Author Archives: Philippe Andre

Birth Year Vintage Wines

There is a fine line where rare bottles can both be a novelty and an incredible experience- we have been fortunate to walk it. The excitement of pulling the cork on a bottle from a birth vintage is unparalleled to any wine lover. We have been privileged to share some wonderful bottles with friends and witnessed their faces light up like a Christmas tree when they see their vintage on the label.

1945 LatourAt Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. we are proud curators of the fine and rare. Consisting of over 25,000 square feet of temperature- and humidity-controlled storage backed by redundant power sources, our cellar is home to many of the most impressive wines ever to be bottled. With labels dating to the turn of the 20th century there are plenty of wines that warrant a double take.  You’ll come across wines like 1959 Jean Gros Clos Vougeot or 1945 Château Latour both offering unparalleled oenological experiences- the finest art exhibit the public will never see. Many of these mature bottles are the perfect gift for celebrating a birthday or anniversary with family and friends.

Every year a group of oenophiles turn thirty, forty, and fifty years of age, creating a demand for their respective birth vintages. At the end of the year we are currently experiencing endless requests for the ’64, ’74 & ’84 vintages. In just a matter of months the focus of attention will shift to the ’65, ’75 and ’85 vintages- here are a few of my highlights:

’64, ’74, ’84

1964 Dom Pérignon – One of the best Champagnes I have ever had… subtle effervescence but with composure and depth that made for an elegant combination. Close second was a bright and playful 1964 Remoissenet Corton-Bressandes that was in perfect condition.

Heitz-Cellar-Marthas-Vineyard-Cabernet-Sauvignon-19741974 Heitz Cellars Martha’s Vineyard – Arguably the wine of the vintage, incredible depth and composure, will be a pleasure for many years to come.

1984 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche – Possibly the finest Chardonnay I have ever had. It was pure joy after 20 minutes of air- I swear I saw cherubs dancing on the ceiling. Lots of life left to give showing candied Meyer lemon peel, Marcona almonds, sweet baking spices, and vanilla carrying a bouquet of white flowers with tangerines.

1984 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche – Bright yellow and red cherries with raspberry fruit leather resting along a forest floor. Tart but balanced for such a tough vintage- really incredible overall in the glass, wish it was a magnum!

‘65,’75,’85

1965 Giovianni Troglia Barolo Cappellano – By far the oddest 750ml bottle shape I have ever seen but it was actually very practical. The voluptuous bottle helped to create a pit for the thick sediment as we poured. A real treat in the glass: dried red cherries with anise carrying balanced acidity and tannin.

1975 Bollinger Rosé – Dried flower petals with red and blue fruit carrying great depth in the glass and an immense finish. A close second was a magnum of 1975 Ducru-Beaucaillou that had brooding tannin but then danced effortlessly on the palate and paired incredibly well with a cigar.

1985 Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses – Opulent and giving, this was a great example of balanced Pinot Noir with ripe red fruit carrying acid and hefty bouquet. Lots of great bottles from this vintage but the Amoureuses gets the nod.

‘66,’76,’86

1966 Château Pichon-Longueville, Lalande – Showing its age in a good way and still has a lot to offer- delicate stewed cherries and potpourri; elegant and regal!

1976 William Fèvre Chablis Bougros – Quite a treat, needed thirty minutes of air to erupt in the glass. Balanced dried yellow fruits with chalk, vanilla and baking spices.

1986 Comtes Lafon Volnay Santenots du Milieu Tête du Cuvée – Great structure still showing bright cherries with a hint of blue fruit and damp forest floor finishing with subtle brown sugar. Another stunner was a 1986 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Vieille Vigne Pinot Gris that was packed with candied apricot balanced by waxy feel and a vibrant acidity finished with white flowers on the nose.

If you’d like assistance selecting a birth year vintage wine for yourself or as a gift, contact our retail team at sales@hdhwine.com or 312.379.8710.

 

 

 

Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. - 1511 W 38th Street, Chicago IL  60609 - Phone: 312.482.9996  Fax: 312.335.9096