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Wine and vintages: the 2019 “Vintage Chart” by “Wine Enthusiast”, including evaluations since 1993

Chianti Classico at the top, 22 vintages valued over 90 points, ahead of Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, Aglianico del Vulture and Maremma (19)
The Wine Enthusiast Vintage Chart 2019

Great wines, in their own way, are like stock markets; that is, if share prices can be divided into “buy or sell”, big bottles can be divided into “drink or hold”. First of all, though, wine is made to be drunk, and even the most important vintages - those better evaluated - evolve and live their peak quality, within which it is a good idea to uncork the bottles and taste them at their top quality level. It is difficult, though, to orient oneself in the world panorama, which has become much “wider” geographically, and increasingly “longer”, time wise. Among others, there is the “Vintage Chart” that “Wine Enthusiast” (the Italian editor is Kerin O’Keefe, ed.) compiles every year providing a “compass” to familiarize you with this world. The Chart very briefly retraces the evaluations of the last 25 years of production of the most important wine-growing regions in the world.
According to the Chart, looking at the great Italian wines, for instance, the vintages currently at their peak quality and therefore ready to drink, are: 1998 for Barolo, 1996 and 2004 for Barbaresco, 1997 for Amarone della Valpolicella, and vintage 1997 also for Brunello di Montalcino, 2001 for Bolgheri, and 1999 for Chianti Classico, to give some examples of the most significant Italian red wines.

The ranking of the vintages over the years, has extended to other areas, as well as to the most important Italian white wines, which have been the leaders of a revival for aging.
In the Veneto region, then, according to “Wine Enthusiast”, it’s time to open the 2009 and 2010 vintages of Soave Classico and Lugana, which have reached their highest quality in this moment, as well as 2012 Verdicchio, the leader of Le Marche white wines, and also the same vintage for Collio whites, from Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Taking a look at the evaluations of the years that clearly should be considered as a general indication, because each wine is indeed an expression of the climatic trend, but it is the work in the vineyard and in the cellar, too. It has been shown that, for example, considering the great Italian red wines, from 1993 to today, the territory that has had the most great vintages, or those valued at least 90/100 points, the top denomination is Chianti Classico, at 22, followed by a tie for the trio Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri and Aglianico del Vulture, at 19, which did better than Barbaresco, at 18 vintages above 90/100, then Barolo, at 17, and Amarone della Valpolicella, at 16.

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