Tuesday, July 01, 2008

1964 Chateau La Burelle

Country: France
Region: Saint Emilion
Alcohol: 11-13%
Price: Unknown
Closure: Cork

My father-in-law (to be) took this one out of the cellar - as far as I know it's been there for all of it's life bar the first 5-6 years or so. Of interest was the brown wine bottle - it was certainly the first time I have seen one of those from Bordeaux. Also of interest was the alcohol percentage being displayed as between 11 and 13 % .

Now I always like to know a little more about the wines I drink. In some cases, however, this is nigh impossible especially where the wine is old and the estate or chateau no longer exists. In this case I couldn't find anything about the chateau which is a bit of pity.

1964 was an interesting vintage. It followed the superb 1961, the variable, underrated 1962 and the rain-ruined 1963. While plenty of rain fell in 1964 it fell primarily during the harvest. In general the summer months were warm and dry which allowed the earlier ripening grapes such as Merlot to fully ripen. Merlot ripens a few weeks earlier than does Cabernet (left bank Bordeax) and many right bank properties harvested just before the rain came down to ruin whatever was left including the left bank harvest. While I have no idea as to the quality of this Chateau, the chances are the grapes for this wine were harvested before the rain came and that it is more than likely largely (if not soully) Merlot.

The words of one Ellen Eller sum up the right bank vintage: "It was such an exquisite 1964 Bordeaux that one sip was more like inhaling a soft fragrance than imbibing a liquid"

Here's what I though of it:

The Orange-red clearly indicates an older wine; the core is still has good depth of red with light orange at the edge of the glass. A little funky at first but then opened up to show plenty of red cherry fruit and some cigar box aromas. On the palate it still has quite a lot of red fruit backed by soft and well integrated tannins. Acidity added some freshness. Good length on the finish. This wine has aged beautifully over the years. It certainly tasted a lot younger than a 44 year old wine. Really enjoyed the experience.

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