Dear wine lovers,
Last week, I had the chance to celebrate my 40th birthday with 5 bottles of "millésime" 1967 (don't worry, I got some help for that). I thought I would take advantage of this special tasting to tell you more about the meaning of vintage.
The vintage is the year of the grape harvest and, in France, it should represent at least 95% of of the volume.
Even if it takes 365 days for a vine to produce grapes (and this is actually even more complex since old vines don't actually react the same way as young ones), the last days before the harvest time are the ones that condition the quality of the future wine. Depending on the way the "vigneron" has worked all year long and mostly the yields produced, the grapes can react very differently from one parcel to its neighbor on similar weather conditions.
Of course, the vintage will reflect the big image of a region area (Loire, Champagne, Languedoc...) but please keep in mind that you can't judge a wine just by its vintage as many magazine and mark people which pretend to know everything about all the wines in the world want to impose us. 2002 was very wet in the South Rhône but I know some producers that made some much better 2002 than 2003 which vintage was initially told to be outstanding in the south because it was hot, but which also created lots of fermentation issues since a lot of grapes suffered from hydric stress. On the other hand, 2003 has been "banned" in the Loire because it was too hot but the vineyards which have old vines with deep roots did not suffer from drought and actually made their best vintage ever.
I was born in 1967 which was "supposed" to be a "bad" vintage... Well, even if the Médoc and Canon Fronsac (two wines from the Bordeaux area) I had were not good, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape was quite interesting, the Alsace Muscat was great and I have no words to describe the Sauternes...which actually located...in Bordeaux !
So please, don't be fooled by those people who want to sell wine with just scores. A wine, I mean not an industrial product, deserves more respect than an unflavored mark vintage...
That was the last edition so for the last time : "Cheers" to french wine a day !
I had a lot of fun writing about wine and sharing my passion with you. For those who want to follow my venture with Rouge-Bleu, I will now be posting about my work in the vines and in the cellars.
PS : If you don't want to be part of the Rouge-Bleu listing, please email me.