The quality of an exclusive vintage wine depends on so many things. The reputation of the vineyard often offers a good guarantee. However there are more elements, which influence the taste of the wine. And a ‘good wine year’ may not be valid for each region: the weather conditions can vary from one region to another. In this blogpost we take a closer look at the year 1964 in Bordeaux and Burgundy and their red wines.
1964 a stunning year for some
A mild wet winter was followed by a warm spring and dry summer. These weather conditions laid the grounds for the ripening of the grapes during an almost perfect summer. The light rains in September even allowed the tannins to develop and many declared the vintage Bordeaux and Burgundy wines of 1964 would be of excellent quality. This is absolutely true for exclusive Burgundy wines but not for all exclusive Bordeaux wines.
At the beginning of October heavy rainfalls ravaged the vineyards for weeks and ruined the hopes of those who waited too long to harvest. The winemakers in Burgundy had already harvested their grapes, and some in Bordeaux as well like the ones around Pomerol and some in the Saint-Emilion region. The lucky ones indeed produced an excellent 1964 vintage. Let’s take a closer look at some of our favourites.
Bordeaux wines of 1964
Château Ausone 1964
Located west of Saint-Emilion. The geographical location of the vineyard of Chateau Ausone is perfect for wine making. Chateau Ausone produces a classified Grand Cru Classés A, which consists of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The one produced in 1964 has spicy and herbaceous notes and can today be stored for another decade.
Château Clinet 1964
40 kilometers to the east of Bordeaux lies one of the most prestigious estates of the Pomerol wine region: Château Clinet. Thanks to the gravelly clay soils they produce the finest Merlots of the world. The Chateau Client Pomerol consists for 90% of Merlot, which is combined with 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc. This Pomerol is a mature wine, yet has an everlasting youthful freshness. Ripe dark fruits and hints of chocolate give this 1964 vintage a sweet finish.
Château Haut-Brion 1964
This Premier Cru Classé wine is produced just outside the town Bordeaux. The wine plays a pivotal role in the worldwide history of wine. So was Thomas Jefferson responsible for introducing Château Haut-Brion in the United States. Because of the warm spring and summer the grapes were ripe early, yet fragile. They harvested the grapes before the rains and created a flavourful and finesse wine. Its vibrant taste with mineral notes and mature black fruits, earth and tobacco aromas are still noticeable after more than 50 years of aging.
Château Latour 1964
Château Latour was one of the few wine producers on the left bank to harvest before the rainfalls. The château lies in the Médoc region to the north-west of Bordeaux. The Grand Vin Château Latour is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and a little bit Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. After more than 50 years the 1964 vintage still tastes fresh with its notes of dried fruit and tobacco. This powerful and elegant wine received a Robert Parker rating of 91/100.
1964 wasn’t an excellent year for all the Bordeaux vineyards so before you buy a 1964 wine, you better check when the selected Château harvested their grapes that year.
Burgundy wines of 1964
Faiveley - Clos de la Roche 1964
Founded in 1825 Faively is the largest family domaine in Burgundy. An intense and full-bodied wine that is a true example of how a Pinot Noir wine should taste. This dark wine contains a lot of tannins when young but softens with age and gains complexity over the years. Clos de la Roche is an Appellation d’Origine Controlée for Pinot Noir wines produced in the Côte de Nuits. Most of the vineyards in this region produce only 50 to 1.000 cases a year while a Château in Bordeaux often makes more than 20.000 cases.
Lequin - Roussot Corton 1964
The tannins of this classic Corton red wine develop with age, which makes this a great wine for your wine cellar. Leather and earthy notes are combined with flavours of violets and berries. Corton is an Appellation d’Origine Controlée for red (and white) wines produced in Côte de Beaune. Because of the size of the AOC there are several subordinate vineyard names, or climats. Domaine Lequin-Roussot is located in Les Languettes, where the limestone and iron-rich marlstone soil is perfect for both the Chardonnay (white wine) and Pinot Noir (red wine) grape.
Marquis D’Angerville - Volnay Cuvée Champans 1964
Domaine Marquis D’Angerville is located on the hill of the village Volnay in the climat Champans, which is one of the most highly regarded Premier Cru vineyards of Volnay. The vineyards of Marquis D’Angerville are oriented to the east and the lime-like and marlstone soil gives the Pinot Noir grape all the necessary nutrients to grow. This wine is known to be a rich and full wine, characterized by plum, licorice and brown spice aromas and flavours. The wine ages remarkably well. In 1964 Gérard Thienpont, uncle of Jacques Thienpont who owns Château Le Pin, bought several barrels of this wine and bottled them at Hof te Cattebeke in Etikhove, Belgium.