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The Vertical Wine Tasting

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Women tasting wine at a vineyard
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A vertical wine tasting is surveying a series of wines based on vintage years and is a nifty way of experiencing just how unique every year can be in the world of wine.

A vertical tasting is conducted by tasting one wine varietal from the same producer from several vintages.

For example, you may set up a tasting to feature Clos Du Val’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from 2003, 2004 and 2005. Tasting the same varietal of wines from the same maker and the same vineyard and leaving the production year as the “single” variable allows the party to see how dramatic or subtle a wine changes from year to year.

You will get a better feel for a particular winery’s varietal style and compostition with this type of tasting. You can also see how unique weather patterns may affect the grapes from one year to the next.

Sometimes it is also helpful to have the wine’s literature available after the tasting to look into the winemaker’s notes – did they have a tough time with weather, insects, or did they change to new barrels during a certain vintage? A lot of factors play into a wine’s vintage heritage and these can be interesting points of observation and conversation.

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