The end of the year offers a time for reflection, so why not include a fine wine in your meditation? Journey all the way back to 1874 and discover one of the oldest bottles you may ever have the chance to uncork…unless you’re tempted by a 1945 Rivesaltes (Villargeil), a 1992 La Tâche, or a 2000 vintage from Château Lafite-Rothschild, perhaps!
Whilst we don’t know the precise timespan of wine’s existence in world history, we can be sure that this beautiful drink has much to tell us about days gone by. Mature vintages offer the chance to get a taste of the past, and some of the bottles still circulating on the market date back even further than living memory! And when it comes to fine, cellaring wines, we have plenty that are perfectly aged and ready to reveal all they’ve been saving up over the decades.
If you’re thinking of offering or opening a bottle of champagne this Christmas, we have some special, vintage cuvées ready and waiting. Let’s begin with a magnificent 1990 Grande Année from Bollinger; we’ve given this exceptional vintage a score of 19/20, and it’s certainly a wine that carries all the style and accomplishment of this historically-important house. Similarly, from the same property we have an R.D. cuvée that dates from 1973! If you’d like some fizz that marked the turn of the millennium – a great gift for somebody born in 2000 – there are several options, including the brut champagne from Krug, Clos Des Goisses from Philipponnat, and the Dom Pérignon P2, a cuvée made to be aged.
You might like to meditate on a sweet wine to serve with dessert or savour on its own, and what could be more classic than a Sauternes? Château Rayne Vigneau makes an intense, fresh, and refined premier cru, and here we have a bottle from 1925! Much further on in time but undoubtedly a reference wine all the same, an imperial of 2005 Château d’Yquem is just the kind of liquid gold to make the festivities feel luxurious.
If a Bordeaux red is more your thing, the 2000 vintage was superb in the classic region, and we have such a bottle in imperial format from the mythical Pauillac property Château Lafite-Rothschild. A 2004 Château Margaux also ticks the box for prestige and the highest quality.
The terroirs of Burgundy are always a delight, so let’s head to the Côte de Nuits, where Domaine Jacques Prieur’s 2009 Musigny is one of the region’s most coveted grands crus. Highly rare is the Mazy-Chambertin from Domaine Armand Rousseau in its 2010 vintage, a wine made to aged at length that will soften in time. Another of our top picks is the magnificent 1975 Richebourge grand cru from Gros Frère & Soeur. The Côte de Beaune is home to the “exceptional talent” of Domaine Arnaud Ente, producer of this 1997 Meursault. This is a great opportunity if you’ve never tasted a mature Chardonnay. And if you’re a particular fan of Meursault, you’ll be pleased to see several lots from Leroy, such as the 2005 Meursault premier cru Blagny.
Some of our other favourites from the selection include: a 1945 Rivesaltes from Château Villargeil, a 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Domaine du Pegaü, and a 2005 Les Vignes de mon Père from Jean-François Ganevat.