I am now into my main tasting of the 2020 vintage – after helping get the 2021s made and ready for the cellar.
I started initially tasting some 2020s this summer, but now it’s time to dig deeper and get a real feeling for the vintage.
My aim, however, has been refined, and will presumably change even further, as I am now more than ever focused on finding vins d’emotion – hedonistic wines that will please your palate and tickle your intellect (or whatever else you like to be tickled).
This will in the end be harder to do. But to be brutally honest, it’s what I prefer to drink myself, if allowed to choose freely!
If a Cote d’Or wine doesn’t deserve any kind of emotional acclaim, then a more interesting one can probably be found elsewhere – in Macon, or the Jura, or other places where the prestige (snob) effect is less pronounced.
Vins d’emotion of many kinds
It is very important to understand that a vin d’emotion can be found in all styles, vinification techniques, and appellation levels. It is a question of energy and vivacity; the wine should have hedonistic tension just waiting to explode from your glass.
This can come from many different styles – a Bernard Zito Gamay Noir 2019, a Groffier Chambolle Les Hauts Doix 2019, a Liger-Belair La Romanée, or the Musigny 2019 from de Vogüé. All of these wines have it in spades.
Marchand-Tawse Clos de Corvees Pagets 2019 has it, as well as a more traditional producer like Méo-Camuzet, with its fabulous 2019 Vosne Aux Brûlées.
In the end, it is the result of many factors: terroir, the plot, the rootstock, the pinot type, the age of the vines, and then the vinification, which brings the pinot and the climat to your glass.
Vins d’emotion, therefore, come in many shapes, styles, and forms, so why settle for less? Let’s see what 2020 has to offer.
Points and Mathematics
Before the Winehog became a wine journalist, I worked in financial mathematics; numbers was sort of my game. They have their logic and consistency if used carefully.
If you feel good and comfortable with the 100-point scale, I will maintain it. But consider the following:
A score of 93-95, or 91-93, contains a large interval that can encompass anything from a good grand cru to a fine village.
If the “uncertainty” of a rating is two points, then my assertion is that if you examine the previous year’s rating, it will often be around the same level, plus or minus the uncertainty.
If you add a vintage correction of one point – plus or minus just a single point – you would yourself be able to guess/calculate a large number of the scores without having to read or buy any ratings. Just saying!
You will still get them
Don’t worry: I will continue with my scores. But I hope and expect that you will have more pleasure by following my emotional ratings.
In the end, I would rather drink a hedonistic Bourgogne Rouge or Gamay than an indifferent grand cru.