Tuesday, October 4, 2022

«Can you still enjoy a Bordeaux from 1960?»

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Blick answers your wine questions

«Can you still enjoy a Bordeaux from 1960?»

Blick wine editor Nicolas Greinacher regularly answers your readers’ questions about wine. Niklaus S. would like to know whether a Bordeaux wine from the 1960 vintage can still be enjoyed.

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With very old wines, the question often arises as to whether they can still be enjoyed at all.

Unfortunately, the 1960 Bordeaux vintage was unlucky twice: On the one hand, it was between the two centenary vintages, 1959 and 1961, and thus had a difficult time right from the start. On the other hand, according to the records, the weather was pretty bad. During the months of August and September it rained almost continuously, which forced the wineries to harvest their crops early.

As a result, the harvested grapes were not fully ripe, resulting in wines with a slender body and rather greenish, unripe, slightly bitter aromas. This affected all red wines from the Bordeaux region. However, sweet wines from the Sauternes and Barsac regions can still bring joy, such as the 1960s Château Rieussec.

Therefore, the vast majority of Bordeaux wines from the 1960 vintage should no longer be enjoyable to drink. Depending on which château it is, such a bottle can still have value as a collector’s item. A 0.75 liter bottle of 1960s Château Petrus, for example, currently sells for around 3,000 francs.

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