Aging Recommendations

Yes. Do it. You will be rewarded.

We are often asked how Peay wines age. To include you in the discovery, we pour older vintages next to current release wines when hosting a wine dinner. Without fail, people who love the current wines are amazed by the complexity of the older wines. The vines were not very old when those wines were made but they have held up well due to their balance; the tannins and acidity have allowed them to become more nuanced, complex and compelling with time. Just like all of us!

Here are recommendations on when we think these wines will hit their peak moment. One caveat, these recommendations show a bias toward aged aromas. We like the subtle, dried flower, nutty, waxy, less fruity and integrated aromas that often arise after time in the bottle. If you like power and fruit, drink them young!

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Pinot noir

Our Pinot noirs have great acidity and lightness and will not become leaden and swampy with age as richer, riper Pinots often do. They will lose some bright, fresh floral top notes after 7 or so years in bottle and in their place dried blood, copper and dried flower notes will emerge. Most of our Pinot noirs can age for decades. At least, I think so. We are only two decades into this experiment.

 

Pinot noir — Estate

2002-03:
Drink. Rust, dried blood, sage. Still good but not improving.
2004:
Drink. Ripe flavors. Delicious. Will maintain for at least 5 more years.

Pinot noir — Pomarium

2005:
Drink. Still youthful fruit but may only fade and not improve.
2006:
Drink. Dark. Riper, dark fruit. Lacking some verve compared to more recent vintages.
2007:
Drink/Hold. The brett is fully integrated and this wine is excellent IF you don’t mind a little funk.
2008:
Drink. A little awkward toasty quality.
2009:
Drink/Hold to 2025. Still primary and dark. Yummy but not overly complex.
2010:
Drink/Hold to 2024. Deep and dark and good.
2011:
Drink. Bright and vibrant. Just perfect right now.
2012:
Drink/Hold forever. Iron, earthy, tannins have softened and will go for a long time.
2013:
Drink/Hold to 2024. Yummy and primary fruit giving way to secondary aromas.
2014:
Drink/Hold to 2025. Perfumed and lovely. Tannins need some time so decant for fruit to come up if drinking now.
2015:
Drink/Hold. Drink if you like more interior wines or hold for it to continue to loosen up. Gorgeous nose.
2016:
Drink/Hold. Drink as it is delicious but holding will allow more complexity to emerge. Has great promise.
2017:
Hold. Love this wine. Will only get better, too.
2018:
Hold. So good now but do hold some for future assessment as it is an excellent wine and will age forever.

Pinot noir — Scallop Shelf

2005:
Drink. Light and bright.
2006:
Drink. Perfect when we had in 2020. We have zero bottles left so it is up to you to tell us.
2007:
Drink. The brett is fully integrated and this wine is woo hoo good IF you don’t mind a little sweet prosciutto funk with your pinot.
2008:
Drink. Awkward. Tannic. Not sure where it is going.
2009:
Drink/Hold to 2023. Super aromatic and alluring for the first 5-7 years from vintage. Calming down and secondary aromas coming up. Wait a few more years to see what emerges.
2010:
Drink/Hold to 2022. Yin and yang flavors of bright and darker aromas. Very good.
2011:
Drink. Bright and fresh. Singing.
2012:
Drink/Hold to 2023. Super. Earthy, masculine. Tannins could use a little more time.
2013:
Drink/Hold to 2030. Delicious now and for a long time.
2014:
Drink/Hold to 2028. Combo 12 and 13 and just starting to take on secondary aromas
2015:
Drink/Hold. Drink if you like more interior wines or hold for it to continue to loosen up.
2016:
Drink/Hold. Excellent Scallop Shelf. Yummy, though assertive now. Will be yummy whenever you try it.
2017:
Hold to 2035? Still primary but delicious. No secondary aromas, yet.

Pinot noir — Ama

2009:
Drink. Powerful, rich, fruit drying out but still has layers of depth.
2010:
Drink/Hold to 2022. More mineral and cherry notes, likely best cuvee of vintage
2011:
Drink. Perfect. Bright and light reflecting vintage.
2012:
Drink/Hold to 2025. Superb. Most approachable of vintage and showing well now with some floral notes emerging
2013:
Drink/Hold to 2028. In a quiet phase as primary fruit aromas mellow and secondary come forward. Decant and/or hold.
2014:
Drink/Hold to 2028. Needs a wee bit more time for secondary aromas though they are peeking out and so promising.
2015:
Drink/Hold to ?. Hold for it to continue to loosen up though it has come around and is emerging.
2016:
Drink/Hold to 2030. In a great spot right now. More typical Ama cherry aromas. No florality, yet.
2017:
Drink/Hold to 2035? It is pretty much as it was on release though a little more integrated. Wait a few more years for secondary aromas.

