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james suckling uncorked

Good Morning Bordeaux First Growths


Posted: Nov 9, 2006 10:22am ET

I woke up this morning to offers of more than 500 cases of first growth Bordeaux, and that was only in three e-mails. I am in Southern California visiting my parents, so I haven’t even had my morning wake up java from Starbucks yet! And I feel a bit down. I might need some wine shopping therapy to get my day going.

Two of the offers are from English wine merchants, and one is from a Swiss one. Let’s see. Shall I pick up the imperial of 1982 Latour at a bargain price of £9,500  ($18,020)? I don’t know. That doesn’t seem expensive enough. What’s the use in contacting my bank and getting a transfer for one giant bottle of 1982 Latour? And whom could I invite to a barbeque to drink it? I am not sure I have enough worthy friends. I know I love this wine and some of my other wine critic buddies give it 100 points. The offer quotes Bob Parker, and says, “Enormously concentrated with extraordinary power and depth, this wine continues to remind me of a modern day equivalent of the 1959.”

That’s exciting, but honestly, it’s just too much work this morning. I feel lethargic. And I haven’t had my watery cappuccino from Starbucks. I don’t feel good right now.

Here we go. I feel a little bit better about this. My heart rate has gone up a few notches. I just found a case of magnums of 1982 Lafleur for £24,995 ($47,410) from my old friend auctioneer Brian Ebbsen who now works for E-S Wines of London. That’s more like it. The thought of buying those six mags for $7,901 each is waking me up now.  One of those mags would hit the spot in LA with some friends at a trendy sushi bar or no-I-have-no-reservation-for-you steak house…

But, I am not sure about that Pomerol. It think the 1982 is a little tough right now. I am going to taste it next week in New York and may be I will buy it in a few weeks. I know my ex-wife wouldn’t mind if my two children skipped their private schools this year in England, if I bought the 1982 Lafleur. And they like wine too. They would understand. But today just doesn’t seem like the day to buy the 1982 Lafleur. I need to talk to my astrologer first anyway.

Wait. I just saw an e-mail from London’s Patrick Wilkinson, happily proclaiming that he is selling 430 cases of first growths and 70 cases of second wines. Lucky wine merchant! And the e-mails reads: “The vast majority are sitting in our warehouse and are immediately available. Happy Hunting !”

HOLD ON! I can’t possibly leave my house to go to Starbucks without buying something. I mean, these wines are ready to go. They need me. And I could be happy hunting. Here is something I can afford without calling my divorce lawyer in London. The e-mail reads: “1977 1 cs Les Forts de Latour £500 dp/cs.” That is the second wine of Chateau Latour from one of the worst vintages ever. But hell, it comes duty paid and in original wooden cases. What am I waiting for?

I think I'll go get my Starbucks for now. There’s always tomorrow’s wine offers by e-mail….

