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'Vieilles Vignes'?


#1

So here’s my beef:

Don’t get me wrong - this is a lovely wine for the money.

BUT how old do you think the ‘vieilles vignes’ are?

Answer

Okay, it’s an established age, but come on. I want vieilles vignes to be older than me at the very least.

I know that vine age is far from the be-all and end-all, but for a country which is very fond of regulating its wine production, why is there no legal definition of this term? Is it just because the INAO would find it too difficult to enforce? I think I read somewhere that Australia’s trying to classify its oldest vines to give a bit of labelling clarity. It would certainly make for a slightly more informed purchase.


Easter drinking: weekend drinking thread (30th March)
#2

You would presumably need a different threshold for each grape, and also a way of calculating when part of a vineyard has been replanted, or the wine comes from multiple plots. Do you know what rules the aussies are using? Sounds like it could become quite complex.


#3

Yeah, I guess it’d be too complicated to set up. But still, I’m not keen on producers being able to slap that label on almost any old bottling.

At a search-engine glance, it looks like I might have been thinking about the Barossa Old Vines Charter, which actually looks more like a voluntary thing done by premium producers in the area rather than rules coming from the powers that be. Hmmm.


#4

I think this is what you are talking about…

http://www.barossa.com/wine/the-barossa-old-vine-charter

But I think that for many the new world does not spell out “old vines” and that is a mistake especially regards Australia, when I was there I saw many 100 yr old vineyards and they were very proud of them, I think Langmeil has the oldest back to 1840s, and of course they are all pre-phylloxera, something to be cherished.


#5

Yeah, that’s the one. They’re dead proud of their old vine heritage, fair play.

If my bottle were from some brand new region out there in the world then yeah, maybe 25 is relatively old - but Burgundy’s got its fair share of vines older than my dad, which I guess is why the confession on the back label got my goat.


#6

Well raised! Caroline Gilby MW wrote a really good little piece about old vines on our website in case of interest :slight_smile:


#7

Thanks @martin_brown, that was a good read!

Also, interesting to note from the article the confounding factor when associating old vines with quality:

they tend to attract a certain kind of producer who is committed to quality above all


#8

Another very good article on old vines here…


#9

No idea if anything to do with the Vielles Vignes or not tbh, but No 9 on the list today is a damn fine Chablis.


#10

It is from a damn fine white Burgundy year, too, the more 2014 white Burgundy I try the more I am convinced