My mother is turning 60 this year, and I'm wondering about the
availability, affordability, and drinkability of 1944 wines. I'm
guessing that they're pretty expensive, but I think she would really
enjoy a bottle as a gift. Any suggestions for places to look? I'm in
Boston, but I'm interested in looking online too.
I don't think a '44 wine would be much good anymore. Even ignoring the
problems with war-time production, the number of years would have
certainly made the wine little less than a novelty
OTOH, a couple of years ago, I had the good fortune to spend a night
at Lameloise, a Michelin *** establishment a bit north of Lyon. After
an incredible dinner which featured my first exposure to "real"
Burgundy wines--a Vosne-Romanee and a Grands Echezeaux which, despite
forgetting the negociant, I recall as magnificent, I had the
opportunity to cap off the meal with an Armagnac from a collection
displayed on the wall that had every vintage from 1900 forward.
I sipped a '42. It was quite nice.
Might look for a vintage armagnac or maybe a vintage port. Either is
likely to be a bit pricey though.
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
The parts of the world that make wine that lasts that long were otherwise
engaged in that year.
Nice idea, but good luck finding anything affordable and drinkable. Best bet
would be a Port or Sauternes and you'd be looking at $400+
Bill & Ed make good points. Though who knows, 1945 was a legendary Bdx vintage,
and a '43 Joe Rosenberg served at a dinner at Tomasso's was faded, but still
Armangac (are there vintage dated Cognacs?) would be safest.
As Portugal was a neutral country, Port would be my first choice for wine.
Don't think '44 was a declared vintage, but maybe a Colheita.
You can try winesearcher.com (I think it'll show Armagnac too). There's a
company in CA that specializes in having wine from every year, called Antique
Wine Company (I think). But they're not cheap.
Drop "damnspam" to reply
Michael Broadbent has tasted a vast number of old wines. Here are a few
from 1944 that he tasted in the last several years. He rates on a star
basis, with 5 star being top.
Ch. d'Yquem - 4 star tasted in 1998;
Ch, Haut Brion - at best 3 star tasted in 1998;
Giacomo Borgogno Barolo - 3 star in 1996;
Delaforce Vintage Port - 3 star in 1964;
Dow Vintage Port - 3 star in 1961;
Charles Krug CS - 4 star in 1985;
BV Georges de Latour CS - 3 star in 1999;
It might take considerable time to locate any of these that have been
I have a single bottle of Porto Guedes, Port of the Vintage 1944. The
back label says: "This rare Port was stored in oak casks since the time
of the vintage and bottled in1969". It was imported by John Gross & Co,
of Baltimore MD USA. The back label also says: "The grower and exporter
give their assurance for the year indicated on the label, and declare
that his Port Wine was accompanied at the time of importation by a
certicate issued by the Instituto Do Vinho Do Porto attesting the
authenticity of the Vintage." Despite all of the verbiage on the label,
this wine probably is nothing very special. The term "Port of the
Vintage" has not been used for many years and has been replaced by
"Colheita". Usually such a wine is made in years that do not produce
many or any Vintage Ports. I mention all of this, because you might find
a "Port of the Vintage" from someone else from 1944. I have no idea if
"Port of the Vintage" was ever used in countries other than the USA.
Perhaps someone from the UK, Canada, or Australia would know.