Vintage rating wine 40s
Wine reviews for the vintage are always a bit ambivalent. On the one hand, the weather pattern of a year naturally sets a direction for the wine regions. A cool, wet year cannot produce a century vintage.
On the other hand, there are subtle differences from region to region, from grape variety to grape variety. This can be seen in the differences in Bordeaux between left bank (Médoc with Cabernet Sauvignon) and right bank (St.Emilion, Pomerol with Merlot).
In the evaluation, one would also have to distinguish how the vintage was seen at the time of the grape harvest, the first barrel samples and the delivery and how it shows up today after many decades.
The most important thing about decades-old wines, however, is that it depends on each winery and on every single bottle. How was work done back then? And how was the wine bottle stored?
Every tasting of an old wine rarity opens a little adventure.
The wine year 1940 ***
The weather in 1940 was not optimal. Agriculture and viticulture suffered from the consequences of the harshest winter in the last century.
In addition, the lack of workers due to the war was noticeable in winemaking.
The wines from 1940 from Bordeaux and Piedmont show great differences in quality. You have to concentrate on the very well preserved bottles with very good fill level and color.
Chateau Cheval Blanc 1er Grand Cru Classe St.Emilion 1940 scored above average.
The wine year 1941 **
The spring of 1941 was cold and rainy until May. June and July then developed well again. The 1941 harvest again caused difficulties. The result was low yields.
As a result, there are now very few very well-preserved wines from the 1941 vintage available.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild offers the most interesting 1941 wine.
The wine year 1942 **
The weather of the year was quite favorable overall, especially spring and summer. In Bordeaux, a moderate September reversed the good first half of the year.
Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and, among others, Weinen aus St.Emilion, Chateau Ausone belong to the best of 1942.
The wine year 1943 ****
The best year of the war. The weather conditions were almost perfect from spring to the harvest in autumn. Well-stored wines from all growing areas still have an excellent drinking potential.
Particularly noteworthy in 1943: the top Barolo from Piedmont, such as the Barolo Monfortino by Giacomo Conterno. This wine is only produced in excellent vintages.
The wine year 1944 ***
This vintage produced many light wines. The weather was actually ideal until the beginning of September. But then heavy rain destroyed better results.
Very few well-preserved wines have survived.
The wine year 1945 *****
Along with 1961, 1945 is undoubtedly one of the best vintages of the last century. The conditions were perfect. Late frosts in May reduced the yield in favor of the vine quality. Hot, dry summer months led to concentration and ripeness of the grapes. On the wineries, the best material could be harvested very early.
A side fact for the very good wines: the war years had prevented that new vines could be planted.
In the following years, excessive cultivation of the cultivated areas reduced the quality.
Among the extraordinary 1er Grand Cru wines, the 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild undisputed first place. For this reason, and because of its rarity, its current price is also astronomical. At a wine auction 2006 (Christies) Euro 22.600,00 were achieved for a 75cl bottle of Mouton Rothschild.
The wine year 1946 ****
A vintage that has fallen into oblivion due to its outstanding neighbouring vintages. The growing conditions were very good until the harvest, then it became a little too humid, later again very hot.
Since the wine trade hardly bought 1946 wines, they are very rare today.
The top rank in 1946 had again Chateau Mouton. Recommended a range of wines from Burgundy.
The wine year 1947 *****
A year that produced rich, opulent wines. The summer became hotter and hotter until the early harvest. Many wines from St.Emilion and the Barolo wineries in Piedmont benefited from the optimal conditions.
The 1947 became the best and most expensive Chateau Cheval Blanc ever. Its soft sweetness and concentration has made the wine almost port-like.
The wine year 1948 ****
The vintage is in some ways comparable to 1946. Wedged between two celebrated wine years, the classic wine trade bought little of this nevertheless appealing vintage. Therefore, the number of very well preserved bottles is manageable. The spring and the time of the grape harvest had very good wine weather. The summer, on the other hand, left much to be desired.
The wine year 1949 ****
The third of the great wine years in the forties (1945 - 1947 - 1949). During flowering there was cold rainy weather. As a result, the yield was greatly reduced this year. Low yield is often a prerequisite for excellent wine.
The further course of growth was characterized by fine weather up to a veritable heat wave in late summer. The harvest took place in warm, dry weather.
The best 1949 wine is certainly Chateau Mouton Rothschild.