Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

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Howard Cooper
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Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#1 Post by Howard Cooper » March 25th, 2020, 2:48 pm

On this thread, there is a discussion of how the 2009 white Burgundies have been surprisingly good over time. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=168312&p=2942660#p2942660 Made me think about other vintages from various areas of the world that also have been surprisingly good.

A few from me:

Germany - 2005 and 2010 (for the latter, esp. at the Auslese and GKA level)
Bordeaux - 1979 and 1996 (esp. for Cabernet based wines). I might say 1985 but (1) I have not had that many (the few I have had in recent years have been outstanding, in particular the LLC) and (2) it really was well rated when released but I did not pay that much attention as I had bought a lot of 1982s).
Red Burgundy - 2000 and 2016.
Loire Cabernet Franc - Have not had enough of them, but would 2014 quality?
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#2 Post by Patrick T a y l o r » March 25th, 2020, 2:58 pm

Oregon Pinot - 2007. Those turned out to be pretty good, if you had the patience to wait on them.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#3 Post by Jayson Cohen » March 25th, 2020, 5:10 pm

Howard, I wouldn’t think 1985 Bordeaux would qualify as a real surprise. Maybe that such a forward vintage would age so well and become so interesting? I’ve had many excellent examples in the last few years that I felt are on a long plateau of deliciousness.

Real surprises for me to the upside among wines known since release:

- 1997 and 2004 white Burgs
- 2013 red Burgs (CdN)
- 2000 red and white Burgs
- 1998 and 2008 Loire whites
- 1995 Champagne
- 1999 Bordeaux (2007 and 2011 might be in this camp too but they are a little young)
- 1996, 2004, and in some ways 1999 Northern Rhônes
- 1999 Chianti

Those released before I started collecting:
- 1993 white Burgs
- 1987 red Burgs (CdN)
- 1964 and 1971 Left Bank
- 1979 and 1981 Bordeaux generally

Probably others.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#4 Post by Ian S » March 25th, 2020, 5:28 pm

1998 and 2000 Italian reds are drinking quite well now. They were overshadowed by 1997, 2001, and to a somewhat lesser extent 1999, but have proven to be very nice.
Jayson Cohen wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 5:10 pm
Howard, I wouldn’t think 1985 Bordeaux would qualify as a real surprise.
Agreed, and I'd add that 2005 and 2010 were well recognized vintages for German Riesling so no surprise there either.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#5 Post by Doug Lee » March 25th, 2020, 5:50 pm

Howard,

Completely agree with you regarding 2000 red Burgundy.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#6 Post by alan weinberg » March 25th, 2020, 9:14 pm

93 white Burgs. Acidic and thin on release, lovely balanced wines now.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#7 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 26th, 2020, 3:38 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 5:10 pm
- 1999 Bordeaux (2007 and 2011 might be in this camp too but they are a little young)
2011 Pomerol for sure. VCC is excellent, as is Trotanoy.

I like 99 as well. Have not been smitten with any 2007.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#8 Post by Tom Taylor » March 26th, 2020, 3:40 am

2005 Piedmont has turned out far better than expected
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#9 Post by JasperMorris » March 26th, 2020, 4:09 am

Definitely agree on 1993 white burgundy and 2000 red

1976 red burgundy took 40 years but can now be thrilling

2012 white and 2013 red may outperform expectations (depends on your expectations of course)

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#10 Post by Howard Cooper » March 26th, 2020, 5:16 am

alan weinberg wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 9:14 pm
93 white Burgs. Acidic and thin on release, lovely balanced wines now.
Agree with this one. Great call.

Also have liked a lot the 2000 Champagnes I have had.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#11 Post by Howard Cooper » March 26th, 2020, 5:18 am

JasperMorris wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 4:09 am
Definitely agree on 1993 white burgundy and 2000 red

1976 red burgundy took 40 years but can now be thrilling

2012 white and 2013 red may outperform expectations (depends on your expectations of course)
I have been holding my 2013 reds thinking they need a good bit more time. Is this the correct things to do?
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#12 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » March 26th, 2020, 5:52 am

2001 left bank Bordeaux - I always thought it was very good, but these days it’s delicious.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#13 Post by A1ex H » March 26th, 2020, 6:02 am

For red burgundy, definitely agree with 2000. I also think 2007 red burgundies consistently outperform my expectations, even if they are generally not built for the long haul. Interested to hear peoples' thoughts on 2013 but my assumption was that they will require substantial time in bottle to mature.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#14 Post by JasperMorris » March 26th, 2020, 6:04 am

The occasional lesser 2013 has been relatively forward, but I have not tackled any of the grander ones yet. I think they may start to drink reasonably soon though I suspect that the real successes of the vintage will be for the long haul

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#15 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 26th, 2020, 6:30 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 5:52 am
2001 left bank Bordeaux - I always thought it was very good, but these days it’s delicious.
I agree 100%. Feel the same about 2004.

