Bordeaux Vintage Report by Tb / Although 1962 was also a fabulous year, it fell irretrievably into the shadow of 1961. The cold winter, with its biting frosts, ensured that the vines would get a much-needed rest after their hard work in 1961. The growing season started three weeks late. When the vines finally germinated in mid-June, the weather improved. Toward autumn, the weather warmed up measurably, with the resulting dryness eventually having a negative impact on the vines. The few abundant harvests of September came just in time to rescue the grapes from withering on the vine. The harvest, which brought in the largest crop of the 1950s and 1960s, did not begin until 1 October. Few believed that the vintage would be as good as it became. An excellent vintage for dry whites, reds and Sauternes. Where Sauternes are concerned, the 1962 was a considerably better year than the 1961. The best reds were the Cheval Blanc, Pétrus and Mouton-Rothschild. A common characteristic of the finest 1962 wines today is their serene, balanced aspect. Only a few show any real body and complexity, but they work well especially as dinner wines, also due to their excellent availability and affordable price. Even the finest wines should not be decanted for more than an hour.