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Bordeaux by Tb: The recovery from the Second World War was slow and wine producers had many challenges ahead of themselves. Their production facilities were in poor conditions and there was no capital for investments. However, thanks to several great harvests, the period from 1945 up to 1961 has yielded some of the most heralded wines from Bordeaux ever made. 1952 was on a par to end up on the list of the greatest vintages from the period, among 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1953 and 1959.

In 1952, the season started with moderately warm and dry spring. The summer months from June to end of August were dry with daily average temperature of 20,5C. The temperature climbed over 30C on 29 days. Unfortunately the Mother Nature turned its back to the producers at the very end of the season. The rain and cold weather arrived on September 4 and for example in Pauillac it rained for 22 days. The rain diluted partly the crop and due to the cold weather the phenolic ripeness of the late ripening varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon was left slightly short. Thus, the Cabernet Sauvignon dominated Left Bank did less well than the Right Bank, where earlier ripening Merlot is dominating. On the other hand the Right Bank avoided the worst rains during the September and producers like Cheval Blanc with Cabernet Franc –oriented wines, could harvest their crop same time in the middle of September under the better conditions than their colleagues on the Left Bank.

According to our experience the best wines of the vintage have been Cheval Blanc, Pétrus, l’Eglise-Clinet and La Mission Haut-Brion. However, we have been stunned every now and then with lesser known St-Emilions from this vintage. If we compare the prices versus quality of these wines, we can conclude them as the great finds of 1950s’ Bordeauxs that the most are drinking still lovely if the bottles have been restored properly. To get the best enjoyment out of these wines, make sure to decant them just fifteen minutes before serving as they do not handle the air as well as the better vintages.

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Vintage Report

As with the 1950, the 1952 Bordeaux also suffered from harsh tannins as a juvenile. After a long bottle maturation, this vintage has turned out to be an excellent find. The warm spring and early summer resulted in ideal germination. The hot and dry season lasted until September, which brought with it colder temperatures and rain. This change in weather dashed the hopes for what originally seemed to be an excellent crop year. Conversely, the rains did away with any fear of overly concentrated grapes. Weather conditions at the end of the year had a pronounced effect on the slower-maturing Cabernets. Consequently, the Médoc region suffered the greatest.

The Merlot-driven Pomerol and Saint-Émilion wines were able to mature very well; indeed, the finest wines of that year come from the right bank. Some excellent wines were also produced at Graves. Because the highly tannic character of Médoc wines has softened over the decades, the wines are extraordinarily drinkable right now. The finest examples could do with additional cellaring. Château Lafleur and La-Mission-Haut-Brion are the finest wines of this vintage. The vineyard-bottled Pétrus and Trotanoy run a very close second.

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1952 despite the war in Korea Americans considered themselves to be prospering with average worker earning $3,400 per year, a college teacher could expect to earn $5,100 per year . Three out of 5 families owned a car, 2 out of 3 families now had a telephone, 1 in 3 homes had a television. The average woman in America would be married by 20 years of age looking forward to raising a family but few continued with a career after children were born. Fast Food restaurants were growing in popularity, but the scourge of Polio hit many thousands of families ( 50,000 estimated ) . Many more cars in America were now fitted with automatic gearboxes and gas cost 25 cents per gallon. The worlds first passenger jet The Comet is produced in UK signaling the start of faster and cheaper air travel in later years. 
 

World

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UK

  • The Last London Trams Decommissioned

Finland

  • The Summer Olympics are held in July in Helsinki, Finland

Puerto Rico

  • Puerto Rico becomes a Self Governing Commonwealth Of the United States

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  • Steel Plants Placed Under Presidential Control after Steel Unions Threaten to Strike

Egypt

  • Military coup d'etat in Egypt on July 23rd headed by Nasser

Norway

  • The Winter Olympic Games are held in Oslo, Norway
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The best wines of the 1952 vintage

