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Never forget an off vintage

Not at all @Ian_cranston. I take vintage charts with a large pinch of salt (actually I don’t bother with them now). They are crude, covering a large area.

They don’t - cannot - take into account micro-climates or the skill of viticulturists and winemakers.

Winery A may make a poor wine in a poor vintage, winery B may be ruthless in binning sub-par grapes and offloading barrels that don’t meet their standards and produce fewer bottles but of good quality.

And the retailer is the final check on standards.


But with the serious limitation (as some of the WS buyers have pointed out) that they have to take some wines in bad vintages to get access to the good.

I remember the 2013 M d Terme being worth the £15 I paid for it but clearly anyone paying full price would have been bitterly disappointed. 2013 Bordeaux is one of the few actually bad, rather than “not top rate” like 2017 vintages in recent memory.


Part of the reason I bought the Marquis de Terme is I was going to be running the 2018 Marathon Du Medoc and the Chateau was hosting the social events around the race there. We went to the recovery walk the day after from the chateau ending back for a meal and a party. Tables had assorted bottles but the interesting touch was when empty you could go to a wine barrel and refill the empty bottle. I think it was the 2014 vintage, anyway it tasted great.

My brother-in-law was there as well and being an account he explained it probably cost them very little as it had not left the property from a tax perspective. Also the Marathon is set up as a charity so additional avenues for cost offsetting.

Good memories and good company can certainly change your view of a vintage which I think will definitely do with this one.

My wife nearly throw all the toys out the pram in the 33C heat of the race and we rested against the wall of Chateau Tronquoy-Lalande where she eventually rallied to complete the race. Got a 2013 of this chateau but it’s price to quality did not cut it but the memories it brings back are priceless.


Ooof, I don’t blame her. I all but give up running as soon as it gets into the 20s here, unless it’s raining, and wait until the autumn, by which time I’m rubbish again.