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Snooth User: jslunce

How to drink an 1986 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Bordeax Blend

Posted by jslunce, May 31, 2013.

After my dad died 3 years ago, we were packing up his things including wine from his collection. We moved his things to my house and the wine was out of the wine refrigerator in boxes for about 3 days. We then put it right back into my wine refrigerator and it has been there every since. I am thinking about drinking it with friends and was wondering how to drink it. Does it need to be decanted? For how long? Can I put the bottle upright or should it stay on its side? Is there any special technique I should use? Any information would be helpful - I am not very knowledgable in this area. Thanks!!!


Reply by duncan 906, Jun 2, 2013.

Your father was obviously a man of expensive tastes

Reply by RandyFisher, Jun 2, 2013.

Sell it and you can buy a case of wine to share with your friends.

Reply by JonDerry, Jun 2, 2013.

Better to drink the great wine your dad intended to drink. If you can keep it in the wine fridge and store it upright for three or more days, that'd be perfect.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 2, 2013.

Depending on when he bought it, not as expensive as a lot of less distinguished wines today. 

Okay, no one had any advice, but here's mine:

Unless it has off-smells when you open it, don't decant.  It's potentially in a pretty good spot, but it could oxidize too quickly.  Pour off enough to taste, increasing surface area for oxidation if needed, and do this a good couple hours before you intend to get into the serious drinking.  If it's tasting fragile, put the cork in and wait for company to arrive.  If not, leave it open with the fill level now below the neck.  Don't let it warm too much--I would consider putting a chill jacket on it.  (Available from Vacuvin.) 

Whatever you do, you should stand it up a few days before you are prepared to drink it.  (A day per decade of age is not a bad rule.)  This allows sediment to settle back to the bottom.

Open with an Ah-so or a Durand, if you have access to one.  Even if store impeccably, the cork could be dry and crumbly.

Enjoy, and report back. 

Reply by JonDerry, Jun 2, 2013.

Right, upright a few days before you plan to drink...and I agree with the no decant. Just drink after opening, but drink as slowly as possible to savor it and let it come alive. Sounds like its been well stored so should be drinking great.

Reply by edwilley3, Jun 3, 2013.

Don't forget the Dr. Evil laugh to go along with statements about how everyone should be smart enough to drink Ch. Lafite Rothschild...

"I just DO NOT know how all those idiots drink that Joel Gott swill. Don't they KNOW?"

In all seriousness, my older wine friends tell me about the prices they paid for Bordeaux and other great French reds several decades ago. As with other luxury items like Rolex watches, prices have greatly outstripped general inflation. I really don't understand why this would be the case. The concept of expensive = better seems to be okay with consumers.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 3, 2013.

Oh, no, EdWilley, we're going to have another discussion of Thorsten Veblen

Funny that you mention Gott.  I brought his SB to a picnic Saturday because I needed a mainstream white that was reliable for my crowd. Everyone had sparkling and rose and beer, so no one opened it, but my niece who used to work for a distributor saw it and was impressed--she had tasted his reds and thought they were great.  Which they are, as a value proposition.  I think his wines are solid for teaching folks about varieties, and I usually keep a couple bottles of the SB on hand. 

My father has mentioned that he should have bought a Rolex when he was in the Air Force and could get it at the PX for a discount.  He did buy a good Zeiss Ikon camera (should've gone for the Nikon, but still, not bad) but has marveled at the appreciation of those watches.  Now, I wouldn't go near one, as Tissot offers the better value proposition and the Rolex is just absurd, but then the difference was not nearly as great.  Hindsight is sure easier than foresight.

Reply by JaimeJ, Jun 3, 2013.



Jus enjoy it

Reply by edwilley3, Jun 5, 2013.

Fox, I wear a vintage (1969) Rolex purchased by my uncle in Hong Kong in '71 for under $300 new with tags. Notwithstanding the economic ups and downs over the subsequent decades, the new equivalent watch (SS with white gold bezel, no diamonds) costs around $7,000. The only explanation for why that price is sustainable is an expansion of wealth on the demand side. No discussion needed. 

The good news for watch enthusiasts is that good used watches are readily available. Unfortunately, I don't think that any Snoothers really want to sample "used" wine. :)  [Insert evil laugh.]

Reply by jslunce, Jun 6, 2013.

Thank you all so much for your information. It was most helpful! I think we will enjoy the wine and remember my dad!

Reply by JenniferT, Jun 6, 2013.

How wonderful! You have a very special bottle of wine.... a perfect wine for you in light of your father, who obviously put thought and effort into acquiring it and storing it. What a lovely way to sit down and remember him. Enjoy!

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