Wine Talk

Snooth User: bikesnwine

Birthday wine from 1962

Posted by bikesnwine, Jun 18, 2009.

I'm turning 50 in 2012 and I'm looking for a bottle(s) of wine from 1962 to open up during a dinner party with close friends. I'm looking for a Bordeaux or a Spanish Red. Do you have any suggestions. I'd like to keep the price below $200 american.


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jun 19, 2009.

62 was not a particularly strong vintage for Bordeaux living in the shadow of the monumental 1961's, but many wines are still holding on, some Spanish wines are still great though. People might tell you Burgundy is the real winner in 1962 but sourcing decent bottles is very difficult and under $200 nigh impossible.

So what to do?

I would first off suggest some Madeira and/or Colheita port for a safe bet.

After that the Vine Real from Cune has been re-released over the years and is a killer bottle of wine. I don't know where you live but the wine can be found both in the US and the UK for around $200, and it's well worth it.

In Bordeaux, and around your price point, ok certainly somewhat above, Gruaud larose, Kirwan and Lynch Bages all did fine in 62.

I hope this will be helpful!

Reply by dmcker, Jun 19, 2009.

Two years ago I did a vertical tasting of Chateau Pavie, from St. Emilion, over a six year period from 1961 to 1966. My favorites were 1961, 1966 and 1962 in that order. The '64 was fine, though the '63 and '65 were overpowered by their competition. Nevertheless, all quite interesting and tasty (the weaker three) to downright delicious wines (the better three), special with all that maturity. This era was long before the new owner changed things drastically, from the late '90s, and tried to convert Pavie into California FruitBombFactory East. If you hunt around, you might be able to find a '62 Pavie for not much more than 200 bucks. As always with wines this old, inquire carefully about provenance and condition. I've had the '62 Gruaud Larose Greg mentions, earlier this decade, and it should also be drinkable, though it wasn't as impressive at this stage, and didn't seem to be weathering the years as well as the Pavie, though of course that may have been something to do with the specific bottle I drank from.

If this is all too much trouble, Greg's recommendation of Madeiras or vintage Ports is an excellent one--perhaps safer, and certainly easier to find. Hard to open a meal with them, though--need to save them for dessert.

Alternatively, have you considered some classic Napa or other California cabs from that year? In the past year or so I've had some excellent bottles of Beaulieu Vineyards cab from the '60s. They and Krug would be worth searching for, I would think, and would certainly knock the socks off anyone at your soiree who knows and cares about wine.

Happy 50th, bikesnwine, when it arrives. Hope you have a most pleasant gathering of friends and family. You certainly seem to be planning well enough ahead of time so that it will be something special.

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