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Vintage

This article is about the winemaking term. For other uses, see Vintage (disambiguation).

Vintage, in winemaking, is the process of picking grapes and creating the finished product—wine (see Harvest (wine)). A vintage wine is one made from grapes that were all, or primarily, grown and harvested in a single specified year. In certain wines, it can denote quality, as in Port wine, where Port houses make and declare vintage Port in their best years. From this tradition, a common, though not strictly correct, usage applies the term to any wine that is perceived to be particularly old or of a particularly high quality.

Vintage by Satyrs and Maenads. Ancient Greek Attic black-figure cup, end of 6th century BC. Cabinet des médailles de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France
The Vintagers, after a miniature of the "Dialogues de Saint Gregoire" (thirteenth century)—manuscript of the Royal Library of Belgium

Most countries allow a vintage wine to include a portion of wine that is not from the year denoted on the label. In Chile and South Africa, the requirement is 75% same-year content for vintage-dated wine. In Australia, New Zealand, and the member states of the European Union, the requirement is 85%. In the United States, the requirement is 85%, unless the wine is designated with an AVA, (e.g., Napa Valley), in which case it is 95%. Technically, the 85% rule in the United States applies equally to imports, but there are difficulties in enforcing the regulation.

The opposite of a vintage wine is a nonvintage wine (often seen on a wine list as NV), which is usually a blend from the produce of two or more years. This is a common practice for winemakers seeking a consistent style of wine, year on year.

Contents

The word vintage was first used in the early 15th century. It was adapted from the Old French vendage (wine harvest) deriving from the Latin vindemia (grape-gathering), in turn coming from vinum (wine) and demere (to remove).

Vintage near Sorrento, Italy, Jacob Philipp Hackert, c. 1784

The importance assigned to vintage is both varied and disputed.

For wine produced in regions at the colder climatic limits of wine production, vintage can be very important, because some seasons will be much warmer and produce riper grapes and better wine. On the other hand, a poor growing season can lead to grapes failing to reach optimal ripeness, resulting in grape juice that is higher in acid and lower in sugar, which affects the quality of the resulting wine.

In many wine regions, especially in the New World, growing seasons are much more uniform. In dry regions, the systematic and controlled use of irrigation also contributes to uniform vintages. However, such wines are regularly labeled by vintage because of consumer demand.

Vintage Champagne

Wines of superior vintages from prestigious producers and regions will often command much higher prices than those from average vintages. This is especially the case if wines are likely to improve further with some age in the bottle. Some wines are only labeled with a vintage in better-than-average years, to maintain their quality and reputation, while the vast majority of wines are produced to be drunk young and fresh. In such cases, a vintage is usually considered less important. However, it can serve to protect consumers against buying a wine that would not be expected to improve with age and could be past its best, such as with Beaujolais nouveau, a wine style made to be consumed within months of its bottling.

The importance of vintage may sometimes be exaggerated. For example, New York Times wine columnist Frank J. Prial declared the vintage chart to be dead, writing that "winemakers of the world have rendered the vintage chart obsolete" (Prial), and Bill Marsano wrote that "winemakers now have the technology and skills to make good and even very good wines in undistinguished years" (Marsano). James Laube of Wine Spectator has asserted that "even an average vintage can yield some grand wines" (Laube).

Vintages in the Côte de Beaune in Burgundy

Weil blind tastings

Roman Weil, co-chairman of the Oenonomy Society of the US and professor at the University of Chicago, tested the controversial hypothesis that experienced wine drinkers "cannot distinguish in blind tastings the wine of years rated high from those of years rated low, or, if they can, they do not agree with the vintage chart's preferences" (Weil).

Weil used wines ranging from four to 17 years beyond their vintage with 240 wine drinkers and found that the tasters could not distinguish between wines of good and bad vintages except for Bordeaux wines. Even when they could make a distinction, the match between the tasters' individual assessments and the charts' rankings were little better than tossing a coin. When the tests were replicated with wine experts, including French wine academics, the results were again the same as chance.

