Certainly, there were not nearly as many good producers then as there were later and are today and the failures of the vintage include such major estates as Lafite. But for the estates at the top of their games then, the vintage is really drinking well these days.
Latest example was tonight when we had a 1970 Lynch Bages along with a 1982 Lynch Bages. The 1982 was a beautiful wine but the 1970 was just better. The 1982 had a nice richness to it, but could not match the density of flavor or the finish of the 1970. Fun comparison of two excellent Bordeaux.
I’ve only had a few, but they all impressed me very much. And here’s an interesting observation that I had a chance to test: I feel like the 1970s are rather similar to the 2000s. In 2010 I had the 1970 Pontet Canet next to the 2000 Les Hauts de Pontet Canet. It was like drinking the same wine at two different ages.
There are some nice bottles from 1970. My two favourite are Mouton and Ducru. I just had a Ducru in April and it was a delicious bottle of wine with tart red cherries, light floral notes, spice, leather and cedar. The palate was light with nice red fruits and soft tannins with a lovely finish that had good length.
I’ve been a fan of Mouton, Ducru and Gruaud Larose as well. Because of the low scores given to many of these, I had managed to pick up some at very reasonable prices. Latour is obviously very good but far more expensive. I like the elegance and development on the 70s.
Very interesting. Hope that you are correct.
All I’ve got left from the 1970 Bordeaux vintage is the wooden box that once held our very long-gone dozen bottles of Chateau Garraud. Carolyn uses it to store rope, string and wire.
Howard, would the '70 Lynch Bages still hold for a while?
Rope and wire? What is she going to do to you? Randy, has Carolyn found out about the extent of your wine buying?
Yes, but why. It is delicious right now and unlikely to get better.
I have found that 1970 bordeaux is very good, however I think that the 1978 vintage as far as 1970’s goes is better than 1970.
1970 Ducru Beaucaillou had consistently been very good.
So were good bottles of 1970 Chateau Magdelaine.
LOL! The rope, string and wire gets used episodically in her gardening activities. As to the other matter, shhhhhhhhhhhh…
I think good as many of the Medocs are, it’s really a superb right bank vintage. Someone already mentioned Magdelaine, but Petrus, Trotanoy, Lafleur Petrus, VCC, Evangile, Cheval Blanc, Canon and Latour a Pomerol are all superb.
I have yet to have a great bottle of Ausone, I hear the good ones belong with the other greats of St. the Right Bank.
When I began buying wine with corks in the mid-70s, the 1970 Bordeaux vintage was widely available with classified (non-1st) growths at $10 or less. I believe the first one I tried was La Lagune and it opened my eyes for sure. I’ve retasted it just a few years ago and it was still going strong. The Lynch Bages mentioned in this string was one of the better 70s and it too remains in excellent shape.
Recently had a 1970 Montrose that was absolutely dynamite. Exactly what you hope for when you put BDX to rest. Outperformed some first and second growths from much more famous 1980’s vintages on the night.
I still remember being offered a glass of '70 LMHB. At the time, it was one of the best wines I ever tasted. Just a beautiful example of quality, aged Bordeaux. It was a game changer for me…
That comparison never would have occurred to me
It’s been a while since I’ve had a 1970, but I think it’s something about the structure and fruit profile that I found to be rather similar, but maybe that’s just my odd brain and palate. Although as I noted above, I found the 1970 Pontet Canet and 2000 Les Hauts de Pontet Canet to be strikingly similar.
Thank you for this, I have a singleton bought at auction from Sukamto Sia’s bankruptcy auction circa 2002 for $125. Can’t attest to the provenance but I keep my fingers crossed!!
Chateaux back then did not have the money they do now, so there were not many second labels. Most of everything went into the main label. New barrels were a rarity except for the first growths.
I have heard that several super seconds actually rented their barrels.
Wine was fermented and went through ML in tank, was barreled down after the New Year. This started to change in the late '80s.
Some of the first growths were not doing as well as they are now, esp Margaux and Ausone.
I remember loving Du Cru whereas Las Cases was a little on the light side. I remember Glora and Beychevelle as being quite good, esp considering that the former was a cru bourgeois.
I opened a 2009 Phelan Segur not too long ago and I found it to be a wine unimaginable in 1975: big, rich, relatively supple for such a young wine. We have learned a lot about tannin management since then.