Pinot noir — Sonoma Coast

2009:
Drink. Secondary aromas have come on to great effect.
2010:
Drink. Yummy and nuanced.
2011:
Drink. Bright and pretty.
2012:
Drink. In a perfect spot.
2013:
Drink/Hold to 2023. Secondary emerging. Yummy and a little less fresh but good depth.
2014:
Drink/Hold to 2024. So beautiful. Still primary flavors.
2015:
Drink/Hold to 2026. Has stuffing to continue to age but with a little air is great now.
2016:
Drink/Hold to ?. Just yummy now. Why wait?
2017:
Drink/Hold to A little fruit driven still. Some blood and copper coming. Wait for more of it.

Pinot noir — Savoy

2011:
Drink. More intensity than estate pinots, less freshness.
2012:
Drink. Great balance earth and fruit.
2013:
Drink/Hold to 2022. Round and delicious and will continue to hold
2014:
Drink/Hold to 2024. Fragrant and minerally. Will it become more complex or fade quietly?
2015:
Drink. I just love it right now. Why wait.
2016:
Drink/Hold to 2027. Super acidity so will hold and evolve but very yummy right now.
2017:
Drink/Hold to 2027. Still suave and round and silky. No secondary yet but coming.
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Syrah

Our Syrah have very good acidity for this variety and, as such, will age…forever. Sometimes I wish they would age faster, as I’m impatient, but the longer aging window allows for more subtle developments in the wine to emerge. The first few vintages were made on very young vines so at 15-20 years they have reached their full potential. More recent years will have longer lives. Drink young for power and fun, age some for complexity and sublimeness.

Syrah — Estate

2001:
Drink. Earth, leather, fading/faded.
2002:
Drink: Iron, game, fading.
2003:
Drink/Hold ? Leather, earth, blood, copper. Yum. Could hold, but what else would emerge?

Syrah — La Bruma

2004:
Drink. Finally loosened its grip. Pretty and more of a fruit and floral wine than an earth wine.
2005:
Drink/Hold to 2024. Magnificent. Pepper, blood, iron, game, blue/black fruit. One of my favorite Peay wines of all time.
2006:
Drink/Hold to 2025. Powerful, rich, delicious. Still has power?! Warm vintage but enough acid to keep going.
2007:
Drink/Hold to 2027. Meaty, gamey and earthy and I wish I had more in my library.
2008:
Drink/Hold to 2025. Smoky, masculine, brooding and still tasting young-ish.
2009:
Drink/Hold to 2029. Powerful, love this wine. Still youthful and all gone from the winery.
2010:
Drink. Cold year not as much depth as 09 and has come together well. May only get quieter with age?
2011:
Drink/Hold to 2023. Precise, good cut, pepper and floral. Very good though not for those seeking big impact.
2012:
Drink/Hold to 2022. Emerging from a dumb period and showing well. Not as much depth as 13 or 14.
2013:
Drink/Hold to 2030. Very good. A little narrow. Continue to hold for more complexity.
2014:
Drink/Hold to 2030. Still young but has come together nicely. Excellent.
2015:
Drink/Hold to 2030. You can drink it now but it will benefit from some more time.
2016:
Hold to 2035. Yummy now and will be even better with 5-10 more years and I think coast along afterwards.

Syrah — Les Titans

2004:
Drink. Getting quieter. Never met the promise I felt it had on release. Drink up.
2005:
Drink/Hold to 2024. Love this wine. Gamey and peppery.
2006:
Drink/Hold to 2025. A powerhouse. Great now. Great later. Just great.
2007:
Drink/Hold to 2026. Meaty and earthy. So hedonistically good right now. Hold for more delicate, floral notes to emerge, if desired.
2008:
Drink/Hold to 2028. Masculine and dark.
2009:
Drink/Hold to 2029. In great shape and may get even better. Still youthful even though 11 years old.
2011:
Drink. Bright, fresh, peppery. Lots of energy but will not age forever.
2012:
Drink/Hold to 2022. Showing well.
2013:
Drink/Hold to 2030. Really yummy. Best since 2005. Hold for more integration and secondary aroma evolution.
2014:
Drink/Hold to 2030. Super. Still shows some primary flavors with fruit and floral notes. Excellent.
2015:
Drink/Hold to 2030. A little inward but so good. Licorice and game notes on red fruits. Will only get better.
2016:
Drink/Hold to 2035. Yummy now and impactful but will be more integrated and even better with 5-10 more years and I think coast along afterwards.
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Chardonnay

Our Chardonnay age really well due to high acidity in the wines. They will eventually take on oxidative notes of caramel and sherry but not until at least 10 years of age. In warmer years, the acidity is usually lower so it may happen sooner and be impactful. In normal or cooler years, acid levels are high and it may take longer to happen and be more gradual and subtle and add something beneficial to the wine. It is important to know what the year was like.

