Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

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RMann
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Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#1 Post by RMann » July 20th, 2019, 11:08 am

Hi all, new member here starting to get involved. Question: was there a difference in winemaking/barreling in the Bordeauxs of the 40's and 50's vs 1960s and beyond that would make older Bordeauxs taste lighter and sweeter vs newer ones. A Seattle Somm told me that something had changed that raised the sugars of the older ones but not the more "recent" vintages, which have more the woodsy/mushroom flavors. Background: I recently had the great pleasure of sharing a 1947 Chateau Haut Brion and 1981 Chateau Haut Brion side by side, both from WineBid. (Why 1947 and 1981? Birthday vintages for my mother and my fiance, shared on Mother's Day!) We had them at https://canlis.com/ in Seattle- HIGHLY recommended. The Somms there are great, and our somm was amazed at the condition and flavor of both bottles. We opened both, decanted, let sit for 30min-1 hour and enjoyed over another 1.5 hours. We were all amazed at how fresh and light the 1947 was- gorgeous, beautiful, and complex, soft spice and mushroom. But actually a little lighter/sweeter/a little more like a burgundy than the 1981, which was a true, full Bordeaux with lots of earth, smoke, deep mushroom, velvet. The Somm said that some of the winemaking/barreling techniques had changed through the 50s and 60s such that the older wine might show a little lighter and fresher than the newer one, or maybe it was just that one bottle. Would appreciate anyone's read on that. Either way, both bottles were highly enjoyed and appreciated by Mom and wife-to-be!
Last edited by RMann on July 21st, 2019, 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#2 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » July 20th, 2019, 2:17 pm

Russ,

If this is a legitimate question, as the new CEO of Winebid, I would have left out "both from WineBid, both with perfect provenance and condition" from your post since it has no relevance to your query.

But since you posted it, can you give details about the perfect provenance of the '47?

Looking forward to your continued participation on this board.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#3 Post by Howard Cooper » July 20th, 2019, 2:58 pm

As I understand it, 1947 was a very ripe vintage for the time. 1981 was a fairly good but not great vintage.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#4 Post by William Kelley » July 20th, 2019, 3:07 pm

A correct bottle of the 1947 should be quite a lot richer and more muscular than the 1981, and look like this:

Image
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#5 Post by Jayson Cohen » July 20th, 2019, 3:26 pm

My experience with great Bordeaux is it ages by eventually “shedding” its tannins and the brawniness of youth and gaining bottle sweetness, which all just means a slow set of chemical reactions in bottle, often getting fresher and more detailed and more open with age. And ‘47 was a riper vintage than ‘81 to begin with as observed above.

Your take therefore is probably spot on but also isn’t very surprising. I’ve had 81 Haut Brion a couple times, and it’s maybe the best 1981 Bordeaux. Or at least the best of a couple dozen I’ve had. I wouldn’t be surprised if good bottles age for a long time and become fresher and sweeter.

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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#6 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 20th, 2019, 3:30 pm

William Kelley wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 3:07 pm
A correct bottle of the 1947 should be quite a lot richer and more muscular than the 1981, and look like this:

Image
That’s beautiful!

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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#7 Post by Keith Levenberg » July 20th, 2019, 4:19 pm

Something's not adding up here -
A Seattle Somm told me that something had changed that raised the sugars of the older ones but not the more "recent" vintages
vs.
We were all amazed at how fresh and light the 1947 was
actually a little lighter/sweeter/a little more like a burgundy than the 1981, which was a true, full Bordeaux
No doubt '47 is a vintage with higher sugars than '81, which is the kind of year that used to get the faint praise of "typical." But higher sugars translate to a fuller body, not a lighter one, and a well-kept '47 should still be very full.

Also no doubt a lot changed between '47 and '81, usually for the worse. This was the period of industrialization, chemicals, overcropping, etc. Many from the '60s and '70s taste older than their counterparts from the '40s and '50s.

