Would you pay US$70 at at auction for a bottle of 1961 Ch. Lagrange? Mid to low shoulder level, no real provenance story… Well recently I did. I love old Bdx and for the price, I was willing to take a gamble. In fact I bought to of them, this is the bottle with greater ullage. The photo shows the level of the wine.
Cork is really long and does not want to come out and even with a Durand needed two goes to get it out. Colour is light to med red with obvious browning. Nose is rather muted and has decayed leaves and old furniture type aromas but no fruit on the nose. Initially the palate is rather tired and dried out, pretty much a relic of what is once was, enjoyable only for those who love really old wines and are very forgiving of their flaws and limitations.
But slowly over the next hour the mid palate richness improved and it moved up to rather enjoyable. Some nice cedary notes emerged as did a delicate touch of dried red fruits. In fact some tannins actually start to show up and it has a nice long finish, holding together by the acidity. It is not fading away and falling apart over time pretty much the opposite. At 56 years old it is clearly a bottle on the decline but I am rather enjoying it none the less. Weird looking label!
I rate this as US$70 very well spent and look forward to bottle number 2 sometime soonish.