TN: 1959 Chateau Guiraud

Sometimes, I just have to shake my head at my good fortune.
Or maybe it just pays hanging out with restaurant folk.
Whatever the case, it came to be that a pristine bottle of the above wine was gifted to my wine tasting group, by a patron of a local restaurant. Said patron is one of a group of collectors who dine there monthly, and when he heard about our group, he offered some interesting bottles to one of our members, who works there. This bottle was among them.

So we decided to have a get together, and feature the bottle. We settled on some foie gras dishes - a bread pudding, a torchon poached in sparkling wine, and foie and white bean ravioli.
There were also a few dozen fresh oysters, some Champagne, a few Rieslings, and other wines, but you didn’t come here to read about those, did you?

The wine was given to me to open. I was a bit nervous, hoping the cork wouldn’t fall apart. It didn’t. I eased it out slowly, and it remained intact. I took a sniff, and things seemed in order - no off smells evident.

The wine was almost bronze - more the color of bourbon than Sauternes.
I poured some into a glass, and took a whiff. It was very much alive. I could just tell.

I got aromas of caramel, for sure, but also some nutty notes. Honey. Wax. That unmistakable botrytis nose. Layers of things I have difficulty describing. There’s some citrus pith - wait, it’s gone, replaced by something else. Just incredible.
In the mouth, the wine was just short of viscous, but not at all cloying.
We tried it with all the dishes, but frankly, this wine was best savored on its own.

It was in a 750 and all of us got healthy pours - the wine remained vibrant and did not fall apart at all.

This was an unbelievable treat for me, one I will never forget. A birth year wine that just rocked the house.

Thank you, nameless benefactor. I am forever in your debt.

I was lucky enough to have procured a bottle of this a few years ago and opened it up this past January. it was a fantastic bottle and I thought that it had the quality to last another 40 years without any problem. Mine was a lighter amber color and a perfect cork. I’m glad to see you enjoyed this.

Very cool. Someone brought this to a tasting here some years back. A truly memorable bottle!

  • 1959 Château Guiraud - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (12/2/2004)
    Roy Hersh’s 1990 & older tasting of “Wines that don’t suck” (Sammamish, WA, USA): Well this was a freaking treat and a GREAT way to get back on track! Thank you so much Rod for bringing this impeccable bottle from the year my Dad graduated from college. The nose show caramel, creme brulee and gobs of botrytis with that faint vinyl smell I often get. The palate is rich and well resolved with maple syrup, orange creamsicle and stunning depth. Who needs actual dessert when you can drink it in pure liquid form? The best part was the nearly endless, beautiful finish. Had I not enjoyed a 1967 Château d’Yquem back in October, this wine would have been my clear benchmark for Sauternes. Awesome! (96 pts.)

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