A bottle of the 5th Growth Château Lynch-Moussas 1970 drunk with friends recently turned out be a pleasant surprise.
It came from a private cellar in London SE19, having been given to the owner as a birthday present 40 years ago.
The bottle was generally in good condition for its age: Mid-shoulder ullage; minor tears to the label, with some minor damp stains; and some moderate corrosion on the capsule.
The cork was intact but had to be pushed into the bottle to prevent damage. This suggested overly-warm and dry storage over the last 40 years.
Despite this, the wine was in excellent condition: Not excessively oxidative and a nice example of a mature, cedary claret.
It proved that a wine from a moderate vintage and (as Lynch-Moussas was in 1970) a period when the estate was semi-dilapidated – and with a far from perfect cork – can be a thoroughly enjoyable fine wine experience.
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