To buy a cellar is not a job for me !samedi, 3 juin 2006

To buy a cellar is a job for professionals. Not for amateurs.

I have had some nice tries, with magnificent bottles that I found. But this time, I am not so proud.

Having seen me on TV, a man found my number and phoned me with a very “low profile” presentation : “I have some bottles, my children are not interested. Are you ?”

Me : “what is in your cellar ?”

He : “I have a few Beaucastel 1982, some la Gardine of old years. My cellar consists mainly in Chateauneuf du Pape and Rhone wines”.

I made the mistake to propose a price. I should never have given a price without seeing the wines.

I had in mind to get these bottles for my cellar in the South : some easy bottles for barbecue.

I went there, near Orange, and I met the man, retired after having an auto repair location.

185 bottles were waiting for me. Only two Beaucastel 1982, and one of the two has a low fill.

Many small wines, many cheap Rhone wines, and, now and then a nice wine. All being of the 60ies, 70ies and a few from the 80ies.

I was ready to say : I quit. I said : your wines are not worth the price I said.

The man proposed to reduce the price. I made the mistake to say yes.

My car full of wines, I phoned Jean-Pierre Perrin, owner of Beaucastel, wanting to visit him as I was very near his place. But he was in Spain for a week with friends that I know very well. So as I have a cousin living in the vicinity, I announced my visit.

My cousin had prepared a Bourgogne, Hautes Cotes de Nuits A-F Gros 2002.

I had in hand one of the bottles that I had bought, a Chateauneuf du Pape La Gardiniole 1965 (name completely unknown to me).

My cousin smiled and said : open your ruined wine, you will see how you wasted your money.

He was mocking me.

The wine of  Anne-Françoise Gros is simple, but agreeable and nicely drinkable. My cousin is surprised that my tired wine shows signs of life. The more the lunch lasts, the more my CdP shows improvement. My cousin says : it is not bad, your small Chateauneuf.

I leave the bottle on the table and ask my cousin : tell me how the wine will be for the dinner.

He wrote me an email, saying : your wine was very nice by the dinner.

So, I will not do such a bargain again, as it is too much hazard.

But, if the wines are drinkable as this one, I have probably not made too big a mistake.