Two accidentally cellared survivors

As discussed in the Feb. 15, 2019 30 Second Wine Advisor, these ageworthy wines survived about two decades of less than ideal storage yet survived and showed quite well. Don’t try this at home!

Alain Brumont Chateau Bouscassé 1994 Madiran Vieilles Vignes

 Chateau Bouscassé

Chateau Bouscassé

The aged cork in this 25-year-old wine broke in half while I was pulling it, but a little expert corkscrew wrangling got it all out without losing any to the wine. Much to my amazement, the wine is still more than drinkable. In fact, without planning it so, it turned into a beautiful drink for Valentine’s Day dinner. Dark purple in color, it shows a bright garnet edge with no sign of browning. The aromas are rather primary at first, black plums and an earthy hint of red clay, opening up in the glass to something much more complex: A grind of white pepper and a lovely, aromatic scent of old roses. Good acidity provides balance, and tannins still provide firm structure, but they have finally given way to a very interesting wine. Moderate 12.5% alcohol, U.S. importer: Jeffrey M. Davies Signature Selections, West Nyack, N.Y. (Feb. 14, 2019)

FOOD MATCH: What it really needs is rare lamb or beef. That would be amazing. It was mighty good too, though, with a mild shakshuka, eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce with fresh spinach and Rancho Gordo white heirloom Mogette de Vendée beans added.

WHEN TO DRINK: If you’ve been cellaring this wine properly, it probably still has miles to go before it sleeps. I’m glad I caught my improperly cellared bottle when I did.

Somewhat to my surprise, a few wine shops on list older vintages of Chateau Bouscassé Madiran Vieilles Vignes. Current vintages (without the Vieilles Vintages label go for around $20 a bottle.

Here’s a short fact sheet on the 2009 Bouscassé from Michigan-based importer Kindred Wines.

Locate vendors and check prices for Chateau Bouscassé Madiran Vieilles Vignes on


Marc Kreydenweiss 2000 Clos Rebberg Pinot Gris Selections de Grains Nobles (500ml bottle)

Marc Kreydenweiss

Another unexpected Valentine’s Day treat. This tall, slender bottle’s cork looked solid and fresh, but it, too, broke as I was pulling it, even with a two-step corkscrew lever. Fortunately, it too escaped without cork fragments in the wine. It’s clear and bright, no sign of haze, a pretty shade of gold, amber and bronze. An bold but pleasant scent of very ripe apricots and peaches lofts from the glass, a classic descriptor of botrytis cinerea (“noble rot”). The ripe fruit and botrytis character carries over on the palate, surprisingly fresh for an 18-plus-year-old wine. A firm acidic structure keeps the fruit sugars from cloying, and carries potent fresh and dried apricot into a very long finish. A hint of sweet sherry comes in after time in the glass, suggesting that age is finally setting in, but it’s pleasant and not at all a flaw. Alcohol level marked 13%. Purchased at the winery in 2003. (Feb. 14, 2019)

FOOD MATCH: Its heady fruit and intense sweetness makes it best for sipping on its own, and that’s what we happily did.

WHEN TO DRINK: It held up amazingly well, thanks I think to sugar and botrytis, but I really don’t think it would be wise to hold this any longer without good cellar conditions.

A single French wine shop is offering the 2000 Kreydenweiss Clos Rebberg Pinot Gris Selections de Grains Noblesfor approximately US$50.

The Marc Kreydenweiss website is available in French and English. Click here for the English-language home page.

Locate vendors and check prices for all the wines from Mark Kreydenweiss on

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