What Bottle Stands Out In Your Memory?

I thought this might be a interesting exercise for everyone. What ONE bottle of wine stands out in your memory as being head and shoulders above all the rest?

For me it was a 1989 Chateau Haut Brion that I enjoyed in 2009. I scored it a 98 which is the highest score I’ve ever given to a wine.


1959 Chateau Mouton Rothschild, from the Baroness’s cellar. I’ve had other incredible bottles ('89 Giacosa Collina Rionda, '89 Haut Brion, '64 Cheval Blanc), but the '59 Mouton was truly unforgettable.

1990 Chave Hermitage. I could still taste it after drinking a 1988 Latour and a 200(?1?) Prieur Musigny.

59 Margaux that I opened from a friends eurocave that said open anything.
91 E Rouget Echezeaux
2000 E Rouget Vosne Romanee Les Beaux Monts

1968 Martha ‘s Vinyard Heitz had in 1974.

1986 Jordan cabernet

89 Haut Brion

More recently, 1998 Karl Lawrence Herb Lamb Reserve

There are a few biting at its heals but it would have to be the '66 Haut Brion (my favourite HB vintage). However, on the nose alone it would have to be the '62 Lafite (had from magnum a few years ago). I bought the latter at auction and it leaked slightly during transport, filling the plastic sleeve it was wrapped in in the most feverishly transcendental smell I’ve ever come across. I sat there smelling it for half an hour without even getting up from my chair. Then I placed it upright for a few weeks and drank it (I was worried it would go down hill). It was fabulous but the nose was not quite the epiphany it had been when I unsheathed it that first time.

1966 Chateau Latour.

1983 Rousseau Chambertin bought off a list in Louisville a few years back. Benchmark for every Burgundy I taste before or since, and still never equaled.

1970 Ridge Jimsomare Zinfandel on a couple of occasions.

’66 Krug Blanc de blancs a close second…

I have been privileged to have had the '78 Monfortino and '78 Giacosa Collina Rionda Riserva on the same evening about a half dozen times - but the one time that stands out in that group was the night my wife and I were the only two people enjoying those two sublime wines - you can’t beat multiple pours of truly great wines :wink: .

‘89 Lynch Bages, probably 15 years ago? First wine that really amazed me. It was on another level from everything I’d had up to that point.

Standing in the private family cellar of the original owners of Quinta do Noval, who lost it back in the latter 1800’s, with a direct descendant and having him pick up a bottle of 1812 Port that had been in their cellar undisturbed for over 200 years, hand it to me and tell me we’re going to open it to drink. I was scared to death I would somehow drop it or break it between the cellar and walking up to the dinning room. I will never forget that day.

Sorry, can’t play. I have more than one and I can’t pick between them

1970 Monfortino
1945 Port in 1981 in Hong Kong
1928 Margaux, in 1969 when we graduated from high school and my friend’s father opened a bottle he had bought when his son was born in 1951.
1922 D’Oliveras Madeira, twice, at my mother’s 85th and 90th Birthdays.
1976 Chateau de La Maltroye Clos de la Maltroye Rouge, bought on release and opened in 2005
1982 Branaire Ducru. Fruit salad.
2014 Paolo Scavino Bricco Ambrogio Riserva. At the winery. Greatest floral nose evah!
1996(7?) Pahlmeyer Merlot.Helen Turley’s last Pahlmeyer.
1994 Zind Humbrecht Clos Jebsal SGN. Drank at BLT steakhouse on 22nd street. Finish lasted until I got of the train in White Plains.

2001 Turley ‘Old Vines’ Zin
This stands out not necessarily for the reasons most people would use for their criteria, but . . .

I was hosting family and friends over for Thanksgiving and opened this bottle - and it was mildly corked . . . but it was one of if not the first bottle that I picked out as ‘corked’ and therefore was able to explain to everyone else there what that actually ‘meant’ with confidence.

1984 Chateau Montelena Cab
Early on in my wine journey, I really didn’t ‘get’ wine at all. I didn’t grow up in a family that drank much wine - my parents were raised during the Great Depression and not with parents that enjoyed ‘the finer things’ so to speak. I had tried wines but just didn’t ‘get’ it at all - until I went wine tasting and serendipitously visited CM. I went in, stuck my nose in a glass of this, and literally did not take it our for about 10 minutes. How in the HELL can a beverage be so complex aromatically, so full of ‘layers and layers’ of different spices, fruits, etc? And how did I keep getting new things as I allowed that wine to simply sit in the glass longer? I was mesmerized - and I am eternally grateful.


1975 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett.

I have had wines I’ve considered “better” or “higher scoring”, but that bottle was a jawdropping experience and eye-opening in reminding me just how Kabinett can age. It needed about 10 minutes for some funk (sulfur?) to clear, then hit a pinnacle and three of us finished it off in about 20 minutes in awe and near-silence.

There is a long list, but if I was to pick one it would be the 1970 Petrus. It was my first time tasting Petrus, and it was revelatory.

You’re making me happy I put away so many of the 2015 and 2016.