And like Galileo, the Wright Brothers and Rodney Dangerfield before us, we were mocked for the audacity of our vision. A reader informed us:
I can't say I'm agreeing that a $22 NZ Riesling, nor a $22 bottle of red Burg are "serious" and something to seriously age.We didn't defend ourselves then, nor will now. Because, my friends, I know how to do this...
I don't know of anyone intentionally ageing (sic) NZ riesling in their cellars (German and Austrian are by far the two choices), and those $22 red Burgs are to be drunk young...they'd sell for more it they were meant for (or could improve with) ageing (sic).---- Jack, July 15, 2008
Wait a second. "I know how to do this?" You didn't think I seriously thought that would work ? Of course, it doesn't. So here's the rationale for our selections.
The white, a 2005 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Lebecca Vineyard Riesling, may be from New Zealand, but it has been heralded as exceptional by legendary Australian wine writer James Halliday (amongst others), who noted (ironically in this context) that the wine has, "the texture of Mosel auslese." It was designed by the winemaker to reflect a pure expression of the Riesling grape and the local terroir. It is certainly built to age, even if it's drinking beautifully now.
The Red is a 2001 J. Confuron-Cotetidot Vosne-Romaneé. My assistant found the current release, the 2005 vintage, on Wine-Searcher for $55. So not only does it qualify as "serious" according to Jack's (somewhat ridiculous) definition. But it also counts as finding a great bargain on a good wine from a minor vintage from a solid producer.
Today we plan open our first bottle of the Red in the Lab. So we will also be testing my value-oriented procurement strategy. But I've always been successful buying producers I respect regardless of the generally perceived quality of the vintage. So it's a test I'm pretty sure I'll pass. Plus, I'll be grading the exam myself.