Sunday, June 24, 2012

What's In Your Cellar, John?

John Skinner
Painted Rock Estate Winery

Prior to starting a winery, John was a stockbroker for 25 years where he would have been very familiar with the concept of buying and holding. As a wine enthusiast first, his passions were routed with blue chip Bordeaux wines and as such it should be no surprise that the family's excellent estate wines take their inspiration from the long lasting wines of Aquitaine and are making proud editions to many collector's New World section of their cellar.

Q - What are your favourite wine regions to cellar?
To break my cellar down I think it is 70/30 Old World to New World. I began collecting wine years ago and bought reasonable quantities of names that I enjoyed. The majority are Bordeaux because I knew them and had confidence in their ability to cellar. I also have wines from other regions in France and a fair amount from Italy. In recent years I have expanded my largely Napa New World section to include some great Chilean producers, some smaller Australian producers and a number from Washington and Oregon. Happily my BC section is growing as the quality of our regions wines improve and I have greater confidence in the wines ability to cellar.

Q - What is the purpose of your wine cellar?
I actually bought a small but very high quality cellar from a very good collector some years ago because he had gems from virtually every good region in the world. This I called “due diligence” for my building a winery. My cellar was somewhat one dimensional and this cellar added opportunities for me to do broad regional comparisons which I have found very helpful.

Q - Is there a jewel of note or a favourite wine in your collection?
I own some very good Bordeaux 1st Growths that I take great pleasure sharing with my adult children but my favourite cellaring experience to date was buying a case of 1984 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard in 1988 and starting in 1998 opening a bottle a year with my buddies. For our Christmas lunch we would each bring a favourite and I decided to take them on a 12 year experiment. That wine was almost routinely the favourite each year until the last when it sadly disappointed. We were never quite sure if the wine was past its prime or it was a bad bottle. It wasn’t corked but was tired. Great memories.

 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

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