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Alain Laliberté - Quand même impressionnant!

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Alain Laliberté - Quand même impressionnant!

Message par Claude Boulanger le Lun 20 Juin 2011 - 20:54

Article du Wine Spectator à propos d'Alain et son impressionnante collection d'étiquettes...

A Well-Labeled Life - A Canadian sommelier finds wine beauty on the outside

Tony Aspler
Issue: June 30, 2011

Note to Guinness World Records: Sommelier Alain Laliberté has an estimated 160,000 wine labels in his Toronto home, what he considers to be the largest collection of wine labels in the world.

Laliberté, who was born in Québec City in 1961, developed a passion for wine labels in 1986 when he completed hotel school in Montréal, which included a monthlong sommelier course. "The few wines I was drinking then, I removed the labels and put them in photo albums," he says. "The very first one was ‘Cuvée des Patriotes' [a wine from France that was bottled in Montréal by the monopoly SAQ]."

To start the collection, he wrote to wine importing agents in Québec province asking them for labels, then extended his reach to Ontario, British Columbia and finally to wine producers in Europe and the New World. Before e-mail existed, he sent hundreds of letters around the world, and producers responded by mailing back packets of their labels.

In 1991 Laliberté started a wine club in Montréal, which yielded further treasures. "If I had a theme that was, say, Tuscany, and I conducted 14 or 16 tastings a month, there would be different Tuscan wines at every session. So I would soak off all the labels."

In the spring of 2009, when his stash had reached 55,000, the widow of a fellow collector with whom he had traded labels over the years gave him her late husband's collection. It numbered 125,000. His ultimate aim is to complete a collection with a label from each of Burgundy's more than 500 climats, from village wines to premiers crus and grands crus.

They are all meticulously catalogued, alphabetically by classification and producer, in large binders and shoe boxes. For exhibition purposes, some are framed on large boards by theme, such as Humor, Horses, Africa or Animals. The binders and boxes are confined to his large, multiroom basement-a requisite of his wife, Kasia, who calls her husband's obsession an "insanity."

Laliberté's collection contains some rarities, including a German label dated 1859 and a Château Latour 1889, but the value of the labels is mostly sentimental. In the 1990s, Association Nationale d'Oenographilie, a French wine label collectors association, tried to create a label market, but the members could not agree on values: what, for instance, would be worth more, the label of a Pétrus 1951 or a Pétrus 1991?

To remove a label, Laliberté either soaks the bottle in warm water or, for the more stubborn ones, bakes the bottle in the oven at 250° F for 10 minutes, and then uses a fine blade to lift the label's corner.

When it comes to actually drinking the contents of a bottle, Laliberté's own wine preferences are for Riesling and Italian reds. His cellar runs to some 600 bottles, mostly reds, especially Bordeaux, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Barolo. His preference for whites, beyond Riesling, leans to the Loire Valley. "I don't buy a wine specifically for the label,' says Laliberté. "I'll contact the producer [for that]."

Claude Boulanger

Messages : 57
Date d'inscription : 19/06/2009

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