I just received an e-mail from a London wine merchant, offering a nice selection of cases of trophy 1982 Bordeaux—Latour, $25,680; Mouton, $17,200; Lafite, $30,060; Margaux, $16,050; and Haut-Brion, $11,500.
Sounds expensive to me. But they are selling. In fact, I spoke to a New York wine merchant friend and he said that his blue-chip 1982s are now selling for more than he is listing them on his wine list. I guess he needs to update his list.
This seems so insane, but it’s true. The wines are superb. I did a tasting of all of them a while ago and they were all gorgeous, with a long life ahead of them. I actually thought the most enjoyable was the Haut-Brion. I drank most of them with some big time Hong Kong collectors in Japan before Christmas while on holiday. My friends agreed about the Haut-Brion, and they were happy that it was still "reasonable" to buy.
At least they are drinking them. I am not sure how much of the 1982s, like the ones listed above, are being bought for investment or for consumption. I am afraid it is the former more than the latter.
Funny though. There are plenty of good quality 1982s that don’t cost the price of an economy car per case that are fun—yes, fun—to drink.
For example, I spent the weekend in Basel and Geneva, looking at watches for coverage in Cigar Aficionado, for which I am European editor. I saw lots of interesting things, from a new Rolex Yatch-Master II to innovative lubrication-free movement from Jaeger-LeCoultre.
There were a few interesting wine moments as well. I had the chance to taste a few Swiss wines with Mark Hayek, president of Blancpain. The 34-year-old's family owns a large part of the Swiss watch business with Swatch, including Omega, Longines, Breguet and a few others. We finished off the meeting with a bottle of 1997 d’Yquem, which was really great. It was so rich, layered and silky. More like a fine red than sticky white. Love it. My 95-point note from the first time I tasted it was on the money.
In addition, Cigar Aficionado organized a dinner party with the United States’ London Jewelers for the top execs of the industry, and the main wine served was 1982 Petit Bocq, from magnums. The St.-Estèphe was a wonderful little wine with lots of spicy, fruity character, medium body and a refreshing finish. I gave it 87 points, non-blind. It went down very well. I think we paid about $50 or $60 a magnum for it.
The 150 people at the dinner party went through the wine very quickly. Everyone was happy and talkative, in a variety of languages …
What a different world from the 1982 first-growths. But maybe first-growths are now like many of the guests’ watches -- beautiful, hand-made luxury products that an exclusive number of people in the world buy.
George Fischer — Cleveland, Ohio — April 18, 2007 2:29pm ET
Guus Hateboer — Netherlands — April 18, 2007 3:19pm ET
Jeffrey Ghi — New York — April 18, 2007 3:25pm ET
Jim Mcclure — DFW, Texas — April 18, 2007 3:42pm ET
Morten Zabel — Denmark — April 18, 2007 4:47pm ET
Vincent Kan — Toronto, Canada — April 18, 2007 4:54pm ET
James Suckling — — April 18, 2007 5:13pm ET
John W Graham Iii — Richmond VA — April 18, 2007 5:19pm ET
Tom Breneman — eau claire, WI — April 18, 2007 5:23pm ET
James Suckling — — April 19, 2007 2:41am ET
Justin Renard — Tokyo, Japan — April 19, 2007 6:25am ET
Chris Moseley — April 19, 2007 9:13pm ET
Jim May — Los Angeles — April 22, 2007 5:15pm ET
Glenn Haig — Philadelphia — May 20, 2007 10:57pm ET
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