Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

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Mark Golodetz
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#51 Post by Mark Golodetz » December 2nd, 2018, 8:25 am

I look at the historical context, and 1970 as a really problematic time in Bordeaux. Almost no money, little investment, and a heavy reliance on a few markets, notably UK and Belgium. As an example, Ginestet owners of Ch. Margaux were in financial trouble, which was to result in the sale of the property a few years later, I think for $13 million.

Then 1970 came along, the first good vintage since 1966, and suddenly interest in top flight was reignited, and prices actually doubled. But any optimism soon faded with a recession and an adulteration scandal. Prices for 1970 retreated, and Bordeaux slumbered again until the 1982 vintage. The result of all these problems was that winemaking was variable, and you were just as likely to find good winemaking with a third growth like Palmer as with a first like Margaux. That being said, there is a ton of really good 1970 Bordeaux, which I suspect would have been even better if they could do some fairly basic things which winemakers routinely do now.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#52 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » December 2nd, 2018, 8:28 am

I picked up a 1973 Latour recently for a song. Now I’m really intersted in popping it, perhaps this weekend. I’ve had a fair bit of 1970 and 1975, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a 1973.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#53 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » December 2nd, 2018, 8:32 am

I've had 1973 Petrus and 1973 Latour in the last 18 months. The Petrus was interesting, if in no way profound. The Latour was meh. Both were purchased by the owner on release, and stored under very good conditions.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#54 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » December 2nd, 2018, 8:37 am

Adrian So had a very complementary note on CT so I took a flyer. It was cheap enough to go for it. $200. And it was well-stored.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#55 Post by A. So » December 2nd, 2018, 8:39 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:37 am
Adrian So had a very complementary note on CT so I took a flyer. It was cheap enough to go for it. $200. And it was well-stored.
I remember that bottle. It was gorgeous. Hope yours shows as well! For $200 I'd roll the dice.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#56 Post by Neal.Mollen » December 2nd, 2018, 8:49 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:37 am
Adrian So had a very complementary note on CT so I took a flyer. It was cheap enough to go for it. $200. And it was well-stored.
yeah, for $200 there are 100 other wines I'd rather have.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#57 Post by crickey » December 2nd, 2018, 8:52 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:15 am
Just a quick check on a couple of obvious examples from thsi list of Third Growths, Rolland consults for Malescot and did for a long time at Kirwan. La Lagune of today is not the same as La Lagune of the past, now owned by the Jaboulet family and using a major wine consultant. Why on earth would I buy new La Lagune when I can still backfill on that once-glorious estate, just picked up a smattering of the delicious 1986s from WineBid at $50 per. PS. Not suggesting that La Lagune has gone totally rogue, I've have bought 2010 and 2009, but nothing more current until I get a better feel for where this Chateau heads.
This seems to be one distinction between you and Mark, for all that Mark is generally a traditionalist: he will argue from time to time that certain estates have improved, sometimes dramatically, based upon significant capital investments, whereas you, even ignoring your Rolland obsession, come very close to arguing that any change from the past is bad. Mark will defend, for instance, the improvements at La Conseillante, Pontet Canet and Haut Bailly, which can constitute an improvement without it being "grotesquely modern." You, on the other hand, tend to associate any change at all with something bad. Your evident dismay about the changes at Carmes Haut Brion being one example, because I don't think there is a Rolland influence to explain your reaction.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#58 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » December 2nd, 2018, 8:52 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:49 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:37 am
Adrian So had a very complementary note on CT so I took a flyer. It was cheap enough to go for it. $200. And it was well-stored.
yeah, for $200 there are 100 other wines I'd rather have.
Lol, you are h8’ing it cause Adrian compared it to a “brilliant Chinon”!

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#59 Post by Neal.Mollen » December 2nd, 2018, 8:57 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:52 am
Neal.Mollen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:49 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:37 am
Adrian So had a very complementary note on CT so I took a flyer. It was cheap enough to go for it. $200. And it was well-stored.
yeah, for $200 there are 100 other wines I'd rather have.
Lol, you are h8’ing it cause Adrian compared it to a “brilliant Chinon”!
Nah, I rarely spend $200 on a bottle of wine, and I would be reluctant to take a flyer on a bottle of unknown provenance from a lousy vintage, which may be dicey even if stored correctly. Way too many sure-thing bottles I could buy for $200, or that one can get 2 bottles of for that sum.

Question: which is more likely to provide a memorable experience: that chinon-taste-alike 73 Latour or the 1998 Conseillante?
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#60 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » December 2nd, 2018, 9:07 am

But 93 points...
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#61 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » December 2nd, 2018, 9:11 am

crickey wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:52 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:15 am
Just a quick check on a couple of obvious examples from thsi list of Third Growths, Rolland consults for Malescot and did for a long time at Kirwan. La Lagune of today is not the same as La Lagune of the past, now owned by the Jaboulet family and using a major wine consultant. Why on earth would I buy new La Lagune when I can still backfill on that once-glorious estate, just picked up a smattering of the delicious 1986s from WineBid at $50 per. PS. Not suggesting that La Lagune has gone totally rogue, I've have bought 2010 and 2009, but nothing more current until I get a better feel for where this Chateau heads.
This seems to be one distinction between you and Mark, for all that Mark is generally a traditionalist: he will argue from time to time that certain estates have improved, sometimes dramatically, based upon significant capital investments, whereas you, even ignoring your Rolland obsession, come very close to arguing that any change from the past is bad. Mark will defend, for instance, the improvements at La Conseillante, Pontet Canet and Haut Bailly, which can constitute an improvement without it being "grotesquely modern." You, on the other hand, tend to associate any change at all with something bad. Your evident dismay about the changes at Carmes Haut Brion being one example, because I don't think there is a Rolland influence to explain your reaction.
I will say this is pretty darn accurate.

