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Old 22-12-2008, 04:45 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN Chateau Margaux 1959

The Chateau Margaux 1959 has been properly stored by me since the mid
70s. It was imported into the US about then from a London wine dealer
and appeared to have been properly stored with a sound cork and labels
indicating it was stored where there was considerable moisture, likely
an underground cellar in the UK. I was expecting to have to build a
fire in the grill outdoors to heat up the port tongs to get rid of the
cork without cork particles in the wine. To my surprise, I was able to
extract the whole cork with only a Screwpull. The cork was still
fairly elastic and sealed the bottle well. The fill might be called
very low neck by a seller and very high shoulder by a buyer :-).

The wine is still rather deep red with some age now showing around the
rim. The bouquet is at once very intense as soon as the cork is
pulled. Bottle stench, if present, is completely masked by the
intensity of the good bouquet. I stored the wine in the wine machine
under ultra pure Argon and flushed out the air in the neck very well
with the Argon. I thus will be able to drink the wine over several
days. This wine was a nearly perfect Chateau Margaux. There are still
medium tannins that are now well resolved. The acid balance is right.
There are floral hints in the complex bouquet and taste dominated by
cassis with hints of other dark fruits. The finish is very long. You
do not have to try much to smell the very intense bouquet. I poured
some in an antique Italian wine glass that had a cone shape. It had a
light pink color with tiny gold flake in the glass and a very ornate
stem. Other than for examination of the color, this worked well enough
with plenty of bouquet. The wine likely would smell and taste equally
good out of a tea cup or a jelly jar.

In a 1982 book, Michael Broadbent says he had tasted 1959 Margaux many
times over the yearsand had 29 tasting notes.His last note in the book
was in Dec 2001. He says the wine is 5-star out of 5-star at the best.
He does mention that he tasted several bottles that were not this
good, and they mainly had poor levels or poor corks. I thus would buy
the wine today only if several bottles are being sold at an auction
and one is offered a taste from one bottle before opening, since this
wine now often sells for a very high price.

The 1961 Margaux was also a great wine and still is drinking well.
After that, the quality of Margaux was usually far below what Margaux
can be, although some of the wines were quite drinkable although often
overpriced for what you got. Perhaps the first of the more recent
Margauxs to have the potential of the older ones is the 1982, but it
will still be about 20 years before we know for sure. A top Margaux
from a top year should easily last 50 years if properly made for the
long term rather than to impress some critic when it is much too
young.

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Old 22-12-2008, 07:18 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN Chateau Margaux 1959

Fascinating note, CW. I urge you to hold on to a few more of those '59s
until next June, as that happens to coincide with my 50th birthday (hint
hint). On a tangential note, I was interested to read that you
extracted the cork with a screwpull. In my experience with dodgy corks
from older bottles, I find that a double-action waiter's friend works
the best as extracting the cork. Is your experience different? Any
others care to weigh in on the best tool for removing fragile corks?

Mark Lipton


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Old 22-12-2008, 08:42 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN Chateau Margaux 1959

On Dec 22, 2:18�pm, Mark Lipton wrote:
�In my experience with dodgy corks
from older bottles, I find that a double-action waiter's friend works
the best as extracting the cork. �Is your experience different? �Any
others care to weigh in on the best tool for removing fragile corks?

Mark Lipton

--
alt.food.wine FAQ: �http://winefaq.cwdjr.net


Great note. I'm envious!

Mark, the hinged double-action waiters corkscrew (Pulltap) is my
general preferred removal device. But for truly fragile, I'll use Ah
So (butler's friend).
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Old 22-12-2008, 09:17 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN Chateau Margaux 1959

On Dec 22, 3:42�pm, DaleW wrote:
On Dec 22, 2:18 pm, Mark Lipton wrote:
� In my experience with dodgy corks

from older bottles, I find that a double-action waiter's friend works
the best as extracting the cork. Is your experience different? Any
others care to weigh in on the best tool for removing fragile corks?


Mark Lipton


--
alt.food.wine FAQ:http://winefaq.cwdjr.net


Great note. I'm envious!

Mark, the hinged double-action waiters corkscrew (Pulltap) is my
general preferred removal device. But for truly fragile, I'll use Ah
So (butler's friend).


