Wow Wine Tasting: A 1918 Vosne Romanée

1918 Vosne Romanee tasted March 24, 2009 P1040197
Richard delicately uncorking the 1918 Vosne Romanée

In my post Happy Hotelier is now a WSet Level 2 Intermediate Wine Connoisseur I promised to blog more about wine. However I have decided to reserve many posts about wine and wine tasting I have in my sleeve for publication in the newly to be established blog of Haagsche Suites itself, as most of the tasting takes place there.

From the persons who took the WSet Intermediate Course last spring together with me, we have formed a little wine tasting group to gain more experience in wine tasting. Last Tuesday we started our series of monthly wine tastings for this year.

1918 Vosne Romanee tasted March 24, 2009 P1040198
Color approximation with flash…a bit orange.

In the meantime various of us, including me had been following the Wset Advanced Course. I couldn’t take part in the exams and most likely I won’t take part in the exams of the Advanced Course anymore. Partly this is due to time constrictions, but also to my disappointment with the level of teaching in the Advanced Course. As passionate as the teachers of the Intermediate Course were, so dispassionate the teachers of this Advanced Course were. Many of the group that participated in this course didn’t pass the two part exam. The first part of the exam is theory and the second part is blind tasting one wine: You have to determine the grape variety or varieties and possibly the origin of the wine. Granted. Such exam should not be too easy, but the high percentage of failures, particularly for the theory part of the exams demonstrates to me that there is a huge disparity in the level of teaching and that what is expected from you at the exams. That combined with the fact that the teachers of the Advanced Course I followed belong to the top Dutch wine connoisseurs.

1918 Vosne Romanee tasted March 24, 2009 P1040199
Another color approximation without flash here you see there is a rim, but there are also still some red tones in the wine

Anyway we had invited Richard to take part in this tasting session and he surprised us at the end of the session with an unlabeled bottle of what was to be a 1918 Vosne Romanée.

Vosne Romanée is a small village in Gold Coast of French Burgundy, between Clos Vougeot and Nuits Saint George. Year and region were established with reasonable certainty by way of cellar records. The bottle came from a Wine auction.

The first photo shows Richard with the bottle. Very carefully he uncorks the bottle. The cork is still intact. We all breathlessly watch. You see the coffee filter ready for decanting. It turns out decanting is not necessary.

1918 Vosne Romanee tasted March 24, 2009 P1040200
A funny photo: The wine’s Soul

The wine was clear with some rim and had hardly any depot. Its color was red to orange brown.
It didn’t smell like a wine that was beyond drinking at all. It had some ripe cherry, a bit metallic tones. some mentioned chocolate. A complex nose.
It tasted like it smelled. Ripe cherry, a bit metallic, medium alcohol (we believe between 11 and 12 pct) and ripe tannins still there.
A complex wine and amazing that after 100 years it was so very drinkable.

I will enhance these preliminary tasting notes as soon as I get a copy from Lodewijk, who promised to take full notes.

The other red wines we tasted that evening were 4 German red Spätburgunder which is German for the French Pinot Noir grape.

It was a very good experience in the sense that you could smell and taste the same tones of those much younger wines in such old variant.

A real Wow tasting experience. Thanks Richard!

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