How do you approach a “100 point” wine?

Quite an experience on Saturday night…I went to a “mix and match” tasting at the Vancouver International Wine Festival and had the opportunity to taste a wine Parker gave 100 points to.

I will give you the results of that in a second, but first a bigger issue…how do you prepare for that kind of experience?

As a “wino”, I wanted to try and  be unbiased prior to the tasting. But a voice inside me said “forget about it!”. It was a triple whammy working against me…the rating itself, which is obviously intimidating. But also the wine was a Chateauneuf du Pape (my favourite kind), a legend (the Hommage a Jacques Perrin) and the producer Chateau de Beaucastel (one of my favourites, and makers of the best red wine I have ever had — the 1981).

The only thing working in my favour was that with all the hype, I was bound to be disappointed, right? It couldn’t possibly live up to all of these expectations.

So the result? It was unbelievable! From the amazing 2007 vintage, it was actually different than I expected. Deep purple/black in colour — a young wine, after all — and the nose a classic mix of Provencal herbs, pepper and black cherries; all that was par for the course. 

But once in my mouth? OMG….so ripe, so much fruit — not jammy or sweet — and so concentrated I couldn’t even taste any tannin.  The finish just went on and on…a truly amazing experience.  It was the one wine I just couldn’t spit out…it was too good.

So I don’t know if I learned anything here…but because the wine was so good, I don’t think I care! Seriously, though, the lesson was you probably can’t be objective in these kind of situations. So try your best, but enjoy greatness!



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