Have you noticed how many of the things we used to hate about the 1970s are making a comeback? Flared jeans, checked shirts and bright orange kitchens (yes, we had one of those!) no longer seem uncool!
And if you thought people only drank cheap cask wine back in the 1970s, a recent international competition has reminded everyone that some very fine wines of exceptional longevity were also made back then!
European luxury magazine publisher FINE and website tastingbook.com assembled wine judges from nine different countries to blind taste the top drops of the 1970s. As one would expect, French wines dominated, taking out eight of the top 10 positions. But the Penfolds Grange 1971 (98.5 points) snagged the top spot and three other Grange vintages from the 1970s made it into the top 40: the 1976 Grange came 14th (96.5 points), the 1972 Grange 25th (95.5 points) and the 1970 Grange came 36th (94.5 points)
Some of the greatest vintages for Bordeaux and Champagne were in the ’70s, so the fact that the 1971 Grange just beat the 1975 Chateau d’ Y’quem from Sauternes (98 points) is perhaps even more remarkable. The Guigal Côtes Rotie La Mouline 1976 came in third with a score of 97.5 points.
The late Max Schubert, the architect of Grange, confidently predicted that the 1971 vintage would prove to be his greatest. “If you had to point to a wine which fulfilled the ambitions of Grange it would have to be the 1971,” Schubert remarked in 1993, just months before he passed away.
This most recent competition is not the first time that top accolades have been awarded to the 1971 vintage. The AFR’s Mark Hawthorne reminded readers that “in 1979 Penfolds caused a sensation in France when the upstart Australian winery topped the Gault-Millau Wine Olympiad in Paris. It beat some of the best Rhone wines ever made.” (Penfolds Grange tops global challenge to find greatest wine of the 1970s by Mark Hawthorne,.. [Read More]