Dedicated construction workers adding an additional cellar at the famed Bordeaux 1st growth Chateau Latour were proud to exhibit the results of their efforts to locate and remove a bottle of 1991 Lafite Rothschild that had been buried underneath the cellar construction site.
Apparently a construction worker who had spent only one day on the job, Jacques Bitère, had clandestinely placed the bottle from the rival chateau under the site as a curse.
Sacré bleu et zoot alors! Exclaimed François Pinault, owner of Latour. Ze nerve of zat fellow! But now ze rat is where he belongs – in ze slammer!
Several of the Latour construction workers tipped off Chateau officials that they had heard rumors of the buried bottle, intended by Bitère to curse the future wines produced by the famed Chateau. On the back label of the 1991 Lafite was a handwritten inscription that read, “may you never get above an 80 from Parker.”
Because Bitère had worked only one day on the job before disappearing, it was not too difficult for the other workers to locate the bottle since they knew which area he had been assigned to. After several hours of frenzied digging, one of the workers shouted out “Eureka!” and held up the cursed bottle.
Pinault says he intends to press criminal charges against Bitère. “What a wretched thing to do,” he told reporters. “And something from ze 1991 vintage no less. I must ask, did ze rat really think he would get away with zis? And did he really think we care what zat American Parker thinks of our wine? We could sell everything we make to China wizout blinking! And why would a French worker use the word ‘Eureka??’”
The Case chapter nine appears tomorrow, if anyone cares or remembers.