If you are looking, frankly, for a more balanced, potentially more objective and experienced perspective, clearly Mark is the guy. I love reading his stuff. Neal, Howard and David Glasser, among others, very close to that. They all love Bordeaux, have years of experience with it, and while seemingly traditional in their tastes, can appreciate some modernism. I am clearly more dogmatic, part of that is my palate - bear in mind that I am a huge Chinon lover whereas guys like Neal are not - and yes, the other part is just my reaction to the wave of modernism and my own little boycott on the trend that I have seen. I'm also a bit bitter about the amount of Bordeaux that I have purchased, and later either did not like and ultimately discarded, before I truly realized the modern consulting influence that Bordeaux has experienced. I really do not want to support Chateaux that have jumped on the wave, when stalwarts to traditionalism require market attention. When wines like Lanessan, Figeac and Conseillante - all of which had longstanding fans - pivot, you know there is an issue.

Regarding Carmes Haut Brion, I use the word "Rolland" just like I use the term "Xerox" for a photcopy, or "Kleenex" for a tissue. Rather apropos given my perceptions here, right or wrong. Carmes Haut Brion sold and went through a major overhaul 2010-2013. Then they built an architectural masterpiece. That's a lot of cash for a once under-the-radar Chateau to incur, and now need to make up. I would have sworn that they brought in one of the modernist consultants, but cannot find it noted on Leve's site (just checked). Have you had the 2014? The style has changed. I have had 2 full bottles to evaluate, and yes, I did buy more, and bought 2015 and 2016. It's one of the very few wines that have stylistically shifted that I have bought, and I did it more out of curiosity. Having had bottles of 1999, 2000, 2005 and 2010 in this same timeframe, and I can unequivocally tell you that I prefer those vintages over 2014, and even went back to grab more 2010 from Total Wine. At the time, the 2010 was barely more than the 2014 and was around the same price or less than 2015 and then 2016 in futures. I'm guessing that 2015 and 2016, given the riper vintages than 2014, the 2015 and 2016 will be more than what I want in a Bordeaux. But I am happy to be surprised. I noted on another thread that I tried the 2014 Figeac around the same time, for the same reasons, and while liking it much, it is different, and did not thrill me as much as other 2014s that I circled back to grab yet more: Lalande, Domaine de Chevalier, Grand Puy Lacoste and Sociando Mallett (1.5 cases of the later).

So yes, your assessment is accurate, but that is the context. My use yesterday of the term "grotesquely modern" was a bit hyperbolic.
Last edited by Robert.A.Jr. on December 2nd, 2018, 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#62 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » December 2nd, 2018, 9:12 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 9:07 am
But 93 points...
HAHA, no, it was a true A So 95, which is a Suckling 73 and prolly an Alfert 97. [cheers.gif]

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#63 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » December 2nd, 2018, 9:25 am

Chris -

Here is my note on the 2014 Carmes Haut Brion, with a rather amusing thread drift, par for the course on WB.com:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=142839&p=2318356&hi ... n#p2318356

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#64 Post by Jayson Cohen » December 2nd, 2018, 1:22 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:15 am
Jayson Cohen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 7:48 am

So here you are being practical and trying to make this concrete. But how does one even start to answer unless someone has tasted these all in 2015 and 2016? And has a time machine that moves backwards and forwards in time?
Hence me giving Leve shit on that other thread about modern Bordeaux. The way you know, within reasonably predictable limits, is because you know the estates well, have followed them for years, and understand that 2015 and 2016 are above-average vintages. Odds are, you will like what you buy without having tasted it before. Isn't this how we did things before the mass proliferation of critics and mass tasting events? Now it's a crap shoot at times, 'cause you don't know what estate Rolland has infiltrated and spat on with his ubiquitous brand of modernism. And then you take a time warp back to the '70s for comparative purposes!

Just a quick check on a couple of obvious examples from thsi list of Third Growths, Rolland consults for Malescot and did for a long time at Kirwan. La Lagune of today is not the same as La Lagune of the past, now owned by the Jaboulet family and using a major wine consultant. Why on earth would I buy new La Lagune when I can still backfill on that once-glorious estate, just picked up a smattering of the delicious 1986s from WineBid at $50 per. PS. Not suggesting that La Lagune has gone totally rogue, I've have bought 2010 and 2009, but nothing more current until I get a better feel for where this Chateau heads.

Damn, I hate being rational! [wow.gif]
I still don’t agree the way we bought wines for years translates into how to answer the question proposed in original or revisionist form. In the vacuum I’m going to want Latour or Haut Brion in pretty much any vintage over any of the 3rd growths you listed from any year, old or new. But I don’t know if some miracle has occurred to make even a favorite like Calon, much less a wine I typically don’t prefer like Palmer (yes, yes, that’s personal), somehow preferable to Haut Brion or Latour of old as a generalized, in-the-vacuum statement. Miracles do happen.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#65 Post by Jayson Cohen » December 2nd, 2018, 1:41 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 1:22 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:15 am
Jayson Cohen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 7:48 am

So here you are being practical and trying to make this concrete. But how does one even start to answer unless someone has tasted these all in 2015 and 2016? And has a time machine that moves backwards and forwards in time?
Hence me giving Leve shit on that other thread about modern Bordeaux. The way you know, within reasonably predictable limits, is because you know the estates well, have followed them for years, and understand that 2015 and 2016 are above-average vintages. Odds are, you will like what you buy without having tasted it before. Isn't this how we did things before the mass proliferation of critics and mass tasting events? Now it's a crap shoot at times, 'cause you don't know what estate Rolland has infiltrated and spat on with his ubiquitous brand of modernism. And then you take a time warp back to the '70s for comparative purposes!

