The Parable of the Blind
 September 29 2011, 14:20

The Parable of the BlindBlind tastings? I am the last to criticise the value to such exercises as long as we are comparing like bottles. However, when - even with the same varietal - there are variations in vintage, regions of production, amount of residual sugar and the like I throw up a question mark. Each of us can say with certainty which wine he prefers drinking at that given moment, but is difficult to deduce the true potential - and thus the ultimate value - if other parameters remain unknown. I realised this all too vividly in Landau yesterday as we tasted a variety of different wines from 26 German producers for Vinum's annual list of the country's "100 best estates". Not long ago, talking about one hundred first class producers in Germany took a stretch of the imagination. Today, trimming the list to only one hundred is more difficult. Further, the 'bottom' twenty in the list and the best twenty who are not are all playing in about the same league. Much as in football, there are a few who are promoted each season and few who must content themselves to lower status, often without any noticeable change in their quality. While some promotions like that of Bercher or Juliusspital are not contested, there is more push and shove with others. More difficult is deciding who to relegate to the second tier. In some cases there is consensus, but not in all. In same cases, such as that of Duijn, it comes with a heavy heart. At this level, though, democracy still works. Comments


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