Wine Talk

Snooth User: jamesup

Value of Paul Masson Very Cold Duck 1852 vintage

Posted by jamesup, Aug 25, 2009.

I discovered 18 bottles of Paul Masson Very Cold Duck Est. 1852 in my cellar. I had never looked at the date and thought they were some grocery store wines that my parents had purchased until I recently noticed the date on the label. Does anyone know an approximate value of such a bottle of wine? Thanks. James


Reply by njwineguy, Aug 25, 2009.

The date on the label is not the vintage. Est. 1852 indicates when the winery was Established. The bottle is of no particular value, it is, as you suspected a "grocery store wine".

Reply by dmcker, Aug 25, 2009.

Andre Cold Duck, by Gallo, might be the first wine I ever drank, back at the end of the '60s, when (very underage) I snuck some glasses from a punch bowl of it that was being served at a reception surrounding my aunt's upcoming marriage. My family was a combination of protestant teetotalling farmers and college instructors from Southern California who knew nothing about wine but felt they had to serve something winelike since my aunt was marrying someone from a prominent family in Geneva, Switzerland. In retrospect I cringe even more at the memory of how my aunt's new inlaws must have viewed the drink than I instinctively did at the time. For a kid it was very easily drinkable stuff, however. ;-)

Paul Masson's version was probably a little better than Gallo's. I'd be curious how it tastes to my very different palate now, and how it ages. Questionable in both cases, perhaps, but interesting to me personally.

Here's an article on some background to the concoction:

Reply by Philip James, Aug 25, 2009.

Probably quite a let down, right? Going from thinking you may have found a century old treasure to finding out that its a grocery store wine. I must admit I did a double take when i first saw 1852 in the title...

Maybe there will be some other wines down there for the discovering

Reply by jamesup, Aug 25, 2009.

njwineguy, dmucker, Philip: Thank you for your replies. I posted this reply a few minutes ago, but for some reason it didn't show up on the posts. I am pleased to find out that the wine is of no particular value, since 12 bottles had been pilfered by a plumber working at my residence. I was worried that I had been robbed of thousands of $. James

Reply by Muchkabouche, Aug 25, 2009.

Vintage 1852? I wonder if it tastes corked? Reminds me of that huge bottle of wine purpoted to belong to Napoleon, in the movie "Year of the Comet", with Tim Daly and Penelope Ann Miller.

Reply by GregT, Aug 25, 2009.

They used to say that the drink had been invented by Sam Gruber, owner of the London Chop House, but I guess dmucker's link dispenses with that idea.

Anyhow - the bottles had been pilfered by your plumber? He stole your wine??!!

Reply by jamesup, Aug 25, 2009.

These bottles of Paul Masson Very Cold Duck had been stored in a closet in my basement since my father died 42 years ago. By error I left this closet unlocked when the plumber was in the basement to shut off the water during repairs. One day after he had completed work I noticed 12 bottles had vanished. There was a date on the bottles that read "Est. 1852". I thought at first this date was the vintage date, but as njwineguy pointed out, that date is the date the winery was established rather than the vintage date. There is no other date on the bottles; so I would guess that the wine is of such an ordinary nature that the vintage date is irrevalent. My father was not a person who would purchase rare wines; so after some thought, I became extremely doubtful that the wine would be of special value. I think he purchased it at the local liquor store. The bottles have not leaked and have an expensive looking wrapping around the cork and neck. I have not tasted wine from them because I am unsure if the wine is drinkable, but I suppose it's okay. The bottles are expensive looking and have a date on them, "Est. 1852". I believe that's why the plumber carted them off. He is sure going to be surprised and disappointed when he discovers their insignificant value. The plumber left 4 bottles. I guess he thought that if he left 4, I wouldn't notice that 12 had diappeared. James

Reply by Richard Lescalleet, Aug 27, 2013.

I don't know much about any value after such a long time, but as a one time drinker of Paul Masson Very Cold Duck in the 1970-1 time frame I can tell you that it was delicious.

Reply by outthere, Aug 27, 2013.

Talk about a random thread revival. We're did THAT one come from?

Reply by duncan 906, Aug 27, 2013.

James Comiserations on being robbed.Perhaps your plumber left four bottles behind because he could not carry all sixteen at once.Have you challenged him about the disappearing wine or told the police?


Muchcabouche I do not know whether to call this another theft or the spoils of war but  after Waterloo Napoleon's baggage train and himself were captured and the British releived him of a number of cases of his favouite Gevrey Chambertin wine.It is known that some were given to the Prince Regent.A while ago the present Queen's sommelier was breifly intervied on TV during a documentary and he said that there were around 25,000 bottles of wine in Buckingham Palace cellar and that the oldest went back to the Napoleonic wars.I have wondered whether these bottles are Napoleon's Gevrey Chambertin

Reply by outthere, Aug 27, 2013.


Do you realize that you just responded to a 4 year old thread by a one time poster expecting the OP is going to read it?

Reply by zufrieden, Sep 4, 2013.

Into the Time Tunnel (this time without James Darren, Robert Colbert and Lee Meriwether) but perhaps with an NV Cold Duck in tow.  Revivalists... gotta love em..

Next stop: Inglenook Chablis... from 1973 of course.

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