Todd disagree, but we all know he has a Cali-palate!

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#16 Post by Howard Cooper » March 26th, 2020, 6:35 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 6:30 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 5:52 am
2001 left bank Bordeaux - I always thought it was very good, but these days it’s delicious.
I agree 100%. Feel the same about 2004.

Todd disagree, but we all know he has a Cali-palate!

[wow.gif]
Robert, I have enjoyed 2004s but have thought of the 2001s I have had as a step up. Agree or disagree?
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#17 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 26th, 2020, 6:39 am

I may be a little colored as I have more recently had a killer 04 VCC, Ducru and La Conseillante. I’m not putting one over the other just yet. I went back to the well to buy more of that VCC.
Last edited by Robert.A.Jr. on March 26th, 2020, 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#18 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » March 26th, 2020, 6:47 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 6:39 am
I may be a little colored as I have more recently had a killer 04 VCC, Ducru and La Conseillante. I’m not putting one over the other just yet. I went back to the week to buy more of that VCC.
2004 Pontet Canet and Leoville Barton are delicious from 375ml now. But I have mentioned that in other threads.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#19 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » March 26th, 2020, 7:02 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 5:52 am
2001 left bank Bordeaux - I always thought it was very good, but these days it’s delicious.
Surprised it took 12 posts for someone to mention this! That was what immediately came to my mind when I saw the thread.

I also wouldn't be surprised if '14 in Bordeaux and Burgundy ends up being much more heralded in 20 years.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#20 Post by RyanC » March 26th, 2020, 7:13 am

A bunch of them. A few off the top of my head:

'11 N. Rhone
'13 Red Burgs
'09 White Burgs
'04 Bordeaux
'09 Champagne

For the long run, I think '12, '13, '14 red burgs are going to be *really* good--they just got unlucky to be stuck between the *great* vintages of '09/'10/'15/'16. But I think '12, '13, '14 will trounce a lot of less heralded vintages with enough time.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#21 Post by Sean S y d n e y » March 26th, 2020, 7:24 am

I know this is an extremely early call, but I've been really surprised by 2017 Burgundy. After a few examples that were watery and thin, I was ready to mostly ignore the descriptions as a "giving, early-drinking vintage". But over the past couple of months I've been really impressed by a few selections, especially well-produced Côte de Beaune and Côte Chalonnaise examples. I think it's a really producer-dependent vintage (they all are, I guess) in that after the extremely low yields of '15 & '16, a lot of domaines let the bumper crops come in to ensure lots of wine went out, diluting the quality and letting a year that trends towards leanness emphasize the negatives rather than coax out the high points.

I'm curious to see the future of the 17s, and I hope they remain an affordable "lost vintage" between the 16s (which I also think will be great) and the 18s (reading about them here, who knows?).

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#22 Post by Greg K » March 26th, 2020, 7:40 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 6:30 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 5:52 am
2001 left bank Bordeaux - I always thought it was very good, but these days it’s delicious.
I agree 100%. Feel the same about 2004.

Todd disagree, but we all know he has a Cali-palate!

[wow.gif]
I think 2004 is a great classic vintage - I've been drinking Pontet Canet and Gruaud Larose for years, and they've been very enjoyable. It's not a great vintage, but a very solid one (and priced pretty well).
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#23 Post by Greg K » March 26th, 2020, 7:41 am

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 7:24 am
I know this is an extremely early call, but I've been really surprised by 2017 Burgundy. After a few examples that were watery and thin, I was ready to mostly ignore the descriptions as a "giving, early-drinking vintage". But over the past couple of months I've been really impressed by a few selections, especially well-produced Côte de Beaune and Côte Chalonnaise examples. I think it's a really producer-dependent vintage (they all are, I guess) in that after the extremely low yields of '15 & '16, a lot of domaines let the bumper crops come in to ensure lots of wine went out, diluting the quality and letting a year that trends towards leanness emphasize the negatives rather than coax out the high points.