Just a quick check on a couple of obvious examples from thsi list of Third Growths, Rolland consults for Malescot and did for a long time at Kirwan. La Lagune of today is not the same as La Lagune of the past, now owned by the Jaboulet family and using a major wine consultant. Why on earth would I buy new La Lagune when I can still backfill on that once-glorious estate, just picked up a smattering of the delicious 1986s from WineBid at $50 per. PS. Not suggesting that La Lagune has gone totally rogue, I've have bought 2010 and 2009, but nothing more current until I get a better feel for where this Chateau heads.

Damn, I hate being rational! [wow.gif]
I still don’t agree the way we bought wines for years translates into how to answer the question proposed in original or revisionist form. In the vacuum I’m going to want Latour or Haut Brion in pretty much any vintage over any of the 3rd growths you listed from any year, old or new. But I don’t know if some miracle has occurred to make even a favorite like Calon, much less a wine I typically don’t prefer like Palmer (yes, yes, that’s personal), somehow preferable to Haut Brion or Latour of old as a generalized, in-the-vacuum statement. Miracles do happen.
This said, I’m not trying to be dogmatic. Of course, I’m willing to put them side by side to see. We all should have that open mind. But this is not a paper exercise, one that can be done in a vacuum, based on progress, trends, and such. And I say this because Latour and Haut Brion (and the great Right Bank wines in the late 60s and 70s that we could sneak in there) were really good, old school Bordeaux except for vintages that really sucked (and may very well have been more successful today, no doubt). So no matter how some estates may benefit from the progress that’s been made in viticulture and viniculture, you would have to convince me wine-by-wine, not with prognostication from on high. And as you and I in particular agree, some estates, who I personally think made profound wines in the late 60s and the 70s (even if more “consistent” now), have pivoted to a dark place.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#66 Post by Jeff Leve » December 2nd, 2018, 2:22 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 7:48 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 7:13 am
It’s a tough question to ask for many reasons, let alone how many folks here have both deep experience with 1970s FGs and have already tried many of the yet-to-be released Third Growths?
So here you are being practical and trying to make this concrete. But how does one even start to answer unless someone has tasted these all in 2015 and 2016?
I have tasted all those wines in 2015 and 2016, as well as more old Bordeaux than most people.

A few points. During the 70's, most vineyards were interested in quantity, not quality. There were no second wines, so little selection. Very little new oak was used. High yields were sought. More than double what you see today! Insecticides and harsh chemicals were in vogue. 1970, and the 70's were, generally speaking, a poor decade for Bordeaux. Yes, there are exceptions. In fact, some stunning wines were produced, but overall, the wines were well-below par at most estates. That is not the case today.

Having tasted all the First Growths from 1970, as well as in just about every year during the 70's, and all of the wines in question in 2015 and 2016, (As well as just about all of the wines mentioned in every vintage since 2005,) in many cases, the answer is yes, in several cases.

Third Growths today are better than the First's in the 70's. This is not a blanket statement, there are some moderate to weak Third Growth properties today. But overall, the answer is yes.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#67 Post by Jayson Cohen » December 2nd, 2018, 2:44 pm

Jeff, keep reading. And don’t forget that you have a very different palate and preferences than Robert and I do. So even if it’s true for you, and you can make that leap, that’s not a basis to generalize. I don’t see how this type of question is anything other than personal and subjective. But you may differ about that too.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#68 Post by Jeff Leve » December 2nd, 2018, 3:07 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 2:44 pm
Jeff, keep reading. And don’t forget that you have a very different palate and preferences than Robert and I do. So even if it’s true for you, and you can make that leap, that’s not a basis to generalize. I don’t see how this type of question is anything other than personal and subjective. But you may differ about that too.

Jayson... The OP asked a question. I responded. That seems reasonable. You are of course welcome to respond to the OP differently. Plus, you even wrote "But how does one even start to answer unless someone has tasted these all in 2015 and 2016?" and having tasted all the wines in those years, according to you, I should have an opinion.

Regardless of palate preferences, frankly, it is really difficult for me to see how anyone can reach any other rational conclusion in most cases. It's not just the Third Growths that are better than most of the Firsts in the 70's. Today, the Second Wines of the First Growths are better than the Grand Vin being produced in 70's in every case!

During the 70's, little money was spent in running estates in Bordeaux. By the early 70's, there was a massive crash in wine prices and land values in Bordeaux, which only exacerbated the problem. Investment and reinvestment was nil in those days. As I pointed out, the use of pesticides, herbicides and harsh chemicals were rampant. Yields were amazingly high. Vineyards were not in good shape.

Since then, there has been an incredible leap in how vineyards are managed today. Rootstocks have changed. Vineyards are now in most cases, planted to the right grape for the terroir. Cellars are immaculate. There is selection practiced at almost every estate. The changes that have taken place since 1970 have occurred at all levels, the First Growths and because the poster asked, in the Third Growths as well.

Holding on to how things were and insisting things were better in the 70's is almost like, wanting to return to floppy disks, instead of the current generation of computers.

This is not to say that great wines were not made in the past. They were. All of my favorite wine experiences have been with older wines. But the 70's were a poor time for Bordeaux and very few great wines were made in that decade. That's my view and I am sticking to it. :)

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#69 Post by Larry Link » December 2nd, 2018, 3:40 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 3:07 pm
Jayson Cohen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 2:44 pm
Jeff, keep reading. And don’t forget that you have a very different palate and preferences than Robert and I do. So even if it’s true for you, and you can make that leap, that’s not a basis to generalize. I don’t see how this type of question is anything other than personal and subjective. But you may differ about that too.

Jayson... The OP asked a question. I responded. That seems reasonable. You are of course welcome to respond to the OP differently. Plus, you even wrote "But how does one even start to answer unless someone has tasted these all in 2015 and 2016?" and having tasted all the wines in those years, according to you, I should have an opinion.

