"In the 2008's, you've got the best vintage Oregon has ever produced, the kind of vintage Oregon winemakers always hoped they could produce." Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator.
Now, I know that a lot of these journalists know more about wine than I do. Heck, they've probably tasted 10,000 + wines in their careers! I don't pretend to be a wine visionary or the next big name in wine reviews or wine commentary. In fact, I assure you that you shouldn't trust me on anything pertaining to my wine opinions or "gustos". My palate is completely unique to yours and what I say is merely my initial impressions that are always subject to change.
If there's one universal truth that I have discovered in the wine world, it's that there's no such thing as "Best" or "Better". These words are far too encompassing and general, and people in relatively powerful positions should avoid such tags at all costs.
What if the 2008 Oregon vintage tastes amazing right now but turns out to be a total wash in five years because the wines ultimately didn't have the structure and acidity that they were initially praised for??
Wine is a living thing.....It changes in the bottle and is completely volatile. Placing tags such as "Best"on volatile objects is a sure pathway to eventual ruin.
He could have avoided the risk and said:
"This is in my opinion, the best Oregon vintage I have come across in my career."
"My initial impression after tasting these wines is that they are among the best ever produced in the history of Oregon winemaking"
These statements show a humility towards the rest of the vintages that have been previously produced. These statements give you a chance to change your mind if the wine doesn't become as special as you had thought it would.
I may have used these labels in the past in some of my reviews, but I have always said that the wine was the best I had ever tasted. I would never be so pretentious as to state that it was the best wine ever made, giving my audience the idea that I was the definitive authority on wine.
Just a Rant! Cheers~