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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#8 Post by William Kelley » July 20th, 2019, 4:34 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 3:30 pm

That’s beautiful!
It tastes as good as it looks!
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#9 Post by John Morris » July 20th, 2019, 5:22 pm

William Kelley wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 3:07 pm
A correct bottle of the 1947 should be quite a lot richer and more muscular than the 1981, and look like this:

Image
You just happened to have a photo at hand.... [cheers.gif]
Last edited by John Morris on July 20th, 2019, 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#10 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 20th, 2019, 6:58 pm

William Kelley wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 4:34 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 3:30 pm

That’s beautiful!
It tastes as good as it looks!
As was this . . . . [cheers.gif]


D28A57D0-E7A2-4BB2-ACE8-46A172DF1BA5.jpeg

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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#11 Post by Jayson Cohen » July 20th, 2019, 7:05 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 4:19 pm
Something's not adding up here -
A Seattle Somm told me that something had changed that raised the sugars of the older ones but not the more "recent" vintages
vs.
We were all amazed at how fresh and light the 1947 was
actually a little lighter/sweeter/a little more like a burgundy than the 1981, which was a true, full Bordeaux
No doubt '47 is a vintage with higher sugars than '81, which is the kind of year that used to get the faint praise of "typical." But higher sugars translate to a fuller body, not a lighter one, and a well-kept '47 should still be very full.

Also no doubt a lot changed between '47 and '81, usually for the worse. This was the period of industrialization, chemicals, overcropping, etc. Many from the '60s and '70s taste older than their counterparts from the '40s and '50s.
This may all be true Keith, including your implication that the somm was full of #%^* on his sugar theory as a general phenom, but 81 Haut Brion is also a really good wine and far from done maturing.

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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#12 Post by Dale Williams » July 20th, 2019, 7:42 pm

yep, people with perfect provenance '47 First Growth sell them through Winebid.
That's the ticket!

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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#13 Post by Karl K » July 20th, 2019, 10:12 pm

Dale Williams wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 7:42 pm
yep, people with perfect provenance '47 First Growth sell them through Winebid.
That's the ticket!
I get the take on the perfect provenance claim, but it is possible that we’ll-stored old wines get placed on WineBid.

It could be considered, as well: do the best placements get snapped up by insiders?
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#14 Post by Karl K » July 20th, 2019, 10:13 pm

John Morris wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 5:22 pm
William Kelley wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 3:07 pm
A correct bottle of the 1947 should be quite a lot richer and more muscular than the 1981, and look like this:

Image
You just happened to have a photo at hand.... [cheers.gif]
We know WK don’t mess around when it comes to Saturday night wine choices. 😜
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#15 Post by Mark Golodetz » July 21st, 2019, 3:30 am

I think the interesting question will not be the aging of seventy year old versus forty year olds, but whether the current crop of Bordeaux (post 2000) will age as well as their predecessors.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#16 Post by Karl K » July 21st, 2019, 3:56 am

Good point.

(Someone archive this post.)
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#17 Post by P L owet » July 21st, 2019, 5:18 am

RMann wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 11:08 am
I recently had the great pleasure of sharing a 1947 Chateau Haut Brion and 1981 Chateau Haut Brion side by side, both from WineBid, both with perfect provenance and condition.
Russ,
You might want to take this opportunity to explain your comment. How did Winebid authenticate provenance and genuineness? It’s not generally assumed that your company receives consignments like a perfect bottle of 1947 Haut Brion.
Thanks,
Peter
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#18 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 4:23 pm

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 2:17 pm
Russ,

If this is a legitimate question, as the new CEO of Winebid, I would have left out "both from WineBid, both with perfect provenance and condition" from your post since it has no relevance to your query.

But since you posted it, can you give details about the perfect provenance of the '47?

Looking forward to your continued participation on this board.
Hiya R@y. I understand you post a lot and this was my first attempt to start getting more involved. Simply trying to ask a wine question of all the knowledgeable folks here. Per your comment, I've deleted the part about perfect provenance- you are correct that was imprecise language. The provenance "established provenance" by WineBid published standards of knowing where the consignment came from and the conditions of storage etc, as described on the site. I was simply trying to establish the background of the wine and the conditions it was opened and poured. If you have any thoughts on the question itself of older vs newer ones, I'm very interested to hear. Thanks.
Last edited by RMann on July 21st, 2019, 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#19 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 4:26 pm