Regardless of palate preferences, frankly, it is really difficult for me to see how anyone can reach any other rational conclusion in most cases. It's not just the Third Growths that are better than most of the Firsts in the 70's. Today, the Second Wines of the First Growths are better than the Grand Vin being produced in 70's in every case!

During the 70's, little money was spent in running estates in Bordeaux. By the early 70's, there was a massive crash in wine prices and land values in Bordeaux, which only exacerbated the problem. Investment and reinvestment was nil in those days. As I pointed out, the use of pesticides, herbicides and harsh chemicals were rampant. Yields were amazingly high. Vineyards were not in good shape.

Since then, there has been an incredible leap in how vineyards are managed today. Rootstocks have changed. Vineyards are now in most cases, planted to the right grape for the terroir. Cellars are immaculate. There is selection practiced at almost every estate. The changes that have taken place since 1970 have occurred at all levels, the First Growths and because the poster asked, in the Third Growths as well.

Holding on to how things were and insisting things were better in the 70's is almost like, wanting to return to floppy disks, instead of the current generation of computers.

This is not to say that great wines were not made in the past. They were. All of my favorite wine experiences have been with older wines. But the 70's were a poor time for Bordeaux and very few great wines were made in that decade. That's my view and I am sticking to it. :)
Probably the correct answer given what you describe about the level of quality in the 70s. But how about the 40s, 50s and 60s? Would you still answer yes in general that the current 3rds and 2nds are better than the older first growths? I’m guessing the answer is vintage dependent, you’d probably rank a 61 Latour above any 2nd or 3rd from 15 and 16. But for a mediocre vintage like 1958, 1960 or 1962 it would be reversed.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#70 Post by Jayson Cohen » December 2nd, 2018, 3:42 pm

The OP posed a different Q than I think you are answering, Jeff. But he can jump in if I’m wrong. It was about the best the 70s (and I’ll stick the late 60s in there as well) against what folks consider the second or third tier today.

We don’t have a time machine. So here’s the best we can do today:

If I line up the best of the best in Bordeaux in perfectly stored bottles from 1966, 1970, 1971, 1975, and 1979, to pick vintages where I think astoundingly good wines were made (many of which I’ve had many times over the years), against what you would consider the second or even third tier in 2015 and 2016, the latter are better for your palate?

I’m willing to believe you if you say Yes. And I’m even willing to believe I could think so too if I got to do the side-by-side for myself. But I would need to do the experiment. And unfortunately I can’t afford it.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#71 Post by Jeff Leve » December 2nd, 2018, 4:30 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 3:42 pm
The OP posed a different Q than I think you are answering, Jeff. But he can jump in if I’m wrong...
Jayson... I am not sure about that. I read all the silly bickering posts about what the OP was asking, and I read his response. But let's move to your question.

If I line up the best of the best in Bordeaux in perfectly stored bottles from 1966, 1970, 1971, 1975, and 1979, to pick vintages where I think astoundingly good wines were made (many of which I’ve had many times over the years), against what you would consider the second or even third tier in 2015 and 2016, the latter are better for your palate?

This is not at all what the poster asked. Realistically, not that many great wines come from those vintages. There is not one 1975 red Bordeaux I want in my cellar. And yes, that includes Petrus, which I have had numerous times. Other than Lafleur, I cannot think of any great 1979. In 1971, very few really great wines were made and I say the same for 1970 and 1966. Perhaps a handful from each vintage at best.

I am not sure what you mean by second or third tier, is that Second or Third Growth? Or my ranking of second or third tiers? Regardless, the wines made today at most top estates are better than the wines made in the 70's and 60's. It should not even be at question. This is not every wine, or every vineyard, as there are exceptions to every rule. But overall, it is an easy call to make.

Now, if you had asked about 1961 and older Bordeaux, it gets to be a more complicated question.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#72 Post by Jeff Leve » December 2nd, 2018, 4:40 pm

Larry Link wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 3:40 pm

Probably the correct answer given what you describe about the level of quality in the 70s. But how about the 40s, 50s and 60s? Would you still answer yes in general that the current 3rds and 2nds are better than the older first growths? I’m guessing the answer is vintage dependent, you’d probably rank a 61 Latour above any 2nd or 3rd from 15 and 16. But for a mediocre vintage like 1958, 1960 or 1962 it would be reversed.
Larry... A more interesting question IMO. The best wines of today are, or will be better than the best wines from previously exalted vintages on maturity. Overall, they are fresher, cleaner, showing more purity of fruit with softer, silkier tannins and a better mouthfeel.

But cutting to the chase on what you asked... Hmmm. There were some incredible, mind-blowing wines made in those vintages. That was before the advent of chemicals and the search for high-yields. Things began changing for the worse by the mid-1960s.

So, yes, something like 61 Latour should best all the top Second Growths today. And in most cases, yes, for example, a Second Growth today would overall be a better wine than a First Growth from a moderate to weak vintage.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#73 Post by Mattstolz » December 2nd, 2018, 6:20 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 3:42 pm
The OP posed a different Q than I think you are answering, Jeff. But he can jump in if I’m wrong. It was about the best the 70s (and I’ll stick the late 60s in there as well) against what folks consider the second or third tier today.

I think he answered the exact question being asked more closely than probably most in the thread so far. I also think there aren't very many more people on the board more qualified to answer it.

I also don't think the OP is asking to compare 40 year old wines to recently released ones. I think its about the wine overall. obviously, we can't say how say how these wines from recent vintages will be in 30 years, but I think we can already have a feel for their overall quality, which was how I read the OP intention.

I don't have the same tasting experience, but knowing how much more understanding there is for producing quality wines today compared to the 70s, it makes sense that they're better. how often do we see articles these days about how much different wines are in bad vintages now?

