In Admiration of Vintage Year
Posted on Saturday, Sep 25 2010 - 12:00 am
I have to admit, when I started drinking wine many, many years ago, I had no idea what the importance of vintage year was. It's wine I thought, it's the same every year, isn't it?
I've come a long way since those first naive thoughts about wine. I had no idea then how important vintage difference matters. As a winemaker vintage can be troublesome but as a wine drinker it's exciting.
Vintage difference is always apparent during barrel tastings. It's easy to make instant comparisons about wines tasted in previous years and whether the wines are as glamorous as other top vintages from the past.
Wine is one of the few (maybe only) products we consume regularly with such obvious and fascinating vintage differences. No one talks about the vintage difference of apples or peaches, even though both come from plants that change their quality year by year.
I have found many people in the wine world who speak badly of vintage difference instead of applauding it. For me, the differences are what takes us back to the origins of the wine we drink...the vineyard and the weather in the vineyard. It's always great conversation amongst wine lovers and offers an ever-changing perspective on the vines from a particular vineyard.
Wines that express vintage are the wines that bring us wine experiences, whether good or not-so-good. It also brings us the excitement of seeing a wine develop over a few years. Vintage says exactly what happened in a year. It is part of what makes wine so endlessly enjoyable and fascinating as well as a reminder that wine is an agricultural product.
Vintage is the history of the year in four figures...and I love it.