Wine Talk

Snooth User: FlorianMettetal

1943 Chateau Grillon Sauternes

Posted by FlorianMettetal, Jul 6, 2011.

I inherited this bottle recently. It hasn't been properly stored and I doubt its any good still, but do you think it has any value? Should I even bother storing it now?

I also have a 1979 Chateau du Coteau Loupiac.

Replies

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 6, 2011.

I just looked for a little info on Grillon.  Pretty inexpensive as Sauterne goes--currently available vintages for $23 or so.  The fact that it is from the WWII period might mean someone would like the bottle for sentimental value, but the storage conditions make it seem unlikely that the contents have any particular value.  Is the label in good condition?  Maybe you could rent it out as a prop for movies and plays.  (Don't laugh, a friend once paid a lot to rent a Pure Oil filling station sign for a movie set in 1963.  Good luck finding one now.)

Sometimes I recommend opening it and drinking it just because the contents are not worth much on the market--worst case you pour it down the sink, best case you are surprised in a good way.  But given its age, maybe it's worth saving as is for curiosity's sake.  If you ever do drink it, try to remove the label intact and scan it, so at least you have the image--again, prop houses will fake stuff based on good quality scans of old products.  Although few notice, there is a call for authenticity in period movies--my friend has made a living finding and producing vintage or reproduction props for movies he decorates, including candy bars and alcoholic beverages.  (If you ever see a movie with old lamps/light fixtures powered by electricity, he manufactured and sold the wire--a business he started because safe, vinyl-covered wire that looked like old cloth covered wire was impossible to find.)

But the wine? Since you've already come clean that it wasn't stored properly, it's probably worthless.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 6, 2011.

Hmm, can't find your other chateau as you've typed it.  Can you upload an image?

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Reply by FlorianMettetal, Jul 6, 2011.
Edited Jul 6, 2011

I went ahead and upload the pictures here -> http://bit.ly/o0sD4i

and attached them to this post as well.

 


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Reply by gregt, Jul 6, 2011.

Nice pics but unfortunately, neither one is really worth much.  They're inexpensive even new and with unknown storage, I doubt that you'd get anything for them. Not all wine is worth much just because it's old. Had a 1982 Languedoc wine last night - it was cool that the family had kept it but it was at least 15 years past drinkability, not to mention prime drinkability.  Should probably have been consumed by 1990 at the latest.  In your case, the wines are obviously old based on the color.  Unfortunately, who knows how damaged they might be?

However -

there's a small chance that they might be magnificent. 

Small but depending on what your appetite for risk is, you can do like my friend.  He called a few buddies, no promises were made, but he figured none of us were likely to have the chance at that wine under most circumstances so we gave it a shot.  It was a misfire but obviously nobody complained and we went on to drink 8 other bottles that were much better.  Except for one.  So you can try that or just keep the bottles around as something kind of cool from years ago.

Good luck whatever you do.

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Reply by FlorianMettetal, Jul 6, 2011.

Did you find anything about the chateau du coteau? I haven't had any luck

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 6, 2011.

The Grillon has a label that's in good condition.  So my idea of saving it for use as a prop in movies stands. Even using the name Michel Darriet shown on the label I can't find anything about the Loupiac, and the label is probably not useful for a prop. WTH--open it and see if a genie comes out, or just really bad wine. You have nothing to lose.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 6, 2011.

Okay, searching "michel darriet cadillac" (read closely on the label) gets something: a viticulturist in the Gironde on a website in French.  Nothing else, and that tells me nothing about the wine. Rare enough to wait for it to be discovered? Not likely. Drink it or disinfect a wound with it on your next camping trip.  Not trying to be harsh, but I don't see anything else.  Contact Broadbent or someone with arcane knowledge if you want, but I imagine there are vignerons who are obscure because they deserve to be.

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Reply by duncan 906, Jul 7, 2011.

Loupiac and Cadillac are small appellations in the Bordeaux region fairly close to Sauternes/Barsac.The whites tend to be sweet desert wines very similar to Sauternes and like most white Bordeaux are a blend of semillion and sauvignon blanc.They are a lot cheaper than Sauternes.I have a bottle of Chateau Gaudiet AOC Loupiac sweet desert wine in my cupboard that I paid a mere five pounds for on www.bidforwine.co.uk wheras a Sauternes would have been two or three times that.The reds are typical right bank merlot dominated clarets similar though cheaper than St Emillion.Like Cotes de Castillion or Cotes de Blaye they offer value for money and reasonable quality

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Reply by gregt, Jul 7, 2011.

C'mon guys - it's not that hard to find!

Here's the website of the Chateau if you want to poke around (French and an English translation)

http://www.chateau-loupiacgaudiet.com/fr/02.html

 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 7, 2011.

I saw that one, but wasn't convinced it was the same.  I will look again.

Okay, I looked and that label (which isn't pictured in the photos, but can be made out elsewhere) says "Loupiac Gaudiet" above the appellation Loupiac.  Doesn't say "Chateau du Coteau."  Not convinced it's the same wine.  

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Reply by FlorianMettetal, Jul 7, 2011.

Thank you everyone for all of your interest. I am a bit disappointed to hear that the '43 sautern is such a cheap wine, though I suppose the hunt continues for the '79 . Would more (better) pictures help?

Perhaps my family kept the '43 all these years for some nostalgic reason.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 7, 2011.

I think your pictures are great.  The website GregT found had poorer pictures. 

Is it possible someone picked up the '43 when they were in Europe during WWII?  And maybe the '79 when they went back?  That would certainly explain the nostalgia for the '43.  If you don't know the story of the bottle, it certainly gives me an idea for a screenplay or two, and you can always make up your own story just for family lore.


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