what makes a wine “classic” ?

Update 4.2.2010(3.2.2010)billn

Matt Kramer has the answer

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 4 responses to “what makes a wine “classic” ?”

  1. Henry3rd February 2010 at 1:37 pmPermalinkReply

    A leader in its class, a true mirror if you like of what it is looking to represent. Which means you can have a classic Gevrey without it having to be a Chambertin.

    I’d agree that it is only with time that the relative merit of a book or a wine-growing region, to use MK’s examples, will become clear (TS Eliot’s idea of culture) but that doesn’t mean, to give the NZ winegrowers their due, that you can’t start looking at what’s good and what’s not in a particular area now. It might only be a snapshot of the present but, so long as it is inbuilt into the system that these areas can change over time based on empirical evidence (and if it isn’t then I’d agree the model is flawed), then why not have a go? Not least, it will make the winegrowers scrutinise even further what it is that makes some wines more successful than others (I almost said more classic).

    • billn4th February 2010 at 8:26 amPermalinkReply

      For me Henry and in general terms (why restrict to wine?), to be a leader is not necessarily a requirement, but I do find ‘easily recognisable’ to be synonymous with ‘classic’

  2. Henry4th February 2010 at 3:36 pmPermalinkReply

    Do you know, that’s exactly what I thought? – representative rather than a leader. So, to be all clever, I looked up the definition in OED – “of the first rank or authority, leading”. That put me back in my box.

    • billn4th February 2010 at 3:42 pmPermalinkReply

      There you go Henry – OED not being representative of ‘modern’ usage of language 😉

  3. Barnaby334th February 2010 at 6:51 pmPermalinkReply

    Classic as in resisting change. To me the term classic refers to the definition of what the generation, or two, before me defined as a standard for an item. Classic implies a fixed point of reference along a continuum of change.

    In wine, classic refers to the flavor profile that existed for wines in the post WWII era, but pre-Parker.

    Often the term Classic is used as a stand in superlative.

  4. billn5th February 2010 at 10:15 pmPermalinkReply

    Actually, Barnaby’s reference to Parker reminds me of eRP, where the term ‘classic’ – at least in the quote marks – now seems to be mainly used in a perjorative way…

    In a way ‘classic’ has become like blowing your nose; nothing remarkable in many places, but in some countries the height of bad manners…

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