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  • By Jon Rimmerman
    4/10/2009, (See more on Garagiste...)

    (Chateau-Chalon BOURDY) 1895

    Dear Friends,

    There's not much to say here - this is one of the rarest wines in the world with only a few remaining bottles in existence (I believe there are four known to exist - one is in the cellar of a UK collector, the Bourdy family has one in the Jura museum of wine and two others are still in the original 1800's bin in the most remote section of the Bourdy estate cellar). The 1895 is considered one of the finest (if not the single finest) pre-phylloxera examples of wine from continental Europe that remains intact (as a comparison, late 1800's or 1900 Bordeaux you see at market are post-phylloxera from relatively young vines).

    Those of you that tasted the 1895 at Blue Hill last year will acknowledge that, not only is this wine intact, but it has decades of life remaining with a freshness that was impossible to believe (it is even better after 3-4 hours of air, which is incredible for a wine of this age). A cerebral, captivating, astonishing experience that eclipses (in my book) any dry example of Burgundy, Bordeaux or other from the same era that I've had the great pleasure to enjoy (and I've been quite fortunate to experience a number of them). Mesmerizing and almost indescribable - what sets this wine apart is the knowledge that there is no auction risk associated with it. It has never moved from the Bourdy cellar and, when asked how the 1895 we tasted at Blue Hill measures up to other bottles of the same vintage that Jean-Francois had tasted, he simply said "it's always that way". Now that's confidence.

    It's hard for me to put into words how important this wine is to the history of wine and to France itself. The 1895 Chalon represents far more than just a beverage - it has so much history wrapped up in its awkward glass enclosure that it feels like a mystical experience just to touch it (which I did last December - mold, dust and all). The Bourdy family has decided to part with the last two bottles for the best reason - it just seems like the right time to have someone enjoy them. Relics and mementos are nice but, in this case, the liquid has aged for 110 years in bottle and the time has come to release its splendor.

    As a reminder, here is the Wine and Spirits article on the Blue Hill/Bourdy event: <>

    (FYI - the 1865 no longer remains, we opened the last bottle at Blue Hill)

    A rarity with few equals:

    1895 Caves Bourdy Chateau-Chalon - $6,890.70
    (both bottles will come with a letter of authentication from the Bourdy Family)

    ...we also have a very small parcel of the "exceptionnel" 1979 Cotes du Jura Rouge - a Pinot Noir, Poulsard, Trousseau blend that comes highly recommended by Jean-Francois Bourdy for it's typicity and ageing ability:

    1979 Caves Bourdy Cotes du Jura Rouge
    (this is not the regular Vin Jaune, this is the estate bottled Rouge from a library collection that is quite rare)

    Both arrive with impeccable provenance in the late spring. The 1895 is only available for overnight shipping - no ground service.

    Thank you,

    Jon Rimmerman
    Seattle, WA


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