YouTube wine star tastes 100-year-old First Growth Bordeaux
Konstantin Baum MW is no stranger to trying wines that time forgot on his YouTube channel. In his latest video, the Master of Wine tried a trio of Bordeaux bottles to find out whether their best days are behind them.
Baum, who has almost 80,000 subscribers, uses his YouTube channel as a platform to communicate about the often seemingly-cryptic world of wine. From ranking celebrity-backed brands to trying wine that has been aged underwater, his videos have been growing in popularity among wine enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
However, recently he has made a reputation for himself for sampling wines that got left behind in the cellar. His biggest video so far, with over two million views, is the tasting of an 1863 Burmester Port. While his assessment of the 159-year-old fortified wine was glowing (“…this is just beautiful”), his recent tasting of the three bottles of Bordeaux was something of a mixed bag.
A subscriber, who had bought the wines initially from an old royal estate, sent bottles of Lafite, Latour and Mouton to Baum to try on camera. The labels of the Pauillac products were in poor condition, meaning that the vintage of each remains elusive. But Baum suspected that they were merchant bottlings from a time when the wines were not bottled at the estates, a practice which Mouton Rothschild did not stop until 1924.
Perhaps shockingly, the corks (mostly) came out in one piece and, despite the volume of liquid inside dropping to the shoulders of the bottles, the wines still had some life left in them. His first sniff of the Mouton left him shocked, leading him to exclaim with surprise: “It smells like Bordeaux”.
When it came to the Latour, he said: “[It’s] more concentrated, more rich, there are flavours of cassis, blackberries coming through, there are spice notes…on the palate it’s really rich and voluptuous”.
But, though these wines are known for their remarkable ageing potential, a century was pushing the limits. “It just isn’t good anymore,” was Baum’s response to the Lafite, which he deemed to be the worst of that particular bunch, with unpleasant acidity and flavours far from what one would expect from such a revered château.