Red Burgundy - 1961
Meteorological data: a mild spring. Shooting progressed well in May. Variable and cold weather: shatter in the flower. Dry and warm summer. Good weather in September and for the harvest. Harvest status: from September 25th. Abundance: small quantities. Quality: rot, unripe grapes. Heavy chaptalisation. Overall quality of the vintage: good. Very successful wines.
White Burgundy - 1961
Overall quality of the vintage: very good. Some fine wines, full of charm. Most have now passed their peak, but the most successful can still be excellent.
Red Bordeaux - 1961
Meteorological data: frosts in March. Cold weather during mediocre flowering. Persistent rain in July, too early to swell the remaining grapes. Drought in August. Very sunny September. Perfect weather conditions for the harvest. The sun in the run-up to harvest ripened the grapes nicely, thickening the skin and producing a lovely deep colour. Harvest status: Dates: from the end of September. Abundance: very small harvest, rain having washed away the pollen. Quality: excellent. Small, concentrated, well-fed grapes at full ripeness. High sugar concentration and alcohol content. The sun-kissed skins provide colour and tannin. Overall quality of the vintage: excellent. Some very fine fruity wines, soft, and fleshy, with a lovely deep colour, concentrated bouquet, and plenty of extract and tannin. Good levels of acidity. Wines with very good and extended ageing potential. Most are remarkable at the is point. Some still need to age further.
White Bordeaux - 1961
Meteorological data: poor flowering. Drought in August. Sun in September. Harvest status: Dates: early. Abundance: reduced harvest. Overall quality of the vintage: very good. Stylish wines, good acidity. Some excellent wines are still to be found.
Syrupy Bordeaux - 1961
Meteorological data: unpromising conditions. Abundance: small harvest. Overall quality of the vintage: good. Delicious wines and great form, even if they do not attain the stature of the greatest wines.
Champagne - 1961
Meteorological data: a good mild start to the season, despite thunderstorms in April and the cold of May. Flowering in June in warm and sunny weather. A variable July, then warm good weather, cooled by light rain. Good weather for the harvest. Harvest status: Dates: from September 28th. Overall quality of the vintage: very good. Attractive wines that can still be drunk with pleasure, but some disparities must be expected.
Rhône Valley - 1961
As fantastic a vintage as in Bordeaux, is how it is described in London or Paris. Ever taster has his own comparison to add. The Côte-Rôtie gets a mention, as does the Pauillac… Ridiculous, naturally. The Hermitage joins the 1929 vintage in the hit parade of the century. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape is more reminiscent of 1945 than 1978. What is its appeal? The tender and almost moving element of faithful affection.
White Alsace - 1961
"The greatest vintage of my life!" exclaims Jean Hugel. "More delicate than the 1959, which was much more powerful. Very similar to 1911, so much so that during a tasting at Schillinger, my brothers and my friends took a Pinot Blanc 1911 for a 1961 Pinot Gris! "
Loire Wine - 1961
Overall quality of the vintage: excellent. some very fine wines. One of the gold standard vintages, especially for sweet wines.