The Weekly Walla Walla Wine Word for Dummies is: Vertical
A vertical of wine is often conducted at a private or public wine tasting event. They are arranged to highlight the differences of vintages, while experiencing just how unique every year can be.
A vertical tasting is done by featuring one wine varietal from the same producer from several vintages - - and be as little as two bottles of different vintages and as large as five, six, seven, and infinity ... (okay, so that is an exaggeration, but you get my point).
For example: a vertical tasting may feature one winery, such as an example of Cayuse Vineyards "Bionic Frog" Syrah - biodynamic wines from the Walla Walla Valley. We could be fortunate enough to have a vertical to include, 2006, 2007, and 2008. If you are familiar with this wine, like I said, we could be fortunate ...
When setting up for a vertical tasting they can as formal or informal as you want. Formal would mean each guest receives a glass for each vintage or informal with just one glass per guest. When presenting the wines, they can be tasted in any direction from the oldest vintage to the youngest or vice versa. If you present the wines oldest to youngest, there’s often a natural progression of tannins and body, as the younger wines would be more tannic than the older wines. Younger to older? Following a wine’s evolution as it gains bottle age, can also be fascinating.
Stay tuned next week as we will discuss the opposite: Horizontal.