Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good producer + bad vintage=?

We had a bottle of Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas 2002 at the weekend and it was delicious. 2002 was a disastrous vintage in the Rhone. It was dampish in many places in Europe (Bordeaux and Tuscany both had ropy vintages that year as well), but in the Rhone it was biblical, with some vineyards submerged under water. As a result, the vintage was written off and we found it difficult to shift the 2002, especially when the amazing 2003s came in. AS a result, we sold off some of the 02 at a good price and I kept a few bottles for myself. It now has still lovely fruit concentration and is getting some nice farmyardy stuff going on. It was delicious.

My point is that good producers will make good wine, regardless of the vintage. If they are proud of what they do, they won't put their name on the label unless it is up to scratch. Another example is Poliziano who, in 2002, made no Asinone, put the Asinone grapes into the Vino Nobile, used the Vino Nobile grapes for the Rosso and sold the rest to the co-op, taking a huge financial hit, but maintaining a high level of quality. So, ignore "vintage reviews", trust the producer, but, most of all, taste the wine and judge for yourself.

Pity it didn't work out with Louis, but anyway...

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