Thursday, March 31, 2011
Beware of Prestige Bottlings
In case you're wondering, the 1990 Marcoux reported on below is the regular and not the VV Prestige bottling that received the very high ratings from Robert Parker and which now sells for $600 to $700 a bottle. I don't buy Prestige bottlings of Chateauneuf du Pape for two reasons: 1) they are too pricey for my budget and 2) they are nearly always given special treatment with new oak and small barriques. I also resent the fact that many domaines put their best grapes into these special bottlings which get high ratings and, in turn, command high prices. My experience, when I have tried the two side by side is that I prefer the traditional bottling and that it nearly always ages better than the more expensive cuvee. For example, the regular bottling of 1998 Domaine de la Mordoree Lirac in my cellar is drinking beautifully. Its higher priced sibling, Cuvee de la Reine des Bois, from the same vintage is worth pouring down the sink. As for the 1990 Marcoux, here is what one taster had to say in a CellarTracker review: "beautiful wine. very soft. well balanced. full of roasted fruit. i think that it was better than the VV that i had a short time ago." With some things in life, you get what you pay for; with wine, that is not always the case.