I had dinner the other night in L.A. again with my collector buddy from Hong Kong, Hendra Anwar. We went for some pasta at Angelini Osteria restaurant, which is always good. Hendra brought a couple of Burgundies: 2002 Fontaine-Gagnard Bâtard-Montrachet and 1991 Armand Rousseau Ruchottes-Chambertin Clos des Ruchottes. I brought a bottle of 1997 Antinori Bolgheri Superiore Guado al Tasso Tenuta Belvedere.
The Burgundies were excellent. The white was layered and full of subtle tropical fruits and dried citrus with a minerally undertone. I gave it 96 points, non-blind. The top 2002 white Burgundies seem to be opening at the moment. The red Burgundy was firm and fresh, with lots of plum and strawberry character and smoky undertones. It shows how 1991 top red Burgundies are often serious competition to the more highly rated 1990s. I gave it 93 points, non-blind.
We tasted the 1997 Guado at the end of the meal, and I was so happy with its wonderful balsamic, berry and earth character. It was full and silky, with loads of decadent character. It's another 1997 Tuscan just coming into its own at the moment. 95 points, non-blind.
But the most interesting part of the evening for our vinous endeavors was Hendra's insistence that the wine merchant who sold him two cases of bogus 1978 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle was still responsible for the sale after 15 years. (For more on that, check out my April 23 blog.) Yes, he bought the wine 15 years ago and he wants it to be replaced, or get a refund.
I wonder what the legality of this is? And I wonder if most wine merchants would make good on his purchase of rotten fake La Chapelle?
Just think of all those cases of young wines sitting in cellars around the world that have not been opened that could be full of fakes. And many are traded around the world changing hands numerous times, so the origin of the wine becomes harder and harder to track. Who is going to take responsibility for the wines if they turn up as counterfeits?
I suggest buying your wines from only the best and the most reputable wine merchants. Otherwise, you may be in for a nasty surprise. I remember a story about a friend of a friend who wanted to sell a case of 1982 Pétrus and he tried to sell it through a merchant, who said it was all fake. The merchant was surprised to learn the guy bought it from him 10 years ago; so they had to make good on it.
Hoyt Hill Jr — Nashville, TN — April 30, 2010 5:09pm ET
R Wayne Parchman — Pasadena, CA — April 30, 2010 6:40pm ET
Roger Gentile — columbus ohio — April 30, 2010 7:22pm ET
K & L Wine Merchants — Hollywood, California — April 30, 2010 7:54pm ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento, CA — April 30, 2010 10:02pm ET
Vincent Pellegrino — Smithfield,RI — May 3, 2010 11:28am ET
Kevin Petracek — Olathe, KS — May 6, 2010 10:34am ET
Michael Myette — Sacramento, CA USA — May 6, 2010 3:10pm ET
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