Conde Nast Traveler

« Daily Linkage: On Mapping Flickr Photos and Swine Flu | Main | Photo of the Day: Sailing Australia »

April 28, 2009

In Wine, Beware of Rare

Tres Picos
A good kind of "rare" wine.

by Clive Irving

One of the most deceptive terms used for a wine is "rare." You can usually find the word being deployed at two extremes: the expensive and the affordable. One of the world's greatest wines, Romanée-Conti, is rare because its vineyard is less than four and a half acres in size and produces only about 450 cases of unequaled pinot noir a year. A bottle of the 2005 vintage could set you back a cool $9,500. To die for, literally: One sip and you've gone to heaven.

At the cheap end, you can find wines that are rare not because of small acreage but simply because few people know of them. But beware the kind of hype you find--for example--on an airline wine list with this kind of language: "The Pecksniff family has been cultivating this small vineyard in Amador County for six generations, producing a Zinfandel rich in mineral power, a real find." Translated, that means the wine buyer has been able to get 400 cases at a bargain price.

It is heartening to find a wine that is still relatively under the radar and yet notably full of local character. The Campo de Borja region in northeastern Spain was given an official denomination in 1980, but nobody noticed until recently. The Global Gourmet enjoyed a bottle of the 2005 vintage with the Tres Picos label last year in Valencia. Recently, he introduced the 2007 vintage at two small gatherings in the offices of Condé Nast Traveler, to much acclaim. One sign that the wine maker is serious about the condition of his product is the weight of the bottle itself: It has the heft of a gold-plated Burgundy's bottle, despite what this must add to the shipping costs. The deep, dark wine is an astonishingly deft mingling of fruit, spice, and tannins that delivers the finest qualities of the grape, Garnacha (otherwise known as Grenache). Even better is the price: between $14 and $16 a bottle. For the 2007 Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha Campo de Borja, see

Further reading:
* The Global Gourmet talks Bordeaux
* Catch of the Day: International noshables


Now, if only the Global Gourmet could select the perfect jamon cerrano to go with this "rare" vintage...
- CelebTracker

Thank you for this post on wine. As we have traveled around the world for video shoots, we have had the chance to taste some really great wines.

click to post a comment >

About this blog
The editors at Conde Nast Traveler answer questions and share travel secrets, tips, and dispatches

Twitter: CNTraveler
Email: Daily updates



Featured in Alltop

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

EXPRESS SIGN-UP Sign up for one of our exciting panels and receive the latest news, travel offers, and event invitations from Condé Nast Traveler and our valued advertising partners.
Traveler Magazine




I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Mobile Terms and Conditions.

iPhone App:

Create personalized postcards out of your favorite travel photos!

Learn More ›
Subscribe to our free RSS feeds:

Get the latest destinations picks, hot hotel lists, travel deals and blog posts automatically added to your newsreader or your personalized homepage.

Learn More ›

Special Advertisement

Contests, Sweepstakes & Promotions