The Phylloxera epidemic or Phylloxera grape disease destroyed the greater part of vines in Europe between 1860-1900. New vines where imported from the USA as these wines were resistent to Phylloxera (phylloxera louse). However, the quality of the wines produced by these vines where in general of a lesser quality. So whenever we encounter a bottle of pre phylloexera wine, it will have our full attention.
Rivesaltes 1874 : L’Archiviste Collection
The Chateau Sisqueille 1874 came from the L’archivist collection and is a Rivesaltes wine. Some of these Rivesaltes wines are called Vin Doux Naturel and made from the Muscat grape. We have stock available from the 1930’s to 1980’s, and perfect drinking pleasure is guaranteed as the wines where bottled between 2011-2013 and will hold for at least some decades more.
Our last bottle of the 19th century release was the 1874 Sisqueille Riversaltes, a pre-phylloxera bottle made from 60% Grenache Noir. We decided to enjoy this wine on a Friday afternoon with some of our special customers, as these bottles always brings a lot of emotion: the sheer quality of these old European vines which unfortunately are now almost extinct. Whoever had the luck of drinking a pre-phylloxera wine knows what I mean…..
The tasting of the 1874
Pulling out the cork and having a quick sniff is always a thrill – please, don’t be corked! And ….. a smile appeared on my face.
The first impression was an overwhelming sugary/almond/kirsch/orange aroma, very thick and concentrated. The color was brown, with an dark orange rim. The first sip was mindblowing: so utterly full and round, with caramel, marmelade, ginger, dried fruit. Very little oxidation, far less than one would expect. And almost perfectly balanced. The wine opened up and became even more concentrated and sweeter. Not any sign of degrading, this wine hold for some decades more. What a joy and what a pleasure. BOW 9.5.