Ditto for me but I have a double helix waiters friend that is
especially useful on fragile corks.
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Old 23-12-2008, 12:55 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN Chateau Margaux 1959

On Dec 22, 3:17*pm, "Bi!!" wrote:
On Dec 22, 3:42 pm, DaleW wrote:



On Dec 22, 2:18 pm, Mark Lipton wrote:
In my experience with dodgy corks


from older bottles, I find that a double-action waiter's friend works
the best as extracting the cork. Is your experience different? Any
others care to weigh in on the best tool for removing fragile corks?


Mark Lipton


--
alt.food.wine FAQ:http://winefaq.cwdjr.net


Great note. I'm envious!


Mark, the hinged double-action waiters corkscrew (Pulltap) is my
general preferred removal device. But for truly fragile, I'll use Ah
So (butler's friend).


Ditto for me but I have a double helix waiters friend that is
especially useful on fragile corks.


I have several devices for removing corks. For very old corks, it can
be difficult to decide what to use. After cleaning the neck and top of
the cork well, I run a sharp, thin, knife point around the top between
the glass and cork. In some cases, the cork seems to be firmly
cemented to the glass. In such cases, a screw often is useless,
because it just pulls out a core of cork and drops many crumbs in the
wine. In that case. a butler's friend with thin blades usually works
best with much rotation to break the seal between the glass and cork.
Insert a finger between the two blades and pressing outward helps keep
the blades in direct contact with the glass. This can be rather slow.

If the cork does not seem to be stuck to the glass, I next try a hand
Screwpull. Sometimes this works, If the screw starts to pull loose
from the cork, I back it out at once and then insert it at an angle.
This gives me something to hold when I start in a butler's friend.
When the screw gets in the way, I remove it. If the cork breaks off, I
remove any crumbs of cork and repeat the process.

If I do drop some larger pieces of cork in the wine, I have a device
that will clamp on to larger chunks of cork an lets you pull them out.
For small pieces of cork, I use a long ,thin, spatula with a small
blade on the end that is offset from the center. This allows you to
drag small pieces of cork up the neck.

The last resort uses port tongs. These need to be heated red hot, and
an electric range does not work very well for heating them. If you do
not have large open gas burners or an active fireplace, then a
charcoal fire in a grill works fairly well.

For corks that are not very old, I usually use a lever action screw
taking care to watch for any indication that the screw is about to
pull out the center of the cork. Some Italian wines have used
extremely compressed corks and here some lever action is very helpful.
I once stretched the screw of a Screwpull on one such Italian wine
cork. For such wood-like cork, I have an old lever action corkscrew
with what appears to be a heavy cast metal screw. It is likely to pull
out a core of soft cork, but for those wood-like corks it holds well
and does not stretch the screw.


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Old 23-12-2008, 08:06 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN Chateau Margaux 1959

In this discussion of difficult corks (by the way, knocking off the bottle
top seems like a reasonable final method; it can be done also with a sword,
by someone _very_ good, though so far I've seen no one under 60, or US-born,
show that knack) I couldn't always tell if the corkscrews were of helix or
"drill" kind, but I'm gathering they were all helices. (A "drill" has a
solid core, and tends to split corks. It's a very old point that I hope is
in the FAQ already, like second or third pph.) Screwpull-type openers are
especially effective helix types because they have a wide diameter (at least
the ones I've seen).

I also was interested in Mr Broadbent's time machine (or maybe it was a typo
or maybe just a revised edition :-) :
"cwdjrxyz" wrote :
...
In a 1982 book, Michael Broadbent says he had tasted 1959
Margaux many times over the years and had 29 tasting notes.
His last note in the book was in Dec 2001.


Broadbent's _Great Vintage Wine Book_ (1980), touted when it appeared
because of Broadbent's range of tasting experience in his job, only has
notes on that wine to 1977, citing "a dozen notes since 1964."


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Old 23-12-2008, 09:38 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN Chateau Margaux 1959

On Dec 23, 2:06*am, "Max Hauser" wrote:
In this discussion of difficult corks (by the way, knocking off the bottle
top seems like a reasonable final method; it can be done also with a sword,
by someone _very_ good, though so far I've seen no one under 60, or US-born,
show that knack) I couldn't always tell if the corkscrews were of helix or
"drill" kind, but I'm gathering they were all helices. *(A "drill" has a
solid core, and tends to split corks. *It's a very old point that I hope is
in the FAQ already, like second or third pph.) *Screwpull-type openers are
especially effective helix types because they have a wide diameter (at least
the ones I've seen).