I'm curious to see the future of the 17s, and I hope they remain an affordable "lost vintage" between the 16s (which I also think will be great) and the 18s (reading about them here, who knows?).
I thought a lot of the reds at Paulee were quite charming, actually, and some producers did quite well. It was 2017 whites I was mostly disappointed by (though 2017 Chablis is great).
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#24 Post by Greg K » March 26th, 2020, 7:43 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 5:10 pm
Howard, I wouldn’t think 1985 Bordeaux would qualify as a real surprise. Maybe that such a forward vintage would age so well and become so interesting? I’ve had many excellent examples in the last few years that I felt are on a long plateau of deliciousness.

Real surprises for me to the upside among wines known since release:

- 1997 and 2004 white Burgs
- 2013 red Burgs (CdN)
- 2000 red and white Burgs
- 1998 and 2008 Loire whites
- 1995 Champagne
- 1999 Bordeaux (2007 and 2011 might be in this camp too but they are a little young)
- 1996, 2004, and in some ways 1999 Northern Rhônes
- 1999 Chianti

Those released before I started collecting:
- 1993 white Burgs
- 1987 red Burgs (CdN)
- 1964 and 1971 Left Bank
- 1979 and 1981 Bordeaux generally

Probably others.
I'm with you on 85 - it's always been great and to me has always been priced accordingly. We still don't quite see eye to eye on 79/81. Now, 83........
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#25 Post by Kevin Patrick » March 26th, 2020, 7:43 am

California Cabernet: 1996, 1999, 2003 and there are some sneaky 2010 wines that bear watching in the coming years

Bordeaux: 2001 as mentioned with enthusiasm above is a clear standout in underrated vintages

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#26 Post by scamhi » March 26th, 2020, 7:45 am

2006 red burgundy. just had a 2006 Bruno Clair Clos St Jacques that was classic and very good
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#27 Post by Sean S y d n e y » March 26th, 2020, 7:55 am

Greg K wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 7:41 am
I thought a lot of the reds at Paulee were quite charming, actually, and some producers did quite well. It was 2017 whites I was mostly disappointed by (though 2017 Chablis is great).
Admittedly, I'm rarely drinking top-flight stuff, so I'm speaking from Bourgogne -> CdB/Chalonnaise 1er-level experience.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#28 Post by Julian Marshall » March 26th, 2020, 8:04 am

In Bordeaux, I agree about 2001, which I would say is better than 2004 with one or two exceptions (Léo-Barton for example). I would add 2002, which was totally overlooked when it came out. Personally I prefer 02 to 04 but I'm quibbling. I haven't had enough 07s yet but those I have had have been fun.
In the Loire, so far I've been surprised by how good most 08s are.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#29 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 26th, 2020, 8:20 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 6:30 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 5:52 am
2001 left bank Bordeaux - I always thought it was very good, but these days it’s delicious.
I agree 100%. Feel the same about 2004.

Todd disagree, but we all know he has a Cali-palate!

[wow.gif]
WRONG! I love 2001! Just don't like 2004 all that much
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#30 Post by Jayson Cohen » March 26th, 2020, 8:53 am

Greg K wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 7:43 am
Jayson Cohen wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 5:10 pm
Howard, I wouldn’t think 1985 Bordeaux would qualify as a real surprise. Maybe that such a forward vintage would age so well and become so interesting? I’ve had many excellent examples in the last few years that I felt are on a long plateau of deliciousness.

Real surprises for me to the upside among wines known since release:

- 1997 and 2004 white Burgs
- 2013 red Burgs (CdN)
- 2000 red and white Burgs
- 1998 and 2008 Loire whites
- 1995 Champagne
- 1999 Bordeaux (2007 and 2011 might be in this camp too but they are a little young)
- 1996, 2004, and in some ways 1999 Northern Rhônes
- 1999 Chianti

Those released before I started collecting:
- 1993 white Burgs
- 1987 red Burgs (CdN)
- 1964 and 1971 Left Bank
- 1979 and 1981 Bordeaux generally

Probably others.
I'm with you on 85 - it's always been great and to me has always been priced accordingly. We still don't quite see eye to eye on 79/81. Now, 83........
83 is not really a “surprise”. At least it never has been to me.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#31 Post by Howard Cooper » March 26th, 2020, 8:57 am

RyanC wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 7:13 am
A bunch of them. A few off the top of my head:

'11 N. Rhone
'13 Red Burgs
'09 White Burgs
'04 Bordeaux
'09 Champagne

For the long run, I think '12, '13, '14 red burgs are going to be *really* good--they just got unlucky to be stuck between the *great* vintages of '09/'10/'15/'16. But I think '12, '13, '14 will trounce a lot of less heralded vintages with enough time.
Not sure. I still have not had much 2013.

