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The best vintage in the world – 1947 or 1945? Tastingbook has tasted all the best wines from these two great vintages.
If wine producers from different regions were asked to name the best vintages in their wine history, most would name 1947 or 1945 as one of the greats. If we then compared them, there would probably only be one vintage that most, if not all, producers had named on the list – 1947.
We wanted to test this theory and we tasted them against each other and the winner was 1947 – by a long shot.
The 1947 vintage was a magical vintage. It goes down in history as one of the only vintages that all the well-established quality wine regions in the world were blessed with superb weather conditions. Heatwaves have been experienced all over the world and, for example, all of Europe was blazing under the blazing sun and experiencing a heatwave during the summer. This resulted in very concentrated and very ripe grapes. Growers found it difficult to handle very ripe grapes with high sugar levels because there was a constant risk of bacterial contamination in less hygienic wineries that did not have artificial cooling systems. Since there was no technology to use, many relied on huge blocks of ice to cool the room temperature and even put ice in their fermentation tanks.
This vintage has proven to produce very long-lasting wines from around the world. The wines are marked by a sweet, ripe fruit character and warming alcohol. Due to unhygienic winemaking facilities, many wines exhibit volatile characters. Some might find this a flaw, but for many mature wine lovers, this feature is even a favorite character. However, when purchasing wines from this vintage one should be aware that there is a high level of bottle variation and the risk of having highly volatile wines is remarkably high.
1945 was an exceptional year throughout France, from Côte-Rôtie to Bordeaux. Due to the hot and dry conditions, the grapes were very concentrated and produced an extraordinary, but unfortunately low, yield. The 1945 harvest was an early harvest, beginning on the same date as 1982, September 13. The wines started life with massive levels of tannin and took several decades to develop. Due to the high levels of tannins, many wines still show well today.