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Vintage Report

Spain by Riscal: Cold year. The silence of the archive says that the average of annual temperature was 12.7c and in 1960 was only 11.8c. However, the rain in quantity fitted to the standards of statistics and just exceeded 7%. Those same files, of incalculable wealth, take us to other shelves where experiences and wine experiences are registered. Today it can be appreciated as “black vineyard” a curiosity. Such denomination indicates a fruitless experience but curious derivative of wine-growing French bibliography that was inducing to apply cinder of train in the soil with the intention of fertilizing with ashes. They did not appreciate such marvels and until 1960 one withdrew this superficial cap, that plot was known inside the warehouse as “black vineyard “. There were three years without improvement for the grape but it has left a funny recollection for its aspect. This crop of grape of 1960 came to fulfill with loyalty the three wine-growing “sixties”. They passed sixty days from the blooming to the flowering. Other sixty from the flowering to the envero and sixty more from the envero of the grape to its vintage.

The harvest was not dense in color but it has supported splendidly the passage of time and the delicate sensations of fragrance have managed to extend. Nowadays, due to this, the balsamic fragrance of fresh tone strikes in the glass, whereas the color presents the typical red ruby bordered by a dense yellow.

The sensation in mouth is fresh with fixation in the top of the tongue, light palate and tannic moderated in the edges of the tongue, fundamentally in its lateral posterior zone. This wine came from the clay-calcareous soil low vineyards, from the level of 450m, since this year in the high zones, above 600m, the ripeness remained short. This vintage is the centenary recall for Riscal and for the whole Spanish wine-growing since it was in 1860 when it was signed the commercial agreement with France that pushed Spanish efforts for better wines.

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Vintage Report

Australia/ Barossa Vintage Report: Even though table wine consumption in Australia still averages just two bottles per head (by 2010 it will be more than 25 bottles per man, woman and child) the Barossa’s winemakers are leading a new – high altitude-fine wine revolution. Yalumba purchases the old Pewsey Vale vineyard in the Barossa Ranges established by Joseph Gilbert in the 1840s and starts experimenting with cool climate Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon; Orlando plants its Steingarten Riesling vineyard on a windy, stony hillside; Thomas Hardy & Sons launches Siegersdorf Riesling and John Vickery makes magic with Riesling from Eden Valley at Leo Buring.

Penfolds also releases Bin 60A in 1962, a blend of Barossa Shiraz and Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, which will still be considered Australia’s best wine 50 years later. Wine chemists such as Ray Beckwith and Tony Kluczko play an important role in wine quality control and new technologies such as centrifuge filters and carbon dioxide blanketing, to prevent oxidation in white wines, become common place. Near Angaston a new star is born – Peter Lehmann has finished his apprenticeship at Yalumba and takes over as chief winemaker at Saltram, creating a big, long-lived “hydraulic press” Shiraz. It will be the beginning of a journey that will re-define the Barossa in the 1970s and 1980s.

 

In 1960 rain arrived too late in February, March and April to help yields but this hot, dry year produced very good red wines.

 

Highlights of the 1960

Eye-catching packaging became an important new area of innovation, especially in the presentation of new mass products such as “Pineapple Pearl” which was sold in a distinctive fruit shaped bottle with the popular screw cap and plastic plug stopper. The latter didn’t last long on the market - due to protests from other companies it was classified as a flavoured cocktail rather than a wine under the Food and Wine Act.

Fortified wines continued to be the industry mainstay with Penfolds introducing the first commercial use of an ion exchange for removing copper from freshly distilled spirit. However, the company was also becoming more serious about premium red and white table wine with a commitment to increased production.

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Vintage Report by Angelo Gaja: Bad weather and a very poor vintage. Cool summer and thick fog during harvest. We don’t have weather like that anymore because of global warming. The fog was like milk, 5-10 meters thick. And we had rain during harvest as well. The conditions didn’t allow the grapes to become fully ripe.

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The best wines of the 1960 vintage

Name Tb Producer Location
1 Romanée Conti 94.7 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
2 d'Yquem 94.0 Château d'Yquem Bordeaux, France
3 Sercial Madeira 94.0 Cossart Gordon Madeira, Portugal
4 Château Musar 93.5 Château Musar Ghazir, Lebanon
5 La Tâche 93.0 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
6 Madeira Sercial 92.0 Blandy's Madeira, Portugal
7 La Mission Haut Brion 92.0 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
8 Grange Hermitage 92.0 Penfolds South Australia, Australia
9 Château Palmer 92.0 Château Palmer Bordeaux, France
10 Unico 91.5 Bodegas Vega Sicilia Ribera el Duero, Spain
11 Cheval Blanc 91.0 Château Cheval Blanc Bordeaux, France
12 Montrose 91.0 Château Montrose Bordeaux, France
13 Château Les Carmes-Haut-Brion 91.0 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
14 Vintage Port 90.0 Martinez Douro, Portugal
15 Marques de Riscal Reserva 90.0 Marqués de Riscal Rioja, Spain
16 Hermitage La Chapelle 89.0 Paul Jaboulet & Âiné Rhône, France
17 Imperial Gran Reserva 88.0 C.V.N.E /Cune Rioja, Spain
18 Boa Vista Vintage Port 87.0 Offley Douro, Portugal
19 Vintage Port 86.0 Ferreira Portugal, Portugal
20 Vintage Port 86.0 Croft Douro, Portugal
21 Château Latour 85.8 Château Latour Bordeaux, France
22 Pétrus 85.0 Château Pétrus Pomerol, France
23 Château Haut-Brion 85.0 Château Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
24 Château Margaux 84.3 Château Margaux Bordeaux, France
25 Château Mouton-Rothschild 83.5 Château Mouton-Rothschild Bordeaux, France
26 Château Coutet 82.0 Château Coutet Sauternes, France
27 Lafite-Rothschild 79.0 Château Lafite-Rothschild Bordeaux, France
28 Château Suduiraut 75.0 Château Suduiraut Bordeaux, France
29 Château Calon Ségur 0.0 Château Calon-Ségur Bordeaux, France
30 Barolo Monfortino Riserva 0.0 Giacomo Conterno Piedmont, Italy

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