corsham Cellars.
Among the 1999s were some genuine surprises from the New World, including a Vina Valdivieso single vineyard Cabernet Franc. Displaying an opulent aroma and spicy, well-balanced fruit, this wine scored an impressive 91/100 and offering cellaring potential until 2024. A 1999 Steingarten Riesling from Jacobs Creek offered a well-balanced youthful palate, drinking until 2020.
The 2004s also impressed, with Quinta da Prelada vintage port scoring 96/100, estimated to reach its peak between 2015 - 2040. Highlights from France included Vivien de Nazelle's L'Or de Cabidos, a dessert wine displaying notes of 'lovely bitter sweet kumquat marmalade', also scoring 96/100, drinking until 2024. Further highlights came from Italy, Champagne and the New World.
With five and ten years in bottle behind them already, few would have guessed that the majority of these wines, under the right conditions, will continue to improve for many years to come. With the seal of approval from the panel of experts, the Library Collection offers the connoisseur some real treats for the future. For the savvy investor, the new-found pedigree of these wines ensures that their value will rise.
View the full results at International Wine Challenge website