Just got caught falling down a rabbit hole thinking about wines that aren't necessarily produced regularly and can demonstrate the power of truly amazing vintages (or try to- we've occasionally seen some of these turn out to be mistakes on the parts of the hopeful producers).
Beyond d'Yquem, Vintage Port, and some top-tier Champagnes (Salon, Clos de Mesnil, etc..), what wines do ya'll think of when you consider this special/unusual category?
Jeremy, This has been a really thought provoking question. Thanks!
I'm having a hard time coming up with New World, any ideas y'all?
The above wines from Coche, Unico, Gaja, SQN, Grillet, Pingus are all produced regularly. I would say the only time that some of these are not produced are in exceptionally poor vintages.
An interesting note on Unico, according to the producer profile here on Guildsomm the wine WAS only made in great/sufficient vintages pre-2010, but is now made every year.
Another nearly identical new world example of this is Caymus Special Selection. Once produced only when they felt quality justified it. Now every year. (albeit with some questionable vintages being produced in the 80s, but some of those wines are showing pretty darn well today, so who knows what is great or not down the road...).
Unico was due to them only having large oak to age the wine in. So if they didn't have enough wine of quality to go into unico to fill the tank they didn't make it. Now they have many different size barrels and can make it in any quantities through severe selection.
Pepe is made almost every year, as far as I know. Valentini, as Keith listed above, is made only in select vintages. Is there a vintage since 2000 that Pepe didn't produce?
What's your call on the Marques de Grignon AAA and Emeritvs. Probably "not produced in bad years" wines, right?