I swear this story is true! We found a treasure in a laundry room. It was Summer of 2020, one of my winas (this is how I call my students at NSSR Economics who learn and taste wines with me) sent me a picture of a bottle via WhatsApp.
She had gone to do her laundry during the pandemic at her sister’s building and surprise, surprise, she found a basket full of wine bottles with a sign that read “free for all”. She and her sister took some of the bottles to drink at home. There, she found a treasure: a bottle of Carruades de Lafite 1985. Her sister said to her, “leave it, that is probably not good”. Luckily to all of us (included me), she had been for the last year and half, learning and tasting wines with me, so she asked me, Silvina, is this any good? My answer was, ”take that bottle and keep it safe, until we can drink it together.”
If you read my blog, you know I’m a fan of aged wines, especially those that have the ability to age gracefully, this was after all, the second label of Chateau Lafite-Rothchild, one of the best producers in the world from Pauillac, Bordeaux. Immediately I checked the price online, the bottle that she had found was only available in auction, and the current price was $200.
When we met to celebrate one of our friend's birthday, we decided to open this coveted bottle. Off, I went to New York, exactly two Tuesdays ago, bringing with me a bottle of Abbona Barolo 2016 and a bottle of Gonzalez Byass Nectar PX Sherry (I’m already tasting for my post to be published next week about sherry), plus olives filled with smoked salmon, grape leaves filled with lemon rice, a potato tortilla (Spanish omelet). Plus, what the others brought: pita chips and dips, cheese, cold cuts, cake and of course we added her wine, the party was on!
At around 4:30 pm, when I uncorked the Carruades de Lafite 1985 , the cork broke into tiny pieces in my hands. This has happened to me before, every time I tried to open a wine that is at least 10 years old. Thankfully, she had a fine colander, so we passed the wine through it and put the content of the bottle in a decanter. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to taste this wine, smelling it, was enough for me. Because when you taste /drink the good stuff, all you need is to smell it, to know that is really good. Here is my tasting note: inky, superb wine, full of cassis, roasted coffee, tobacco and dry leaves notes, smoky with a long finish. Divine! Robert Parker gave this wine 94 pts and Wine Spectator 93 pts.
If you are curious, this wine is usually a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, usually aged in French oak from 16-20 months, 10% of which is new.
We had other wines at this tasting too, yet we finished this one first, and continued with the Abbona Barolo 2016 ($40) another great wine featuring black cherry and rose notes with dusty tannins. We served the birthday cake with the Gonzalez Byass Nectar PX Sherry, super sweet, featuring prune, fig and date notes. Simply delicious! ($25).
What a night! Great wine, great food and great company!
Thank you to my dear winas for being here for me, especially at these times. Yet, for a few hours, I was able to leave all my problems behind and truly enjoyed myself. Let’s do this again, you know you can count on me, to keep providing the good wine!
And if you ever bump into any free bottles and don't know what to do with them, send me a picture, I will gladly tell you if you should keep them or use them for cooking. Cheers! Silvina.
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