The wine cellar at the Boiler Room Restaurant houses a vertical of Long-Depaquit, La Moutonne Chablis Grand Cru.
Kathleen Bershad, a.k.a. The Fine Wine Concierge, called recently to interview me for a article she was writing on Collecting Verticals. In that interview, I explained that the phrase “verticals” refers to a collection of “the same wines from the same producer from the same vineyard, but representing different years.”
In my career, I’ve assembled several “verticals” of certain wines including Château Musar at NoMI at the Park Hyatt-Chicago, the legendary Monfortino at Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, and the unique La Moutonne bottling of Chablis at The Boiler Room Restaurant in Omaha. Restaurants are motivated to assemble and maintain verticals to impress their clients and to demonstrate depth on their wine lists. Restaurants often construct these verticals from wines of high pedigree (and consequently high prices).
Kathleen wanted to know if the home collector could also benefit from this form of collecting, and after I thought about it for awhile, I concluded that the real reason to build a vertical of a particular wine is the learning experience it provides. Alessandro Lunardi, Director of the U.S. Market for Italy’s Marchesi de’Frescobaldi, put it best:
“Great wines are a representation of a place with distinctive elements that give the wine a personality. Each vintage is a unique expression of that place [and] each vintage is a new piece that tells the story of the place, of the estate and the people involved. By collecting verticals, you can . . . read the chapters of the story that evolves as each vintage passes.”
posted on November 2 2009 by jesse