Vintage – a word so frequently used in the wine world, however often misinterpreted by consumers.
Vintage is the thing most people tend to find complicated and confusing. At the end of the day, though, a wine’s vintage simply tells us which year the grapes were harvested, AKA picked!
Vintages differ based on the weather that affects the vines throughout the growing seasons.
It is certain that a wine’s vintage can greatly affect the taste and the quality of the wine. However, the word Vintage on its own does not declare the superiority of the beverage.
In almost all cases, we as consumers, expect the quality and taste of the products we purchase to constantly remain the same, ironically, when it comes to wine, it is intriguing to spot the differences between the vintages. And as the French call it, it is the “raison d’être” (reason of being) of wine.
You can find wines on the market that are declared as non-vintage. These are made by blending multiple years together.
When it comes to Champagne, non-vintage ones are considered as the house’s style. They are the representation of the brands’ taste, quality and image.
Champagne Houses follow a rule: they only make Vintage Champagnes when the vintage is great! The wine will be treated in a different way, with extra love and care, which will guarantee a longer life cycle for our precious bubbles!
When does Vintage matter?
It plays the leading role in wine regions of the world, which have the most variable climates, such us, France (Bordeaux, Burgandy), Italy (Veneto, Piedmont), Spain (Rioja) etc…
Likewise, collectors ought to know their vintages! High-end wines and their prices tend to be affected and altered based on their vintages. This is due to their quality, as well as their aging potential.
As seasons pass by, more and more winemakers are developing the belief that there is no such thing as a bad vintage of wine, only bad winemakers.
The reality and the nobility of that is the moment you find a wine that steals your heart, you have to accept it will never be the same again. It will change, year after year, developing itself with different characteristics. Why? Vintage and life happen.
What makes a vintage bad, good or great, is a whole different subject, which we will probably discover in the future…!
See you next week!
Until then.. Strike for a glass half full !