A couple of readers noted that I had failed to rate the wines I reviewed in my first post, my apologies. So please find below my ratings of those great wines tasted, and both storage and purchase recommendations:
- 1985 Chevalier Montrachet, Jean Chartron – tasted August 2015, rating 89 points on a 100 point scale. Very good but no longer great, it has started to decline. If you still own this wine, drink up before it leaves you behind. You cannot safely buy this wine now, it may no longer be good.
- 1952 Chateau Latour – tasted August 2015, rating 90 points. This wine is soft and delicate, still quite pleasant to drink. If you still own this wine, drink now and over the next 2 years. You might get lucky and find the wine still drinks well 5 years from now, but that will depend on how long you have owned it and how well you have stored it. If this wine was available for purchase at auction I would not buy it, that would be too risky.
- 1978 Chateau Lafite – tasted August 2015, rating 94 points. This wine is full of life and will deliver a great drinking experience for another 10 years easily. If you want to purchase this wine at auction or privately you can be confident that the wine should still be great, provided it has been properly kept. You will see this wine for sale between $600 and $1,000 CDN, obviously at $600 this wine is a bargain compared to the price of new releases.
- 1971 Chateau Y’Quem – tasted August 2015, rating 92 points. The bottle I tasted had a mid shoulder fill and the wine itself was slightly oxidized as a result. The wine was still excellent and showing no other signs of decline, no doubt this vintage will last another 10 years plus easily. Although you could purchase this wine at auction for $1,000 CDN or less, my suggestion would be to purchase the 1975 vintage at a similar price, or buy the 1983 or 1986 vintage at a lower price in the $600 to $750 range.
Buying an older wine at auction can be risky, and this will be the subject of a future post I will make. For now my advice if you cannot attend the auction in person to inspect the bottle personally would be to get as much detail about the wine’s provenance from the auctioneers. You want to know how long the current owner has owned the wine and how well the wine has been kept, in other words are the auctioneers familiar with the seller, have they had previous good experiences dealing with that seller. Avoid buying a wine that has changed hands too often.