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The other day my colleague Kristin Donnelly blogged about an upcoming auction at Christie's as a likely source for good values. At it—thanks to the rough economic times—I know she scored some very intriguing sounding wines for the comical price of $50 a case. Anyway, it somehow struck a chord in my mind with the result that last night for dinner I opened up a half-bottle of 1989 Château Citran that I'd recently found in an old shoebox in the back of my closet (really). It was tobacco-y and very distinguished, still holding onto a reasonable amount of cool blueberry fruit, and aromatic in a filigreed kind of way—musically, it would be a Chopin etude rather than the Beethoven symphony that first growth Bordeaux tends to suggest. (Or The National rather than My Morning Jacket, if you'd rather get more contemporary.) Anyway, it was pretty darn impressive, especially given that I've been carting the thing around the country with me for about fourteen years now (I bought it in 1994). So if you can find any of the ’89 at an auction—whether for $50 a case or not—snap it up!
And, what that brings to mind is the 2005 Château Citran (about $25, click here to find). It's from an equally good vintage—’89 was pretty off-the-charts, but so is ’05—is polished and firm, and should have an equally long life ahead of it. Whether it will age perfectly in a shoebox, I don't know. But I wouldn't be surprised if it did.