When tasting older vintages from a winery whose wines I've reviewed in the past, I never look up the previous notes before the tasting. Not in blind retrospective tastings and not when I taste with the winemaker.
Doing that might prejudice you one way or another. It's best to judge the wine in front of you, not its reputation or its history.
When I tasted the select vertical of Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from the Marcassin Vineyard with Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer for the current cover story, I knew I had tasted some of the wines in 2006 with them and reviewed them in blind tastings on separate occasions for the magazine.
After this most recent vertical I did compare notes to see how I did and how the wines showed. Both of these tastings were non-blind. The official magazine scores are from blind tastings.
Here are the three scores I've given for the four Chardonnays and four Pinots that were in both tastings, presented this way: First score—the official blind-tasting score—from a 750ml bottle; the 2006 tasting, mostly 750s, with 1996 and 1998 from magnum; and the 2010 tasting, all from magnums.
I took a couple of observations from the results of these tastings, detailed in the chart below. The scores for each of the wines more or less fell into the same general scoring range, showing some consistency in the wines and the ratings. A wine I thought was outstanding (90 to 94 points) was in each of these tastings, and wines that rated classic originally again received 95 point-plus nods. This is about what you should expect when tastings wines at different stages of their development, not to mention your development.
Storage is crucial for a wine to achieve its fullest aging potential. Moreover, the wines tend to hold up better in magnums, but not always, as the final scores indicate.
As for the wines, well, it showed that the Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs age quite well, particularly when stored properly and direct from the owner's cellar.
|Tastings||Official Blind Tasting Score||2006 Vertical Tasting Score||2010 Vertical Tasting Score|
|1996 Pinot Noir||96||96||98|
|1998 Pinot Noir||96||96||99|
|2000 Pinot Noir||95||95||96|
|2002 Pinot Noir||95-100||98||95|
Michael Myette — Sacramento, CA USA — June 22, 2010 8:52pm ET
Matt Scott — Honolulu HI — June 23, 2010 12:51pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — June 23, 2010 1:52pm ET
Arshavir Kouladjian — Los Angeles, California — June 23, 2010 2:12pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — June 23, 2010 2:56pm ET
Greg Flanagan — Bethel CT — June 24, 2010 8:51am ET
Don R Wagner — Illinois — June 26, 2010 9:45pm ET
Christopher Dunn — Hawaii — July 27, 2010 8:39pm ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions