This week marked a milestone for me as Burgundy writer, as the sale of Domaine Dublère sort of concluded an “era” of my Burgundian history.
I always enjoyed the wines of Blair Pethel, and while they were not from famous grand cru vineyards – aside from the overlooked Corton-Charlemagne – they have and had something special – a inherent quality – that was worth looking for.
These were not wines without some shortcomings and they were not Vosne-Romanée grand cru or even 1er cru – but the vivacious and balanced drinkability and harmony of these wines did give me a lot of fine honest moments.
But what is it that makes me smile – and makes the old geek tick!
The brutal honesty of tasting good and giving pleasure
I do taste a lot of great wines and sadly quite many of them are not what they should be ..
The main quality of a wine should be to give hedonistic pleasure – at least in the long run.
For me this should be the first, the last and the primary consideration when you taste a wine.
Many wines do not give this hedonistic pleasure when they are in cask, are young, medium age and even old – and it requires a lot of faith and full-filled hopes and expectations to see these wines unfold into a beautiful rose.
The key as a reviewer is to find the roses .. and to find the hedonistic treasures in both short term and in the long run.
In the long run …..
The term “at least in the long run” does cover a lot of uncertainty and even further grounds for for debate .. as most of us will however not be held accountable for 30 years old ratings.
My claim will be that a wine that is impressive – yet not a enjoyable potential when young – will most likely not become a hedonistic treasure when fully mature and ready to drink.
Wines mainly made to impress, to collect points, to pose, or show off, are rarely the wines that will give you the intellectual depth as mature and hedonistic giving wines.
Nor is, I think, the strive towards mainly technical perfection, as wines are a natural product and the technical perfection could well leave the wine numb and impersonal in some sense – just saying!
Hedonistic is a treasure and a pleasure given to me – the drinker – from the vine, the vineyard and the winemaker … a personal statement if you like.
Personal yet not perfect
When I taste wines I see a painting with beautiful elements but often also some imperfections – that together create a lovely wine. Not all vintages are perfect – yet they produce beautiful wines – through the personal interpretation of the winemaker. This was why I through the years liked the wines from Blair Pethel and Domaine Dublére.
The wines I find lovely – and with a focus on the affordable hedonistics – are now the wines marked with the Winehog pin – see above. These are wines that, in my view, potentially has the inherent drinkability and bring the hedonistic pleasure closer to the consumer.