Experts have been waiting a long time to get their hands — and palettes — on a stock of 19th century wine that was discovered under the floorboards of a Czech castle. The question, of course, is whether it would be good or not.
But recently that all changed. Using technology that allows tasters to sample wine by placing a thin needle through the cork without damaging it, Sommeliers were able to ascertain its quality. The 19th century vino, mostly from 1892 to 1899, are the oldest on which the Coravin device (launched in 2013) has been used.
Turns out the 133 bottle booty found in Becov castle by its then owners, the Beaufort-Spontin family in 1985, is rather unique for its size and age reports Reuters. Wines half as old usually turn up in bad condition.
But not this lot.
Despite the bottles’ dustiness, the nectar inside appears to remain in top condition. “If you smell these wines they still have this purity of fruits. There is acidity there, there are refreshing elements in these wines (that) will absolutely be an enjoyment,” explained Andreas Wickhoff, a Master of Wine holder.
Also, noteworthy is its price; the wines include Chateau d’Yquem vintages from 1892 and 1896 are valued at up to 750,000 crowns ($31,000 per bottle). The whole collection is worth at least 30 million crowns (more than $1.2 million).
But collectors need not get too excited; the lot is owned by the Czech government who is merely ascertaining its value — not selling it.