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Private Bottlings of top flight Chateaus?


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A friend had a bottle of something I had never in my life heard of before. He was gifted a bottle of 2009 Saute Loup, which is apparently a small bottling just for people who work at Petrus, with a non-descript label, Pomerol appellation and "Reserve de la Famille" on the label.....that's it. My friend has an extraordinary depth of knowledge and a great palate, and said the wine was stunning and that he, too, had never heard of the wine before.

So, has anyone every heard of this before? Does anyone know of other great wineries that bottle very small allotments of a vintage under a different label for staff and workers?

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I've never heard of this, but as co-admin of (if I may dispense with any humility) a mailing list with the most knowledgeable wine group in the world as its members, I'll pass along your question, and see what I get. Is it okay if I cut and paste?

Ironically, I just met one of our members whom I've "known" for nearly twenty years, two nights ago in Nijmegen (of all places) - first time we'd ever met, and the guy pops a 2000 Ramonet Bienvenue-Batard Montrachet along with about six other serious bottles. What remarkable hospitality, and he will be paid back when he visits DC.

One thing I have had is a "Belgian-bottled" Petrus - Bordeaux chateaux used to ship barrels of wine to Belgium (and perhaps to other places and wealthy individuals), where they would bottle it themselves. The bottles and labels look *completely* different - caveat emptor at this point!

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Sure you can copy and paste. I edited the above so as not to put anyone in odd situations with professional colleagues.

i am truly amazed by this. I can tell you that he came by the bottle as a gift and that it came from Petrus is damn near unimpeachable.

I did some quick research and couldn’t find a thing...like a very cool secret. I can see why a Chateau might do it this way. A gift of a case of Petrus to staff could have significant tax implications (unsure  of French personal tax laws) and staff would certainly be enticed to sell their case rather than drink it, as the Chateau might intend with the “gift”. An off label bottling could solve this.

i am intrigued by what your group may come back with

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Poetic indeed. I texted Rocks last night some additional info, and I am as fascinated by this as I was about when a friend had dinner at Eleven Madison Park, there was a service issue at the beginning, and then they were taken on a magical ride. I found exactly one reference to a similar experience on the internet. The story is on the EMP thread but I dont know how to link to it.

This is a similar treasure hunt.

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