I had a bottle of 1888 L’Evangile last night with wine merchants Thomas Bohrer of Habanos Holding and Eric Desgouttes of Watson's, at a small hipster wine bar called Bar Aedes, where a lot of the wine and restaurant trade hang out. Unfortunately, the wine was absolutely disgusting. Dead.
It smelled like turpentine with hints of bug spray. It literally burned your nose smelling it. No one was brave enough to taste it. Thomas said that he bought a case of the wine a few months back from a private cellar in Denmark. He’s not selling it. “I have opened five bottles already and they were all like that,” he said. “Nothing I can do about it …”
I felt sorry for my friend, but he knows better than any of us that buying old wines can be a real gamble. And even though the 1888 L’Evangile had perfect levels, it was DOA when we opened it.
I can’t say that I have ever had the 1888 L’Evangile, but I have had other wines from the vintage, including a marvelous La Mission-Haut-Brion. So maybe the old Pomerol was simply a bad bottle. Who knows? It’s been around for more than a century, so a lot can go wrong with bottles.
There is no use in scoring it. Don’t you agree? Is it really useful to have a score for a bad bottle of a wine?
Luckily, Eric brought this wonderful bottle -- 1988 Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réservé. So, I could write a solid note:
This is jammy on the nose yet super fresh and refined with spices and plums galore. It's full-bodied, with super silky tannins and a fresh finish. This is not as powerful as the 1990 or 1989 but very close in quality. Lots of refinement here. This is almost as great as those two stellar vintages and about half of the price. 94 points, non-blind.
Tom Hudson — Wilmington, Delaware — August 14, 2007 10:02am ET
Jim Mcclure — DFW, Texas — August 14, 2007 10:36am ET
Paul M Hummel — Chicago, — August 14, 2007 2:55pm ET
Jim Mcclure — DFW, Texas — August 14, 2007 3:27pm ET
James Peterson — San Antonio, Texas — August 14, 2007 6:28pm ET
Horacio Campana / Butler Me — Monterrey, Mexico — August 14, 2007 9:05pm ET
Rob Scuka — August 14, 2007 9:12pm ET
Cory Choi — August 15, 2007 11:53am ET
Anthony C Comito — Hillsborough, NJ — August 15, 2007 12:10pm ET
David A Zajac — August 15, 2007 1:25pm ET
Anacleto Ludovic — paris france — August 15, 2007 2:09pm ET
Peter A Siddiqui — Chicago — August 15, 2007 6:51pm ET
Trevor/38 On Central — August 16, 2007 3:06am ET
James Suckling — — August 16, 2007 11:59am ET
Anacleto Ludovic — paris france — August 16, 2007 12:21pm ET
Trevor/38 On Central — August 17, 2007 3:35pm ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions