Chateau Pontet Canet 2008 Pauillac. $129.99 OH Retail. "A beautiful red crimson color. Dense, brooding, and primary. Almost opaque in its power and tightness. A forever wine meant for the cellar and consumption and lifetime from now." 95 points.
Here is the interesting question and the crux of this article. How can two vintages of the same wine, using identical winemaking technique, have such completely different taste profiles and yet be the same quality?
It comes down to Plaisir vs Garde. The French parse all wine down to two categories.
Plaisir (or pleasure wines) are ones that give immediate enjoyment. They are often fruit-forward, generous, and hedonistic.
Garde (or 'to keep') are wines that will benefit from considerable time in the cellar. They often produce more classic, traditional flavors and profiles. Cellar wines also achieve a longevity and levels of complexity that Plaisir wines can't approach.
Which is better? As usual, it depends. Garde wines often reach higher levels of technical proficiency and complexity, but require time and proper cellaring to get there. Plaisir wines can be enjoyed tonight.
What's the takeaway here? When you are seeking out a premium high-quality wine (and spending some serious money,) vintage won't necessarily speak to the wine's quality. It will, more likely tell you something about which style of wine you are going to get.
- Video Interview with Randall Grahm on Biodynamic Wine Making
- Video Interview with Rebecca Work of Ampelos on Biodynamics vs Organic