I think of 2014 as similar in style to 2010 but not as good. My guess is that this will always be the case. I happen to really like this style and so would not be shocked if I end up liking 2014 more than say 2009, but I will be surprised if I ever like it as much as 2010 (or 2016). Time will tell.

I was not that impressed when I tasted 2012s from the barrel in Burgundy in 2013. Certainly rich, but did not impress me that much overall. Over time, I have liked the few I (or a friend) have opened and in a few years I may list this as a surprise vintage. It will be interesting how similar or different 2009, 2012 and 2015 turn out to be. I would assume 1999 on the upside and 2002 on the downside (not that 2002 is that much of a downside). My guess is that none will match 1999 but that they each could be equal to or better than 2002.

I would not be surprised if when all is said and done 2016 turns out to be the best vintage since 2010, although given the frost the wines could be a bit uneven from producer to producer.

I am interested in seeing what happens with the 2017s. I thought they were a lot better at the Paulee in NYC (could this really be less than 3 weeks ago, how quickly the world has changed). I thought they were much better than they were in barrel during the summer of 2018. Other vintages that really improved over the first couple of years include 1980, 2000, 2001, 2007 and 2008. I would not be surprised if 2017 turns out to be in the 2001 quality level, at least.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#32 Post by Howard Cooper » March 26th, 2020, 9:00 am

scamhi wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 7:45 am
2006 red burgundy. just had a 2006 Bruno Clair Clos St Jacques that was classic and very good
Great to read. I liked the 2006s in the barrel when I visited Burgundy in 2007. Certainly not as impressive as 2005s that I tasted then, but they seemed well balanced and I was hoping for another 2001. With some exceptions, they have not tasted as good to me since, and I have been hoping that with time they would get back to being the well balanced wines I thought they would be. Your post is encouraging.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#33 Post by RyanC » March 26th, 2020, 9:43 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 8:57 am
RyanC wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 7:13 am
A bunch of them. A few off the top of my head:

'11 N. Rhone
'13 Red Burgs
'09 White Burgs
'04 Bordeaux
'09 Champagne

For the long run, I think '12, '13, '14 red burgs are going to be *really* good--they just got unlucky to be stuck between the *great* vintages of '09/'10/'15/'16. But I think '12, '13, '14 will trounce a lot of less heralded vintages with enough time.
Not sure. I still have not had much 2013.

I think of 2014 as similar in style to 2010 but not as good. My guess is that this will always be the case. I happen to really like this style and so would not be shocked if I end up liking 2014 more than say 2009, but I will be surprised if I ever like it as much as 2010 (or 2016). Time will tell.

I was not that impressed when I tasted 2012s from the barrel in Burgundy in 2013. Certainly rich, but did not impress me that much overall. Over time, I have liked the few I (or a friend) have opened and in a few years I may list this as a surprise vintage. It will be interesting how similar or different 2009, 2012 and 2015 turn out to be. I would assume 1999 on the upside and 2002 on the downside (not that 2002 is that much of a downside). My guess is that none will match 1999 but that they each could be equal to or better than 2002.

I would not be surprised if when all is said and done 2016 turns out to be the best vintage since 2010, although given the frost the wines could be a bit uneven from producer to producer.

I am interested in seeing what happens with the 2017s. I thought they were a lot better at the Paulee in NYC (could this really be less than 3 weeks ago, how quickly the world has changed). I thought they were much better than they were in barrel during the summer of 2018. Other vintages that really improved over the first couple of years include 1980, 2000, 2001, 2007 and 2008. I would not be surprised if 2017 turns out to be in the 2001 quality level, at least.
Good post. I am bullish on '12s long run. They're very shut down now but I think they'll be quite good. And if '02 is the downside for '09/'12/'15, that's ok with me!