P L owet wrote:
July 21st, 2019, 5:18 am
RMann wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 11:08 am
I recently had the great pleasure of sharing a 1947 Chateau Haut Brion and 1981 Chateau Haut Brion side by side, both from WineBid, both with perfect provenance and condition.
Russ,
You might want to take this opportunity to explain your comment. How did Winebid authenticate provenance and genuineness? It’s not generally assumed that your company receives consignments like a perfect bottle of 1947 Haut Brion.
Thanks,
Peter
Answered just now. Sorry that I used the word "perfect," that was imprecise and has been deleted. The bottles were of good provenance to the standards and descriptions as posted on the WineBid site. My question, though, was whether other folks had similar experiences with older vs newer Bordeaux like that or Haut Brions in particular. It was my first time having something that aged, and I know folks here on WB have a lot more experience. Thanks for any thoughts on that topic.
Last edited by RMann on July 21st, 2019, 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#20 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 4:29 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
July 21st, 2019, 3:30 am
I think the interesting question will not be the aging of seventy year old versus forty year olds, but whether the current crop of Bordeaux (post 2000) will age as well as their predecessors.
Great follow on question Mark. Is there a reason that we think post 2000 Bordeaux will age differently? Different techniques/new technology? Changes in climate? New generation of winemakers at the historic Chateaux?
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#21 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 4:31 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 2:58 pm
As I understand it, 1947 was a very ripe vintage for the time. 1981 was a fairly good but not great vintage.
Thanks for the additional info. I knew 81 was not supposed to be "great" but it was a birthday vintage and we still enjoyed it!
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#22 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 4:32 pm

William Kelley wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 3:07 pm
A correct bottle of the 1947 should be quite a lot richer and more muscular than the 1981, and look like this:

Image
Great photo! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#23 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 4:36 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 4:19 pm
Something's not adding up here -
A Seattle Somm told me that something had changed that raised the sugars of the older ones but not the more "recent" vintages
vs.
We were all amazed at how fresh and light the 1947 was
actually a little lighter/sweeter/a little more like a burgundy than the 1981, which was a true, full Bordeaux
No doubt '47 is a vintage with higher sugars than '81, which is the kind of year that used to get the faint praise of "typical." But higher sugars translate to a fuller body, not a lighter one, and a well-kept '47 should still be very full.

Also no doubt a lot changed between '47 and '81, usually for the worse. This was the period of industrialization, chemicals, overcropping, etc. Many from the '60s and '70s taste older than their counterparts from the '40s and '50s.
Hi Keith, thanks for the thoughtful reply, and I wondered the same thing, so thought to get input from the group here.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#24 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 4:36 pm

William Kelley wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 4:34 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 3:30 pm

That’s beautiful!
It tastes as good as it looks!
[cheers.gif]
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#25 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 4:37 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 6:58 pm
William Kelley wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 4:34 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 3:30 pm

That’s beautiful!
It tastes as good as it looks!
As was this . . . . [cheers.gif]



D28A57D0-E7A2-4BB2-ACE8-46A172DF1BA5.jpeg
Nice! Thanks for sharing the photo!
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#26 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 4:42 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 7:05 pm
Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 4:19 pm
Something's not adding up here -
A Seattle Somm told me that something had changed that raised the sugars of the older ones but not the more "recent" vintages
vs.
We were all amazed at how fresh and light the 1947 was
actually a little lighter/sweeter/a little more like a burgundy than the 1981, which was a true, full Bordeaux
No doubt '47 is a vintage with higher sugars than '81, which is the kind of year that used to get the faint praise of "typical." But higher sugars translate to a fuller body, not a lighter one, and a well-kept '47 should still be very full.

Also no doubt a lot changed between '47 and '81, usually for the worse. This was the period of industrialization, chemicals, overcropping, etc. Many from the '60s and '70s taste older than their counterparts from the '40s and '50s.
This may all be true Keith, including your implication that the somm was full of #%^* on his sugar theory as a general phenom, but 81 Haut Brion is also a really good wine and far from done maturing.
Thanks for the add-on Jayson. I respect the somms at Canlis but didn't understand that part. And the '81 was really good as you suggest, even if it doesn't get the ratings of the '82s.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#27 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 4:53 pm

Karl K wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 10:12 pm
Dale Williams wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 7:42 pm
yep, people with perfect provenance '47 First Growth sell them through Winebid.
That's the ticket!
I get the take on the perfect provenance claim, but it is possible that we’ll-stored old wines get placed on WineBid.

It could be considered, as well: do the best placements get snapped up by insiders?
Hi Karl! As stated above, sorry for the "perfect" phrasing. Already apologized for that and in fact deleted it. They were of good provenance per the documentation and inspection procedures as posted on the site.

