In the past, we have organized many beautiful wine events including vertical tastings from Roberto Voerzio, Massolino, Castello di Monsanto, Poggio Scalette, Case Basse, Gaja and many others.
Vertical wine tastings are always a matter of luck. First, we must see if we can get old vintages from a producer. And what vintages. As well as how many bottles per vintage. It is a very difficult process and in the end we all hope the bottles will be in perfect condition. A vintage from 1990 is always considered a great vintage because of its year, but in reality, opening any vintage will be a surprise, sometimes good and sometimes disappointing. We always expect miracles from old vintages and most of the time vintages get more critics than what they are supposed to receive. Winetasters must understand that opening a great vintage is a matter of luck; it is normal to come across disappointments.
One great tasting I had was in Vancouver and Calgary a few years ago with Giulio Salvioni and his Brunello from 1985, '88, '90, '95, '97, '00. It was a great experience with great wines that you can still get today. Even Giulio became jealous when he opened some of his old vintages because there are only a few bottles per vintage left in his cellar.
My last trip to New York I had some great bottles of Massolino Vigna Rionda 1990 Riserva. His riserva 2000 is still the same style after 10 years.
I love very much the style from Schiavenza Luciano Pira. It is a kind of Barolo where you need a fork and knife. But here you can understand what is tradition in a good and a bad way.
I love to search for and buy old vintages. The biggest problem with these wines is not knowing if the bottles were preserved in the right way; it is always a matter of luck.
As a collector I will open some of my old vintages I have in my cellar, like Tuscany 1997. Why not? This is the only way to see evolution. I don't take the aging of certain wines very seriously. For example, a wine is supposed to taste delicious after 10 years, then you open it after 5 years and the wine is dead. What the hell is wrong? Wrong bottle, wrong wine or did the guy sell me the wrong bottle? If you buy a case or 6 bottles of a certain type of wine, I recommend opening the first bottle a year or two later to see the evolution or revolution.
Besides vertical tastings, which can show us the evolution of many wines, we have also organized events with different producers from the same area with the same vintages such as Barbaresco, Barolo and Brunello.
If you taste 50 different Barbaresco of the same vintage you will be amazed how different they all are; the same variety applies to Barolo or Brunello vintages as well. This is the beauty in winemaking. They have to be all different but at the same time, there is line that gives them all the same note.
If you taste Cabernet from different countries you will learn to recognize a Cabernet grape and whether you like Cabernet grapes or not, at least you have found grape variety. Somebody wrote that vintages do not matter anymore. To some degree, that makes sense, but to say vintages do not matter at all is going too far.
There are two ways to find satisfaction in wine, by either its character or by its brand.