I also agree that '16 is awesome for reds (not whites). It's just such a tiny vintage--not much out there--so it doesn't get quite the press.

Finally, I too have been pleasantly surprised with the few '17s I've tasted. When I was in Burgundy last year, all I heard was how thrilled folks were that it was a larger vintage. Some called it a more generous, earlier drinking vintage. And that signaled to me that perhaps it wouldn't be as serious. But they're showing to be quite good.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#34 Post by Greg K » March 26th, 2020, 10:29 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 8:53 am
Greg K wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 7:43 am
Jayson Cohen wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 5:10 pm
Howard, I wouldn’t think 1985 Bordeaux would qualify as a real surprise. Maybe that such a forward vintage would age so well and become so interesting? I’ve had many excellent examples in the last few years that I felt are on a long plateau of deliciousness.

Real surprises for me to the upside among wines known since release:

- 1997 and 2004 white Burgs
- 2013 red Burgs (CdN)
- 2000 red and white Burgs
- 1998 and 2008 Loire whites
- 1995 Champagne
- 1999 Bordeaux (2007 and 2011 might be in this camp too but they are a little young)
- 1996, 2004, and in some ways 1999 Northern Rhônes
- 1999 Chianti

Those released before I started collecting:
- 1993 white Burgs
- 1987 red Burgs (CdN)
- 1964 and 1971 Left Bank
- 1979 and 1981 Bordeaux generally

Probably others.
I'm with you on 85 - it's always been great and to me has always been priced accordingly. We still don't quite see eye to eye on 79/81. Now, 83........
83 is not really a “surprise”. At least it never has been to me.
Fair enough - when I started buying wine, there was so little focus on it, it always has been to me.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#35 Post by T.L. Reasoner » March 26th, 2020, 10:45 am

2014 Rioja
2008 Red Burgundy
2014 Napa
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#36 Post by Yao C » March 26th, 2020, 11:16 am

Would love people's thoughts on Rhone vintages that have turned out to be unexpectedly good. My experience is limited, but perhaps: 1994, 2011?
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#37 Post by Blake Brown » March 26th, 2020, 11:31 am

1975 and 1994 Bordeaux and 1998 Napa Cabs/ 1993 champagne
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#38 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 26th, 2020, 12:18 pm

Yao C wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 11:16 am
Would love people's thoughts on Rhone vintages that have turned out to be unexpectedly good. My experience is limited, but perhaps: 1994, 2011?
I’m a big fan of 2011 Northern Rhône’s. Have had mean beauties. Popped a personal fave of mine last night, 2011 Gonon St Joe, and it was singing. Juge is gorgeous in this vintage.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#39 Post by Jayson Cohen » March 26th, 2020, 12:35 pm

2011 N Rhône: that’s another one it’s hard to say is a surprise given how delicious they always were. Maybe the surprise (which I think we have discussed in other threads) is some of them (like Gonon and Juge) never shut down despite seeming to have decent structure.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#40 Post by Doug Lee » March 26th, 2020, 1:53 pm

Concur with 1994 Bordeaux, although my experience is limited to Cos d’Estournel and Pichon Lalande. Last sampled P-L about a year ago and it keeps getting better.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#41 Post by M. Dildine » March 26th, 2020, 2:03 pm

2017 North Coast Zinfandel. A very challenging vintage on the North Coast, but most of the Zins I’ve tasted have been excellent.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#42 Post by Chris Seiber » March 26th, 2020, 2:07 pm

2011 in California is a vintage that got low marks almost everywhere, but I think it's a great vintage, at least if you like redder fruits, lower ABV and higher acids.

I think it might be the best zinfandel and Rhone varietal vintage I've ever had, for my tastes. It's also excellent for pinot noir. I haven't had as many cabs, but, for example, the 2011 EMH Black Cat was great.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#43 Post by g.colangelo » March 26th, 2020, 2:19 pm

No single mention of Barolo so far! I'll throw in 2005 (at some addresses) and 2007. And 2009 too!
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#44 Post by Mark Thompson » March 26th, 2020, 3:33 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 5:10 pm
Howard, I wouldn’t think 1985 Bordeaux would qualify as a real surprise. Maybe that such a forward vintage would age so well and become so interesting? I’ve had many excellent examples in the last few years that I felt are on a long plateau of deliciousness.