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#74 Post by J Dove » December 2nd, 2018, 6:37 pm

I'd rather drink your average 2014 Bordeaux than most of what came out of even the better vintages in the 1970s. I just wish they would go easy on the toast, the new oak, and the general tendency to trade aromatics for heft. There's a middle ground. I had the last of a 2000 Haut Bages Liberal tonight. It was something like an $18-20 wine on release. It's no Grand Vin by any stretch. But, it was a nice ambassador of that middle ground.

As far as chemicals and herbicides -- I think they were in vogue as recently as 10-15 years ago, if I'm not mistaken. In some places, they likely still are.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#75 Post by David Baum » December 2nd, 2018, 6:57 pm

I just figured the OP was invited to a 70's first growth dinner and is trying to get away with bringing a current vintage 3rd growth and claiming it's just as good

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#76 Post by Alan Eden » December 2nd, 2018, 7:00 pm

Jeff did indeed answer my initial post as i intended it to to be understood. I was not asking about specific years just the general quality of each level over a period of time. Its somewhat pointless saying that a 61 Lafite would be preferred over a current third growth as that wine would be in arguments for one of the greatest bottles ever.

We all think about Bdx being expensive and elite but even in the early 80's people like Michael Broadbent one of the prominent reviewers would give years like 68,69,72 a bashing and say that all wines are basically swill not worth buying. If you think that $13M bought Margaux that price now will buy you a 1-3% share.

This thread has been very informative, the more subjective voices agree with the premise that progress has supplanted classification, the more dusty pencil crowd are not fans of the new wines at all and would love the 40 year old style back today
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#77 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » December 2nd, 2018, 7:05 pm

I love dusty pencil in my wine!!

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#78 Post by Jayson Cohen » December 2nd, 2018, 7:20 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 7:05 pm
I love dusty pencil in my wine!!
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#79 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » December 2nd, 2018, 7:23 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 7:20 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 7:05 pm
I love dusty pencil in my wine!!
T.M.I.
Lol, you sick man! ;)

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#80 Post by Greg K » December 2nd, 2018, 7:25 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 7:05 pm
I love dusty pencil in my wine!!
I'm quite happy to backfill 80s Bordeaux and leave recent vintages of Pavie to Alan.

Alan asked the question in a loaded manner intended to produce a specific response, which Jeff has duly provided. And, to be clear, that's not in any way an aspersion on Jeff.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#81 Post by Greg K » December 2nd, 2018, 7:25 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 7:20 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 7:05 pm
I love dusty pencil in my wine!!
T.M.I.
[snort.gif]
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#82 Post by Jeff Leve » December 2nd, 2018, 7:56 pm

Alan Eden wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 7:00 pm
Jeff did indeed answer my initial post as i intended it to to be understood. .. , the more dusty pencil crowd are not fans of the new wines at all and would love the 40 year old style back today
Glad to help. But lead pencil, tobacco, forest floor, cigar box and other secondary nuances are what happens as the best Bordeaux wines age. I love those characteristics!

That’s an important part of what makes Bordeaux great and seperates it from other wine regions.

Clearly I love Bordeaux and unequivocally feel today’s wines are clearly better. But for me, it’s not that the wines have more fruit today that gets me, in large part, it’s the unique ability for the wines to morph into something greater with age.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#83 Post by Oliver V » December 2nd, 2018, 9:36 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:32 am
I've had 1973 Petrus and 1973 Latour in the last 18 months. The Petrus was interesting, if in no way profound. The Latour was meh. Both were purchased by the owner on release, and stored under very good conditions.
I had the LLC, and it was actually quite delicious. A great surprise. I realized it was the first 1973 I've ever had, much to my amazement. I did own a half of the above mentioned Petrus, but I sold it because some lunatic was prepared to pay $450 for it. Sounds like I made the right call. Also bought a Mouton in the same lot as the LLC, but I haven't cracked it yet. Anybody had it?
Neal.Mollen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:57 am
Question: which is more likely to provide a memorable experience: that chinon-taste-alike 73 Latour or the 1998 Conseillante?
Not necessarily an obvious answer. Some of my most memorable tasting experiences have been with wines which weren't all that good. I particularly remember a 1956 Mouton for example, which was objectively a pretty bad wine, but somehow a terribly interesting one from an intellectual point of view.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#84 Post by Howard Cooper » December 3rd, 2018, 12:16 am

Larry Link wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 3:40 pm
Jeff Leve wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 3:07 pm
Jayson Cohen wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 2:44 pm
Jeff, keep reading. And don’t forget that you have a very different palate and preferences than Robert and I do. So even if it’s true for you, and you can make that leap, that’s not a basis to generalize. I don’t see how this type of question is anything other than personal and subjective. But you may differ about that too.

Jayson... The OP asked a question. I responded. That seems reasonable. You are of course welcome to respond to the OP differently. Plus, you even wrote "But how does one even start to answer unless someone has tasted these all in 2015 and 2016?" and having tasted all the wines in those years, according to you, I should have an opinion.

Regardless of palate preferences, frankly, it is really difficult for me to see how anyone can reach any other rational conclusion in most cases. It's not just the Third Growths that are better than most of the Firsts in the 70's. Today, the Second Wines of the First Growths are better than the Grand Vin being produced in 70's in every case!

During the 70's, little money was spent in running estates in Bordeaux. By the early 70's, there was a massive crash in wine prices and land values in Bordeaux, which only exacerbated the problem. Investment and reinvestment was nil in those days. As I pointed out, the use of pesticides, herbicides and harsh chemicals were rampant. Yields were amazingly high. Vineyards were not in good shape.