Weil does not consider a vintage chart to be useless. He suggests using one to help "find good buys in wine. Buy wine from the Appalling years," which may be priced far below actual quality.

  • In Spain, wine regulators publish official classifications of each vintage.
  • A common Bordelais saying is "The best vintage is the vintage we have to sell" (Greene).
  1. Official Gazette of the Republic of Chile/ Viñas De Chile: Decree 464, Article 5
  2. Wines of South Africa: labeling requirements (South Africa) paragraph 14; Cape Wine and Spirits Institute
  3. Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Regulations 1981, Statutory Rules 1981 No. 156
  4. ANZFA Standard P5 and P6
  5. EU Regulation: 1493/99, Annex VIII, E.7
  6. 27 CFR Ch.1 § 4.27
  7. "Vintage etymology and Definition". Oxford Dictionary. Retrieved20 December 2015.
  8. "Etymology of Vintage". Etymology Online. Retrieved20 December 2015.
  9. Jones, Gregory (12 August 2015). "Terroir and the Importance of Climate to Winegrape Production". GuildSomm: Guild of Sommeliers. Retrieved1 January 2019.
  10. Parker v. Prial: The Death of the Vintage Chart Roman L. Weil, 5/25/2001
  • Greene, Joshua. "Bordeaux 2005". Wine & Spirits, June 2006, 25(3), 24–26.
  • Laube, James. "A caveat for Cabernet". Wine Spectator, June 15, 2006, 31(4), 37.
  • Prial, Frank J. "Wine talk: So who needs vintage charts". New York Times, February 9, 2000, B1 & B14.
  • Marsano, Bill. "Vintage nonsense". Hemisphere (United Airlines' inflight magazine), May 2001.
  • Weil, Roman L. "Parker v. Prial: The death of the vintage chart". Oenometrie VIII. Eighth annual meeting of the Vineyard Data Quantification Society (VDQS) in
Look up vintage in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Vintage
Vintage Language Watch Edit This article is about the winemaking term For other uses see Vintage disambiguation Vintage in winemaking is the process of picking grapes and creating the finished product wine see Harvest wine A vintage wine is one made from grapes that were all or primarily grown and harvested in a single specified year In certain wines it can denote quality as in Port wine where Port houses make and declare vintage Port in their best years From this tradition a common though not strictly correct usage applies the term to any wine that is perceived to be particularly old or of a particularly high quality Vintage by Satyrs and Maenads Ancient Greek Attic black figure cup end of 6th century BC Cabinet des medailles de la Bibliotheque nationale de France Paris France The Vintagers after a miniature of the Dialogues de Saint Gregoire thirteenth century manuscript of the Royal Library of Belgium Most countries allow a vintage wine to include a portion of wine that is not from the year denoted on the label In Chile and South Africa the requirement is 75 same year content for vintage dated wine 1 2 In Australia New Zealand and the member states of the European Union the requirement is 85 3 4 5 In the United States the requirement is 85 unless the wine is designated with an AVA e g Napa Valley in which case it is 95 Technically the 85 rule in the United States applies equally to imports but there are difficulties in enforcing the regulation 6 The opposite of a vintage wine is a nonvintage wine often seen on a wine list as NV which is usually a blend from the produce of two or more years This is a common practice for winemakers seeking a consistent style of wine year on year Contents 1 Etymology 2 Importance of vintage 2 1 Weil blind tastings 3 Miscellaneous 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External linksEtymology EditThe word vintage was first used in the early 15th century It was adapted from the Old French vendage wine harvest deriving from the Latin vindemia grape gathering in turn coming from vinum wine and demere to remove 7 8 Importance of vintage Edit Vintage near Sorrento Italy Jacob Philipp Hackert c 1784 The importance assigned to vintage is both varied and disputed For wine produced in regions at the colder climatic limits of wine production vintage can be very important because some seasons will be much warmer and produce riper grapes and better wine On the other hand a poor growing season can lead to grapes failing to reach optimal ripeness resulting in grape juice that is higher in acid and lower in sugar which affects the