Wine Talk

Snooth User: Michael C Butler

The worlds oldest wines

Posted by Michael C Butler, Apr 9, 2013.

For fun I was searching around and found some stories of the world's oldest wines that are (arguably) intact. 

Some divers found unopened bottles of champagne in a sunken ship:

A 350AD vintage kept in a museum that was dug out of the ground:

What's the oldest wine you've ever tasted? I don't think I tasted anything older than a 1987 Cabernet Sauvignon:


Reply by EMark, Apr 9, 2013.

Michael, I'm going to say that in my case a 1966 Cab.  Of course, it was 1969 when I drank it.  I don't know if that was what you were going for.  ;-)

Wait a minute, I take that back.   In this conversation from last summer I reported tasting a 1962 Beaujolais--it wasn't pretty.  (Note to Foxall:  I still have that mag left.)

In my cellar I have a 1947 Ch. Montrose (half-bottle) and a 1958 Hoopers Port.  Since I have had these for years longer than I have had my temperature controlled storage, I do not hold out much hope for either of them.

There are also a couple of 1978 Cabs in there.  They both also pre-date the storage unit, but I am a little more optimistic about them.

I'll bet there are Snoothers out there who can share stories about some awesome wines.

Reply by penguinoid, Apr 10, 2013.

The oldest wine I've ever had (from memory) was a '67 Remoissenet Volnay 1er Cru, which I was lucky enough to try at the winery. A beautiful wine! Sure others have even more impressive examples though -- anything over a hundred years old?

Talking of which, I hope I get to try Seppeltfields' 100 year old Para vintage tawny port one day. That would be quite an experience!

Reply by GregT, Apr 10, 2013.

A '75 Vin Doux Naturel, which was 135 years old at the time I tasted it. Then some Maderia from the 90s, And from the 1900s, a bunch of Rioja from the 20s and 40s.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Apr 11, 2013.

Some Madeira from the late 1700s. Wines that still were drinking well include Rioja from the 20s, Simi's 1935 Zinfandel, some local wine from Italy that my grandfather put away in 1928, then there were a pair of late 1800s Bordeaux that were interesting but not really fun to drink.

Reply by duncan 906, Apr 12, 2013.

At Easter I visited my wine merchant friend in Sussex and collected a couple of bottles I had agreed to buy over the internet  [ some 98 Pommerol and some 95 Santenay] after which he offered me two bottles of Sauternes as he knew I was going to visit my sister in Scotland the following day and that Sauternes is her favourite wine.I bought a bottle of 2001 Chateau Gravas Sauternes for £12 but did not discuss the other bottle as I thought he would want a lot of money.The conversation then turned to the forthcoming Bach concert at the Albert Hall.As I left however he casually gave me the other bottle 'as I was a regular customer'and I have now given it to my sister who has said it is the oldest bottle she has ever seen.It is a 1934 Chateau Coutet a Barsac 1er Grand Cru Sauternes

Reply by amour, Apr 12, 2013.

Well done Duncan and sister!!!

I have had very old d'Yquem (1921) at the Lanesborough in London, bought by clients of mine!

Thousands of pounds per bottle.

I love Coutet/Barsac.

Drank the Coutet 2000...a really impressive working of the natural botrytis grand phenomenon!!!

Old d'Yquem is rich, complex, very very long on flavour least my unique interpretation!!!

Some say molasses and nutmeg....more burnt sugar to me, and marmalade for sure,

but Coutet is also rich, and though not complex, in my opinion, certainly full of flavour.

The point is; while I enjoy the prestige of 1921 d'Yquem,  when I am spending my own money, I am not exactly picking down d'Yquem that quickly!!!!!.....,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,as I REPEATED BEFORE...give me La Faurie Peyraguey (Sauternes) and Coutet/Barsac and the gems of Monbazillac and I am in HEAVEN already!!!!!!with pounds in the bank...awaiting other evolving be procured!!!

I do support charities, you know!!!!!!  CHEERS!

Drinking Chilean Merlot Santa Rita 120.......soothing!


Reply by VegasOenophile, Apr 13, 2013.

I think my oldest is (sadly) my age.  A couple years ago I found a 1978 Leroy Savigny Les Beaune.  There was just the faintest of fruit aroma under all the gym socks on the nose and the palate was all funk and secondary characteristics.  Glad it only cost me $40.  But it's always interesting to try older wines just to see how they evolve and then, devolve.  I'd like to try some older.

Some winemaker friends of mine have had great opportunities to taste such old wines they're either practically black with no fruit remaining and one that was "clear" it was so old.  I rather imagine some of those would taste like dirt, but...ya gotta try 'em!

Reply by penguinoid, Apr 15, 2013.

I don't often get to try aged wines, but jump at the chance if I do. Yes, they're often lacking in primary fruit characters but personally I find the secondary and tertiary characters they evolve more than make up for that -- assuming it's a wine that can cope with being aged, and that it was well stored.

Of course, it is a matter of taste -- I do know some people who prefer younger wines that are full of primary fruit characters over aged wines. They're lucky -- it's much easier to get hold of the latest vintage than an aged release.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Apr 16, 2013.

When I was a kid, my parents opened a bottle of brandy  that was over 100 years old.  I got to taste it.  I have absolutely no recollection of it except that it wasn't vinegar.  It had come over from Europe with my grandmother's family. 

Right now, I have two bottles of 1990 Spottswoode Cab in the cellar which GdP brought out to me after the plan to drink it at Snooth cratered following Hurricane Sandy.  I'm sure it's over the hill, but I'll report back soon enough.  Like Emark, I could claim an old wine that I drank a long time ago, but that hardly counts. 

Duncan, that Coutet sounds amazing. 

I love the saying attributed to Tschelistcheff: Appreciating old wine is like making love to a very old lady. It is possible. It can even be enjoyable. But it requires a bit of imagination.

Reply by duncan 906, Apr 16, 2013.

Foxall.I am curently drinking a bottle of a 1973 wine a Chateau La Rame from the St Croix de Mont appellation I cannot compare it to the 1934 Sauternes because when I left my sister's house she had not opened it.She did take a picture of it and e-mailed it to me but I have no idea how to post it on this site.If you send me an e-mail address I will happily forward said picture

Reply by Richard Foxall, Apr 19, 2013.

Here's a couple shots of Duncan's wine:

Reply by duncan 906, Apr 20, 2013.

Many thanks for posting the pictures for me

Back to Categories

Popular Topics

Top Contributors This Month

847804 Snooth User: EMark
33 posts
127503 Snooth User: rckr1951
30 posts
324443 Snooth User: outthere
12 posts


View All

Snooth Media Network