1971 wine - what to look for?

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1971 wine - what to look for?

#1 Post by tpetty »

My wife & I will both turn 50 next year. I thought it would be neat to have a bottle or 2 of a 1971 vintage to open. I have a year to figure this out!

What should I look for? We currently prefer Napa cabs - but merlot, Bordeaux blends, and similar would all be fine.

I assume I will have to get these via auction - I don't know where I would find 50 year old bottles at any standard retail site. I see winebid currently has some French 1971 wines - ranging from $30 to $500. I don't want to spend $500, but in the $100-$200 range would be OK. I know very little about French wines. I know this is also too old for many wines. I'm not expecting the best wine in the world, but don't want something that is bad, just to be able to say I'm drinking something my age :)

Any specific recommendations of what to look for, or locales/varieties to avoid from '71?
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#2 Post by Kirk.Grant »

I'd look to German Riesling...there are so many that are still great and a relative value given the age of the wines...
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#3 Post by William Kelley »

1971 can be a very good red Burgundy vintage, though any of the best will likely be quite expensive. It's an underrated Bordeaux vintage, with wines such as the 1971 Figeac being notable successes. It is a great vintage in Piedmont, and I think a case could be made that 1971 was the greatest vintage of Bruno Giacosa's career—though perhaps that's because the wines are actually mature as much as anything. On the white side of the ledger, you will be best served looking at sweet German and Loire whites, or Alsace off-dry whites (if you see anything from Trimbach don't hesitate).
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#4 Post by maureen nelson »

Lots of 1971 auslesen lately at auction.

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#5 Post by Jeremy Holmes »

Barolo, Barbaresco and Red Burgundy.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#6 Post by Marcus Dean »

1971 Penfolds Grange can be very good

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#7 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch »

Champagne, Red Burgs and Trotanoy.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#8 Post by maureen nelson »

All good suggestions but the residual sugar in the german wine helps protect against less than perfect storage.

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#9 Post by Jayson Cohen »

Right Bank Bordeaux. Underrated Left Bank Bordeaux.

The last bottle of ‘71 Figeac I bought was $80 plus vig. Now usually a little higher but under $200 and worth every penny.

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#10 Post by Tom Chen »

I had a half bottle of 1971 d'Yquem a few weeks ago, and it was incredible.

Don't know the current market price, but I paid $220 for it several years ago.

Glad I still have one half bottle. It's my wife's birth year, so likely opening that one when both turn 50.

Tom

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#11 Post by Eric White »

Great vintage for Barolo and Barbaresco, and they won't break the bank like some other regions. That would be my go-to.

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#12 Post by JohnP »

Loved the 1971 Produttori de Barbaresco Rabaja, F. Rinaldi and G. Rinaldi. If I could choose one, it would have to be the Rabaja, an incredible perfume on the nose, smooth from end to end.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#13 Post by R. Frankel »

If you enjoy the hunt, then you will enjoy searching for these wines. There just aren't a lot of '71s out there, especially in your price range. Worth looking at Chambers Street in NY or Rare Wine Co in CA - these both have pretty deep stores of older wines. And the broad classes of wines that were good in 1971 that folks have listed here gives you a starting point. Good luck!
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#14 Post by Andy Sc »

The best wines according to a vintage search on CT:
DRC Romanee-Conti
Comte de Vogue Musigny
DRC Lat Tache
Dom Perignon Oenotheque
Penfolds Grange
Conterno Monfortino
Petrus
DRC Richebourg
Dom Perignon P3
Climens
Trotanoy
Yquem
DRC Grands-Echezeaux
Cantina Mascarello Barolo
Dom Perignon
Conterno Barolo
Conterno Barolo Riserva
Chappellet Cabernet
Latour
Rayne Vingeau

All with good CT ratings. Hope this helps.
Based in Europe, a special place for Bordeaux and Burgundy but with love for so many regions every now and then.

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#15 Post by Howard Cooper »

maureen nelson wrote: February 19th, 2020, 4:35 pm Lots of 1971 auslesen lately at auction.
To the OP, this is a sweeter German wine. Can be truly magnificent.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#16 Post by Gerhard P. »

1971 is a fine vintage in red Burgundy, German Riesling ... and also Piemont.
In Bordeaux it's a mixed bag - right bank can be excellent, left bank rather werk except Latour and few others ...Rhone Valley is not great but not bad either, fine bottles to be found ...
As always bottle condition is critical ...

PS: better buy soon, next year more expensive for sure ...
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#17 Post by Howard Cooper »

tpetty wrote: February 19th, 2020, 4:17 pm My wife & I will both turn 50 next year. I thought it would be neat to have a bottle or 2 of a 1971 vintage to open. I have a year to figure this out!

What should I look for? We currently prefer Napa cabs - but merlot, Bordeaux blends, and similar would all be fine.

I assume I will have to get these via auction - I don't know where I would find 50 year old bottles at any standard retail site. I see winebid currently has some French 1971 wines - ranging from $30 to $500. I don't want to spend $500, but in the $100-$200 range would be OK. I know very little about French wines. I know this is also too old for many wines. I'm not expecting the best wine in the world, but don't want something that is bad, just to be able to say I'm drinking something my age :)

Any specific recommendations of what to look for, or locales/varieties to avoid from '71?
I do not recall ever having tasted a 1971 California wine. I can say that some of the better wineries from those days in California included BV Private Reserve, Inglenook Cask, Ridge Montebello, Sterling and Heitz Martha's Vineyard. I have had wines from most of these from this era that were quite good (my first Ridge and Heitz wines were from a few years later), but as I said none from 1971. The great vintages in California from that era were 1970 and 1974.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#18 Post by Howard Cooper »

Tom Chen wrote: February 19th, 2020, 5:20 pm I had a half bottle of 1971 d'Yquem a few weeks ago, and it was incredible.

