The Clash was probably not thinking of Bordeaux vintages when they released “1977” as the B-side to “White Riot” (nothing to do with white wine) in March 1977…
It was the first of four unusually late Bordeaux vintages that had wet winters and/or springs.
By early September the grapes were so unripe that there were warnings of an abysmal vintage to come – even worse than 1972!
But the sun came out in September – there were more hours of sunshine and the lowest rainfall for a hundred years – and the year was saved.
Château Latour’s grapes were harvested 3-17 October. As a point of comparison, the 1982 was harvested 16-30 September.
It might be the best wine of this difficult vintage, which is often the case with Latour in challenging years: The deep gravel soil (with its drainage) and the vineyards’ proximity to the Gironde estuary – only 300 metres away – mitigate against rainfall and frost.
Arden’s bottle of 1977 Latour came from an Oxfordshire auctioneer, who supplied us with the previous owner’s purchase receipt – impeccable provenance.
As 45-year-olds go, it’s a good ’un…