Australia/ Barossa: Aggressive promotion by the Australian Wine Bureau and its director Len Evans has at last stimulated consumer demand and it is red wine from the Barossa that the newly urbane trendsetters of the 1970s want. Many cash-strapped old family wineries in the Barossa are unable to gear up quickly enough for the boom and reluctantly sell out to foreign multi-national grocery companies such as Reckitt and Colman (Orlando), Dalgety (Krondorf and Saltram) and Tooths (Penfolds). These companies introduce greater efficiency into the industry with mechanised grape harvesting and drip irrigation to guarantee consistent production. There is also less loyalty to the growers of the Barossa and without today’s strict regional integrity laws, cheaper fruit is sourced from the irrigated Riverland but still labelled Barossa.

The first ‘bag-in-a-box’ wine container is invented in 1971 by David Wynn (and is popularised by Orlando as the Coolabah Cask in 1974) and Wolf Blass starts his own winery winning the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy in 1974, 1975 and 1976. However, the red wine boom ends abruptly in 1975 as consumers swing again, this time to fruity white wines such as “Moselle” and Chardonnay. By 1978 the Barossa faces a serious red wine glut and when multi-national Dalgety tells Saltram winemaker Peter Lehmann not to buy any fruit, he rebels by creating a grower pool, processing the fruit and on-selling it as table wine on their behalf. He repeats this in 1979 then leaves Saltram to start his own Masterson label (later to become Peter Lehmann Wines).

A mild, dry year with below average growing season rainfall and a dry vintage, produced medium weight red wines and excellent whites.

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Vintage Report

Port Vintage Report: An exceptional quality Vintage, with great fruit and tannin harmony, ensuring longevity. Almost all producers declared production. A lot of rain in January and February, followed by a cold and dry March. The weather started to become hot in April, favouring good blooming and grape maturity. Rain in August and at the beginning of September, but the harvest was made under dry and very hot weather, with the temperature reaching 45¨C in certain areas. Very mature wines.

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Vintage Report

Bordeaux Vintage Report by Château Margaux: We find it hard to imagine today the excitement caused by this vintage, whose abundance and generosity appear all the more remarkable when you consider the complete disasters of the two previous vintages (1968 and 1969). Most of the wines produced in the Médoc stayed closed and quite hard for a long time. As with the 1975 vintage, it could have been a question of the Cabernet Sauvignon not being ripe enough when it was picked. In many estates, even in the greatest, the vat cellar equipment, in particular the number of vats, was not able to adapt to such a large crop. The vinification conditions therefore were not ideal. It was the case at Château Margaux, where the 1970 demonstrated the quality of the vintage very well, but lacked a little concentration and flesh. The nose is complex, well developed, deep, and quite harmonious. On the palate, it is fine, pleasant, but a little short and dry in the finish. We think this wine is ready to drink now, but it undoubtedly has good staying power and even has potential for improving. (January 2009)

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Vintage Report by Angelo Gaja : Finally another good vintage. A very good vintage obscured by 1971. There was an idea among wine writers in Italy at that time that Piedmont could produce a great vintage only once every ten years. They weren’t ready to accept that Piedmont could have two great vintages two years in a row. And this is what happened in 1970. Their idea was that there could be only one great vintage and so they believed the others were low quality.

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Rhöne Vintage Report by JabouletThe total harvest of the Côtes du Rhône wines is 1,498,354 Hl.
In the northernmost part, the grape harvests began on the 22nd. September and finished on the 17th. October. In 1969, the winter came early and was long. For Whitsun, the warm weather has still not yet shown up. The vineyards are behind in growth. On the 25th. May the warm days arrive.The following months of July and August are very hot. On the 20th August, there is a favourable gentle rain and on the 22nd.September the harvest begins.

RESULTS: a quite large harvest, good healthy wines which, in all, will develop quite rapidly. A good commercial year, especially for the northern wines, those based on the Syrah grape. The tannins are supple and distinguished.

