How to do a vertical tasting


Never done a vertical tasting before but im adding to my collection and will now have 2009/10/11 of various wines to start the process. Normally when we drink multiple bottles of wine with a meal its a liner fashion, ie drink one then start the next.

If im doing a vertical of say 3 Kosta Browne's how should i approach it ? the newest one will need the most breathing time but the oldest in theory at least is the best vintage so do i start with the youngest which might need more breathing or with the oldest which probably overshadow the others.

Advice please

Original Post
When doing any tasting, it usually isn't best to "drink one then start the next". By the time you get to bottle 7 or 8, you're trashed and can't appreciate it.

What I typically do is prepare 2 or 3 stems at a time, then pour a taste of each wine. Go through them, think about them, discuss, etc. Once that's all done, bring out all of the wines and drink away.

I would open all 3 bottles at the same time, decant all 3, and serve all 3 at the same time. Especially if we're talking '09 - '11 KB. Those are all young big wines, and part of the point of a vertical is to experience the "youth" in the younger wine, and the "development" in the older wine.

With all that being said, don't sweat it, and just drink.
Originally posted by jorgerunfrombulls:

With all that being said, don't sweat it, and just drink.


If it were me, the only thing I would do is start from oldest to youngest. In this case, all of these are young anyways, so it probably wouldn't matter much. Again, if it were me, these would all have 3-4 hours of air before dinner.

Please put some notes up on these. My experience with KB is limited, so I'm curious to how these will show.
All good comments, especially pouring a 'taste'. Leave some in the bottle or decanter for those who like one year more than another. Then everyone usually gets a shot at a second pour of one they like.

We usually do flights of 2 or 4 and group years that are close together if doing a larger vertical.

Tasting 2 or 3 years that are close together shows vintage variation, whereas years that are further apart can show more of how the wine develops - especially if from similar vintages to start.

Recent vertical that went very well was : 03/06/09 Jadot Moulin a Vent Clos du Rochegres. 03-mature, 06-midway, 09-just entering drinking window. We followed up these great Cru Beaujolais with several good Burgundies, which made a good comparison as well.

Check the thread for the Cos/PL vertical offline last September. Cos/PL Vertical offline


Looking forward to your notes.
9/10/11 is not going to be a big problem - they're all so young you can treat them all the same way.

Don't kill the bottles right away.

I just got back from a tasting and we usually do 12 wines and everybody has 12 glasses so you don't do them in sequence, starting with 1 and ending with 12. I guess you can, but that's a little stupid - you have the opportunity to taste every wine against every other one so why not take advantage of it? Otherwise, just have one glass.

I'd do the same with your vertical - make sure everyone has 3 glasses and pour all the wines at once. It's a good way to compare recent vintages side by side - and if you're doing that, don't taste sequentially all the time, i.e. not always 9, then 10, then 11. Mix them up, taste old to young, young to old, middle old young, etc. It's the only way you get to understand the wine.

If it's a longer vertical, I guess I'd still suggest the same, but you want to see the evolution so for one run thru you might want to go from youngest to oldest.
I would decant them and serve blind. I always like to see what decanter is gone first which will tell you which one is the best by just letting people navigate to their preferred wine. Unless you have told your group that it is a vertical of the same producer, it could be fun and educational to have them guess. With small group of newbies, i have had them guess, varietal, whether from same region or different, if from same region whether these are same producer but different price ranges, etc etc. also get the tasting notes and have people try to match the note to the decanter. Enjoy.

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