This implicit sense of urgency informs our desire to focus on making wine that creates an emotional connection with the drinker, that shows in the style and elegance of the wine, the winemaking philosophy of the wine maker. As with any endeavor that seeks superlative excellence, it is in comparing our wine to those brands that have already reached the pinnacle we are working toward that we learn where we are and how far we have to go.
Last week we had the great pleasure of hosting a very rare blind tasting for 22 of our Lineage Collectors that compared the 2010 vintage of Lineage | Livermore Valley with Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Haut-Brion, Chateau Latour, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, and Harlan
Estate from California. These are widely considered to be the greatest (and most expensive) wines of their type in the world, and – in the case of the wines from the Left Bank of Bordeaux – have been for centuries!
Tastings such as these serve as a snapshot in time…if the same tasting was done the next day, the results inevitably would be different…but they are nonetheless valuable in gauging progress. After the tasters ranked the wines, the results were tallied and the 2010 Lineage finished in third place!
This showing was unexpected and incredibly gratifying. Even more important for us as winemakers, though, was to be able to see the similarities and differences between the wines. We still have a tremendous distance to travel until we have made our finest wines, but it is comforting to know that we seem to be traveling on the correct road!
The first three wines:
Harlan Estate 2.5 (average score) $815 (price per bottle)
Ch. Haut-Brion 2.8 $976
Lineage | Livermore Valley 3.7 $185