Guest Author - Jim Fortune
I got an e-mail asking about good vintages after 2004. The e-mail author said their favorite year was 2004 and what did I think about vintages after that? Thinking about vintage wine from fine old kegs, reminded me of Frank singing this song.
Ervin Drake wrote the song in 1961 for the Kingston Trio, who recorded it on their album Goin' Places according to Song Facts It Was a Very Good Year. Frank Sinatra released the song in 1965. The rest is history.
What year was good for you in wines? I liked 2000, 2004 and 2005. Frankly I did not keep a wine notebook prior to 2000. I made my own, very well if I say so myself, homemade wine from around 1992 until 1997. So buying wine already in the bottle was foreign to me. It did not occur to me to start keeping notes about wine until around 2000.
2005 was a good year for Italian Pinot Grigio, and wines from around Tuscany (Toscano). You might remember one of the first articles I wrote back in January about the 2005 Col di Sasso Col di Sasso . That was a great bottle and there are lots of others from 2005. So I would say 2005 is another good year to take a look at.
So far the wines I have had from 2006 have been met with mixed reviews. I reviewed both the Bonterra Vineyards 2006 Chardonnay and the Fetzer 2006 Sauvignon Blanc. And there was the 2006 Tilia Malbec Syrah from Argentina. All three of these were good to very good. The 2006 Bogle Pitite was also very good. The 2006 Italian Pinot Grigio have been in my opinion to date, ho hum. I am doing a side by side with ten of the Italian Pinot Grigio brands and will report to you when the results are in. But so far the wines I have tasted have been nothing to tell you about in terms of greatness. I have had five of the ten and they were all 2006.
Everyone's taste runs differently. While opinions vary greatly, you might want to check with the so called experts, and see what they think are good vintage years. You could check out the vintage chart that Robert Parker has at Vintage Chart. I would suggest going to this page before you have any wine, as it is quite intense with color. This page will give you a chart that you can refer to from time to time to see if your tastes are running with the experts or not.
I thought it was interesting that a couple of the years are missing altogether like 1984 and 1977. These years are literally off the chart. Any wine vintage chart has to be very general and there are good wines in bad years and bad wines in good years. But by consulting a chart like this one, you get an idea of why a wine varietal may taste off or another varietal you find is Astounding!
I have been getting the Online Wall Street Journal for over 10 years. It is $79 for a year and I really enjoy the Tastings column by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher. A recent article was about American Pinot Gris. What they do is to buy 60 bottles at a time and do a blind tasting over a few days. Can you imagine - 60 bottles? I was pleased and surprised that two of the wines that made their published list were:
The Hogue Cellars Pinot Grigio 2007 (Columbia Valley). $6.99 and Barefoot Cellars Pinot Grigio Nonvintage (California). $5.99
Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.?
You can send me your questions or comments on my bio page. My next article will be about a wine trail in Missouri.
Jim Fortune - the Bella Online Wine Guy
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