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Vertical collection

“Building up a vertical” is mentioned quite often on these pages, and it’s always intrigued me.

What’s the intention? It will clearly be different for different people, and even for different wines. Do you intend to try them all together at the same time? Compare them all at varying stages of development? Is it just to build a ‘complete’ collection in the same way that some collect stamps, or Wisdens, or whatever? Once you’ve built your collection will you ever ‘spoil’ it by drinking one from the middle of a run?


Reading this post interested me. So I sent a message to someone on these pages who mentions “Vertical” to ask them what it means. I will let you know if i get a reply.

It’s a series of vintages of the same wine. I’m interested to hear of the motivations, and how people intend to drink them once they have a collection.

I have a few, though by no means complete, verticals. However, I don’t think I really view them as collections but rather just wines I’m particularly fond of but that take a while to come around. So for me it’s more like a pipeline than a collection. On the other hand it does open the opportunity for a vertical tasting if I so choose.


Interesting question.

I’m probably buying multiple vintages of wines I like and occasionally it’s nice to see them at different stages of development or how the wine varies due to harvest.

However I’m most obsessed with doing it for Tondonia, and this is a personal one for me. I got engaged whilst drinking a bottle of 2002, so I buy 6 bottles of every vintage from 02 onwards, the idea for me is that at some point, probably 10th anniversary, we will open 1 bottle from each vintage and see how they have changed. So it’s parts celebration and part understanding how they differ with age.


I mainly get cases of wines that I buy in multiple vintages. So I am not too obsessive about keeping ’verticals’ and don’t mind drinking a few or all of a wine I have. Like Mike’s idea of a pipeline.

But I can be a bit funny about port. I don’t like drinking the last one, which means that I have got quite a few single bottles of very nice port that I can’t quite bring myself to drink. It is something about not being able to replace them, although why I should feel this way about port rather than, say Madeira or Burgundy I have no idea.


I might be wrong, but I’ve always thought “vertical” and “horizontal” were primarily types of tasting. So “building up a vertical” would specifically be obtaining wines for a tasting.

I haven’t heard people talk about verticals just in the context of different vintages of a particular wine in their cellar. That is just what results from collecting that wine. Personally I wouldn’t use the word “collecting” either, but others do.