I work with a wine list of just over 600 bins. Thats an awful lot of wines. We have somewhere in the region of another thousand bins in the cellar that arent listed. If I had the time, the space and the sheer bloody mindedness to do it, I could put the Arkle list at nearly 2000 bins. I would have to be mental to do it though, and the sheer task of keeping up with that and maintaining vintages, bins etc would drive you mad in weeks. But working with such a big list means that you can often forget about certain wines until something reminds you about them.
This happened a few weeks ago when a customer expressed an interest in the two Oregon pinots that we have on the list. They are both from a fantastic producer - Ken Wright Cellars, but both are from different vineyards. One is the Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir which is a more fruit forward style with berries and cherries on the nose with a touch of earthiness and nicely balanced acidity. The other is the Guadeloupe Vineyard which is more akin to a Gevrey, more masculine, dark foresty fruit with anise, chocolate and leather. It must have been over a year since I had tried either of them, and I have to confess that when I last tried them, I couldnt really get much of a difference between the two.
Well within a week I had managed to sell a bottle of each, and so I got the chance to retaste them after 11 months of bottle age (Both bottles are 2002 vintage). The differences are much more marked now. The Nysa has developed a more raspberryish nose with red fruits and seems to be lighter on the palate. The Guadeloupe is more brooding, bigger darker fruit flavours with a mixture of cocoa and liquorice this is big boy pinot. And by god I love it!!! Damned shame that Ive only got two bottles left and our supplier has stopped listing it, because the prices kept going up and up.