Saturday, January 22, 2011

On Good Producers in Bad Vintages

It was dinner out with the family and I was expected to play sommelier. Murmurings in certain quarters of Washington State syrah, but I was having fish. Could I find something big enough for big-loving sis and everyone's meats, but delicate enough for my fish? Ah, here's Fèlsina's Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, whose 2005 I thought terrific and 1995 phenomenal. But this one was from 2003, a torrid vintage. "What the heck," I thought, "a bad vintage, but a good producer." I figured the fruit would be plusher than usual, more forward, but nothing my dish couldn't handle.

The wine was a disaster. Fruit baked dead, no complexity, zero finish. We muddled through it rather than enjoyed it.

I choose carefully and I have been rewarded, e.g. Bernard Baudry's great successes with his 2003 Chinons. And of course I've had Fèlsina's Rancias previously. But this was a cautionary tale served at a restaurant's mark-up.

1 comment:

TWG said...

Should've returned it.