From the year that Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, became monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the British Dominions, this is a tannic vintage of Latour, which is probably why the wine has retained its deep colour.
Arden’s bottle of 1952 Latour came to us from a private cellar via an auctioneer in Lincolnshire.
An ideal bottle for toasting a Platinum Jubilee 🍷.
(A bottle of 1952 Château Palmer is also available should you wish to double-up for Her Majesty’s 70th.)
Langoa-Barton in Saint-Julien is one of the nicer châteaux of Bordeaux wine country.
It’s balanced and elegant, like the wines that it produces, which are also as charming as its owners – formerly Anthony Barton and nowadays his daughter Lilian, both of whom I’ve met several times over the years.
Langoa is made cheek by jowl with Léoville Barton, though was not chateau-bottled until 1969. It was instead bottled in the Bordeaux cellars of Barton & Gustier.
The 2001 Château Langoa Bartonwas overshadowed by the mighty 2000 but it’s a much better vintage than many people might think. The ’01 was harvested a bit later than the 2000 and has a bit more Cabernet Sauvignon in it, with a dash of Cabernet Franc too.
It was a late late vintage in 1962. Ripening was delayed (because the sap in the vines kept drying out), so the harvest didn’t start until 10th October; in 1961 it began on 27th September. The resulting wines had a streak of acidity that ran through the wine like “Brighton Rock” in a stick of boiled sugar.
At this time Leroy was a negociant, sourcing grapes from third-party vignerons and bottling wines under its own name.
This Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru is (I think) a blend of several 1er Cru vineyards in Nuits, though I don’t know which ones.
Lalou Bize-Leroy, who reaches her 90th birthday in 2022, had been working in the family business for six years by 1961.
I have never met Lalou but I did speak to her on the phone some years ago after she had promised to send samples for a tasting that I was coordinating for my then day-job. She spoke too much and too quickly for my limited grasp of French, so I just kept saying “Merci Madame Bize-Leroy” – which I hope the lucky recipient of this bottle will also say 🙏.
With couriers and warehouses already creaking well before the Silly Season (not turning up, not answering the phone, going to the wrong address etc etc), we encourage you to order your Christmas magnums of Pol (and other nice things) in good time.
By consensus, 2008 is the finest Champagne vintage of the 21st Century to date.
The Brut Vintage 2008 from Pol Roger is made with its traditional house blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay grapes from superior vineyards in the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Blancs.
It was aged for eight years in Pol’s deep dark cellars, 30+-metres below Rue Winston Churchill in Epernay, before disgorgement and release.
Just imagine the men in monkey costumes hominids in 2001: A Space Odyssey encountering a bottle of 1964, 1947, or 1943 Pol Roger – the planet Jupiter might have exploded… 🪐
Talking of explosions (on 5th November) 🔥 🎇 🎆: We remind you please to order your Christmas wines in good time.
Couriers and warehouses are short-staffed and fulfilling orders much slower than usual. It’ll be tricky this year.