First time on the forum as a bear with me. Have been a wino for many a year and have taken most of the WS courses, so, for better or worse in our circle of friends I'm their "expert".
One of our friends has obtained at a charity auction 12 bottles of Caymus (not SS) from 1990 - 2001. They are having a dinner/tasting party this Saturday and asked me to direct the "tasting". Any suggestions on how to start in order to taste/compare/drink with dinner for 10 people and not waste what seems like a great opportunity??...I need help!
Original Post
welcome to the boards!

i think it would be great to do it in order of vintage, just to see the differences in an order that most people can make sense of. also, you normally taste in order from less to most body. generally speaking, the older wines should be lighter (softer) and the younger ones less-so. granted, some vintages age better and will show more body than their younger counterparts, but that would be part of the fun!

any way, i'm sure it'll be enjoyed regardless of what you decide. have fun, and enjoy what sounds like an awesome experience!
yeah, old to young. if there had been a bigger distance between professional ratings, you could have placed them repectively, but there isn't. sound funs tho!

all WS points:
Sounds like a great evening. One tip, if the plan is to focus on the tasting and not so much everyone pour something into their glasses for dinner then I'd suggest multiple glasses (2-3)out at the same time for each person and here is the important part. Remind everyone that there is plenty of wine and the point is to make it through all 12 vintages. So no reason to pour a full glass every time the bottle comes along or they will be sloshed half way through the tasting. The last event I hosted of about this size there were two individuals who weren't used to big glasses or 2 to 3 oz pours. Halfway through they were completely lit and had to chug their drinks every time it was time to move on to the next flight. At that point it was useless in saying any more.
I'd do 1.5 oz pours and get through the tasting and revisit the wines as you will have leftovers for those still in the game and gives the wines a chance to breath upon revisiting.
Having tasted all these wines I would group them like this...1990,1991,1993...1992,1994,1995...1996(no SS that year has those barrels in the regular bottling),1997,1999...1998,2000,2001.
Originally posted by wine+art:
Originally posted by DoubleD:

I would actually taste them from the oldest vintage to the newest.

There are learned people that think just the opposite.

This very issue just came up for a 20's, 40's & 50's Bordeaux tasting I attended.

Is that because they believe just the opposite as you mentioned or in this particular case the roarin 20's were more youthful than their younger brethren?
Last evening's Caymus Cab 1990-2001 vertical tasting/dinner-for-ten was fantastic, thanks in large part to all of the thoughtful suggestions I received on this forum.

I pre-printed a sheet for everyone with W.S.'s tasting notes and rating for each vintage. This sheet then also was used on which to make our own notes and ratings.

The hostess pre-printed colored 4X11 pieces of paper with three stemware circles on each and the vintages printed below the circles...the first slip being '90, '91 and '92.

About 1-1/2 ounces of each of these first three vintages was poured, passing the bottles around the table. We swirled, sniffed, tasted...and swallowed (no spitting was allowed...the wine was too good!). After discussion and note-making, the first of four red-wine-friendly dinner courses was served with which we consumed the wine remaining in all three glasses. Anyone wanting more of any of these first three vintages could pour themselves more at this time.

When everyone finished that course and all of the wine in their glasses we proceeded to do the remaining three courses in like fashion, each with their own 4X11 sheet with circles and pre-printed vintages which we placed under the glasses over the previous sheet. We thus moved up through the years in groups of three. We did not use fresh stemware each just didn't seem practical or necessary considering the circumstances with the same winery and variety and closely rated vintages.

No one got sloshed (I think!), and there was enough wine left over after the last course for anyone to revisit any vintage. By the way, that is when we noticed the last three vintages, '99, '00, and '01 open up quite nicely.

So...what were our favorites? Tough call with so much good wine, but, in general, the first three, '90,'91 and '92 were our least favorite. 1994, not surprisingly, was noted #1 by more people; '93 and '96 tied for #2; '92, '98 and '01 tied for third place. The solid, dyed-in-the-wool Cab drinkers amongst us, in general, preferred the last three vintages ('99, '00, '01)...more substance, better color, aftertaste, etc. The Bordeaux-y types in our wine tasting group went for the middling years in the vertical, and everyone agreed that 20 years in the bottle was starting to get a little long for this wine (although still quite lovely and very drinkable).

I'd certainly like to know what you think of the above assessment, but, no matter what, WE had a great time...thanks again for all of the very helpful suggestions.

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