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Old 10-09-2012, 03:27 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default [TN] '61 Beychevelle

Tonight's dinner was rack of lamb and a potato-green bean salad. Jean
expressed an interest in having a glass of really good wine with dinner,
so I suggested a bottle that she'd received from me for her birthday
last year:

1961 Ch. Beychevelle (St. Julien)
nose: cassis, graphite, cedar, a slight herbaceous note, some earth
palate: fully resolved tannins, medium body, rich mouthfeel, great acidity

This was the second bottle of a cache I gave to Jean last year and it
was even better than the previous one had been. Incredibly youthful
(even down to the cork which was in superb shape), it had a classic
Cabernet nose and an incredible feel of richness in the mouth. It was
acidic enough that it needed the food to show well, but at 11.5% ABV it
showed no heaviness or heat. This led to an interesting discussion
concerning the ABV: since '61 was noted as a warm year that produced
very ripe grapes in Bordeaux, how did they keep the alcohol so low?
Canopy management? Earlier harvest?

Mark Lipton

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Old 11-09-2012, 03:36 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default [TN] '61 Beychevelle

Mark Lipton wrote in
:
It was
acidic enough that it needed the food to show well, but at 11.5% ABV
it showed no heaviness or heat. This led to an interesting discussion
concerning the ABV: since '61 was noted as a warm year that produced
very ripe grapes in Bordeaux, how did they keep the alcohol so low?
Canopy management? Earlier harvest?


I am not an expert, but canopy management sounds quite a recent practice to
me to be the cause. My guess is that they harvested way earlier in 1961
that they do today.

Anyone has access to a historical series of harvest dates going back to
that era?

s.

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Old 15-09-2012, 12:27 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default '61 Beychevelle

On Sep 9, 9:28*pm, Mark Lipton wrote:
Tonight's dinner was rack of lamb and a potato-green bean salad. *Jean
expressed an interest in having a glass of really good wine with dinner,
so I suggested a bottle that she'd received from me for her birthday
last year:

1961 Ch. Beychevelle (St. Julien)
nose: cassis, graphite, cedar, a slight herbaceous note, some earth
palate: fully resolved tannins, medium body, rich mouthfeel, great acidity

This was the second bottle of a cache I gave to Jean last year and it
was even better than the previous one had been. *Incredibly youthful
(even down to the cork which was in superb shape), it had a classic
Cabernet nose and an incredible feel of richness in the mouth. *It was
acidic enough that it needed the food to show well, but at 11.5% ABV it
showed no heaviness or heat. *This led to an interesting discussion
concerning the ABV: since '61 was noted as a warm year that produced
very ripe grapes in Bordeaux, how did they keep the alcohol so low?
Canopy management? *Earlier harvest?


From what I have read, there was a greatly decreased yield of grapes
because heavy rains washed away the pollen. (In 1945 the yield was
greatly reduced by frost. )There was much rain in July and then
drought in August. Then September was very sunny. The grapes were
small and had thick skins. The wines had very deep color and much
tannin. As a result, many considered the 1959s, which had a better
balance early on, to be better than the 1961s.

For whatever reason, I remember that many fine red Bordeauxs from the
50s and 60s tended to have less alcohol and needed at least 10 to 20
years of age. Some were quite concentrated in color, body, and taste
however. Things started changing in the Parker era when wine became
more drinkable at an earlier age. Perhaps the grapes were picked later
with higher sugar content. Also the amount of press wine added in the
final blend likely was reduced.

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Old 16-09-2012, 09:06 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default [TN] '61 Beychevelle

Mark Lipton wrote in
:
This led to an interesting discussion
concerning the ABV: since '61 was noted as a warm year that produced
very ripe grapes in Bordeaux, how did they keep the alcohol so low?
Canopy management? Earlier harvest?


Besides of an earlier harvest, could it be that they had bigger crops per
hectare therefore harvesting a bit less concentrated grapes with less
sugar?

s.
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Old 23-09-2012, 10:05 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default [TN] '61 Beychevelle

On Sunday, September 9, 2012 10:28:41 PM UTC-4, Mark Lipton wrote:
Tonight's dinner was rack of lamb and a potato-green bean salad. Jean

expressed an interest in having a glass of really good wine with dinner,

so I suggested a bottle that she'd received from me for her birthday

last year:



1961 Ch. Beychevelle (St. Julien)

nose: cassis, graphite, cedar, a slight herbaceous note, some earth

palate: fully resolved tannins, medium body, rich mouthfeel, great acidity



This was the second bottle of a cache I gave to Jean last year and it

was even better than the previous one had been. Incredibly youthful

(even down to the cork which was in superb shape), it had a classic

Cabernet nose and an incredible feel of richness in the mouth. It was

acidic enough that it needed the food to show well, but at 11.5% ABV it

showed no heaviness or heat. This led to an interesting discussion

concerning the ABV: since '61 was noted as a warm year that produced

very ripe grapes in Bordeaux, how did they keep the alcohol so low?

Canopy management? Earlier harvest?



Mark Lipton


Glad to hear these are doing well!


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