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Chateau d’Yquem Comet Vintage 1811

Posted by on Jul 31, 2011 |

Chateau d’Yquem indisputably produces one of Bordeaux’s most famous wines. On July 26, 2011, a two-hundred-year-old Comet Vintage bottle, of which there are only 10 confirmed bottles left in the world, sold for a Guiness world record-breaking amount for a white wine, or £75,000 ($117,000 depending on when you do the GBP/USD conversion) to a former wine sommelier.

Meet Christian Vanneque. Back in 1967, the 21-year-old was hired as France’s youngest chef sommeliers by the famous La Tour d’Argent. The restaurant has been a tourist-driven, fine dining mecca for centuries (yes, the restaurant claims roots dating to the late 1400’s) and had enjoyed a Michelin Guide three-star rating for many years (it was downgraded to two stars in 1996 and one star in 2006).

Not through with headline-making endeavors, M Vanneque was one of the judges at the Paris Wine Tasting of May 1976. This blind tasting shocked the industry when nine French judges chose unknown Californian wines over some of France’s best.

Since leaving the storied Tour d’Argent, M Veneque has opened restaurants in California, New York and now Bali, his new home and also the place where in 2017 he intends to share this exquisite bottle with a select few family and friends.
guiness book of world records chateau d'yquem white

I tasted my first Chateau d’Yquem in 1991 at a chic little place called Bouley when it was located on Chambers Street. It sparked a memorable series of events in my life like no other wine has except perhaps a particular red by Orin Swift (the Prisoner). While these two names are nowhere near the same prestige level, I like to get emotionally involved in wine stories. It helps recall dates, events, locations, but most important, people I’ve loved in my life.