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Reply to "Vaynerchuck or Parker?"

Originally posted by dr.darkrichandbold:
Every vintage is different. Take California and Phelps Insignia. Of any region, CA's weather varies the least. Now take 3 vintages in a row. '97, '98, '99. All VERY different, and as such VERY different Insignias. And, all priced at over $100. To simply buy any of these because you liked the '92, and '94 is no guarantee you'll like any of the latter. And, as I see it, if your finances are "limited" you are potentially allocating money in the wrong place unknowingly.

Maybe the difference is you have more rigid tastes? I'll grant that different vintages of a wine like Insignia will be different, but for my palate, I wouldn't worry about them being so different that I would like the '94, but not the '97 (as a side note, having only had access to the '97s more experienced wine drinkers saved I have yet to have a '97 CA Cab/Blend I didn't like). It's nice you have experience with all these vintages to tell us about though.

Now, if the vintage was a dud and you bought before that could be ascertained, that's one thing, but we've been explicitly talking about purchases based on vintage, prior experience with a producer, ratings and, especially for me, experiences of my bulletin board colleagues.

Further, we're talking about buying 2-3 bottles without tasting. I'm not saying I've never had a bad experience after buying 2 bottles w/out prior tasting, but "bad" is probably a strong word, and it is still an experience, which is the part of the process for all us whipper snappers.

Thinking back, I have bought wines untasted I later regretted because it was a terrible vintage (3 "bargain" – but undrinkable – 2002 CdP's) and others because that had not been stored properly (After loving both bottlings, I grabbed 8 1999/2000 Don Melchors in 2005 - 2 were somewhat oxidized). But I have yet to purchase a few of a new vintage and later think – I really wish I had left these on the shelf. Both of these were learning experiences that cost a total of $150. I'm okay with that. I have bought far more wines without tasting that have been fantastic choices.

I don't know if I really disagree with what you're saying, unless you really think it applies to us. I do think you have something to get off your chest and the fact that posturing it as a reply to our posts doesn't really work is merely an inconvenience. A separate thread about how much – in bottles and $$ -- people spend without tasting wine, and from what regions, would be interesting.

I'm not sure if 2005 Bordeaux is what you're talking about, but Bordeaux has come up in your posts. I would not be surprised if many "newbie" wine drinkers bought a bunch and will find out over the next 20 years its not their style. That's their lesson to learn and, assuming they had the funds to do it, they can probably handle it. I did buy split two six packs of 2005 Bordeaux with a friend - one right bank (Gigault Cuvee Viva) and one left bank (Caronne St Gemme). As it cost each of us $85, I'm not too worried.