We visit private cellars almost on a daily basis. It is always a pleasure to be going through the inventory, talking to the owners, and especially hearing the stories that go with the bottles. ##
And sometimes you do find treasures, carefully placed in a separate nook in the cellar. Only on very rare occasions these treasures are actual hidden treasures. If the owner says, “Well, I also have this one very old wine here, of which I really don’t know if it’s still drinkable”, all the lights turn red… but they can turn green! In this particular cellar, tucked away in a corner under cobwebs and layers of dust, there they were: six bottles of …? It took some effort to wipe the capsules clean and piece together the remains of the labels. It said “Yquem 1929”.
The colour was amber, four bottles had all but lost their labels, two had their labels still intact. We were sure the wines were drinkable, as the cellar conditions were very good. To compare, we once drank an almost black Yquem 1944 last year, and it was perfect.
A couple of weeks later, our friend Rene Gabriel came to visit, so we decided to open one of the mid-shoulder bottles with no label. The cork came out intact, and it said Yquem 1929. When poured, the wine was golden-brown, almost chestnut, and we were engulfed by whiffs of Malaga, Spanish brandy, the best Madeira. Then came hints of sesame, raisins, coffee, figs, and stewed dried fruits. It was the perfect wine, an elixir of world class. We just sat there, sipping the wine, stunned silent.
BOW 10 (Gabriel 20/20)
Blog by PM