Yquem 1861 : J – 2mardi, 7 mars 2006

I have already talked about this bottle. Some news.

The story, as I already told, had begun when noticing that a Yquem 1861 had a rather low level, I decided to put it in one dinner, as an alternative option to a Yquem 1938 of pristine condition.

Pierre Lurton suggested that I would make the dinner in Chateau d’Yquem. You can imagine how I was happy and proud. I changed therefore the list of wines, taking care that the champagnes would belong to the Arnaud’s properties.

I had the contact with the man who usually does the dinners and lunches in Yquem. I changed many things on his proposal.

I wrapped with emotion all the bottles to put them in my car.

I went in my cellar to choose a gift for Pierre Lurton, and I saw a split of Yquem 1893 of a nice colour, but low shoulder. I took it, with an idea : to share it with Pierre, Valerie, Sandrine and Francis, to thank them.

I had a travel with an enormous stress : how will my wines accept such a travel? When at the pay toll on highways there are some elements on the road designed to wake you up if you sleep by driving, I was nervous as it would probably shake my wines above their capacity of resistance.

I arrived in Chateau d’Yquem and brought the wines in a cool room near the kitchen. I checked that no damage had occurred. And Valerie and Sandrine were with me to see my wines. The colours of the dry whites are fantastic : Laville Haut-Brion 1976 is of a deep gold, and the colour of the Carbonnieux 1948 is the one of a really young wine. Nearly incredible.

Then we look at the Yquem. Christiane who served for many dinners that I attended by the time of Alexandre de Lur Saluces and had tears of emotion for the last lunch with the Count for his departure was tetanised by these bottles. She asked me : “will I sip just a drop of these treasures?”.

The Yquem 1938 that I have brought for security is magnificent. The colour is perfect, like semi-brown honey, and the fill is very high. The Yquem 1893 in half was not announced as I took it this morning. It created an enormous emotion on the three women : 1893 is a myth, and the castle has only one bottle. So, their way of reasoning is so : “if there is only one, we have no chance to drink this wine, which will remain as a testimony, and there, you bring a possibility to drink one”. They were excited. Unfortunately, Pierre Lurton will not be there when Sandrine will be there, as Sandrine has to leave on Thursday when Pierre will come, so I will probably not open this bottle if the four of them are not all together. I will decide what to do.

The 1861 is low shoulder and significantly dark. Will it be as the 1950 which I opened last Sunday? We will see. As the 1950 performed well, I have hopes.

I stayed there, in the castle, talking with the three women, that I appreciate, for one and a half hour. What struck me is the emotion that they showed when seeing these bottles. Instead of being neutral, they were participating in advance with what will happen in two days in this castle, for which I have a unique and special love. This place represents to me the equivalent of the Taj Mahal in wine.

The bottles will be opened in two days. I will tell you.