Post # 77 – Tasting Great Old Wines Over the Last 18 Months

I confess to having been lazy over the last two years by only writing 6 posts in two years, much less than I would have liked. Covid-19 kept us at home most of the time and required that we cheer ourselves up, so this presented an excellent opportunity to reach into the cellar to see how well the older bottles are aging. Over the last 18 months I have tasted several great old wines, and in this blog post I will write a short report on each. Last week my wife and I celebrated her birthday with a lovely Cahors red wine, the Chateau de Haute-Serre, a Malbec from the 2000 vintage. At 21 years of age I did expect the wine to be fully mature, especially since the 2000 vintage in the Cahors region was good, but not an outstanding vintage. The wine was an inky black color,...

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POST # 76 – THE MILLESIMES ALSACE 2021 DIGITASTING – A GREAT WINE EVENT

On June 7th to 9th, 2021 the first edition of the Salon Millesimes Alsace 2021 Digitasting took place. Over 100 Alsace wine producers took part, showcasing 4 wines each. 3,750 visitors took part, 2,700 were international from 55 different countries, and 1,050 were French from France. Over 10,000 boxes of samples were ordered and shipped worldwide. Participants had the wines they had selected to taste shipped to their door. Each participant was entitled to select 4 wineries to taste, and a fifth was selected for you. You would then have 20 mini bottles (3cl size) sent by courier to you, 4 wines from 5 different producers. Participants were then able to taste the wines on their own schedule, in guided group tastings online, or in one on one interviews with the wine producer (often the owners themselves) or their designated representative, again all online, between June 7th and 9th....

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Post # 75 – The 2020 Cru Bourgeois Classification

On February 20, 2020 the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc announced their new 5 year classification, which included a few changes to the structure of their classification. This classification covers 249 Médoc wines rated above table wines but below the famous 1855 Bordeaux Classification of the top 61 wines in Bordeaux. This 2020 Cru Bourgeois Classification is important for several reasons, but appears not to have captured that much attention in the wine world. The 2020 Cru Bourgeois Classification is a 3 tier rating system that places 249 wines into one of three quality levels, resulting in 179 wines given the basic “cru bourgeois” status, 56 given “cru bourgeois supérieur” status, and 14 given “cru bourgeois exceptionnel” status. This classification system will be subject to review every 5 years, by means of a blind tasting of 5 previous vintages provided by the producer. This system is designed to...

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Post # 74 – Tasting Very Good and Very Bad Wines.

Wine bloggers just love writing positive reviews on great wines they have tasted, so much so that writers often forget how to deal with the bad wines. I have often found myself looking the other way when confronted by a bad wine. In fact, when attending wine shows where I will often taste in excess of 40 different wines, I will only write about the good wines, figuring that if you cannot say anything nice about a wine then maybe it is better to just say nothing at all. In this blog I am going to write about tasting very good and very bad wines, specifically one very good wine tasting experience with the Zind Humbrecht 1989 Gewurztraminer Heimbourg Vendange Tardive, and one very bad wine tasting experience with the 2016 Clos de los Sciete, Mendoza Argentina by Michel Rolland. Initially I was inclined to not write about the...

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Post # 73 – Coronavirus Wines

The coronavirus COVID – 19 is not to be taken lightly, and has disrupted people’s lives around the world. The scale of disruption is massive, generating fear and stress, loss of jobs and income, schools closed, businesses shut, and government imposed quarantine at home. With uncertainty comes acute stress and anxiety, which will cause many people to resort to alcohol to relax and temporarily escape their new reality. In fact, one recent press article indicated that alcohol consumption increased by 42% in the San Francisco bay area. Nobody else seems to be keeping track, but because of restaurant and bar closures the overall trend is clearly to increase home consumption of alcohol. So suddenly we have become a society of stay at home winos drinking in isolation, or if you are lucky, with your spouse. Making matters worse, you are probably stressed, nervous, anxious, lacking exercise, and looking to...

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