TN: 1980 Grand Cru Burgundy

1980 H.Grafe-Lecocq & Fils - Corton Perrieres

An evening meal meant a change of both pace and direction in my wine choice. Established in 1879, H.Graffe-Lecocq are negociants. This bottle from the virtually forgotten 1980 vintage piqued my curiosity. I have had few bottles from 1980 and it is not a vintage of note anywhere, save excellent vintage Port. In fact, I enjoyed a bottle of 1980 Smith Woodhouse vintage Port on Christmas Day with family, Stilton and crackers. Decanted for 6 hours, it’s figgy Christmas pudding lusciousness was an excellent end to the main meal of this special day.

Stood up for 6 hours, popped and poured. A clear, pale light strawberry red with a bricking rim. This lightness of colour surprises me, though I remind myself that this was, by some accounts, a ‘light’ vintage in Burgundy. The dried flowers on the nose lay the path for the fine Asian spices and delicate sandalwood to creep out of my glass. The silky mouthfeel glides over my tongue, briefly engaging with its senses. Fully mature, soft, mildly engaging, I liked it. After 30 minutes, it began to fade…

Shocked but happy it was still so lovely. Keep drinking well!

Thanks Michel! Grand Cru Burgundy can surprise. :slight_smile:

1980 was held by Parker, at the time,(at least on the Cote de Nuits) to be best bewtween 1978 and 1985, and the ones I’ve had were pretty good. Today, with improved practices, viticulture and climate it would be a 2001-type vintage. Wish I still had some. It was the vintage that was for sale in Burgundy in 1983 on our honeymoon. I remember carrying a few bottles to Paris…and breaking them on arrival. I tried to blame my new wife…but…though it was her fault…I didn’t. Wish I had them…they were Morin Nuits wines.

I always wonder on an old “pop and pour” whether the "fade
is really a fade-- or a retreat to come back with some more air. That’s the danger of all pop and pour…you never know…and often don’t have the time to figure it out.

I am a fan of 1980 Burgundy as well. Beaune seemed to do better than the 'Nuits and they have really held up well.

Thanks Nico! -

I have had a good number of 1980s over the years but have not had one in a while. They were sort of the 2000s of their day - provided much better drinking than many thought and tasted good at a relatively young age so gave me something to drink as I was starting to buy Burgs.

Surprised to see one is still doing well. I always thought of them as relatively early drinkers, not one where negociant wines would be alive at 35. Guess, it is a Corton. My guess is that it came from a very, very cold cellar.

My impression was/is the opposite, Tom…FWIW…I thought the CDB were fairly bad at the time I was buying them. Decanter…says the same thing…CDN much better; the reverse of 1979. (I think Parker said the same thing; he was my guide then).1980 vintage guide for Red Burgundy - Decanter

FWIW. Haven’t had any in ages.

We were married in 1980 so I searched for some special wines for anniversary dinners . Although Parker spoke highly of them, it was Kermit Lynch who convinced me to purchase. Some, such as the Ponsot “Clos de la Roche VV” turned out to be absolutely spectacular. I have a couple of scattered bottles left and still search for others.

Nicos; I am really thrilled that bottle showed so well for you.

Marshall [cheers.gif]

Chaps, thanks for your feedback.

Marshall, my pleasure! With respect to the 1980 vintage, if you like Port then I can recommend the Gould Campbell Vintage Port. I have enjoyed several bottles over the years, the last being 6 days ago.