I also was interested in Mr Broadbent's time machine (or maybe it was a typo
or maybe just a revised edition :-) *:
"cwdjrxyz" wrote :

...
In a 1982 book, Michael Broadbent says he had tasted 1959
Margaux many times over the years and had 29 tasting notes.
His last note in the book was in Dec 2001.


The date is in error. It was Broadbents third book titled Vtintage
Wine with a copyright of 2002 by the publisher and with a text
copyright also of 2002 by Broadbent.



Broadbent's _Great Vintage Wine Book_ (1980), touted when it appeared
because of Broadbent's range of tasting experience in his job, only has
notes on that wine to 1977, citing "a dozen notes since 1964."


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Old 23-12-2008, 12:59 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN Chateau Margaux 1959

On Dec 23, 3:06�am, "Max Hauser" wrote:
In this discussion of difficult corks (by the way, knocking off the bottle
top seems like a reasonable final method; it can be done also with a sword,
by someone _very_ good, though so far I've seen no one under 60, or US-born,
show that knack)


I've never seen sabering of a still wine, but beyond using a sword,
I've seen people take off the top of Champagne bottles with a teaspoon
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Old 23-12-2008, 04:06 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN Chateau Margaux 1959

Good show!

Tasted this several years go in a flight against the 1959 Montrose,
both great wines.
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Old 30-12-2008, 09:28 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN Chateau Margaux 1959

In article
,
cwdjrxyz wrote:

The Chateau Margaux 1959 has been properly stored by me since the mid
70s. It was imported into the US about then from a London wine dealer
and appeared to have been properly stored with a sound cork and labels
indicating it was stored where there was considerable moisture, likely
an underground cellar in the UK. I was expecting to have to build a
fire in the grill outdoors to heat up the port tongs to get rid of the
cork without cork particles in the wine. To my surprise, I was able to
extract the whole cork with only a Screwpull. The cork was still
fairly elastic and sealed the bottle well. The fill might be called
very low neck by a seller and very high shoulder by a buyer :-).

The wine is still rather deep red with some age now showing around the
rim. The bouquet is at once very intense as soon as the cork is
pulled. Bottle stench, if present, is completely masked by the
intensity of the good bouquet. I stored the wine in the wine machine
under ultra pure Argon and flushed out the air in the neck very well
with the Argon. I thus will be able to drink the wine over several
days. This wine was a nearly perfect Chateau Margaux. There are still
medium tannins that are now well resolved. The acid balance is right.
There are floral hints in the complex bouquet and taste dominated by
cassis with hints of other dark fruits. The finish is very long. You
do not have to try much to smell the very intense bouquet. I poured
some in an antique Italian wine glass that had a cone shape. It had a
light pink color with tiny gold flake in the glass and a very ornate
stem. Other than for examination of the color, this worked well enough
with plenty of bouquet. The wine likely would smell and taste equally
good out of a tea cup or a jelly jar.

In a 1982 book, Michael Broadbent says he had tasted 1959 Margaux many
times over the yearsand had 29 tasting notes.His last note in the book
was in Dec 2001. He says the wine is 5-star out of 5-star at the best.
He does mention that he tasted several bottles that were not this
good, and they mainly had poor levels or poor corks. I thus would buy
the wine today only if several bottles are being sold at an auction
and one is offered a taste from one bottle before opening, since this
wine now often sells for a very high price.

The 1961 Margaux was also a great wine and still is drinking well.
After that, the quality of Margaux was usually far below what Margaux
can be, although some of the wines were quite drinkable although often
overpriced for what you got. Perhaps the first of the more recent
Margauxs to have the potential of the older ones is the 1982, but it
will still be about 20 years before we know for sure. A top Margaux
from a top year should easily last 50 years if properly made for the
long term rather than to impress some critic when it is much too
young.


I am quite jealous. I tasted this once at a public tasting and got about
a tablespoon full and even then it was luscious.


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