One hundred and twelve years later, it was 2005. I was in Burgundy with a group of friends, Juli Soler, Jean Phillips, Dirk, Philippe Guigal, Mounir Saouma and some friends others. It was November and the Hospices de Beaune was near and we were preparing to buy a barrel of Corton Vergennes.
This night is long and the chef is a young. The wines are a few including the legendary La Tache 1953 and 1961 and 1921 d’Yquem and 1893 Ch.Latour.
It used to be possible to drink these wines and share them with friends with a certain confidence. Today we are just unsure given the number of fake wines being made around the world. This is still a lucrative business for those wine monsters that prey on the rich and innocent.
The golden age of wines, we tasted 1893 which was still old vines at Latour, a period of horrible devastation. It was a tough end to the 19th century and it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th Century that Latour grafted their vines.
The Phylloxera Vaxtratis marked the industry worldwide with a disease coupled with periods of bad mildew in Europe. It was this tiny insect that feeds on the sap of vine roots that made life in Europe so tough and changed the way people worked and lived.
In Spain for example, before the end of the 19th century, not a single vine was left in the Priorat. By 1893, there were 17,000 hectares of vineyards in the Priorat and not one single vine was saved and, worst of all, the Priorat proved incapable of recovering from the disaster.
While some were lucky, in Castile & Leon, a western village named Fermoselle. An local grape variety called Juan Garcia, considered a pre-phylloxera varietal, survived the phylloxera bliss, sheltered among the vineyard terraces planted on the skirts of the “Arribes del Duero” river canyon.
1953 La Tache (91 Points)
1961 La Tache (93+ Points)1893 Latour (89 Points)
a bottle of history should not be forgotten….