1961 Magdelaine, St-Emilion (375ml)

SKU #1323498 98 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red with an amber rim. Drop-dead gorgeous aromas of superripe cassis, kirsch, blueberry, tobacco, graphite, quinine, and lavender show striking complexity and an almost porty quality. The flavors of dark berries, red cherry, graphite, coffee, cocoa and minerals verge on jammy but maintain freshness thanks to bright minerality and wonderful acid lift. Really stains the palate on the aftertaste, finishing with creamy-sweet tannins and raisin bread, fig and blueberry notes that go on for minutes. I rank this immensely complex, profoundly multilayered bottle among the top half dozen or so wines I have ever tasted. (I should note that the 375-ml. bottle of 1961 Magdelaine in my vertical tasting did not quite reach the quality level of this outstanding 750, which I tasted later the same day from Berrouet's cellar). Nineteen sixty-one was a great vintage marked by fine weather from start to finish; the year was characterized by an unusually small crop due to poor weather during flowering. According to Berrouet, the '61is "a reference point wine, a privilege for all those fortunate enough to have been able to drink it." I couldn't have said it better myself. (ID)  (3/2012)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The knock-out nose soars from the glass, offering up scents of fruitcake, cedar, and jammy currants and cherries. Full-bodied, rich, and exotic, with layers of fruit, this is an opulently textured, lush, compelling example of Magdelaine. (RP)  (12/1997)

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Price: $149.99
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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Emilion