Here's a look at how I spent most of Friday (before falling asleep on a train to Cumbria). Seventeen of us gathered in the tasting room at Farr Vintners in Battersea, south London, to taste almost 120 red bordeaux from the 2002 vintage blind. Far too many...and that was after about 30 had been pruned.
Here you can see my fellow tasters, beginning with Neal Martin of erobertparker.com. (We e-scribes were put next to each other within reach of a power source for our laptops.) Then Kiwi winemaker Rod Easthope and de Montille cellar rat Chloe Parkinson struck lucky because they happened to drop in to Farr the day before. Behind them is Barry Phillips of Four Walls Wine Co with Jonathan Stephens of Farr and David Boobbyer of Reid Wines, standing in for the much missed Bill Baker.
The last person I talk to is Stephen Browett of Farr Vintners, who is about to reveal the identiies of the wines in the St-Estèphe flight (which were not all from that appellation).
So did 2002 turn out to be a Cinderella? Tune in for the next exciting instalment: all my tasting notes with scores and suggested drink dates to be published later this week and probably tomorrow, plus an overview on Saturday. There are several especially good buys.
This was a particularly interesting exercise because the 2002s were so backward in April 2003 that many of them have changed a good deal. And there are many 2002s, notably but not exclusively from the J P Moueix stable, that I tasted for the first time last Friday. (Moueix did not show their 2002s until several months after the usual en primeur campaign.) So, many new tasting notes for our tasting notes database, plus recommendations on when to drink these wines.