Walls: The importance of drinking windows over scores


rhone drinking windows
Credit: Kirill Rudenko / Getty Images

When choosing a wine, consulting tasting notes can offer some valuable insight. We can all be guilty of just scanning for scores, but when picking a wine to drink now, there’s a more important number to look at – the ‘drink from’ date.

A question of pleasure

When I visited Jean-Louis Chave last October I was lucky enough to taste something very special: his 2020 Cuvée Cathelin. It’s a Hermitage bottling he makes only in the best years. I also tasted a mature vintage of his classic Hermitage, the 2001, a less vaunted year.

Which was better? No question – the 2020 Cuvée Cathelin. Which would I like to drink? That’s easy – the 2001 classic Hermitage.

Scroll down to see notes and scores (and drinking windows) for 10 wines that are ready to drink now