Most Disappointing wine you ever had?


This is a topic I frequently discuss w/ friends, the wines that are keenly anticipated and subsequently diappoint you the most. Everyone has experienced it.

This should probably be a pretty prominent, famous and I guess high priced item i.e. the chardonnay you might pick up at the grocery store on the way to lunch at Mom’s certainly has great potential for disappointment but not in a surprising or reputation-besmirching way

My entry:

1985 Guigal Cote-Rotie, $300+ (ouchski) off the ‘reserve’ wine list at a nice dinner in Healdsburg. It had nothing at all left, perhaps a bad bottle, poorly cellared, who knew but boy was that a letdown. All that was left was alcohol and diluted acid.

'82 Cheval Blanc…I realized long before RMP that this wine was not the quality that he initially stated…at least I made a few $$$ on selling them off over the years…too bad I still haver a couple of bottles…

I’ve yet to taste a SQN that lived up to the hype. I’ve tasted the Albino twice and the Midnight Oil once - the guy who brought the Midnight Oil said it was damaged, but I’m not convinced I’d have liked that style anyway.

I wasn’t exactly wowed the time I tried Cristal. It was nice, but I’m sure i can find plenty of wines that I’d enjoy just as much if not more for a damn sight less.

And I’m not that keen on Mollydooker either.

Why didn’t you send the wine back? '85 Guigal B&B was a very nice wine when released 23 years ago for under $20. I drank my last bottle over 8 years ago and can’t imagine the wine having any life left if coming from other than a very, very cold cellar. If they were charging $300 for a B&B it should have been pristine…

'05 E. Guigal Cote Rotie B&B for me…was served blind in a flight of syrahs from all price points (the Guigal was the most expensive), and it wasn’t very good

In terms of them not meriting all the hype and thier respective prices: Le Pin, Screaming Eagle, Pingus - I just don’t get what all the fuss is about.

Pétrus, Lafleur I get, and, when from particularly good bottles, DRC as well.

Agree on Screaming Eagle and Pingus. I’d add Kistler Chards.

(Although I have rarely had Petrus and Lafleur, I get it)

Offhand I would nominate a magnum of 97 Giacosa - can’t remember exactly which wine but it was poured blind. I got the age right, roughly, but there wasn’t really much going on that would make me think this was a top Piedmont winery’s effort.

I’m tempted to nominate the '97 Harlan just to stir things up but I’ve never had it.

For me, every Pride and SQN I’ve ever tasted and the first vintage of some highly-hyped CA cabernet whose name escapes me at the moment. Oh . . . and Domaine Serene pinot noir, of course. [stirthepothal.gif]

I’ve mentioned this before, but it is therapeutic for me to continue to talk about it.

1982 Chateau Margaux. Hideously corked. New Year’s Eve 1999. I’m still angry. [soap.gif]

There was a time in the 20th Century when I was able to tolerate France.

I still have a few French odds and ends hanging around the cellar, but that was pretty much the last straw.

It really wasn’t corked or tainted. It was just …

What’s the word I’m looking for?

… crappy

2001 d’Yquem. Admittedly I’m not a sticky lover, but this just left me cold, couldn’t have assigned it more than 90 points, let alone 100. What’s the big deal?

Somehow cannot remember too many - I tend to suppress bad drinking memories maybe :slight_smile: But poorer vintages of Petrus and Cheval Blanc must rank right up there with some of my disappointing wines. One or two JF Mugnier bottlings for Burgundy as well, particular the Bonnes Mares.


How recently did you have it? Upon release, it was staggering - the first time I had it it was WOTN as the finish to a killer line-up of 82 and 90 Bordeaux. It stayed open for a couple of years, but then started to shut down (to my palate). I haven’t had it in a year, but it was definitely getting less generous.

My Mugnier experiences, admittedly limited, have been disappointing relative to the love he gets. Dugat-Py is another where I have yet to see the light.

I’m sure I have many candidates for this “accolade” given how many years I’ve been drinking serious wine, but the most recent nominee would be the '86 Lafite - absolutely spectacular when I had it at Per Se, I brought it blind to a tasting for a buddy who had considered it an “epiphany” wine, and, while not totally sucking, it certainly wasn’t anywhere close to a 100 point wine experience, being outshown blind by a number of Oregon pinots. To heap further indignity on this normally stellar wine, the back-up I brought was corked headbang .

You’re absolutely right - it’s not that Mugnier’s wine are bad by any means. All I have had from him are pretty good, one or two fantastic, but just that precious few of my expreiences live up to the hype.

So little time . . . so many prospects.

But since you say “most” I suppose I would go with the 2005 FUTO. I bought it on pedigree because I think that Abreu wines and Aubert wines are excellent. I have opened two of my three bottles and they were to sweet and too much like vanilla cream. I will keep the third one for 10 years and see what happens.

Couple years ago at a wine dinner. Could have been a bad bottle, but I’m skeptical that stickies are suspectible to the “bad bottle” syndrome, the absurd amounts of sugar are usually enough to slow the progression of any biological nastiness to a crawl, I would think (kind of like how honey can never go bad…)

I’ve drunk plenty of bad wine over the years. Probably the biggest disappointments were first growths. There was a Margaux – probably a 1967 consumed around 1977 – that had basically no flavor at all, it was kind of like water. I don’t suppose the 1968 Lafite counts, everyone knew that wine sucked and I think I paid $5 for the bottle. It was like pink cabbage water, didn’t even really taste like wine. I bought several 750’s and 375’s of Latour from 1970 and probably drank them all too young.

FWIW the only SQN I bought (The Prisoner??) I really liked… I’m not at all into Australian wines but I thought it tasted really good. (I know SQN is not Australian, I’m just saying people talk about SQN in the same way they talk about overblown Aussies).

Oh, a really big disappointment was a recent vintage of Beaune l’Enfant Jésus. I would have to go look in the cellar to see which year. I had been keeping a vertical of Baby Jesus until I got smacked in the face. Nasty stuff. You would think that someone with a reputation to maintain would skip a year now and then when they know the wine is irredeemably bad instead of selling it for the same price to suckers.