When you ask winemakers which has been the best vintage of the new millennium through 2008 the answers will be different for each of them. In SW Europe probably 2004, 2006 and 2007 were the best vintages, in Greece we had an exceptional 2005, while in Germany 1999 and 2006 were two great years.
It is more difficult to have a “fair vintage statistic” for South Africa, Argentina or Australia since, there, wine-makers are striving continuously and successfully to make better and better wines so that “the latest vintage is always the best!”. However, in this variegated picture by countries, 2009 represents for sure a converging point worldwide: as probably the best vintage of the new millennium! Generally speaking, we had a cold and long winter that delayed the flowering of the vineyards. Then a quite wet spring abled the vines to quickly recoup any delay. Thanks to this faster ripening, a more homogeneous quality of the grapes was achieved. The summer was agreable till June and dry and warm in July/August: the proper conditions for the perfect maturing of the tannins and for a good balance of sugar-Ph. Expectations are really very high, bearing in mind that in wine the general rules are less applicable than elsewhere! There is a wise proverb among the wine lovers that says: “there are no great wines but only great bottles of wines”. Sometimes a well-known wine can be a disappointment meanwhile an unknown wine can offer a very special sensation and a special harmony.
Each bottle has a different story and the vintage is only one of the magic components for a special wine. Another important component for achieving a great wine is the perfect understanding of the place or as the Franch call it: the terroir. All the producers that Twsm is presenting here have demonstrated the ability to bottle the best possible picture of their own landscape and climate, trying to capture it for the longest time possible. That is nothing else but passion and expertise. Drinking these wines is something completely different than simply tasting a good beverage! It is a glass of life and of poetry where you taste the history of a vintage, the passion of the people, the beauty of a landscape, its climate, the flavour in the air and the silence of the barrels where all this magic is blended in a sip of harmony.
Published in the hard-copy of Work Style Magazine, Winter 2009