Real surprises for me to the upside among wines known since release:

- 1997 and 2004 white Burgs
- 2013 red Burgs (CdN)
- 2000 red and white Burgs
- 1998 and 2008 Loire whites
- 1995 Champagne
- 1999 Bordeaux (2007 and 2011 might be in this camp too but they are a little young)
- 1996, 2004, and in some ways 1999 Northern Rhônes
- 1999 Chianti

Those released before I started collecting:
- 1993 white Burgs
- 1987 red Burgs (CdN)
- 1964 and 1971 Left Bank
- 1979 and 1981 Bordeaux generally

Probably others.
I generally agree with this list, but if I would have narrowed 1964 and 1971 I might have leaned more right bank than left with a few exceptions like Latour. Unless, of course, you are saying that Right Bank performance isn’t surprising.

To throw a new one out—I’ve had some surprisingly decent ‘76 Left Bank Bordeaux—Lafite, Cheval Blanc, Ducru, and PLL. Gruaud Larose was shot, though.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#45 Post by Joshua Kates » March 26th, 2020, 3:48 pm

FWIW, I agree on '93 White Burgundy; I've come to White Burgundy late and the '93's are the best I've had from the 90's. Good to know about '06 Red, as I own quite a few. Are people down on '08 Reds or was this just not a surprise? Lucky to have had and have some '85 Bordeaux, always a treat. '79 Bordeaux on backfill have been a find.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#46 Post by scamhi » March 26th, 2020, 4:14 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 9:00 am
scamhi wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 7:45 am
2006 red burgundy. just had a 2006 Bruno Clair Clos St Jacques that was classic and very good
Great to read. I liked the 2006s in the barrel when I visited Burgundy in 2007. Certainly not as impressive as 2005s that I tasted then, but they seemed well balanced and I was hoping for another 2001. With some exceptions, they have not tasted as good to me since, and I have been hoping that with time they would get back to being the well balanced wines I thought they would be. Your post is encouraging.
Bought a couple of 2006 Denis Bachelet Charmes to try when life returns to normal. They arrived to me storage account and I am not close by.
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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#47 Post by Br1an Th0rne » March 26th, 2020, 4:27 pm

1995 Bordeaux. I thought they were a bit overrated out of the gate, but my gosh, for my tastes, they are drinking wonderfully now. The 95 Pichon Lalande in particular is absolutely singing these days!

Similar with 94 Bordeaux. Just finished working my way through a mixed case of leoville barton and pontet canet, and they greatly exceeded my expectations. And much less expensive than their ‘95 counterparts.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#48 Post by Jayson Cohen » March 26th, 2020, 5:10 pm

Mark Thompson wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 3:33 pm
Jayson Cohen wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 5:10 pm
Howard, I wouldn’t think 1985 Bordeaux would qualify as a real surprise. Maybe that such a forward vintage would age so well and become so interesting? I’ve had many excellent examples in the last few years that I felt are on a long plateau of deliciousness.

Real surprises for me to the upside among wines known since release:

- 1997 and 2004 white Burgs
- 2013 red Burgs (CdN)
- 2000 red and white Burgs
- 1998 and 2008 Loire whites
- 1995 Champagne
- 1999 Bordeaux (2007 and 2011 might be in this camp too but they are a little young)
- 1996, 2004, and in some ways 1999 Northern Rhônes
- 1999 Chianti

Those released before I started collecting:
- 1993 white Burgs
- 1987 red Burgs (CdN)
- 1964 and 1971 Left Bank
- 1979 and 1981 Bordeaux generally

Probably others.
I generally agree with this list, but if I would have narrowed 1964 and 1971 I might have leaned more right bank than left with a few exceptions like Latour. Unless, of course, you are saying that Right Bank performance isn’t surprising.
Yes. Not surprising on the Right Bank.

I’d include 1978 Bordeaux as surprising: those wines have (finally) started to blossom in the last few years from sort of strict and seemingly thin to putting on weight and texture and showing some fruit emerge (35+ years after release) although they will never be blockbusters.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#49 Post by Mark Thompson » March 26th, 2020, 6:36 pm

Totally agree on 78’s. 81’s as well. I’ve had a bit less luck with the 79’s other than Figeac and Gruaud, but not with a big sample size.

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Re: Vintages that have surprised you to the upside

#50 Post by Markus S » March 26th, 2020, 7:03 pm

2003 Barolo. Only had a few and was predisposed to dislike them.
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