Since then, there has been an incredible leap in how vineyards are managed today. Rootstocks have changed. Vineyards are now in most cases, planted to the right grape for the terroir. Cellars are immaculate. There is selection practiced at almost every estate. The changes that have taken place since 1970 have occurred at all levels, the First Growths and because the poster asked, in the Third Growths as well.

Holding on to how things were and insisting things were better in the 70's is almost like, wanting to return to floppy disks, instead of the current generation of computers.

This is not to say that great wines were not made in the past. They were. All of my favorite wine experiences have been with older wines. But the 70's were a poor time for Bordeaux and very few great wines were made in that decade. That's my view and I am sticking to it. :)
Probably the correct answer given what you describe about the level of quality in the 70s. But how about the 40s, 50s and 60s? Would you still answer yes in general that the current 3rds and 2nds are better than the older first growths? I’m guessing the answer is vintage dependent, you’d probably rank a 61 Latour above any 2nd or 3rd from 15 and 16. But for a mediocre vintage like 1958, 1960 or 1962 it would be reversed.
1962 is far from a mediocre vintage. I have had outstanding 1962s.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#85 Post by Julian Marshall » December 3rd, 2018, 2:55 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 3:07 pm
As I pointed out, the use of pesticides, herbicides and harsh chemicals were rampant.
You should check before going down this particular road! As you know, many estates have gone organic, but the majority are still using just as much (if not more) than in the 70s. There are loads of articles about this, the best of which are the studies published by Que Choisir. One of the worrying aspects is the fact that even if an estate is organic, it can still receive the sprays used by a neighbour if the wind is in the wrong direction. 128 schools in the Bordeaux area are in zones classified as being at risk, because of their immediate proximity to wine estates which spray their vines.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#86 Post by R Greene » December 3rd, 2018, 4:20 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 4:50 pm
Dale Williams wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 4:19 pm
Neal.Mollen wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 4:01 pm
70, 75, 78 and 79 produced some good to excellent wines. In my experience one can't really say the same about 71, 72, 73, 74, 76, or 77. But my experience isn't as exhaustive as some and I would be happy to learn about where I am wrong.
1971 made some really good wines, especially on RB. And Graves. But even if limiting to Medoc I think the Latour is stunning (and Les Forts is damn good), Lafite (at least from mag) is excellent, and there are some strong other wines like Giscours.
I've had drinkable '74 and '76s but nothing to seek, can't remember an enjoyable 72, 73, 77
Neal, you should come visit NY and we can try to put together a ‘71 horizontal although it’s a little harder and more expensive to source than it used to be. I was at an astoundingly good ‘71 horizontal last year. John Gilman wrote up the notes in View from the Cellar if you have access to it.
We just did a 71 horizontal, and the wines showed amazingly well. Clearly these wines are under-estimated by many out there. Granted, we were drinking some of the top wines of the vintage (Pétrus, Trotanoy, Haut-Brion (rouge and blanc), La Mission, etc.), but it still highlights the quality of the vintage.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#87 Post by R Greene » December 3rd, 2018, 4:42 am

So I'll chime in to answer the OP's question: The short answer is that we really won't know the answer for 30 more years, after we have seen how the wines age. That said, I think we can make a few very educated assumptions. First, the 1970s weren't a great decade for Bordeaux. Yes, there were some very good wines, but it was not a good decade for Bordeaux on many levels. Already, in this decade, the vintages have been far better than in the 1970s. Secondly, the quality of winemaking has improved considerably since the 1970s. Like Jeff said, factors such as stricter selection have improved the quality of wines across the board (generally). Will some of the third growths from 2016 be better than the first growths from the 1970s? This is likely, and very true in some instances. You can bet that the 2016 Palmer will ultimately be better than any first growth wine from the 1970s.

But to digress a bit, what does 'better' really mean? If someone likes the style of the 1970s wines, then perhaps 2016 will not be for them. Those who love the traditional, perhaps more rustic, wines from Bordeaux may prefer the 1970s style, so these wines would be 'better' to them. Just as quality has changed in Bordeaux, so has the style. So without going off on a tangent, I think you will certainly have some who answer your question differently based on the style of Bordeaux that they prefer. But I think that many people would answer your question by saying that that the 2016 third growths will be better than the 1970s first growths.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#88 Post by Neal.Mollen » December 3rd, 2018, 5:26 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
December 3rd, 2018, 12:16 am
Larry Link wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 3:40 pm
Jeff Leve wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 3:07 pm



Jayson... The OP asked a question. I responded. That seems reasonable. You are of course welcome to respond to the OP differently. Plus, you even wrote "But how does one even start to answer unless someone has tasted these all in 2015 and 2016?" and having tasted all the wines in those years, according to you, I should have an opinion.

Regardless of palate preferences, frankly, it is really difficult for me to see how anyone can reach any other rational conclusion in most cases. It's not just the Third Growths that are better than most of the Firsts in the 70's. Today, the Second Wines of the First Growths are better than the Grand Vin being produced in 70's in every case!

During the 70's, little money was spent in running estates in Bordeaux. By the early 70's, there was a massive crash in wine prices and land values in Bordeaux, which only exacerbated the problem. Investment and reinvestment was nil in those days. As I pointed out, the use of pesticides, herbicides and harsh chemicals were rampant. Yields were amazingly high. Vineyards were not in good shape.

Since then, there has been an incredible leap in how vineyards are managed today. Rootstocks have changed. Vineyards are now in most cases, planted to the right grape for the terroir. Cellars are immaculate. There is selection practiced at almost every estate. The changes that have taken place since 1970 have occurred at all levels, the First Growths and because the poster asked, in the Third Growths as well.

Holding on to how things were and insisting things were better in the 70's is almost like, wanting to return to floppy disks, instead of the current generation of computers.

