Monday, June 26, 2006

Wine tasting: 125 bottles of Yquem in one week

Sorry for having no own picture for today. But I need to share a few lines on what happened yesterday. While packing our stuff (will move for the third time within Manila), I came across a newspaper article from October 1998 which contrasts so well with the previous post on 'table manners'.

The article is about Hardy Rodenstock , who has been collecting wines from Château d’Yquem in Sauternes, France, for 20 years. In September 1998, he invited friends and wine aficionados to a Munich hotel to share the pleasure of tasting his 125 bottles of Château d’Yquem in seven days.

The oldest Yquem that was tasted was from 1784 (a few years before the French Revolution), the youngest from 1991 (just a year after the fall of the Berlin wall). Drinking through two centuries of history must have been a feast for the senses. Every bottle had its own story; every wine, its own particularities.

It is difficult to estimate the value of Hardy Rodenstock’s collection but one thing is clear: Such a wine tasting will never happen again. The collection included all Château d’Yquem from the 20th century and all bottles of the 19th century which were rated at least as ‘good’ (see the 19th century wine bible of Cocks-Féret). From the 18th century, the lucky connoisseurs tasted the first documented great wines from Yquem.

Some of these bottles cost well over $50,000 (the 1784 Thomas Jefferson Yquem bottle can easily fetch $150,000) but in its comprehensiveness, the collection was priceless.

After one week, it was gone ….. forever.

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