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The best wines of the 1970 vintage

Name Tb Producer Location
1 Chateau La Lagune 96.0 Château La Lagune Bordeaux, France
2 Latour-à-Pomerol 96.0 Château Latour-à-Pomerol Bordeaux, France
3 Collection Blanc de Blancs 95.7 Delamotte Champagne, France
4 Pétrus 95.5 Château Pétrus Pomerol, France
5 Romanee Saint Vivant 95.5 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
6 Montrachet 95.2 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
7 Steinberger Riesling Eiswein Auslese 95.0 Kloster Eberbach Rheingau, Germany
8 Lafleur 95.0 Château Lafleur Bordeaux, France
9 Château Latour 95.0 Château Latour Bordeaux, France
10 Chateau Lynch-Bages 95.0 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac, France
11 Vosne Romanée 95.0 Henri Jayer Burgundy, France
12 Unico 94.9 Bodegas Vega Sicilia Ribera el Duero, Spain
13 Nacional Vintage Port 94.9 Quinta do Noval Douro, Portugal
14 Niepoort Vintage 94.7 Niepoort Douro, Portugal
15 Steinberger Riesling Auslese 94.7 Kloster Eberbach Rheingau, Germany
16 Vintage Port 94.5 Dow's Portugal, Portugal
17 Trotanoy 94.5 Château Trotanoy Pomerol, France
18 Château Palmer 94.4 Château Palmer Bordeaux, France
19 Höllenberg Spätburgunder Weißherbst 94.0 Kloster Eberbach Rheingau, Germany
20 Comtes de Champagne 94.0 Taittinger Champagne, France
21 Steinberg 94.0 Kloster Eberbach Rheingau, Germany
22 Montrose 94.0 Château Montrose Bordeaux, France
23 Höllenberg Spätburgunder Spätlese 94.0 Kloster Eberbach Rheingau, Germany
24 Castillo Ygay Blanco 94.0 Bodegas Marques de Murrieta Rioja, Spain
25 Barolo Gran Bussia Riserva 94.0 Poderi Aldo Conterno Piedmont, Italy
26 Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux 94.0 Henri Jayer Burgundy, France
27 Château L´Evangile 94.0 Château L´Evangile Pomerol, France
28 Château Haut-Brion 93.9 Château Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
29 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 93.8 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou Bordeaux, France
30 Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 93.7 Heitz Cellar Napa Valley, United States
31 Barolo Monfortino Riserva 93.6 Giacomo Conterno Piedmont, Italy
32 R.D. Bollinger 93.5 Bollinger Champagne, France
33 Dom Pérignon Rosé 93.5 Moët & Chandon Champagne, France
34 Kloster Eberbach Rauenthaler Baiken Rheingau Riesling Spätlese 93.5 Kloster Eberbach Rheingau, Germany
35 L'Eglise-Clinet 93.5 Château L'Eglise-Clinet Bordeaux, France
36 Château Musar 93.5 Château Musar Ghazir, Lebanon
37 Sori Tildin 93.4 Angelo Gaja Barbaresco, Italy
38 Höllenberg Spätburgunder Auslese 93.0 Kloster Eberbach Rheingau, Germany
39 Vintage Champagne 93.0 Bollinger Champagne, France
40 Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 93.0 Moët & Chandon Champagne, France
41 Comtes de Champagne Rosé 93.0 Taittinger Champagne, France
42 Château Canon 93.0 Château Canon St. Emilion, France
43 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 93.0 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac Leognan, France
44 Cognac Borderies 93.0 Cognac Lhéraud Cognac, France
45 Château Pape Clément 92.8 Château Pape Clément Bordeaux, France
46 Dom Pérignon 92.7 Moët & Chandon Champagne, France
47 Vintage Port 92.6 Fonseca Portugal, Portugal
48 Grange Hermitage 92.5 Penfolds South Australia, Australia
49 Domaine de Chevalier 92.5 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac Leognan, France
50 Château Cos d'Estournel 92.5 Château Cos d'Estournel Bordeaux, France
