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Vintage Report

In Bordeaux the decade culminated with the hot year of 1949, when Bordeaux was hit by an unprecedented dry spell. Cold, rainy weather had hindered germination, which resulted in an exceptionally uneven distribution of pollen. This, in turn, made for a record small crop. With the arrival of summer, Bordeaux was subjected to a heat wave the likes of which it had never seen before. Temperatures as high as 43°C were recorded at Médoc.  Early September brought massive thunderstorms followed by a period of ideal weather, which lasted until the harvest at the end of the month. The already small crop was made even smaller, but it produced a fantastically juicy wine that was extremely delicious even at a young age. The wines themselves have more backbone and are more elegant than the 1947 vintage. Indeed, these are missing the concentration which is found in the 1945. Mouton-Rothschild, however, is a capable challenger of even the best 1945s and 1947s, with its ample body and balance. The dry white wines produced were also outstanding, even though they are no longer very drinkable. Conversely, the Sauternes grapes picked at the end of a record dry October produced unique, noble rot wines. 

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Vintage Report

Bordeaux Vintage Report by Château Margaux / 1949 is one of the most concentrated vintages of Château Margaux; such tannic power did not appear again until 1961, and then again in 1986. Its colour is stunning, dense, very deep, still youthful. The nose is rich, clean, but does not have the same finesse as other more classic great vintages, such as 1953, 1955 and 1959. The power really comes through on the palate; we can feel just how concentrated the tannins are, and these still give the wine a firmness, even an astringency, which is surprising in a wine of this age. The finish lacks a little smoothness, but generally it is a remarkable wine. It is difficult to say whether it should be drunk now or kept... We believe this wine has potential for improving, but perhaps it will also eventually dry out a little. So, perhaps it would be better to drink it ! (september 2002)

Weather
A dry and especially hot year, particularly in July and August. It was long remembered for the great fires in the Landes forest which took dozens of lives. (The picking began 28th September)

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1949 After many years of misery through the depression and World War 11 postwar prosperity is starting to get underway with companies now able to supply the cars, Televisions and the other goods demanded in a consumer society. The cars got bigger, the TV's got bigger, with some 6.2 million new cars sold in the US and nearly 10 million Televisions in American homes, A new type of TV programme appeared we now call Soap Operas ( the name came from the fact many soap manufacturers sponsored the shows to catch the stay at home mum with advertising ) . China became a communist country and Russia had the Nuclear Bomb which increased the tension between East and West ( The Cold War ).

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The best wines of the 1949 vintage

