Over the years, I’ve participated in thousands of wine tastings. I have read about hundreds or thousands more. But there is one that stands out above all the others. It is, without question, the wine tasting of the millennium. The basic idea was to taste the highest scoring wines of all time in one tasting.
In order to broaden the perspective of the tasting, we decided to revert to something none of us really care for, the 100-point scoring system. The reason was simple. With the 100-point scale, we had lots of perfect wines to choose from. So to narrow it down a bit, we chose wines that received 100 points from at least three different reviewers. With these criteria, we found nearly all the wines to be red and very few to be older, fully mature wines.
So, to be fair, we limited the age to a maximum of three years. In fact, there were so many perfect scores of wines not bottled and still in barrel, that we also included them. When we were all done, we found 1,062 perfect 100-point wines, but only 51 that were agreed to be perfect by at least three reviewers. They included Bordeaux, California Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, Australia Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, Rhones, some Burgundies, and wines from a few other areas, such as South America and Italy.
There were six of us at the tasting. We chose not to have anything interfere with the wine, not even food. To be as objective as possible, the tasting was done blind. It took about five hours but the last couple of hours were devoted to retasting and discussion in order to get down to the very best wine. It was difficult. Finally, in the end, we all agreed on the wine that stood above all the others. Surely, this is, without question, the world’s greatest wine. The last thing to do was to put together a collective tasting note.
Here it is — the tasting note for the most incredible wine of my lifetime:
Deep, dark, dense, purple-black color. In fact, a color so dark that no matter how little was in the glass, you could not see through it. Amazing! And, what a complex nose. There was an overwhelming perfume of Tahitian vanilla, See’s dark Bordeaux chocolate, Pineola berry, Acai berry, with hints of rare, grilled, prime, bone-in New York steak, Taiwanese camphor, Kiwi black shoe polish, English saddle leather and a tinge of Chanel No. 5. On the palate, there was even more complexity and surreal intensity. Thick, dense, rich and ultra-hedonistic, several tasters were tempted to rub it on their skin but it was too powerfully rich and complex to not drink every last drop! The flavors were astonishing, with Flavor Grenade Pluot, Teuscher’s Champagne Truffle, golden resin, Sri Lankan cassia and myrtle pepper, it literally exploded in the mouth. The finish was not to be believed, hinting of Iberico Belota Ham, Zen Cannabis, Tahitian Pummelo, interlaced with Brown Turkey Fig and ultra thick, sappy coal tar that really coated your mouth! And talk about long on the palate, the finish lasted from three hours to three days depending on the taster. In fact, one person told me that after three days, only a long gargle of traditional Listerine could erase it!! What a wine!! The wine of the Millennium!!!
One hint – Following through in the tradition of this domaine, only one barrel (25 cases) was produced. The wine is still in the barrel and is expected to be bottled after further tastings, probably in two to three years. Only five cases will be sold, one bottle at a time, in a Dutch auction to be announced at a later date. The few cases remaining will be reserved for the owner and wine critics.
Click below for the answer.