Monday, August 6, 2007

Thoughts About Vintage Years

Over the decades, much as been made of vintage years – “the 2000 was so much better than the 2002” or similar sentiments. In our opinion, vintage years matter very little, especially for the New World wines (U.S., Australia, South America, etc.) most folks purchase most frequently. Sure, a sophisticated palate can probably tell the difference in a side-by-side tasting between the 2004 and 2005 Cline Zinfandel (or whatever). But very few of us ever do such vertical tastings. We look for a reliable producer and a wine we like, and usually we get a good bottle, no matter the vintage year.
All that said, things can get a little trickier for premier French Bordeaux or Burgundy and such. We also know a few particular American wines well enough that we can tell the differences between vintage years.
Finally, we think the situation with “bad bottles” – whether they’re corked, were stored improperly, etc. – is much more of an issue than worrying about vintage years for New World wines.
We'll delver into the last two topics in a future post.