This is not to say that great wines were not made in the past. They were. All of my favorite wine experiences have been with older wines. But the 70's were a poor time for Bordeaux and very few great wines were made in that decade. That's my view and I am sticking to it. :)
Probably the correct answer given what you describe about the level of quality in the 70s. But how about the 40s, 50s and 60s? Would you still answer yes in general that the current 3rds and 2nds are better than the older first growths? I’m guessing the answer is vintage dependent, you’d probably rank a 61 Latour above any 2nd or 3rd from 15 and 16. But for a mediocre vintage like 1958, 1960 or 1962 it would be reversed.
1962 is far from a mediocre vintage. I have had outstanding 1962s.
I agree Howard. I remember a 62 Mouton being pretty extraordinary a few years ago.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#89 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » December 3rd, 2018, 5:57 am

Bordeaux, given proper storage and maturity, does magical things. I have had some great bottles from the so-called off-vintages in the 1960s, granted many from Bern's. And yes, I have had some crappy ones, too.

Just a couple years ago I popped a 1965 Mouton. I had purchased that wine in the mid-90s given my birthyear (1965), and just sat on it, perfect storage, moved once. Terrible year though, with terrible notes on CT, including one from my buddy Levenberg, likening it to rotting cabbage. While I like some green in my wines, cabbage is not one of those greens.

I popped that Mouton on a whim with a few Berserkers with killer palates - Tooch, Corey and MarcF. Just P&P, no decant. While it was not a blockbuster by any stretch, it was damn lovely and quite a surprise. Fully mature of course, well-integrated, no obstrusive notes of oak or alcohol, all dried fruits and a melange of dry earthy things.

I have always said that I like some elegant rusticity in my wines.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#90 Post by Gerhard P. » December 3rd, 2018, 6:54 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:32 am
I've had 1973 Petrus and 1973 Latour in the last 18 months. The Petrus was interesting, if in no way profound. The Latour was meh. Both were purchased by the owner on release, and stored under very good conditions.
I´ve had some 1973s (Bx), neither Latour nor Petrus, but Lafite, Mouton and other GCCs incl. right bank ... some were drinkable, even "interesting", but none was a really good wine ...
I had a Latour 1991 a few days ago, served (blind) by a dear friend - I thought it to be a 25 y old Loire Cabernet Franc due to the green notes ... it was actually green Cabernet Sauvignon. Not a bad wine, good with food, but nothing great about it ... and bought at release. so no real safrifice (financially) ...
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#91 Post by Julian Marshall » December 3rd, 2018, 7:54 am

1973 is a funny example - received wisdom had it that the Forts de Latour was actually better than Latour that year, if I remember correctly!

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#92 Post by Gerhard P. » December 3rd, 2018, 7:58 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:15 am
....
La Lagune of today is not the same as La Lagune of the past, now owned by the Jaboulet family and using a major wine consultant. ...
That´s really funny! champagne.gif

Actually the Frey family of La Lagune bought Jaboulet in 2006 !!!
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#93 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » December 3rd, 2018, 8:12 am

Gerhard P. wrote:
December 3rd, 2018, 7:58 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:15 am
....
La Lagune of today is not the same as La Lagune of the past, now owned by the Jaboulet family and using a major wine consultant. ...
That´s really funny! champagne.gif

Actually the Frey family of La Lagune bought Jaboulet in 2006 !!!
haha, true. Freys bought La Lagune in 2000.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#94 Post by Howard Cooper » December 4th, 2018, 5:18 am

It seems apparent from this thread that other than Mark Golodetz and a few others, a lot of people posting have more a theoretical understanding of the wines from Bordeaux in the 1960s and 1970s than having really tasted a lot of wines from the era.

There are a lot of really fabulous wines from the era. I have had a 1970 Lynch Bages within the last year or two that was significantly better than a 1982 that we had it with, for example. Other producers making great wines at the time include Latour, Haut Brion, Cheval Blanc, Mission Haut Brion, Palmer, all three Leovilles (although LLC made a somewhat disappointing 1970, overall their wines from the era were fabulous and LB and LP made wonderful 1970s), Ducru, Pichon Lalande, Grand Puy Lacoste, Montrose, Cos D'Estournal, Gruaud Larose, etc.

That being said, there were horribly disappointing estates. Mark Golodetz, in post 51, does a wonderful job summarizing the state of affairs at that time. There was a huge amount of underperforming, including estates like Margaux (this turned around in 1978 after the Mentzelopoulos family bought the estate), Lafite (pretty inconsistent), Ausone (also turning about by around 1979), a number of classified estates from Margaux (other than Palmer), etc. The wines were overcropped and under sorted and could be pretty mediocre or worse, as in the case of the 1970 Ausone.


So, when someone asks were third growths now better than first growths then, my first response has to be which third growths and which first growths. I mean, even then, I would rather have had a 1970 Palmer (a wonderful wine) than a Margaux from that era (I have not had the 1970 Margaux, but I have had 1964 (tremendous bottle variation), 1966 (quite good) and 1971 (pretty mediocre)). And, if one did a blind tasting of top nonfirst growths from 1970s vs. top 1st growths, my guess is that, overall, say a flight of 1970 Palmer, Montrose, Ducru, Leoville Poyferre and Lynch Bages would be a flight of the five first growths (yes I understand that Mouton was not a first growth then but it was priced as one).


Winemaking and grape growing made a huge leap forward in the 1980s after the success of the 1982 vintage and the improvements in the 1980s of the world economy after the poor economies from 1973 or so through 1983 or so. Lots of improvements were made at lots of estates. The number of better performing estates increased and at the better performing estates the wines tended to be more consistent. But, I am not sure how much better the wines got at the highest end. The few 1959s and 1961s I have had (these were the great vintages of the era) were simply fantastic. The best vintages between 1961 and 1982 were 1966 and 1970, very excellent vintages but not consistently great.


