Michael Broadbent's Vintage Wine
By Michael Broadbent
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151007042, 560pp.)
Publication Date: November 2002
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Unquestionably unique, demonstrably delightful, Michael Broadbent's Vintage Wine is the culmination of one of the most extraordinary careers in the world of wine. Michael Broadbent quite possibly knows more about fine, old wines than anyone else alive, and he writes about them with unparalleled expertise.
Hired by Christie's in 1966 to revive their wine auctions, Broadbent threw himself into his work, searching out great collections of the world's finest wine--and keeping meticulous tasting notes. Here are evocations of Chateau d'Yquem from 1784--one of Thomas Jefferson's favorites--and hundreds of vintages and thousands of wines right up to the present.
Years of "cellars visited and pillaged, involving the checking and packing of dust- and grime-laden bottles in distinctly dank and chilly conditions," jet-set auctions around the world, legendary tastings and society events, have all helped to create an unrivalled store of vinous anecdotes as well as an unsurpassed wine-tasting history.
From a tasting of 1784 Chateau Yquem:
"The most renowned vintage of the late 18th century and well-documented thanks mainly to the original copies of the letters and orders of Thomas Jefferson. . . . Jefferson did not trust wine merchants and insisted on bottling at the chateau. . . . The wine has a warm mahogany-amber colour with a pronounced yellow-green rim. Initially, the nose, unsurprisingly, was creakingly old but after fifteen minutes settled down to reveal a remarkably rich, tangy, honeyed scent."
Michael Broadbent became a Master of Wine in 1960 and head of Christie's wine department in 1966. He has been chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine and international president of the International Food and Wine Society, and he is one of only a handful of Englishmen ever to have been made a Chevalier de l'Ordre National du M+rite by the French government. He lives in London.
PRAISE FOR MICHAEL BROADBENT
"Michael Broadbent is in the first rank of wine authorities, and has led the way in defining and commenting on wine for the past 50 years. His early recognition of the possibilities for California wine, and his analysis and support over the years, have been crucial in our development. There is no one whose judgment I trust more than Michael’s."--Robert Mondavi
"[Michael Broadbent] has traded in and tasted a greater number of fine and rare wines than anyone else in the world." --Jancis Robinson