The vintage 1811 was exceptional in many European wine regions and is said to be the best of the past three centuries. Among other things, the red wines from Château Lafite-Rothschild (then Château Lafite) and Château d'Yquem, on Riesling from the winery Bassermann-Jordan as well as general Tokaj called. Wines of this vintage are also called "Napoleon wine" because of the emperor Napoleon (1769-1821) was at the peak of his fame. His son Napoleon II was born that year. A Château d'Yquem of this vintage was sold for € 85,000 in 2011 and is one of the most expensive wines in the world, The wines from the year were also called Wines of the century titled. The name became popular comet vintages minted because a comet discovered by Honoré Flaugergues (1755-1830) appeared, which was one of the three largest ever sighted; its tail length was well over 100 million kilometers. The comet was said to have an influence on the excellent wine quality.
In Germany, the must had 80 to 85 ° Oechsle (16 to 17 ° KMW) and "were weighed in gold". Here the vintage was called "911" (or "Eilfer"). This is how Johann W. von Goethe (1749–1832) in his West-Eastern divan with the verse: "In which wine did Alexander get drunk, I bet the last spark of life: it was not as good as mine" . In another place he rhymes: "Don't put me, you ruffian, the jug so stubbornly in front of me! Whoever brings me wine, look at me kindly, otherwise the Eilfer becomes cloudy in the glass ”. Specifically, it was a Riesling from the Winkeler single layer Hasensprung (Rheingau) of the Brentano winery (the areas are now owned by the winery Vollrads Castle ).
In a received letter to the winery Bassermann-Jordan in Deidesheim-Pfalz from 1820 Goethe ordered an 1811 for a spa stay. It was a crop from the Forster location Enormous (Rheingau). This was probably not a varietal Riesling, but a widespread one at the time Mixed sentence from the varieties Riesling. Traminer and Orleans, The cause of the extreme longevity is the tannins the thick-skinned Orléansrebe awarded. The weather conditions in Germany this year were extremely favorable for a high quality wine. Because a moderately cold winter was followed in February by the start of a dry and warm spring weather that continued until May. Summer began in May, so to speak, and was followed by a warm and long autumn.
Other reasons are the usual at that time Whole cluster fermentation, a strong sulfurization, a long barrel aging, as well as the root authenticity called. Wines from the Pre-Phylloxera time (before phylloxera) should have been much more extract-rich. Longevity is evidenced by two events. In a letter from 1883, the Prussian Chancellor Otto Fürst thanked Bismarck (1815-1898) at the Bassermann-Jordan winery for sending a Riesling from the monster location on the occasion of his birthday. And when tasted in front of a select audience in 1999 (i.e. 186 years old), such a bottle was not only rated as enjoyable, but as phenomenal. Incidentally, there are still stocks from 1811 in the cellar of Bassermann-Jordan. The next year 1812 produced only few wines and in 1813 it was even extremely bad. The first Rheingau was said to be after a frosty winter in 1813/1814 Eiswein vinified.
There is a special story about five bottles Château Haut-Brion 1811. The US banker Henry Sturgis Morgan (1900-1982) visited the famous Parisian restaurant "Tour de l'Auberge" in 1931. The owner takes a special tour of the house's wine cellar and shows him his most precious rarity, namely the five bottles mentioned. Morgan wanted this vintages purchase at any price, but the owner described it as unsaleable. Shortly after Morgan's departure from Paris, the restaurant owner was horrified to discover that two of the bottles were missing. Instead, he found a letter from Morgan saying, “I'm sorry, I had to have your Haut-Brion. Please determine the price, a blank check is included. ”The thief was a bodyguard of Morgan, a former gangster. The check is kept in the collection of curiosities in the house, but the amount entered was never recorded. See also under Records,