Overall quality of the vintage: excellent. Rich, powerful and highly structured wines. Very good ageing potential. The best should be still excellent and could even wait a little longer. As a general rule, the left bank (Graves, Médoc) did much better than the right (Saint-Émilion, Pomerol), still affected by frost. These extraordinarily powerful wines are still capable of offering freshness and youth for a good twenty years to come. 1959 can be very uneven, however, unlike 1961, which was an overall success for Bordeaux. Thus, while the Margaux is an attractive wine with much finesse but some austerity, the Lafite is particularly remarkable this year, thanks to the deep gravels of its terroir that helped the vines resist the intense heat of the summer. It has become one of the legends of the century: a wine with an explosive bouquet, that never stops developing in the glass (spices, cedar, etc., both firm and corpulent, and above all of an incredible length.
Early harvesting produced a splendid crop, and harmonious, opulent wines still capable of further ageing, even now at the beginning of the 21st century. Yquem launches its dry Y d’Yquem, a particularly successful first attempt.
The charm of the spirit. A wine for pure pleasure, dedicated to the happiness of the moment.. that may prove lasting. Often reminiscent of a butterfly burning its wings during a swift tasting, but sometimes (especially when from the north) with the power to drive its point home. Noted for the first time in 1960, the Hermitage " was as concentrated and powerful as a Mouton 1945," in the opinion of wine columnist Michael Broadbent.
Ah, the 1959! An historic year for the family of winegrower Paul Blanck. Since he was convinced – and quite rightly so – that he had produced the vintage of the century, his grandfather had laid away a store at the back of his cellar. "For my funeral," he insisted. That day came at last but, in the general confusion, no one thought of those bottles or, more to the point, knew where they were. If it weren't for Frédéric, then a little boy, whom no one even thought to ask… and who took good care not to offer the answer. "As a result, we were still drinking it for years after!" he continues, laughing. The anecdote certainly bears out the proverb quoted by confirms unquestionably the proverb of Loire winegrower Jules Fribault: "You have to drink the wine during your lifetime, because once you're dead, it tastes of pear!" Dying at the age of 91, he took the time make the most of life. On the Weinbach estate, this year's Gewurztraminers border on immortality. Golden without turning to amber, they lose in sweetness what they gain in minerality. Balanced and with hints of quince, they still seem far from their peak.
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