The perks of packing up a cellar


I have had the chance to drink this glorious Pauillac twice in three weeks. Both bottles came from an undisturbed cellar in Northamptonshire. Amongst the many treasures were 14 bottles of Ch Pichon Baron 1961. The chance to taste the first bottle was caused by my heavy handed attempt to clean up a bottle during which the cork plopped unceremoniously into the wine. Notwithstanding the fragility of the cork the wine was superb. Weight, balance and still wonderful dark fruit flavours that lingered on the palate for an age. The owner of the cellar is still convinced I pushed the cork in on purpose.

Last week we returned to finish the job. The cellar was successfully packed up, but Ned Goedhuis noticed that one of the bottles of Pichon Baron looked in a very sorry state. There had been seepage and this time the cork had dropped well down the neck. And all this before I had even touched it.

The chances of this bottle being anything other than “dégo” was as unlikely as Australia beating us in the Olympic medal table. But we couldn’t have been more wrong. Possibly not quite as good as the first bottle but it was still a wonderful wine. Even Laura Goedhuis who is remarkably suspicious of my enthusiasm for old bottles was impressed. It was a special evening drinking a 55 year old wine with Laura, and one made 32 years before Ned was born.

What a wine, what a vintage. I just wonder if our children will be drinking 55 year old wines with their children and having the same sublime drinking experience.