Name Tb Producer Location
1 Cheval Blanc 96.1 Château Cheval Blanc Bordeaux, France
2 Chambertin Clos de Bèze 95.5 Domaine Armand Rousseau Burgundy, France
3 Vintage Rosé 95.0 Louis Roederer Champagne, France
4 Vintage Champagne 95.0 Bollinger Champagne, France
5 Montrose 94.7 Château Montrose Bordeaux, France
6 L'Eglise-Clinet 94.5 Château L'Eglise-Clinet Bordeaux, France
7 Pétrus 94.5 Van der Meulen Burgundy/Bordeaux, Belgium
8 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 94.5 Bodegas Marques de Murrieta Rioja, Spain
9 Richebourg 94.3 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
10 La Mission Haut Brion 94.1 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
11 Romanée St. Vivant 94.0 Maison Louis Latour Burgundy, France
12 Hermitage La Chapelle 94.0 Paul Jaboulet & Âiné Rhône, France
13 La Tâche 94.0 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
14 Cabernet Sauvignon 93.8 Inglenook Napa Valley, United States
15 Barolo Monfortino Riserva 93.8 Giacomo Conterno Piedmont, Italy
16 Krug Vintage 93.8 Krug Champagne, France
17 Vina Real Gran Reserva 93.7 C.V.N.E /Cune Rioja, Spain
18 Brut Impérial 93.7 Moët & Chandon Champagne, France
19 Lafleur 93.7 Château Lafleur Bordeaux, France
20 Vintage 93.5 Moët & Chandon Champagne, France
21 Grand Brut 93.3 Perrier-Jouët Champagne, France
22 Pétrus 93.2 Château Pétrus Pomerol, France
23 Dom Pérignon 93.2 Moët & Chandon Champagne, France
24 Château Ausone 93.1 Château Ausone Bordeaux, France
25 Clos des Goisses 93.1 Philipponnat Champagne, France
26 Steinberg 93.0 Kloster Eberbach Rheingau, Germany
27 Niepoort Colheita 93.0 Niepoort Douro, Portugal
28 Vintage 93.0 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, France
29 Château Haut-Brion 93.0 Château Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
30 Vintage 93.0 Louis Roederer Champagne, France
31 Musigny Vieilles Vignes 92.5 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Burgundy, France
32 R.D. Bollinger 92.3 Bollinger Champagne, France
33 Niepoort Garrafeira 92.0 Niepoort Douro, Portugal
34 Château Canon 92.0 Château Canon St. Emilion, France
35 Hermitage Rochefine 92.0 Jaboulet Vercherre Rhône, France
36 Borgogno Barolo Riserva 92.0 Borgogno Piedmont, Italy
37 Château Beychevelle 92.0 Château Beychevelle Bordeaux, France
38 Niepoort Vintage 92.0 Niepoort Douro, Portugal
39 Romanée Conti 91.7 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
40 Château Mouton-Rothschild 91.6 Château Mouton-Rothschild Bordeaux, France
41 Musigny 91.5 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Burgundy, France
42 Château Cos d'Estournel 91.0 Château Cos d'Estournel Bordeaux, France
43 Brut Millésime 91.0 Deutz Champagne, France
44 Château Canon-La-Gaffelière 91.0 Château Canon-La-Gaffelière St.Emilion, France
45 Imperial Gran Reserva 91.0 C.V.N.E /Cune Rioja, Spain
46 Latour-à-Pomerol 91.0 Château Latour-à-Pomerol Bordeaux, France
47 Château La Fleur-Pétrus 90.7 Château Lafleur-Pétrus Bordeaux, France
48 Lafite-Rothschild 90.3 Château Lafite-Rothschild Bordeaux, France
49 Chambertin 90.0 Grivelet-Gusset Burgundy, France
50 Pol Roger vintage 90.0 Pol Roger Champagne, France
51 Vintage 90.0 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne, France
52 Pommard 90.0 Van der Meulen Burgundy/Bordeaux, Belgium
53 Vintage 90.0 Taittinger Champagne, France
54 Château Climens 90.0 Château Climens Bordeaux, France
55 Château Smith Haut Lafitte 90.0 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Bordeaux, France
56 Château La Conseillante 90.0 Château La Conseillante Bordeaux, France
57 Château Margaux 89.8 Château Margaux Bordeaux, France
58 Château Latour 89.5 Château Latour Bordeaux, France
59 Vintage 89.0 Pommery Champagne, France
60 Vintage 89.0 Perrier-Jouët Champagne, France
61 Aszu 6 puttonyos 89.0 Hétfürtös Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary
62 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 89.0 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Bordeaux, France
63 Meursault 89.0 Nicolas Burgundy, France
64 Chateau Lynch-Bages 89.0 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac, France
65 Château L´Evangile 89.0 Château L´Evangile Pomerol, France
66 Chateau Margaux Pavillon Blanc 89.0 Château Margaux Bordeaux, France
67 Mercier Vintage Brut 88.0 Mercier Champagne, France
68 Colheita 88.0 Graham's Douro, Portugal
69 Clos des Goisses L.V. 88.0 Philipponnat Champagne, France
70 Barolo 87.5 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo, Italy
71 Brut Millésimé 87.0 Heidsieck & Co Monopole Champagne, France
72 Vosne Romanée 87.0 Fouleur Fréres Burgundy, France
73 Aszu 6 pttonyos 86.5 Tokaji Aszu Tokay, Hungary
74 Château Guiraud 86.0 Château Guiraud Bordeaux, France
75 Château Palmer 86.0 Château Palmer Bordeaux, France
76 Barbaresco 86.0 Fontanafredda Piedmont, Italy
77 Grange Hermitage 85.0 Penfolds South Australia, Australia
78 Vintage Port 85.0 Ramos Pinto Douro, Portugal
79 Marques de Riscal Reserva 84.0 Marqués de Riscal Rioja, Spain
80 Marqués de Riscal Gran Reserva 78.0 Marqués de Riscal Rioja, Spain
81 Vintage 75.0 Charles Heidsieck Champagne, France
82 Corton-Charlemagne 0.0 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Burgundy, France
83 Château Talbot 0.0 Château Talbot Bordeaux, France
84 Brut Vintage 0.0 Eugene clicquot Champagne, France
85 Barolo 0.0 Pio Cesare Barolo, Italy
86 Clos-de-la-Roche Vieilles-Vignes 0.0 Domaine Ponsot Burgundy, France
87 Gold Top 0.0 Heidsieck & Co Monopole Champagne, France

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