I don't read the various wine discussion boards out there for any number of reasons, most relevant of which is my lack of time to do so. It's possible to spend all day reading them, let alone posting anything or battling your way though the flame wars and ego-one-upmanship that occasionally rears its ugly head. Thankfully for me, I have several friends who send me interesting tidbits that rise to the surface of all the chaff.
A couple of months ago I was alerted to an unusual piece of content on the Mark Squires message boards on Robert Parker's web site. This wasn't a particularly brilliant or witty post, rather it was the inaugural set of posts from a new user on the boards. These sorts of posts are usually the most yawn inducing things, involving lots of friendly welcomes from the existing members, and appreciative thank you's from the new member.
This new member, however, ended up being someone quite unusual in his drinking habits, however, and his inaugural post set out to explain his passion and proclivities in charmingly imperfect English. Francois Audouze doesn't just like old wines. He likes ancient wines. This guy claimed to regularly drink wines that were literally hundreds of years old. We're talking 19th century Bordeaux, 18th century Ports and Madeiras, and more. Wines that range in value from the tens of thousands of dollars per bottle to, for all intents and purposes, priceless.
I must admit, like many members of the board I was incredulous at this guy's claims, however, there were longstanding members of the online community that vouched for him, so he had to be telling the truth. Over the next few weeks he went on (very sweetly and humbly I might add) to detail some of his favorite experiences drinking really old wines and some of them were mind-boggling. I read them with interest and then mostly forgot them until I stumbled across a bona-fide news article this week about the very same man.
Turns out that he is a retired French executive and has a bit of a side business (not to mention a book that he's written) about evaluating and selling old wines for collectors. Included in the story is his brief anecdote about an old wine he tasted: an 1811 Chambertin. Think about that. A burgundy that was bottled while Napolean was alive. Hard to imagine what that would taste like, isn't it? The oldest wine he's ever tasted was from 1769!
Anyhow, here's the Bloomberg story, and here's a link to the initial thread on the Mark Squires board. They both make for some diverting reading.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 28, 2015 Brand vs. Terroir in Wine I'll Drink to That: Andrea Fassone of Enotria Wine Imports Vinography Images: Independence Vineyard Warm Up: The Italian Influence in California I'll Drink to That: Megan Glaab of Ryme Cellars Listen Up!! I'll Drink to That on Vinography A First Taste of Idaho Wine Tasting Integrity: 25 Years of Corison Napa Cabernet Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 21, 2015
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune