Log In / Join Now

Are the wines that I inherited any good?

Peter D. Meltzer
Posted: October 5, 2011

Q: I recently gained access to the wine collection from my in-laws. They were members of wine clubs in Napa for roughly thirty years. They had a fairly substantial collection with vintages dating back to 1989 through 2007. Unfortunately the wines were stored in a dark closet that maintained a temp of only about 70°F. Are any of these wines going to be good or are they going to need to be tossed?

A: It could have been worse; the wines might easily have been placed in an attic where temperatures reached 90 plus degrees in the summer. While wine should ideally be stored at 55 °F rather than 70 °F, there is a chance that the younger vintages might still be drinkable -- although the elevated temperature in the storage closet may have accelerated the aging process. I assume the wines are mostly Cabernet Sauvignons, which are pretty resilient. The best way to find out is to open some of the bottles and taste them. Make it an occasion and invite some friends.

Have a question about collecting or auctions? E-mail us.

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.