“Vintage” means one thing when you’re talking about dresses from the forties but it means something entirely different when it comes to wine.
I’ve always been aware of how significant it is to making and choosing the perfect wine.
What makes a wine a vintage?
“Vintage” comes from the French “vin,” meaning simply wine. A wine’s vintage refers to the year its grapes were harvested. Hence, the older the better.
Why does the vintage change the quality of the wine so much?
“Vintage variation” is the difference in taste between same wines from different years. Sometimes it is barely noticeable and others it can be very striking! This variation all depends on the way the weather influences the grapes during a given growing season. It’s all about the sun and the amount of it that the vines get which determines quality and of course, drives the price.
So this is how vintage translates into Big money !
One of the most expensive wines in the world, Cheval Blanc 1947 enjoys the privileged status of being one of only two wines that have been awarded the Class A status in the Classification of Saint-Emilion wine. In 2006, a three-liter bottle of this fine wine was bought at Vinfolio in San Francisco for $135,125 . This one is probably on every oenophile’s “wine bucket list”. It’s mythical status had a lot to do with the conditions under which the vines grew and were vinified.
A bottle of Chateau Lafite 1787, a Bordeaux, that was linked to Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, was sold to Malcolm Forbes in 1985 for $160,000 for collection of course. Because, even super fine wines turn into vinegar after many decades.
Remember, it’s all about the ‘age’ of the ‘vin’ that gives us the quality of the vintage. But, if you really follow wine, the vintage can tell you other things about that years harvest such as the weather conditions, the quality of the grapes in that year and even if the vintner changed techniques.
Happy Vintaging !
From My heart to yours