Today is a share day, with an item from a winemaker about bottle variation.
Readers send me many notes about reviews (including how mine differ from those of others), and I think it’s important to consider that, aside from different tastes, bottles do vary in quality, and the time at which a wine is reviewed can also be a factor. Young wines typically change more after bottling than those comfortably sealed in their vessels for years.
In today's case, the culprit appears to be the cork, which is something the vintner discovered on his own and decided to share. I have chosen not to reveal the sender, since it’s the message, not the messenger, that’s the point.
Your review of [our] Pinot Noir on the WS website vindicates my decision to change cork suppliers. This wine had problems with bottle variation from the get-go. [Two other critics] rated the wine at 93 points and 89 points, respectively, so it looks like you tasted one of the affected bottles.
I am relieved to say that the new corks are performing much better and we’ll drop off the ’07s when they’re released at some point in the future.
Submitting wines for review comes with a risk, and this is just one of those things that comes with the territory.
When situations such as this arise. I always try to sample another bottle, and occasionally I’ll retract the review and pen another in the spirit of giving the winery and wine the benefit of the doubt.
Sandy Fitzgerald — Centennial, CO — June 11, 2008 7:02pm ET
Mike Pederson — Mission Viejo — June 11, 2008 8:52pm ET
Jordan Harris — Niagara, Ontario — June 12, 2008 9:34am ET
Harvey Posert — napa valley — June 12, 2008 12:30pm ET
John Poggemeyer — Cleveland, OH — June 12, 2008 2:10pm ET
Rob Mackay — Santa Cruz — June 12, 2008 3:37pm ET
Thomas Matthews — June 12, 2008 4:39pm ET
Greg Bardakos — San Jose, Ca — June 13, 2008 5:18am ET
Apj Powers — Dallas, TX — June 13, 2008 12:13pm ET
Horacio Campana / Butler Me — Monterrey, Mexico — June 14, 2008 12:22pm ET
The Wine & Cheese Place — St. Louis, MO — June 15, 2008 11:32pm ET
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