To be clear on my purchases on the site: I have to bid like everyone else, and I decide what I'm willing to pay using the same info that everyone else has. In fact, on both bottles mentioned, I ended up having to bid around over 20% of the initial reserve. I win some, I lose some. But there is no "snapping up" of anything by insiders.

Any thoughts on the older Haut Brions vs younger ones much appreciated.
Last edited by RMann on July 21st, 2019, 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#28 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 5:06 pm

Took out the objectionable phrasing in the question. Appreciating everyone's considered thoughts on the wines, and also newer 2000+ vintages, as well as the photos.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#29 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 5:31 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 3:26 pm
My experience with great Bordeaux is it ages by eventually “shedding” its tannins and the brawniness of youth and gaining bottle sweetness, which all just means a slow set of chemical reactions in bottle, often getting fresher and more detailed and more open with age. And ‘47 was a riper vintage than ‘81 to begin with as observed above.

Your take therefore is probably spot on but also isn’t very surprising. I’ve had 81 Haut Brion a couple times, and it’s maybe the best 1981 Bordeaux. Or at least the best of a couple dozen I’ve had. I wouldn’t be surprised if good bottles age for a long time and become fresher and sweeter.
Hi Jayson, I missed this first post. This is the best explanation received yet. Thanks for the detailed thoughts, and thoughts on the '81- my fiance will be happy to hear that.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#30 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » July 21st, 2019, 6:01 pm

RMann wrote:
July 21st, 2019, 5:31 pm
Jayson Cohen wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 3:26 pm
My experience with great Bordeaux is it ages by eventually “shedding” its tannins and the brawniness of youth and gaining bottle sweetness, which all just means a slow set of chemical reactions in bottle, often getting fresher and more detailed and more open with age. And ‘47 was a riper vintage than ‘81 to begin with as observed above.

Your take therefore is probably spot on but also isn’t very surprising. I’ve had 81 Haut Brion a couple times, and it’s maybe the best 1981 Bordeaux. Or at least the best of a couple dozen I’ve had. I wouldn’t be surprised if good bottles age for a long time and become fresher and sweeter.
Hi Jayson, I missed this first post. This is the best explanation received yet. Thanks for the detailed thoughts, and thoughts on the '81- my fiance will be happy to hear that.
It is also my experience that the '81 Haut Brion is one of, if not the best Bordeaux I've had from the vintage. For me, Haut Brion is the most consistent Chateau year in and year out for vintages 2000 and prior (I have little experience with Bordeaux post 2000).
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#31 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 8:26 pm

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
July 21st, 2019, 6:01 pm
RMann wrote:
July 21st, 2019, 5:31 pm
Jayson Cohen wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 3:26 pm
My experience with great Bordeaux is it ages by eventually “shedding” its tannins and the brawniness of youth and gaining bottle sweetness, which all just means a slow set of chemical reactions in bottle, often getting fresher and more detailed and more open with age. And ‘47 was a riper vintage than ‘81 to begin with as observed above.

Your take therefore is probably spot on but also isn’t very surprising. I’ve had 81 Haut Brion a couple times, and it’s maybe the best 1981 Bordeaux. Or at least the best of a couple dozen I’ve had. I wouldn’t be surprised if good bottles age for a long time and become fresher and sweeter.
Hi Jayson, I missed this first post. This is the best explanation received yet. Thanks for the detailed thoughts, and thoughts on the '81- my fiance will be happy to hear that.
It is also my experience that the '81 Haut Brion is one of, if not the best Bordeaux I've had from the vintage. For me, Haut Brion is the most consistent Chateau year in and year out for vintages 2000 and prior (I have little experience with Bordeaux post 2000).
That's good to know. We've tried the Lafite '81 and it was also great, but a little more barnyard and mushroom than the HB. We have a Margaux and Latour yet to try- may wait to do those side by side for a special occasion. Sounds like we may be disappointed after the HB, but we'll see. Happy tasting and sharing and thanks for the insights.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#32 Post by Craig G » July 21st, 2019, 9:00 pm

There are plenty of good 81s if you like the style. They won’t be as good as HB but in recent years I’ve really enjoyed La Conseillante, Pichon Lalande, Gruaud Larose, Pichon Baron, and Haut Bailly.

