I’m doing my first ever vertical wine tasting this evening with friends. We’re drinking The Society’s Exhibition Haut-Médocs 14, 16, 17, 18.
Will decant two hours before, but any advice from seasoned pros? What order should we drink them in (I assume young to old)?
On the few I’ve done I’ve preferred young to old.
I also like to have a different glass for each wine. This allows me to leave some in each glass so at the end I can taste them all side by side, appreciate this may mean too many glasses!
Age order works well. I’ll add a slight caveat here that 2017 was a much lighter vintage than the others, so might be worth switching the 17 and 18 around.
I’d definitely second @Absolutebeginner’s suggestion of leaving some in each glass to do compare/contrast afterwards if you have the glasses/can face the washing up. (I don’t/can’t!).
I’d also go young to old with no change in order. They’re all fairly young and I think the contrast would be more interesting if you did it that way. Yes there will be lighter vintages in there but seeing them in order will help to highlight vintage variations - and none will blunt palates enough to demand a re-ordering.
Drink them blind! Wrap them up in foil yourself and then get a fellow taster to mix them up and number them 1-4!! Have fun guessing and be surprised and not influenced by the vintages.
Would be interested to hear how you find them I loved the 14 when it was on sale but now it’s sold out I’m not sure which to try out of the 16,17 and 18!
Please share what you think.
I fear given it was last night that your advice is a bit late.
Great idea, although I’m the real wine geek who would think about this things. The others wouldn’t be so influenced!
So before I share thoughts, some caveats… We ended up drinking near a barbecue (long story). I also think - my own fault - the wines were stored badly so perhaps taste a little older than they might have done if stored correctly? It was also very warm so probably served above desired temperature.
2018 was the favourite when we tasted without food. It was strikingly different from the others: body was medium+ to full, tannins were very present and relatively grippy in comparison. Lovely fresh red bright fruit with baking spice. It felt more like a good Chilean bordeaux blend in comparison to the others.
2017 was the least favourite of the bunch without food. Light and delicate, perfumed with floral and herbal elements. However, it became more popular with dinner (steak with a chimchurri style sauce).
2014 was second favourite. More complex, great length with lots going on. We found the 2016 similar, but much less exciting in comparison to the 2014. Maybe it just needs more time.
2017 and 2018 are strikingly different to me, so depends on what you’re after! I’m sure both will do really interesting things in time.
I took the remainder of the 2014 home with me and supping it now. Should have tried more of this with the steak as I think it’d be a very good pairing.