1966 Magdelaine, St-Emilion

SKU #950362 95 points John Gilman

 While the 1970 Magdelaine is something of an old friend, I had never had the pleasure to taste the 1966 prior to the vertical tasting I organized with friends back in late 2006 for the original article on the property. Subsequent to the printing of that article, I have had the good fortune to taste the ’66 on a quite few other occasions and the bottles have all been superior to the example I originally reported on and it seems now quite likely that I underrated this wine a fair bit (though I should note that the most recent bottle in March was more like the first example I tasted back in late ‘06 for the first article). The most recent pristine bottle of the 1966 Magdelaine (of which I have had several now) offers up a beautifully transparent and perfumed bouquet of sweet red and black cherries, blood orange, summer truffles, chocolate, a touch of menthol, a simply glorious base of chalky soil, a nice touch of meatiness, smoke and St. Émilion nutskins. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and intensely flavored, with a great core of fruit, impeccable focus and balance and stunning length and grip on the softly tannic and nicely tangy finish. After an initial bottle of the ’66 that was nearing the end of its apogee, it is reassuring to cross paths with so many excellent bottles of the 1966 Magdelaine, which remains a vibrant and absolutely lovely example of the vintage, provided one can find well-stored bottles. (Drink between 2014-2035)  (3/2015)

K&L Notes

Acquired in 1952, this beautiful property--immediate neighbor to Ausone, Bélair, and Canon--offers a dominating view of the plains at the break of the limestone plateau of Saint-Emilion. It was also, incidentally, the last vineyard in the Gironde to be cultivated by a plow horse! The perfect example of a mature, value-packed Bordeaux to bestow upon a birthday friend or relative.

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Price: $199.99

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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 Médoc 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

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Specific Appellation:

Saint Emilion