Buying 1970 and 1975 Bordeaux red can be a “touch and go” experience. Many of them, the tannins are quite dry on the finish. While the quality is not homogenous between the various chateaux, what is certain about the two vintages is they were made in the classic lighter Bordeaux style when chaptalization – adding sugar before fermentation to increase the alcohol content – was not uncommon.
From the 1980s, wines became more dense and concentrated. As people have a tendency to get carried away or over-react, some of today’s wines are so thick they are referred to as “bodybuilding wines”.
Chateau Beychevelle 1975 is a charmer.
It was brought by a friend to dinner. I took the liberty of texting Philippe Blanc to ask Beychevelle’s Managing Director & Chief Winemaker if the red needed decanting. An hour was his advice.
Perfume of sandalwood. Completely evolved, the fruit has a delicate leathery aspect and a hint of autumn leaves. Very fresh. Delicious with the very marbled Wagyu from Japan. No new oak was used in 1975 at Beychevelle. Chateau Latour and Haut-Brion made two of the best wines of the vintage.