How do you rate vintage chart apps, when in reality they all do exactly the same thing! Give a list of how well various vintages are doing now. So I downloaded a few and here are my thoughts.
The Wine Spectator Vintage Chart is not bad. Easy to use, just lots of lists, with 100pt scoring and a very simple “Drink”, “Drink or Hold” and “Hold” comment. Press on the small information symbol and you get a very brief, but accurate (as you would expect) opinion on the vintage as a whole. Vintage port goes back to 1900, Sauternes back to the fifties, but Bordeaux is disappointingly limited to options of “Left Bank”, “Right Bank” back to the mid nineties and “Vintage Reds” which goes back to 1900. I think this is definitely a work in progress, and where you see an information plus symbol, you get a good in depth assessment of the vintage. When updates come, this will be a fantastic app. 7/10 at the moment, potentially 10/10 Cost: Free
Cellar Rat gives you two options – new world and old world and then splits it down in a very simple chart. America features prominently, split into numerous regions including New York, Washington, Oregon, and then those regions split into their sub regions. Europe is less well served, with Bordeaux red just coming all together (do we really need to know the Finger Lakes in New York over St Julien?). The biggest thing that puts you off is the smiley and grimacing faces that tell you what the vintage was like. This, although useful for more obscure regions of America, is not a great app. 5/10 Cost: Free
If you like Spanish wine, WineVintages gives you an in depth but brief guide to this country. A very easy to use app, where you select the year and scroll down to the region of Spain you want, it is a good, simple design, but obviously limited in the grand scheme of things. 6/10 Cost: Free
World Wine Vintages, costing a whopping 59 pence, created by Acquamedia, is by far the most comprehensive wine vintage app I have found. Limited in that the vintages only go between 1990 and 2007, it is split down into great detail with many sub regions from numerous countries. There are some massive errors, with the main grape varieties in Port being listed as Silvaner and Muller Thurgau, but with the main chart being serchable by region, country and year, this is a great, easy to use guide to the vintages. Needs to have updates soon though. 8/10 Cost: £0.59
The best however, is Berry Bros & Rudd’s app. Amongst other features, the vintage guide is split by region and vintage and has good vintage reports through the information symbol. You can also browse the company’s stock and therefore buy the wines too, but what gives this the nod over Wine Spectator or World Wine Vintages, is that it is up to date, easy to use and has a very handy ‘best vintages’ guide when searching by region. 9/10 Cost: Free