With respect to the older wines, I suspect some could have a bit of oxidation which might give some impression of sweetness in an otherwise sound wine. Even if not, lots of great older wines seem to age into a softer, more Burgundian place as you described. I’m not sure it means there was anything fundamentally different about the wine to begin with. The great Haut Brions of more recent years might go that same way eventually.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#33 Post by RMann » July 21st, 2019, 10:07 pm

Craig G wrote:
July 21st, 2019, 9:00 pm
There are plenty of good 81s if you like the style. They won’t be as good as HB but in recent years I’ve really enjoyed La Conseillante, Pichon Lalande, Gruaud Larose, Pichon Baron, and Haut Bailly.

With respect to the older wines, I suspect some could have a bit of oxidation which might give some impression of sweetness in an otherwise sound wine. Even if not, lots of great older wines seem to age into a softer, more Burgundian place as you described. I’m not sure it means there was anything fundamentally different about the wine to begin with. The great Haut Brions of more recent years might go that same way eventually.
Wow! Your description of "softer"/"Burgundian" is exactly what we tasted with that specific '47. Great insight, thanks for the tips on the other great '81s to watch for.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#34 Post by Mel Knox » July 23rd, 2019, 11:40 pm

First, Canlis is a restaurant that should be better known by wine lovers. The cellar is amazing and as I recall, the prices are quite fair. I haven't been there for a while. Is there a restuarnat like this in California?? One that has, for example, multiple vintages of both Washington and Napa cabernets??

Second, the differences between Bordeaux of the 40s, 50s and 60s and now are huge and I could fill a book on this. In the 70s the wine business, ie prices, took off and this enabled the chateaux to do many things, inc triage of the grapes, creation of second and third labels for the lesser cuvees, better equipment, more work in the vineyards. A big difference for me, a barrel pimp,is that in the late 80s and early 90s wineries there started to put the wines through ML in barrel, rather than in tank. The results are a different expression and a more rapid integration of oak.

What your somm friend meant about the sugars of different vintages is unclear to me.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#35 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 24th, 2019, 4:22 am

Mel Knox wrote:
July 23rd, 2019, 11:40 pm
in the late 80s and early 90s wineries there started to put the wines through ML in barrel, rather than in tank. The results are a different expression and a more rapid integration of oak.
Thanks, Mel.

For the non-geeks here - as in me - can you explain this more, how it works?

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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#36 Post by JLee » July 24th, 2019, 7:36 am

Mel Knox wrote:
July 23rd, 2019, 11:40 pm
First, Canlis is a restaurant that should be better known by wine lovers. The cellar is amazing and as I recall, the prices are quite fair. I haven't been there for a while. Is there a restuarnat like this in California?? One that has, for example, multiple vintages of both Washington and Napa cabernets??

Second, the differences between Bordeaux of the 40s, 50s and 60s and now are huge and I could fill a book on this. In the 70s the wine business, ie prices, took off and this enabled the chateaux to do many things, inc triage of the grapes, creation of second and third labels for the lesser cuvees, better equipment, more work in the vineyards. A big difference for me, a barrel pimp,is that in the late 80s and early 90s wineries there started to put the wines through ML in barrel, rather than in tank. The results are a different expression and a more rapid integration of oak.

What your somm friend meant about the sugars of different vintages is unclear to me.
I don't know that the current wine list prices at Canlis are "fair," although some regions seem to be marked up more than others.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#37 Post by Mel Knox » July 24th, 2019, 10:07 pm

I have not been to Canlis for five years so what do I know?? At that time I thought there was nothing in California to compare to their list.
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Re: Older Bordeauxs 50+ years vs newer <50 year old?

#38 Post by Mel Knox » July 24th, 2019, 10:12 pm

When Californian winemakers started to visit Burgundy they discovered that the vignerons put the wines through ML in barrel. So they said to themselves, Hmm, what if I tried this on my BX cepages?? In 1986 I visited chateaux in Bordeaux and the two winemakers I was with, John Hawley and Dave Ramey, asked the Bordelais about this...I saw them eyeing the pitchforks...Seven years later they started to adapt this practice. So instead of getting cigar box aromas by putting clean wine into new barrels they get a more integrated oak flavor--in other words, less obvious oak-- and a wine they can show to buyers when people come to taste en primeur.
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