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Buying In Bond: 007 And Château Cheval Blanc

by Stuart George

In Never Say Never Again (1983), James Bond – played for the final time by Sean Connery – drinks a bottle of Château Cheval Blanc from a well-stocked hamper (in bed, with a friend – exactly how wine should be enjoyed). says, “Unfortunately the year of the wine can’t be seen clearly. It looks like 1982, the year before the movie was made, but it could also be a different year.”

Filming of Never Say Never Again began on 27th September 1982. Cheval Blanc is aged in barrels for 18 months or so, so the earliest vintage that could appear in the film is 1980 – perhaps the best wine of an underwhelming vintage at the beginning of a golden decade for Bordeaux.

Cheval 1979 and 1978 are also good wines. Indeed, Cheval was good throughout the 1970s, with the exception of the execrable 1972, 1973 (11.8% alcohol!), and 1974 (my vintage, unluckily for me; Sean Connery does no better with 1930.)

From the 1960s and before, Cheval Blanc was exceptional in 1966, 1964, 1961, 1959, 1955, 1953, 1952 (one of the finest old red wines that I’ve had), 1949, 1947, 1943, 1934, 1929, 1928, 1924, 1921…

And that’s as far as I go.

In the meantime, wash your hands, keep your distance, and try to have five portions of fun a day (like James Bond).

About the Author

Stuart George - Mayfair-based Arden Fine Wines was founded by Stuart George in 2019. Stuart began his wine career 24 years ago working alongside the distinguished Master of Wine and Burgundy expert Anthony Hanson. A holder of the prestigious Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma in Wine and Spirits since 2000, Stuart has tasted vintages back to 1780. He was UK Young Wine Writer of the Year in 2003. He was winner of the 2019 Scuderia Ferrari Wine Award for “outstanding professional achievements" and of the 2020 Family Office Awards Wine Writer of the Year.

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