David A Zajac
November 9, 2006 12:52pm ET
Boy, I can see why your divorced, you seem a little crabby in the morning before you've had your Starbucks...however, to cheer you up, I hear its a good vintage of Starbucks and it will only set you back $5.
Jeffrey Ghi
New York —  November 9, 2006 1:07pm ET
You can justify it if it's one of the kid's birth year ... at least that's what I tell myself buying some expensive crappy wine =)
Guus Hateboer
Netherlands —  November 9, 2006 1:56pm ET
You rule James, awesome blog!
Bob Golbahar
Los Angeles —  November 9, 2006 2:05pm ET
James, Forget about the Sushi... Take your Lafleur to "Cut" Spago's new Steak Restaurant. It can be awesome. 3 of the 4 times its been the best steaks you can get, the Kobe from Japan is out of this world. Even James Orr was enthusiastic about "Cut" and you know how hard he is to please.
Alan Vinci
springfield, n.j. —  November 9, 2006 2:26pm ET
James, I think you've lost it!!! Life can't be that bad, or can it? Well lets just say I hope that Starbucks coffee did the trick and your feeling all kinds of perky now. E-mails, what would we do without them?....Just save a ton of money that's it. Now I need a Starbucks coffee....
James Suckling
 —  November 9, 2006 2:33pm ET
Guys. I had my Starbucks...all is much better now. Thanks for your concern. Best vintage yet!
Paul M Hummel
Chicago, —  November 9, 2006 2:39pm ET
The 1977 Forts de Latour is not as bad as you seem to think, but drink now
John Battista
November 9, 2006 3:29pm ET
curious to know what wine you had with last evening's dinner....irritability such as this cannot solely be caused by wanting of star bucks brew.....best to go with half case the 82 Lafluer mags if it meets your expectations in New York. if it does not, please so not throw any telephones while in the big apple. after all, 82 was "a good year".
James Suckling
 —  November 9, 2006 3:38pm ET
John. I had some sake last night. I just woke up in a strange Southern Californian mood.
Brad Coelho
New York City —  November 9, 2006 7:15pm ET
One of your best blog posts yet. I think we've been placed on a paralell w/ PMS-ing ladies and 'shoe-therapy.' Couldn't sympathize more w/ ugly mornings and e-mail lists touting deals for rare vintages...starbucks is a good time, but it doesn't get my palms sweaty like reading a wine library mailing list deal offering La Magia Brunello Reserva '99 for 34 bucks does...road trip to Jersey time!
John L Deoskey
Graham, WA —  November 9, 2006 8:25pm ET
Excellent writing! This was the best wine article I have ever read, ever. Every sentence was thick and rich. I wanted more. It was passionate and smooth, real life with an earthy base. I could read a whole book written like this. Excellent.... just excellent James.
Thomas Bohrer
Hong Kong —  November 9, 2006 8:58pm ET
James, may I say these are the very Best lines you have ever written in your long and esteemed career as a Journalist. Its certainly the best thing I have ever raed on wine. Seems like you finnaly see the light at the end of the tunnel. Way to go!!!!!! I am proud of you old boy.
James Suckling
 —  November 9, 2006 10:04pm ET
Sarcasm and wine seem to be flowing in this blog. Good fun!
Alexander Wong
Hong Kong —  November 9, 2006 11:02pm ET
James, excellent writing. Really enjoyed reading that. Its nice to see someone who can put this whole thing in prespective so well. I loved it!
John L Deoskey
Graham, WA —  November 10, 2006 12:17am ET
No, seriously, I loved it!
Brad Coelho
New York City —  November 10, 2006 8:14am ET
The verdict is in, we all enjoy the sarcastic drama prose of James Suckling. Perhaps this is a catalyst towards a different breed of journalism :)
Donald Jones
Chicago —  November 10, 2006 9:45am ET
Great blog. You hit the nail on the head regarding the cost of wine these days, especially rare bottles - how absurd. (as you can see - I am not part of the ultrarich crowd)This point is for all bloggers - who can really tell the difference between a wine rated 90 vs 94? Or 88 vs 92 for that matter? All I know is that I know the difference between $100 and $35.James this was the one blog that I trully appreciate and I identify with. thank you!
James Suckling
 —  November 10, 2006 9:49am ET
Donald. Good point on pricing and scores. Thank you for the comment.
Yaron Zakai Or
Israel —  November 10, 2006 10:07am ET
Reading this brought a big smile. It's nice to see less formal writing here. Refreshing!

P.S. - After getting used to Italian coffee, how can you drink the Starbucks stuff?
James Suckling
 —  November 10, 2006 10:11am ET
Yaron. Thanks. It's hell drinking Starbucks! Say hi to Israel for me.
James Suckling
 —  November 10, 2006 11:13am ET
Yaron. Thanks. It's hell drinking Starbucks! Say hi to Israel for me.
David Burke
regina canada —  November 10, 2006 1:21pm ET
Ha Ha Whoo Whoo Whoo Ha Brilliant!! Big stupid Grin on my face Thanks!!

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