Vintage rating wine 50s
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 1950
The year 1950 brought very high yields. The quality of the resulting wines is very inconsistent.
The wines from Pomerol, Graves and Margaux often perform best.
The wine year 1951
In Bordeaux the most difficult year for a long time. Well-preserved wines are extremely rare (and therefore highly sought after despite the mediocre quality of the wines). Piedmont with its Barolo and Barbaresco performed better in the 1951 vintage.
The wine year 1952 ***
Das Wetter des Jahres war insgesamt recht günstig, insbesondere das Frühjahr und der Sommer. Im Bordeaux machte ein mäßiger September die gute erste Jahreshälfte wieder zunichte.
Chateau Mouton-Rothschild und Chateau Petrus gehören zum Besten des Jahres 1952. Der Jahrgang bietet auch einige sehr schöne Barolo (sofern sie aus einem Spitzenweingut stammen).
The wine year 1953 ****
An outstanding vintage in the fifties. The weather conditions produced an excellent maturity with a sunny, very warm summer. A vintage whose wines have been of equally high quality from their youth to old age. Well-stored wines from all growing areas still have an excellent drinking potential. The large wine-growing regions in France and Italy still offer a lot of such wines.
The wine year 1954
The summer and thus the important maturation period for the wines was anything but good. Therefore, as in 1951: there are only a few wines with good filling level and good color.
The wine year 1955 ****
Again a very good vintage. Both Bordeaux and Piedmont experienced favourable weather conditions from spring until the grape harvest in September / October. Among the 1er Grand Cru wines, the 1955 Chateau Lafite Rothschild stands out.
The wine year 1956
The year began with a shock. Severe frosts destroyed a large number of the old vines.Since the wine trade hardly bought wines in 1956, they are very rare today.
The wine year 1957 **
A difficult vintage. A very cold August in Bordeaux prevented the optimal ripeness of the grapes. The result is quite acidic wines.
Amazingly, a whole range of wines are still very good.
On the other hand, the Barolo winegrowers in Piedmont produced very balanced beautiful wines in 1957.
The wine year 1958 ****
The year 1958 produced top wines in Piedmont. There, the very good conditions allowed the production of Barolo in the highest quality levels Riserva and Riserva Speciale (in the case of Barolo, these quality levels, which require a longer maturation period, are not produced in every vintage).
On the other hand, the lower concentration of acidity and tannins in 1958 in Bordeaux produced wines that reached their peak quite early. Therefore, the number of very well preserved bottles is manageable.
The wine year 1959 *****
The best vintage of the fifties.
The vines ripened in the perfect conditions of a beautiful warm summer. In September there was welcome rain. The grape harvest could finally be carried out again in warm dry weather.
The 1959er Chateau Lafite-Rothschild is considered one of the best Lafite of all time. But all the other Premier Grand Cru and Chateau Petrus are also in top form.