Helen’s blog

Thoughts and tastings from Helen Savage, wine writer.

When wine tasted best in 2010

I bought ‘When Wine Tastes Best: A biodynamic calendar for wine drinkers (2010)’, intrigued to see if this guide based on Maria Thun’s biodynamic would tie in with my experience – or not. I wanted to be as open minded as possible, so I decide to review the guide only in retrospect.

What did I discover? Here are a few highlights:

Christmas Day 2009 – three champagnes tasted wonderful. A leaf day.

January 14 – Burgundy tasting at Lord’s. Although I discovered the wonderful wines of Romain- Taupenot I was disappointed. I didn’t ‘click’ – and I love Burgundy. A fruit day.

January 31 – Portugal, lunch and tasting  with Vasco Croft – biodynamic wines excited me hugely. Taste buds on fire.  A fruit day, hallelujah!

May 19 – I held a Cahors tasting and thought it went particularly well. Fruit again!

June 1 – visited Roger Saumaize with a group of wine-lovers. Biodynamic producer. Fab wines – everyone hugely impressed. Root day – I suppose it had to be.  Oh dear!

June 22 – visited  Romain Taupenot and am again bowled over by the beauty of his wines. Flower Day.

August 9 – visited Catharine Wallace (in Saint Chinian). Biodynamic producer. Greatly taken by her wine (again). Leaf Day. Is that why, despite my enthusiasm I muddled Syrah and Grenache when tasting barrel samples, or is it that Catharine’s  wines express their terroir so well that varietal differences seem less accentuated?

September 8 – Wines of Chile tasting. And I’m frankly disappointed. I don’t seem to click again. The day’s not even rated – so maybe it wasn’t just me?

October 19 – very well-received tasting of Rasteau, though  the VDN fails to shine.  Flower Day. Why did the VDN not show well – I had one the other day and it was great?

November 9 – another visit to Romain Taupenot. I’m feeling stressed and out of sorts, but the wines are still stunning. A fruit day!

December 1 – my most successful tasting in the Vine Visit year. Sherry. A knockout. Everyone seemed to be thrilled by the wines . And a root day …

So what can we conclude? Nothing much. I can’t detect a pattern or any meaningful correspondence.

I suspect that how I felt had far more effect than whether it as a fruit or flower day (best) or a leaf and root day (avoid). Odd, isn’t it, that there’s nothing in the middle? There was the day, for example, when I tried to lead s seminar on Burgundy wine, with so thick a cold that I couldn’t tell the difference between wine and Dettol.

Will I buy the 2011 edition? Maybe – but for life of me I can’t think why.

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