51 Vieilles Vignes Françaises 92.5 Bollinger Champagne, France
52 Hermitage 92.5 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Rhône, France
53 d'Yquem 92.2 Château d'Yquem Bordeaux, France
54 Höllenberg Spätburgunder Eiswein 92.0 Kloster Eberbach Rheingau, Germany
55 Höllenberg Spätburgunder Beerenauslese 92.0 Kloster Eberbach Rheingau, Germany
56 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 92.0 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Bordeaux, France
57 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 92.0 Bodegas Marques de Murrieta Rioja, Spain
58 Château Haut-Brion Blanc 92.0 Château Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
59 Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 92.0 Mayacamas Vineyards Napa Valley, United States
60 Vintage Port 92.0 Croft Douro, Portugal
61 Vintage Port 91.8 Graham's Douro, Portugal
62 Léoville-Las Cases 91.8 Château Léoville-Las Cases Saint-Julien, France
63 Vintage Port 91.6 Taylor's Douro, Portugal
64 Sassicaia 91.6 Tenuta San Guido Tuscany, Italy
65 Romanée Conti 91.5 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
66 Cristal 91.4 Louis Roederer Champagne, France
67 La Mission Haut Brion 91.3 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
68 Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon 91.3 Ridge Vineyards Santa Cruz, United States
69 Tignanello 91.0 Antinori Tuscany, Italy
70 La Grande Dame 91.0 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne, France
71 Les Forts de Latour 91.0 Château Latour Bordeaux, France
72 Beaulieu Georges de Latour Private Reserve 91.0 Beaulieu Vineyards Napa Valley, United States
73 Randersackerer Teufelskeller Riesling Spätlese trocken 91.0 Weingut Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist Würzburger Stein, Germany
74 Vintage Port 91.0 Warre's Douro, Portugal
75 Clos des Goisses 91.0 Philipponnat Champagne, France
76 Lafite-Rothschild 90.9 Château Lafite-Rothschild Bordeaux, France
77 Château Haut-Marbuzet 90.7 Château Haut-Marbuzet Bordeaux, France
78 Château de Figeac 90.5 Château de Figeac Saint-Emilion, France
79 Cheval Blanc 90.4 Château Cheval Blanc Bordeaux, France
80 Corton-Charlemagne 90.3 Joseph Drouhin Burgundy, France
81 Château Calon Ségur 90.3 Château Calon-Ségur Bordeaux, France
82 Clos-de-la-Roche Vieilles-Vignes 90.0 Domaine Ponsot Burgundy, France
83 Vieux Chateau Certan 90.0 Vieux Château Certan Bordeaux, France
84 Blanc de Blancs 90.0 Deutz Champagne, France
85 Château Gilette 90.0 Château Gilette Bordeaux, France
86 Vina Real Gran Reserva 90.0 C.V.N.E /Cune Rioja, Spain
87 Château Batailley 90.0 Château Batailley Pauillac, France
88 Port Vintage 90.0 Cockburn's Douro, Portugal
89 Barolo Gromis 90.0 Angelo Gaja Barbaresco, Italy
90 Château La Conseillante 90.0 Château La Conseillante Bordeaux, France
91 Pavie 90.0 Château Pavie Bordeaux, France
92 Château Margaux 90.0 Château Margaux Bordeaux, France
93 Hermitage La Chapelle 89.7 Paul Jaboulet & Âiné Rhône, France
94 Imperial Gran Reserva 89.5 C.V.N.E /Cune Rioja, Spain
95 Château Climens 89.3 Château Climens Bordeaux, France
96 Château Mouton-Rothschild 89.3 Château Mouton-Rothschild Bordeaux, France
97 Château La Fleur-Pétrus 89.0 Château Lafleur-Pétrus Bordeaux, France
98 Château Beychevelle 89.0 Château Beychevelle Bordeaux, France
99 Corton- Charlemagne Grand Cru 89.0 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Burgundy, France
100 Saran 89.0 Moët & Chandon Champagne, France


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