Chardonnay — Estate

2003:
Cook. Warm vintage and young vines. Oxidative notes are dominant. Make a sauce with it?
2004:
Drink. Some bottles are lights out. Had a few that are showing oxidation though reductive notes always there and part of the reason I loved it. Crap shoot at this juncture.
2005:
Cook. This vintage did not have the acidity to age 15 years. OTH unfortunately.
2006:
Drink. Many recent bottles have been very good. Some oxidation getting involved. Bottle variation for sure.
2007:
Drink. I haven’t had this in over a year and we have none left. Last bottle in 2019 was excellent but I would imagine no reason to hold any longer. It was a warmer year.
2008:
Drink. No notes as it has been 2-3 years since I tried a bottle. It was good then.
2009:
Drink. This has peaked and is heading down the other side. Getting a little fat and tired. Warmer year.
2010:
Drink. Oak has folded in and wine has reached harmony. Starting to show some tiredness so enjoy now.
2011:
Drink. Beautiful and precise. Parmesan rind, stone, lime. Love it but not getting better. Cold year.
2012:
Drink. Excellent though a little fatter than most of our Chardonnay.
2013:
Drink. Love this. Smoky and complex with some richness and some verve.
2014:
Drink/Hold to 2022. Has it all and is in a good spot. More time for less fruit, more nuance.
2015:
Drink/Hold to 2025. This is in a good spot. Still has some zing while mellowing out a bit on barrel.
2016:
Drink/Hold to 2026. Love this wine. Pear notes folding in. Fresh and integrated now. Few more years will add some nuttiness and complexity.
2017:
Drink/Hold to 2029. So good now but a little more time will allow some of the barrel notes to integrate. Decanting for 20 minutes will achieve a similar goal.

Chardonnay — Sonoma Coast

2009-13:
Drink. Ready now but likely gone everywhere.
2014:
Drink. Fatness creeping in as wine mellows but still has verve.
2015:
Drink. In a very good spot.
2016:
Drink/Hold to 2022. In a good spot as well. Why hold?
2017:
Drink/Hold. Almost too good. Excellent chardonnay vintage. Hold for mellowness, drink for freshness.
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Viognier

This aromatic white variety is not known for getting better with age and usually you should drink Viognier young. Our Viognier has such high acidity it stays fresh longer so you can forget a few bottles without pain. But eventually the wine loses top notes and becomes simpler.

2001-15:
Drink. Some may have blown out or lost character but, honestly, I drank a case of the 2011 and a case of the 2013 last summer and they were pretty darn awesome. Not that complex anymore as top end floral aromas have blown away but minerality and saltiness persisted. Delish. Drink up!
2016:
Drink. This is great. Right. Now. Now. Now.
2017:
Drink/Hold. In a great spot. Still fresh and lively.

Roussanne/Marsanne

We only make this wine when the vines ripen sometime in November (last pick). At best we make 40 cases, at worst, none. These wines get weird and intriguing as the oxidative flavors come on with 10 years of age. Warmer vintages have more fruit and creaminess and are likelier more complex wines. Colder vintages feature more citrus fruit and tartness and have searing acidity. Either way, I recommend you age the wines at least 5 years from vintage before popping a bottle. From there on out, it is up to you to determine your aging plan as it can be a wild ride. I only have notes below on wines I have had recently. We make so little you may have more in your cellar than I do and I don’t get to drink them often.

2001-02:
Kind of dead and oxidized. Young vines just didn’t give us enough to last 20 years.
2003:
A very interesting wine made in a hot vintage. Some bottles are over the hill but I had a crazy one last year that was rich and fun and not tired.
2007:
This was in a great spot when last tried. Still some freshness but fully developed. Warmer year.
2009:
Excellent and delicious. Warmer year shows. Not tired in the least.
 

Want Some Wine?

Our wines are made from grapes grown on our 53-acre hilltop vineyard located above a river in the far northwestern corner of the West Sonoma Coast, 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean. We grow Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. You can browse our current offerings in our online Wine Shop.

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Want Some Wine?

Our wines are made from grapes grown on our 53-acre hilltop vineyard located above a river in the far northwestern corner of the West Sonoma Coast, 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean. We grow Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. You can browse our current offerings in our online Wine Shop.

Shop