A Pretty Good Day

For those that missed it on the Twitter, I was playing with wine today.

My film transfer project is pretty much done for the most part, as is my family photo archiving. That leaves me to help the g’rents out with a few things around the house. And this one thing in particular.

Back in the ’70’s, my grandparents bought a crappy little lot in the mountains right on Lake Arrowhead. Over the course of 4 years they proceeded to build one of the most beautiful homes on the lake. Built entirely by hand by master craftsman, no expense was spared. Hand picked rock for the pier and fireplaces, solid oak for the walls and stairs, 1 piece bar tops also made of oak. You get the idea.

When my grandfather designed this house, he wanted it to have a wine cellar. So it did. Built into the foundation in such a way that the temperature was always 70 degrees and there was almost no humidity. All without the use of any machinery. Within this cellar lived some truly great wines, and those are what I’m dealing with now.

Among the wines in the collection, besides the 11 full cases of Opus One (79 – 86) are many bottles of BV Latour (71 – 83), Dom Perignon (including a ’69), some fine Sterling Cab (’77) and 2 bottles of Chateau d Y’Quem (trust me, it’s fancy).

Mixed in with this high dollar examples were some more great wines, but not as spendy. Quite a few bottles of Fetzer from the ’70s and 80’s and more than a few bottles of BV Rutherford Cabernet from the ’70s and 80s.

It’s quite a bit of wine and I have taken it upon myself to organize, sort and inventory (the good stuff) and re-store it. Am I sore after moving over 24 cases out of that room into another? Sure. Worth it? Absolutely!

When my grandparents first started moving into the big house in Lake Arrowhead, they had to stock it. Some of the first bottles to arrive were some from Mondavi, of which I have found some ’82 Cab and 1 bottle of ’79 Pinot Noir.

With dinner tonight, Grandpa thought it would be neat to let me pick a bottle out of that room. So, naturally, I grabbed a bottle of BV Rutherford Cab from ’88 (about $50) of which there are many. I brought it out and was shot down since that cab is on the ‘drink it all the time’ list, just from a new vintage. So, back to the room I went. I remembered when I found those bottles of Mondavi Grandpa’s eyes lit up and he sat back and said “That’s some great wine right there”. So, that’s what I grabbed. 1 of the cabernet and that bottle of Pinot.

From that he made me pick. I almost went with the cab, but last minute I changed my mind and decided to have the pinot instead. And yes, it was fantastic. Made even more so after curiosity got to my grandparents and they wanted to know the value. For those of you wondering at home, current retail value of a bottle of ’79 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Pinot Noir is about $125 per bottle.

But that’s not the cool part.

The cool part is that I got to enjoy what is probably the only bottle of that left in my Grandfather’s collection, taken from the first batch of wine that was delivered to the last house he built. And I got to enjoy it with him.

Published by Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

Join the Conversation

4 Comments

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.