15 remarkable drinks-related discoveries

Wine found hidden in Czech castle since 1800s

In 1985, 130 bottles of 19th century wines were found hidden under the floorboards of a Czech castle. Sommeliers were finally given the chance to taste them three decades later in 2016.

The stash was hidden in the castle in Becov towards the end of World War II by its then owners, the Beaufort-Spontin family, to keep them safe from plundering soldiers, as reported by Reuters. 

The wines, which date back to the 1880s, were discovered in 1985 – 40 years after being hidden. Among the collection are Chateau d’Yquem vintages from 1892 – valued at up to 750,000 crowns ($31,000) per bottle – and 1896. Also in the collection was a bottle of Corton Charlemagne 1892 and Porto 1862, with the majority of the wines from the 1892 to 1899 vintages.

The collection has remained untouched, under the possession of the Czech authorities, until 2016. Using a Coravin, Czech authorities invited sommeliers to test the bottles for their value.

Speaking to Reuters, Andreas Wickhoff MW and sommelier said the group was “thrilled” and “surprised” by the condition of the wines. “There was no, no sign of oxidation, the wines were in very, very stable condition.”

Some of the bottles are said to be worth over $30,000 with early estimates placing the value of the entire collection at over $1.2 million.

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