However, by 2000 and beyond, while most of the estates making great wines in the 60s and 70s that I have listed above are still making great wine today (and are doing so more consistently), too many estates have turned to the dark side and are making wines of questionable agability and that taste too much like generic Cabernet or Merlot and less like Bordeaux. It is interesting that I think this is more prevalent in wines from other than 1st growths who were either underperformers in the 1960s and 1970s or are from St. Emilion, but I feel in some ways that we have undone some of the progress in Bordeaux from the 70s through the mid 1990s or 2000s or so, but there still is a core of producers making great wines that is somewhat the same as (although larger than) the core of producers making great wines in the earlier era. My sense is that one region where there are more top performing estates than a generation ago are higher classified Margauxs.

It may just be that the terroir wins out. I must say that of the wines made in a more modern style, the one that I have the most confidence in aging is Cos D'Estournal. [Even so, I tend to think why take a chance on this when I can just buy Montrose and not have to worry.] While I have not liked very young wines from more recent vintages of Cos, I have found that at least some of them start to settle down with time and start to taste like Bordeaux. Time will tell, but it could be that terroir will win out - that the modern wines from top terroir will still age while the modern wines from lesser terroir will prove to be emperors without clothes when the oak, etc., fades.


The one place where wines from this era clearly win over wines from the earlier era is in poorer vintages. I would much rather have a 2007 or 2013 Bordeaux (or esp. a 2011) than I would a wine from vintages like 1968, 1969, 1972, 1973 (although probably not as poor as other vintages on this list), 1974 or 1977. This is where modern viticultural practices really win out.

The one place where wines from the older era clearly kill wines from today is affordability. My father told me at after the crash in the wine market in 1973 or so after the fall of Cruse that first growths could be had for $10 (dad was in the wine business so I don't know if that was a wholesale price or a retail price). Even accounting for inflation, etc., the prices were much more attractive than today and this continued at least through the 1990s. First growths and many second growths are just ridiculously expensive today.


And, too many people dismiss too many vintages of both the prior era and this era as off vintages. Even on this thread, someone called 1962 an off vintage. Wow. I have seen 1966 referred to on this board as an off vintage which is just silly. 1966 and 1970 were the two top vintages between 1961 and 1982. And, there were excellent wines made in vintages like 1971, 1975, 1978, 1979 and 1981.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#95 Post by Howard Cooper » December 4th, 2018, 5:26 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 3:07 pm
Today, the Second Wines of the First Growths are better than the Grand Vin being produced in 70's in every case!
Every case? So, you would rather have a 2013 Forts de Latour than a 1970 Latour? Try being rational and not overstating your case.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#96 Post by Howard Cooper » December 4th, 2018, 5:28 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 8:52 am
“brilliant Chinon”!
Oxymoron? newhere [snort.gif]
Howard

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Jonathan Loesberg
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#97 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » December 4th, 2018, 6:44 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 5:26 am
Jeff Leve wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 3:07 pm
Today, the Second Wines of the First Growths are better than the Grand Vin being produced in 70's in every case!
Every case? So, you would rather have a 2013 Forts de Latour than a 1970 Latour? Try being rational and not overstating your case.


Part of the problem with this discussion is that it resists being made sense of. I expect Jeff meant something like, in current vintages, taken generally, the second wines of all first growths are better than the first wine of those first growths, taken generally, many years ago. The OPs question had the same sense. It wasn't about wines specifically from the 60s or 70s but about first and third growths now, taken generally, (in which now means say since 00 or 10) and first and third growths in roughly similar vintages from many years ago, again taken generally.

The problem, and the reason Howard's question wasn't exactly missing the point, is that "taken generally," may not really be sufficiently meaningful for the question to be answered rationally. People are always going to want to know which wine in which vintage. And forty or fifty years ago isn't a set of imaginary vintages that might be compared to a set of imaginary vintages since 00 or 10 but a set of quite specific vintages. Thought experiments such as, if wine tasted exactly the same as it does but had no alcohol, would your drinking practices change, can make sense. But this question is too sense bound to be formulated into the kinds of thought experiment propositions that the OP and Jeff Leve are interested in. And thus riposte's like Howard's continue to occur.
Last edited by Jonathan Loesberg on December 4th, 2018, 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#98 Post by Jay Miller » December 4th, 2018, 7:36 am

Far from the original question but there are plenty of 3rd growths from the 70s that I'd rather drink right now than first growths from 2016.
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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#99 Post by Jeff Leve » December 4th, 2018, 8:03 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 5:26 am
Jeff Leve wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 3:07 pm
Today, the Second Wines of the First Growths are better than the Grand Vin being produced in 70's in every case!
Every case? So, you would rather have a 2013 Forts de Latour than a 1970 Latour? Try being rational and not overstating your case.
Howard... You got me there. The best First Growth of the decade against a second wine from the worst vintage in 40 years. :D

Still, you get the point of my view.

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Re: Are 2016 3rd growths as good as 1970 firsts ?

#100 Post by Neal.Mollen » December 4th, 2018, 8:29 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 6:44 am
I expect Jeff meant something like, in current vintages, taken generally, the second wines of all first growths are better than the first wine of those first growths, taken generally, many years ago.
This seems disrespectful to Jeff, as it disregards the actual words he wrote. "In every case" is a phrase composed of three common English words that have a fixed and certain meaning, and in this instance, the key word is "every." The word "every" is not consistent with your very different statement of the issue, which talks about wines and vintages "taken generally." In fact, the ideas "every" and "taken generally" communicate are not merely different; in this context they are antithetical and mutually exclusive.

Jeff's statement was over-broad as Howard pointed out and as Jeff now concedes. Jeff's feelings about the wines and vintages "taken generally" are now clear, and it seems hard to argue with them.

You are welcome; It's been my pleasure to clarify what you all meant.

Yours,

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