Decanter's vintage guide for Saint-Emilion and Pomerol 1961.

Drink soon

Cold, rain, drought and a sunny September effectively ‘pruned’ the crop giving it harmony and depths of flavour.

Weather Conditions

The weather played a major part in the production of what is generally accepted to be a great vintage for Bordeaux‘s red wines. Despite a frosty spring, vegetation was advanced, but as the months progressed cold conditions reduced the flowering and rain washed away the pollen, reducing the potential crop. At the end of July persistent rain fell, and drought conditions prevailed in August, which was followed by a warm, sunny September.This pattern effectively ‘pruned’ the crop, then ripened the remaining fruit thoroughly. The harvest began at the end of September.

Best Appellations

The oustanding feature of this vintage was its consistency across the board, from first growths to Crus Bourgeois. But on the right bank, although some crus seemed to re-capture their pre-’56 form, many actually did better in ’64. On the left bank every appellation produced some oustanding examples. The wines were in most cases very attractive drinking by the end of the first decade, because of their fine harmony and depths of flavour and have lasted splendidly.

Best Producers

Cheval Blanc, Figeac and Magdeleine are among the best. Pomerol: Petrus, Trotanoy, La Fleur-Petrus, and Beauregard.