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I tend to agree with Bill.  For me, it's a harmless exercise of making guesses as to what the Spectator staff thinks is tasty/exciting/who knows?  I used to go out and try to buy 3 or 4 bottles of what I thought would win--not to re-sell or anything, just to drink.  I never got it right, but my worst case scenario was that I ended up with some pretty tasty bottles (like the 2010 St. Cosme Gigondas or the 2007 Flaccianello).  I even had some friends over to drink some of the different WOTY's that I happened to have (heck, I'm still sitting on a Clos Apalta, and a couple of the Shafer Relentless). I don't pay as much attention anymore--I blame my kids for sucking the life out of me-- but it certainly doesn't harm my enjoyment of the wines on the list.  

I am a little baffled how WS picks top wines as if they know how the wines will taste in a decade.  Is WS proposing that the consumer purchase 2016 Ch Pichon Longueville Baron and consume it now?

To me, this wine is a cellar selection to be held, but so are all the young second growth Bordeaux.  To play devils advocate, I ask, “How does WS know 2016 Ch Pichon Longueville Baron wine will fair better than 2016 Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in a decade?  My suspicion is that both wines will be excellent in time.  Why is one on the top 10 list, and the other is not?

 

Last edited by chinonrouge
chinonrouge posted:

I am a little baffled how WS picks top wines as if they know how the wines will taste in a decade.  Is WS proposing that the consumer purchase 2016 Ch Pichon Longueville Baron and consume it now?

To me, this wine is a cellar selection to be held, but so are all the young second growth Bordeaux.  To play devils advocate, I ask, “How does WS know 2016 Ch Pichon Longueville Baron wine will fair better than 2016 Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in a decade?  My suspicion is that both wines will be excellent in time.  Why is one on the top 10 list, and the other is not?

 

Leaving aside the quality of the specific reviewers, they hopefully have enough experience with Bordeaux of all ages — and of following enough vintages throughout their development — that an educated guess can be made. Also, *sometimes* there is a brief window of top flight Bordeaux being very primary but also open-knit before it shuts down for over a decade.  This can give a reviewer a fair sense of the material. 

For me, I can almost guarantee you that I would prefer the Baron to the Lalande — but that’s because I have a significant taste-profile preference for the Baron.  The point is, while scores from vintage to vintage for a singular wine may be useful (this is a good vintage to buy Palmer, this is a bad vintage to buy Cos) these lists really aren’t meant to give much information to the already very educated wine drinkers, though it is conceivable — at least in theory — that they could help those with the funds to buy who are still in the infancy or adolescence of their fine wine experience.  

Last edited by winetarelli
chinonrouge posted:

I am a little baffled how WS picks top wines as if they know how the wines will taste in a decade.  Is WS proposing that the consumer purchase 2016 Ch Pichon Longueville Baron and consume it now?

To me, this wine is a cellar selection to be held, but so are all the young second growth Bordeaux.  To play devils advocate, I ask, “How does WS know 2016 Ch Pichon Longueville Baron wine will fair better than 2016 Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in a decade?  My suspicion is that both wines will be excellent in time.  Why is one on the top 10 list, and the other is not?

 

If I remember how the process was described a few years ago, the WS Editors bring together a Top 20 that they've tasted in the previous year, re-taste and then debate them based on X factors.   

As you know, all these bottles were tasted blind initially and were assigned a rating.  I assume they get the top bottles rated with consideration to represent all if not most wine regions.   If the Pichon Baron was rated a 96 and the Lalande a 93 at the time the initial tasting was done, then you can see why one would be included in the Top 10 and not the other.  

I don't think they project what the wines will be in a decade.  Many of the 1st of the 2nd Growths will probably be shut down a decade after release!

Not that I don't think Beaucastel is top 10 worthy (heck my wife and I enjoy their stuff thoroughly) I definitely detect a bit of bromance between JM and Marc Perrin  

Personally I think as Chianti Classico representative for the top 10 San Giusto a Rentennano was a good choice. Their entire profile of wines are excellent IMO. No offense to the big families but nice to see a break from Antinori or Frescobaldi.

eltoro posted:

Not that I don't think Beaucastel is top 10 worthy (heck my wife and I enjoy their stuff thoroughly) I definitely detect a bit of bromance between JM and Marc Perrin  

Personally I think as Chianti Classico representative for the top 10 San Giusto a Rentennano was a good choice. Their entire profile of wines are excellent IMO. No offense to the big families but nice to see a break from Antinori or Frescobaldi.

My only problem with naming San Giusto a Rentennano is that it has long been my favorite producer from the Chianti region and I oppose anything that increases its price. 

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