Ade desperately wanted the Wine Spectator Wine of the Year. So when the 1985 Lynch-Bages won honors in 1988, she searched high and low before locating two bottles in a wine shop in Santa Ana.
She asked the retailer to put the bottles on hold and drove the 90 miles from San Diego to Santa Ana, where she happily claimed her two bottles, paying about the going rate of $37 each for the 97-point rated Pauillac.
“I was so excited to get that wine,” she told me recently when we got together for dinner and were reminiscing about wine experiences. “I tried everywhere before finding them at the Wine Club.”
Bitten by Top 100 fever with a passion to secure the No. 1 wine, she went the extra miles to stake her claim.
Ade brought the bottles home and left them on the kitchen counter before heading off to work.
Later that day her boyfriend arrived at her home and noticed the two bottles sitting on the counter. A novice to wine, he didn’t pay any attention to what he was drinking and promptly opened one bottle. “It was fantastic,” he recalled during the same dinner. Then he opened the second bottle and had a glass from it. Just as good.
Ade was furious, of course, knowing that her boyfriend (who later became her husband) hadn’t asked about the wine and worse, didn’t know what he was drinking. He had no idea how special the bottle was to her (although I’m sure he found out shortly thereafter).
They are still married.
I also bought the 1985 Lynch-Bages, securing a case, in part because the wine was fantastic but also because my son was born that year. I figured I’d put together a collection of wines from that vintage for his future enjoyment.
I was so excited when the wooden case of ’85 Lynch Bages arrived at office. Then one of my colleagues expressed an interest in having some of the wine, too, and I offered him six bottles, knowing I could get another six, which I did.
But the second six came from a different importer and that’s where the trouble began. Six of the bottles were fantastic, everything I’d expected the wine to be—classic Pauillac. But the other six had been cooked and were terrible. Since I stored all the wines together I never did learn exactly which wines were which, except for the moment I pulled the cork.
I laughed as I listened to Ade recall her Lynch Bages episode. Then I remembered mine.
Apj Powers — Dallas, TX — November 13, 2008 12:39pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — November 13, 2008 12:49pm ET
Brian Peters — Broomfield, CO — November 13, 2008 3:51pm ET
Johnny Espinoza Esquivel — November 13, 2008 6:19pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — November 13, 2008 6:32pm ET
Brian — costa mesa, ca — November 14, 2008 3:23am ET
Jon — Fairport, NY — November 14, 2008 8:58am ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — November 14, 2008 1:42pm ET
John Jorgenson — Seattle, — November 15, 2008 9:14am ET
Peter A Siddiqui — Chicago — November 15, 2008 11:30pm ET
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