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Walls: The importance of drinking windows over scores

Scores are the obvious shorthand when it comes to choosing wine. However, Matt Walls argues the drink to and from dates are the numbers that really matter.

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



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Ten top wines ready to drink now:


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