Saturday, May 09, 2009

An adventure down history.

For many, collecting antiques can be a fanatical pastime. For wine lovers, this road is fraught with uncertainty but also wonderful surprises. Last night, we had disappointments but we had some wonderful surprises as well - such is life.  We had 2 vintages which bookended the beginning and the worst parts of the previous large financial disaster - the great depression of the early 20th century. Is this where we are in the latest equivalent of the 21st century? - who knows.

1929 Beaune - Doctor Barolet selection ( H. Villamont)

A great many significant events occured in 1929 which would reshape the later parts of the 20th century - a monumental year by any measure.
  • The beginning of the great depression ushered in by the stock market crash in the United States
  • The first public telephone booth call was made
  • The Vatican was established as an independent jurisdiction by the Lateran treaty
  • The first Academy awards were given out
  • The EEG was invented
What a surprise on opening this 80-year old wine -  it was still alive & kicking! The color was light but healthy. Immediately on opening, smells of plums, hints of tea and a touch of figs. Balanced and consistent on the palate, fine tannins but not the quite the kind you expect from a GC on the Nuit side.  Over the course of 10-15 minutes of air contact the tannins started to reassert themselves and had a bit of an edge - this then softened over the next 15-20 minutes. Surprisingly, the nose reminds me of Armand Rosseau's Chambertin. In the mouth, it's a slightly different story - again definitely not GC finesse. It had the energy, balance, acidity, complexity. A wonderful experience trying, experiencing and partaking in history.

1933- Beaune Premier Bouchard Pere

As the US started bottoming out here were the highlights of historical events of 1933
  • Construction of the Golden Gate bridge begins
  • Newsweek magazines is published
  • Franklin D Roosevelt becomes US president and begins the "New Deal"
  • Nissan Motors begins operation
  • Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany and the Nazi party comes into power
Holy cow! This thing does not resemble a 76 year old wine. It must have been suspended animation. Color is extremely deep and young ( given the age) - you would have confused this for at most a 20 year old Burgundy. Nose is a bit more reserved not as seductive and complex as the the 1929; bit more monolithic as well on the palate.  Compared to the previous bottle this was more of a "bulldog" - tough and wound up. Tannic structure was more heavy and to me not as fine as the previous bottle ( again these are both Beaunes! ). Nit-picking aside, given that is Bouchard is 76 years old - completely amazing condition. Hope I'm in that good shape when or if I get there.

1949 - Moet & Chandon Rose

Some landmark geopolitical events shaped this year and for years to come.
  • The People's Republic of China is officially proclaimed
  • Chiang Kai Shek's army retreats to Taiwan
  • The Federal Republic of Germany is officialy founded.

I had high hopes for this one but it was not to be. DOA. Oxydised, no go. Blech.

1 comment:

Cambias said...

First telephone call in 1929? Seems kind of odd since the phone was invented 50 years earlier. Did it take people half a century to figure out which end you talk into?