Vintage Does Not Always Matter When It Comes To Wine - Order Wine Online

Vintage Does Not Always Matter When It Comes To Wine

2023 年 Apr 28 日Michael Bozzelli

(Updated February 12, 2024)

As resellers of wine for some time now, we have received been on the receiving end of frantic emails from customers in the middle of night making sure that the wine they ordered is of a particular vintage.  We welcome these inquiries because we want you to get exactly what you want.   However, vintage usually does not matter.

For instance, Snoop Dogg Cali Red Blend was and remains a top selling wine.  Props, Snoop.  Why?  Consistency.  Consistency is central to the red blend’s success and paramount when it comes to the “popular premium” segment of the wine market, wines for sale between $10 and $15, that represent a critical piece of the overall industry.  The same also applies to wine in the “premium” category, wine that retails for $15 to $20.  

 Conundrum Red Blend is another instance.  The popular red blend is produced by the Wagner family, makers of Caymus, and includes a mix of several red grape varietals. While the exact blend of grapes used in Conundrum may vary from year to year, the wine is generally known for its smooth, fruit-forward character and approachable style.  The winery goes to great lengths to replicate that profile for the capitalistic sake of repeat sales.  

Thus, the winemakers at the Wagner Family of Wines and 19 Crimes, Snoop's production partner, are likely to carefully control the winemaking process to ensure consistency in flavor and quality from year to year. This may involve blending grapes from different vineyards or using a combination of new and old barrels during aging to achieve the desired flavor profile.  Lab analysis is also undertaken to assess levels of sugar, acidity, alcohol, tannins, color and pH.  As such, while there may be subtle variation in the flavor and character of Conundrum and Cali Red from one vintage to the next, the overall experience is largely to be the same.  

So far this has been the tempered reason for why vintage does not matter.  For the-tell-it-like-is reasoning no one tells that better than wine critic, Matt Kramer  In a column for Wine Spectator in 2018, Matt Kramer wrote: "Vintage is overrated. Let me rephrase that: vintage as a sole measure of wine quality is overrated. It is a canard, a myth, a bête noire. Vintage matters most in the great and greatish wines of the world. For everything else, vintage is not irrelevant, but its importance is vastly overemphasized."

Kramer went on to argue that blending grapes as discussed can help immensely in finessing vintage variation.  

If it’s not “great” or “greatish’ wine which I tend to think means wines in the luxury, ultra luxury or icon columns, c̶h̶u̶g̶ drink the wine without concern for vintage.   This means that if you order a case of Cali Red or Conundrum and the vintage differs from the one you had in mind, do not send it back, instead kick back and relish the consistency.   



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