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1918 Yquem


Liz Johnson
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I'm doing a fun story about a guy who found a bottle of 1918 Chateau d'Yquem when cleaning out the basement of a 91-year-old woman's home. She even didn't know it was there. It's like Antiques Roadshow for wine. No telling the conditions in which it was stored (at least it wasn't the attic, right?), but does anyone here know where I might ask about its value?

Only one I've found for sale online is from the UK: 685 pounds.

Has anyone here tried one from 1918?

Funny thing about Yquem. It is the one wine I am afraid to drink. What if it disappoints? Some things, especially when they're so highly anticipated, are better left imagined, aren't they?

Thanks.

Liz

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Whats the fill level in the bottle that was found? What color is the wine? It seems like it'll be hard to sell a 90 year old bottle of wine with unknown storage.

Here are a few links that'll give you some more info on what the bottle is worth

Auction Results (Chicago Wine Co)

Fine & Rare Wine Co (London)

Wine Searcher search for yquem 1918 and then again restricting the results to france where you will find another 2 bottles for sale.

Keep us posted on what happens with this, it's definitly an interesting story.

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Funny thing about Yquem. It is the one wine I am afraid to drink. What if it disappoints? Some things, especially when they're so highly anticipated, are better left imagined, aren't they?

oh, don't be! try it somewhere by the glass, i had one at aquavit for about $40 2or 3 years ago. it was delicious, I've since enjoyed assorted vintages largely thanks to generous friends and it's never disappointed!

Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.

P.G. Wodehouse

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I'm doing a fun story about a guy who found a bottle of 1918 Chateau d'Yquem when cleaning out the basement of a 91-year-old woman's home. She even didn't know it was there. It's like Antiques Roadshow for wine. No telling the conditions in which it was stored (at least it wasn't the attic, right?), but does anyone here know where I might ask about its value?

Only one I've found for sale online is from the UK: 685 pounds.

Has anyone here tried one from 1918?

Funny thing about Yquem. It is the one wine I am afraid to drink. What if it disappoints? Some things, especially when they're so highly anticipated, are better left imagined, aren't they?

Thanks.

Liz

D'Yquem doesn't disappoint. The politics and ownership behind it are a different matter. It is a great wine. The oldest that I have tasted several times was the '34. I also tasted the '47. Both very interesting. They cannot be chilled too much. Sauternes of this age turn very dark. They have nutty qualities not seen in younger Sauternes. The storage is the key to the viability of the '18.

Liz, you shouldn't be afraid to drink it. You swirl it around in your mouth, then swallow. The finish goes for 2 minutes. It will knock you out.

Mark

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ha! Carolyn, you are too kind. What's your address?:raz:

melkor, Thanks for the links. I'll check them out now.

Forgive me if these are the wrong terms, but... the shoulder level (?) was still above The curvy part of the bottle but not by much.

The color was dark, but still amber/brown. You could see through it.

malcolm, madziast and Mark,

I know, this "not trying it" thing is probably irrational. (Well -- I'm not going to try this bottle at any rate, I'm just saying for another one.) I guess it's just not the kind of thing I wouldn't order for the sake of trying it. Maybe if I had a bottle and was sharing it with special people..... I don't know.

It's just I've found when you wait a really long time for something and it often does not live up to the hype.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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ha! Carolyn, you are too kind.

Oh... I am MANY kinds!

Liz, where are YOU? Perhaps you should have an intimate eGullet party to share with other Yquem afficiandos to get various opinions and then post back to us. I'm terribly curious!

The oldest Yquem I've been fortunate enough to try was one from the '50s but I had several friends who had one back to 1923 or 25 (can't remember exactly which year). They actually put it in the freezer to start as it was described as the most orgasmic Slushy they ever tasted. As it warmed, there was a whole list of adjectives that was tantamount to pornography.

I envy you...

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Oh my. The slushy sounds amazing.

Liz, where are YOU? Perhaps you should have an intimate eGullet party to share with other Yquem afficiandos to get various opinions and then post back to us. I'm terribly curious!

I'm in the northern suburbs of NYC, but I am just a poor journalist. I could never afford to host a d'Yquem party unless it was BYO!

But there is an idea! Perhaps everyone could bring a different vintage! :hmmm:

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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I have a '59 that I'm saving for my 50th b-day. I haven't had any that old yet, but those I've had have been sublime.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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OK. So I'm boasting, but I was fortunate enough to have the 1918 about 10 years ago. The colour was a golden brown (sounds lighter than the one you have) and it was all creme brulee. I've never had an Yquem that was 'undrinkable' - but I prefer older wines. Not the greatest Yquem - but not shabby.

My recommendation would be to get a group together and contribute a 'fair' price (e.g. auction price less 20-30%) shared among the participants (example:- if you think of buying a $500 bottle you'll have doubts - but 10 people would probably each cough up $50 for a 2+ ounce pour).

Edited by estufarian (log)
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Holy shit -- I want an Yquem slushy!

Like, right now.

Mark, the dark, nutty qualities -- are they sherry-like? (Not as in oxidized, as in the underlying depth of flavor; or maybe it is oxidized too?)

Le Slurpee Lur Saluce! Eureka!

Yes, the nutty qualities remind you of old Amontillado. Slight oxidation is what causes the color change.

Mark

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For all its storied greatness, with which I have no quarrel, I'd gladly give up a glass of it for a few drops of a good Huet Cuvee Constance.  SB/Sem stickies just don't do it for me.    :wink:

There is no accounting for personal taste. I'd rather have a Muller-Catoir Beerenauslese.

Mark

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