Friday troll: Mediocre vintages are better than good ones...

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Re: Friday troll: Mediocre vintages are better than good one

Postby Tim York » Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:00 am

You have hit the nail on the head there, Otto. Finding greatness in a vintage is surely a matter of taste.

Lest anyone starts criticising the present generation of, mainly American, critics for excessive hype of super-ripe vintages like 82, 90 and 00, let me point out that this is nothing new. The wine writers whom I read in my youth such as Prof. Saintsbury, André Simon and H. Warner Allen were unstinting in their admiration of the super-ripe vintages of their times, such as 1864, 1875, 1900, 1929.

Vintage variation is one of the fascinating aspects of wine and I am glad for the super-ripe vintages as well as the leaner, more elegant and classical years. I do, howerver, welcome the improvements in husbandry which seem to have eliminated really bad years (were any dinkable wines at all made in, say, 63, 65 and 68?).

What worries me more in Bordeaux is the number of producers following the Rolland school who seem to be trying to banish altogether that hint of green-ness or herbaceousness which adds a typical elegance and class to the best, mainly left bank, Bordeaux even in super-ripe years.
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Re: Friday troll: Mediocre vintages are better than good one

Postby Ian Sutton » Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:11 am

You make a very good point about prior critics. I occasionally see unkind comments from Brits suggesting that "Americans would like overripe vintages because they have such a sweet tooth". This is a good ripost to that and worth people filing away if they ever encounter such comments.


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