quality of the resulting wine 9 In many wine regions especially in the New World growing seasons are much more uniform In dry regions the systematic and controlled use of irrigation also contributes to uniform vintages However such wines are regularly labeled by vintage because of consumer demand Vintage Champagne Wines of superior vintages from prestigious producers and regions will often command much higher prices than those from average vintages This is especially the case if wines are likely to improve further with some age in the bottle Some wines are only labeled with a vintage in better than average years to maintain their quality and reputation while the vast majority of wines are produced to be drunk young and fresh In such cases a vintage is usually considered less important However it can serve to protect consumers against buying a wine that would not be expected to improve with age and could be past its best such as with Beaujolais nouveau a wine style made to be consumed within months of its bottling The importance of vintage may sometimes be exaggerated For example New York Times wine columnist Frank J Prial declared the vintage chart to be dead writing that winemakers of the world have rendered the vintage chart obsolete Prial and Bill Marsano wrote that winemakers now have the technology and skills to make good and even very good wines in undistinguished years Marsano James Laube of Wine Spectator has asserted that even an average vintage can yield some grand wines Laube Vintages in the Cote de Beaune in Burgundy Weil blind tastings Edit Roman Weil co chairman of the Oenonomy Society of the US and professor at the University of Chicago tested the controversial hypothesis that experienced wine drinkers cannot distinguish in blind tastings the wine of years rated high from those of years rated low or if they can they do not agree with the vintage chart s preferences Weil Weil used wines ranging from four to 17 years beyond their vintage with 240 wine drinkers and found that the tasters could not distinguish between wines of good and bad vintages except for Bordeaux wines 10 Even when they could make a distinction the match between the tasters individual assessments and the charts rankings were little better than tossing a coin When the tests were replicated with wine experts including French wine academics the results were again the same as chance 10 Weil does not consider a vintage chart to be useless He suggests using one to help find good buys in wine Buy wine from the Appalling years 10 which may be priced far below actual quality Miscellaneous EditIn Spain wine regulators publish official classifications of each vintage A common Bordelais saying is The best vintage is the vintage we have to sell Greene See also EditComet vintagesReferences Edit Official Gazette of the Republic of Chile Vinas De Chile Decree 464 Article 5 Wines of South Africa labeling requirements South Africa paragraph 14 Cape Wine and Spirits Institute Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Regulations 1981 Statutory Rules 1981 No 156 ANZFA Standard P5 and P6 EU Regulation 1493 99 Annex VIII E 7 27 CFR Ch 1 4 27 Vintage etymology and Definition Oxford Dictionary Retrieved 20 December 2015 Etymology of Vintage Etymology Online Retrieved 20 December 2015 Jones Gregory 12 August 2015 Terroir and the Importance of Climate to Winegrape Production GuildSomm Guild of Sommeliers Retrieved 1 January 2019 a b c Parker v Prial The Death of the Vintage Chart Roman L Weil 5 25 2001Further reading EditGreene Joshua Bordeaux 2005 Wine amp Spirits June 2006 25 3 24 26 Laube James A caveat for Cabernet Wine Spectator June 15 2006 31 4 37 Prial Frank J Wine talk So who needs vintage charts New York Times February 9 2000 B1 amp B14 Marsano Bill Vintage nonsense Hemisphere United Airlines inflight magazine May 2001 Weil Roman L Parker v Prial The death of the vintage chart Oenometrie VIII Eighth annual meeting of the Vineyard Data Quantification Society VDQS inExternal links EditLook up vintage in Wiktionary the free dictionary Media related to Wine vintages at Wikimedia Commons Ribeiro Denomination of Origin The Decanter s Vintage Guides Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Vintage amp oldid 1014346676, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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