The Lost Bottle

Ten years ago, the first Lost Bottle tasting was held and our intrepid guests were rewarded with a flight of wonderfully intriguing wines. Out of sixteen wines, there were only two that had long passed, with the rest showing that wine can be timeless.

With this installment of the Lost Bottle we opened twelve wines that had literally been lost, one for forty-one years. The wines were chosen primarily because at the time they were purchased, they were stellar examples of what they were. Bought is sufficient quantity, the wines became lost in our growing cellar. Several of the wines had a tie to the beginning of my wine journey forty years ago.

The wines of the flight were as follows (acquisition dates in parentheses):

L’Orpailleur Brut, Quebec, Brome-Missisquoi (5/30/2009)

Deep golden straw, bright and clear. Citrus nose with floral hints. Medium-bodied with moderate acidity. Tart with grapefruit and lemon notes. Long finish. Surprisingly well-balanced.

1999 Domaine Francois Lumpp Clos des Vignes Rondes, Givry (2/24/2001)

Dark golden yellow, clear and bright. Marzipan, caramel and butterscotch on the nose. Medium-bodied with moderate acidity. Citrus notes with a tart lemony palate. Orange rind. Reminiscent of vermouth. Moderate length.

2002 Domaine Louis Carillon, Puligny Montrachet (?)

Dark amber hue. Chalky, funky nose with dried apple, dried apricot, graphite, and pencil shavings. Medium-bodied with firm acidity. Lemon custard palate. Moderate length. Crisp and tart.

2011 Marques de Cáceres Deusa Nai, Albariño, Rias Baixas (3/1/2013)

Golden yellow. Floral nose with petrol, grapefruit and lemon drops. Medium-bodied with moderate acidity. Short, crisp finish. Shockingly good for an Albarino with so much age.

1982 Ernest & Julio Gallo Cabernet Sauvignon, Northern Sonoma (10/7/1991)

Garnet, brick red. Dried cherry, leather, dried herbs on the nose. Medium-bodied with moderate acidity. Dried strawberry, tobacco and cedar. Long, smooth finish. showing brilliantly for a forty-one year old wine.

1992 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua (10/1/1995)

Garnet, brick red. Mushroom, stewed fruit, old wood nose. Dark fruit core with moderate acidity. Cocoa, dark chocolate, cacao. Lovely. Black pepper on the finish. Long and smooth.

1997 Baranc Dels Closos, Priorato (1/29/2000)

Faded garnet. Dried cherry, slate, and cedar on the nose. Bright fruit palate with mineral, black pepper and pencil shavings. Moderate acidity. Savory finish. Wonderful.

2000 Septima Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza (11/10/2001)

Brown and faded. Red berry nose with cedar hints. Medium-bodied with moderate acidity. Tar, rose attar and anise. Firm acidity. Long finish with sour cherry.

2002 Sakonnet Vineyards Cabernet Franc, Southeastern New England (8/4/2005)

Light garnet. Bright red berry nose with tobacco leaf and violets. Cherry and licorice palate. Medium-bodied with moderate acidity. Charming with black pepper and dried herbs on the finish. Delightful!

2005 Láme Delisle Boucard, Cuvée Prestige Bourgueil (5/26/2011)

Deep, dark color – opaque. Cherry and blackberry nose. Medium-bodied with firm acidity and firm tannins. Dark fruits and dried herbs. Long finish.

2006 Principiano Berdinando Serralunga, Barolo (11/6/2011)

Brown, rusty disc. Leather, dried cherry, cooked fruit, leather and dried flowers. Medium-bodied with firm acidity and moderate tannins. Mushrooms and dried herbs. Clipped finish. A bit tired, which is surprising for a Serralunga Barolo that is only 17 years old.

2012 Mundo de Yuntero Tempranillo, La Mancha (2/27/2014)

Dark garnet, rose disc. Bright, fruity nose with vanilla and cherry – almost jammy. Medium-bodied with moderate acidity. Very well-balanced. Minerality on the finish. This wine shows how amazing Spanish wine can be!

Overall, the flight was a surprising treat. The whites were a bit tired, but they showed remarkable complexity and the acids were very well-behaved. The reds were all showing great. The only disappointment was the Barolo, but this wine has been a problem child since first tastings.

Who knows what the next Lost Bottle will bring. Let’s agree to join together again in 10 years time!