Scott's Blog: 1998 Kracher TBA Has New Life
August 7th, 2012
Anyone who has tried a young Kracher TBA knows how irresistibly sweet and alluring they are from the outset. The challenge then becomes summoning the patience necessary to cellar them in order to see how they might age. I had managed to stash away a few bottles of Kracher’s 1998 #13 Chardonnay Nouvelle Vague – admittedly just an infant by the standards of other, world-class noble rot wines, notably Sauternes and Tokaji. Considering Kracher’s stylistic shift and emergence on the world stage in the mid 1990s, however, 1998 represents some of the oldest examples of their best wines.
I had previously been of the mind that one should drink these elixirs before the age of 10, as I had noticed a number of my favorites lose a little of their youthful luster at that point. Within the last year, remarkable bottles of the ’98 #10 and the ’98 #13 have changed my mind.
This most recent bottle of ’98 #13 has emerged from a phase of lesser expression to become more complex and more clearly delineated than in its past. The nose still suggests a youthfully exuberant apricot, honey, and clove, but the impression of the sweetness on the palate has subsided a bit, and the persisting acid has relieved some of the weight, revealing layers and layers of lifted fruit: tangerine, dried apricot, pineapple, even some banana… I love it! Throw in a finish infused with gorgeous honey, vanilla, and sweet baking spices, and I call it a classic.
While I understand those who recommend drinking these TBAs in their first decade, these most recent tastings have convinced me that these special bottles are just entering a phase of their lives that is truly worth exploring. I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Scott O'Neil is an orchestra conductor and an administrator of the forum on JamesSuckling.com.Comments