Name Tb Producer Location
1 Clos de Vougeot 100.0 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Burgundy, France
2 La Tâche 97.5 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
3 La Mission Haut Brion 97.4 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
4 Lafite-Rothschild 97.2 Château Lafite-Rothschild Bordeaux, France
5 Richebourg 97.0 Domaine Leroy Burgundy, France
6 Château Mouton-Rothschild 96.9 Château Mouton-Rothschild Bordeaux, France
7 Cristal 96.8 Louis Roederer Champagne, France
8 Château Haut-Brion Blanc 96.7 Château Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
9 Salon 96.5 Salon Champagne, France
10 Lafleur 96.5 Château Lafleur Bordeaux, France
11 Château Latour 96.5 Château Latour Bordeaux, France
12 Musigny Vieilles Vignes 96.0 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Burgundy, France
13 Clos des Papes 96.0 Paul Avril Rhône, France
14 Chambertin 96.0 Domaine Armand Rousseau Burgundy, France
15 Cheval Blanc 95.6 Château Cheval Blanc Bordeaux, France
16 Marques de Riscal Reserva 95.5 Marqués de Riscal Rioja, Spain
17 Château Calon Ségur 95.3 Château Calon-Ségur Bordeaux, France
18 Château Gazin 95.0 Château Gazin Bordeaux, France
19 Musigny 95.0 Domaine Leroy Burgundy, France
20 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 95.0 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Bordeaux, France
21 Vintage 95.0 Pommery Champagne, France
22 Clos-Des-Mouches Blanc 95.0 Joseph Drouhin Burgundy, France
23 Château Laville Haut-Brion 95.0 Château Laville Haut-Brion Pessac Leognan, France
24 Château Lascombes 95.0 Château Lascombes Margaux, France
25 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel 95.0 Weingut J. J. Prüm Mosel, Germany
26 Château de Figeac 95.0 Château de Figeac Saint-Emilion, France
27 d'Yquem 94.9 Château d'Yquem Bordeaux, France
28 Mercier Vintage Brut 94.5 Mercier Champagne, France
29 Château Rieussec 94.5 Château Rieussec Sauternes, France
30 Anjou 94.5 Moulin Touchais Loire, France
31 Musigny 94.0 Domaine Jacques Prieur Burgundy, France
32 Pétrus 94.0 Château Pétrus Pomerol, France
33 Château de Fargues 94.0 Château de Fargues Sauternes, France
34 Château Climens 94.0 Château Climens Bordeaux, France
35 Domaine de Chevalier 94.0 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac Leognan, France
36 Würzburger Stein Silvaner 94.0 Weingut Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist Würzburger Stein, Germany
37 Château La Conseillante 94.0 Château La Conseillante Bordeaux, France
38 Chateau Clos L' Eglise 94.0 Château Clos L' Eglise Bordeaux, France
39 Vintage 94.0 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, France
40 La Gaffelière 94.0 Château La Gaffelière Bordeaux, France
41 Echézeaux 94.0 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
42 Musigny 94.0 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Burgundy, France
43 Château Suduiraut 94.0 Château Suduiraut Bordeaux, France
44 Château Doisy-Daene 94.0 Château Doisy-Daëne Bordeaux, France
45 Richebourg 93.8 Louis Jadot Burgundy, France
46 Dom Pérignon 93.5 Moët & Chandon Champagne, France
47 Vintage 93.5 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne, France
48 Château Canon-La-Gaffelière 93.5 Château Canon-La-Gaffelière St.Emilion, France
49 Château Margaux 93.3 Château Margaux Bordeaux, France
50 Naudes 93.0 Château Canon-La-Gaffelière St.Emilion, France
51 Barolo Monfortino Riserva 93.0 Giacomo Conterno Piedmont, Italy
52 Château Talbot 93.0 Château Talbot Bordeaux, France
53 Chateau Leoville-Barton 93.0 Château Leoville-Barton Bordeaux, France
54 Château Pontet Canet 93.0 Château Pontet Canet Bordeaux, France
55 Beaulieu Georges de Latour Private Reserve 93.0 Beaulieu Vineyards Napa Valley, United States
56 Vintage Champagne 93.0 Bollinger Champagne, France
57 Latour-à-Pomerol 93.0 Château Latour-à-Pomerol Bordeaux, France
58 Château L´Evangile 93.0 Château L´Evangile Pomerol, France
59 Vina Real Gran Reserva 93.0 C.V.N.E /Cune Rioja, Spain
60 Chambolle Musigny 93.0 T. Moillard Burgundy, France
61 Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 93.0 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Burgundy, France
62 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 93.0 Tollot-Voarick Burgundy, France
63 Musigny 93.0 Domaine Unknown Burgundy, France
64 Dom Ruinart 93.0 Ruinart Champagne, France
65 Romanée-St-Vivant 93.0 Domaine Marey-Monge Burgundy, France
66 Château Batailley 93.0 Château Batailley Pauillac, France
67 Brut Millésime 93.0 Deutz Champagne, France
68 Millésimé 93.0 Charles Heidsieck Champagne, France
69 Pavie 92.8 Château Pavie Bordeaux, France
70 Château Beychevelle 92.5 Château Beychevelle Bordeaux, France
71 Château Haut-Brion 92.5 Château Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
72 Château Coutet 92.5 Château Coutet Sauternes, France
73 Vintage Brut 92.5 Roualet-Grochet Champagne, France
74 Vintage 92.4 Louis Roederer Champagne, France
75 Sec 92.0 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne, France
76 Scharzhofberger Auslese 92.0 Weingut Egon Müller-Scharzhof Saar, Germany
77 Château Gruaud-Larose 92.0 Château Gruaud-Larose Bordeaux, France
78 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 92.0 Charles Krug Winery Napa valley, United States
79 Musigny 92.0 Louis Jadot Burgundy, France
80 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 92.0 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Bordeaux, France
81 Montrachet 92.0 Marquis de Laguiche Burgundy, France
82 Hermitage La Chapelle 91.8 Paul Jaboulet & Âiné Rhône, France
83 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese 91.8 Weingut J. J. Prüm Mosel, Germany
84 Richebourg 91.5 Domaine Bourgeot Burgundy, France
85 Montrose 91.3 Château Montrose Bordeaux, France
86 Château Ausone 91.3 Château Ausone Bordeaux, France
87 Richebourg 91.0 Jules Belin Burgundy, France
88 Château Palmer 91.0 Château Palmer Bordeaux, France
89 Grands Echézeaux 91.0 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
90 Clos de Tart 91.0 Mommessin Burgundy, France
91 Charmes-Chambertin 91.0 Domaine Bernard de Chalancey Burgundy, France
92 Vintage 91.0 E. Michel Champagne, France
93 Chambertin 91.0 Maison Louis Latour Burgundy, France
94 Château Pape Clément 91.0 Château Pape Clément Bordeaux, France
95 Musigny 90.5 Domaine Joseph Faiveley Burgundy, France
96 Château Ripeau 90.0 Château Ripeau Bordeaux, France
97 Château Lagrange 90.0 Château Lagrange Bordeaux, France
98 Château Destieux 90.0 Château Destieux Bordeaux, France
99 Barolo 90.0 Borgogno Piedmont, Italy
100 Vintage Blanc de Blancs 90.0 Louis Roederer Champagne, France

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