Don't know the current market price, but I paid $220 for it several years ago.

Glad I still have one half bottle. It's my wife's birth year, so likely opening that one when both turn 50.

Tom
I have always loved 1971 German wines and had a number of wonderful 1971 Burgundies back in the day, but the ONE single wine from the vintages that was head and shoulders above everything else was Chateau d'Yquem.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#19 Post by Dale Williams »

I've had some very good '71 Cali cabs- Sterling, Charles Krug VS, and Mondavi Reserve. Not easy to find, but they should be on low end of your price scale- $50ish for the Sterling, $100-125 for others. Might be worth putting a WS alert on if you have pro.
I haven't had the 71 Chappelet that someone put on best of CT list,but it and the Rayne Vigneau are only ones on that list that would be within your price parameters.

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#20 Post by Nicos Neocleous »

All of the above, plus 1971 Huet Vouvray's.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#21 Post by Dale Williams »

Eric White wrote: February 19th, 2020, 5:47 pm Great vintage for Barolo and Barbaresco, and they won't break the bank like some other regions. That would be my go-to.
Yes, I've had good luck with '71 Piedmont even from lesser known/regarded producers (Barisone, Anforio, Ratti, Borgogno, etc). I'd check in with Jamie at Chambers St as to what they have/expect.

71 RB Bdx can be great, many push price envelope, but I've had solid showings from Canon. In Graves I've liked DDC for a fraction of HBrion price. Not as much luck with Medoc, but Ducru was good a few years ago,.

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#22 Post by Jayson Cohen »

Nicos Neocleous wrote: February 20th, 2020, 5:31 am All of the above, plus 1971 Huet Vouvray's.
Those are too young! 😀 Pinon’s 1971 Vouvrays are very good too.

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#23 Post by Richard Albert »

I agree to seek German Rieslings for better QPRs.
I will attest to the quality of the 1971 DRC RC, La T and Richebourg as I drank way more than my fair share, literally cases. Today they are out of reach for most of us.
Sauterne, Barolo and Barbaresco are your next best alternatives.
1971 Cabs are very tired at this point.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#24 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

Kirk.Grant wrote: February 19th, 2020, 4:24 pm I'd look to German Riesling...there are so many that are still great and a relative value given the age of the wines...
This.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#25 Post by Brian King »

I had a 1971 Huet recently that was drinking perfectly and will last forever. Even though it was a Moelleux, the residual sugar has receded a lot and it drank much more like a Demi-Sec. Huet released a ton of old vintages from it's cellars maybe 10 years ago, so finding good bottles with provenance is not as hard as some other regions.

Similar to the comments above, Germany and Piemonte were also GREAT vintages, and I've had many great wines from both. And the upside is they are inexpensive relative to Burgundy.

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#26 Post by Tom Mann »

I've had several excellent bottles of 1971 Vieux Ch Certan.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#27 Post by Jim Cowan »

Phelps.
The old Napa bottlings are pretty tasty.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#28 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

Jim Cowan wrote: February 20th, 2020, 9:57 am Phelps.
The old Napa bottlings are pretty tasty.
Best, Jim
Without a doubt - '71 was a sought-after vintage the last few years, and the market really has depleted as a result (for all Napa Cabs)
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#29 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

Do anything you can to source Ridge Eisele and Ridge Montebello. Amazing wines, but I have not tasted them for probably 8 years. Chappelett may be easier to source, and not quite as magnificent, but I had it maybe 7 years ago and it was excellent.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#30 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

71 mb is like $2000 now... probably bdx would be a better buy. 71 latour and mouton are 4-700/btl

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#31 Post by James Todd »

I was looking for bottles from 71 and able to get some borolo from one of Envoyers cellar offers. I suggest you sign up for their emails if you haven't already. It at least provides another possible purchase source.

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#32 Post by Richard Albert »

Chappellet maybe the only 71 Cal Cab on CT with recent tasting notes which indicate a perfectly stored bottle may be decent, but price and availability are issues.
The Wine Market Journal listing is from 2018 or earlier and the last retail on WS was about twice the OP upper price range.

I understand folks want a 50 year old bottle, CA Cabs are probably not the best choice, pretty much regardless of price.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#33 Post by Bdklein »

I also need to buy a bottle of 71-needs to be a white (and not bubbles). Any suggestions on where to buy?? I live on Long Island in NY
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#34 Post by tpetty »

Has anyone here ever ordered from Chateau.com? It's in France, but looks like they ship internationally (about $50 for 3 bottles, not much more for 6.) They have a dozen different '71s. Not sure if that would be a problem with customs, etc - I've never ordered wine from a different country.

https://www.chateau.com/all-bottles?vintage=1971
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#35 Post by RyanC »

I've had a few very good bottles of '71 Vieux Chateau Certan (and I still have some more cellared).
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#36 Post by PeterH »

Howard Cooper wrote: February 20th, 2020, 4:50 am
Tom Chen wrote: February 19th, 2020, 5:20 pm I had a half bottle of 1971 d'Yquem a few weeks ago, and it was incredible.

Don't know the current market price, but I paid $220 for it several years ago.

Glad I still have one half bottle. It's my wife's birth year, so likely opening that one when both turn 50.

Tom
I have always loved 1971 German wines and had a number of wonderful 1971 Burgundies back in the day, but the ONE single wine from the vintages that was head and shoulders above everything else was Chateau d'Yquem.
Climens is half the price, or less, and is still top notch. Sounds like the OP wants red, though. Bordeaux will be more worth the gamble than CA Cab.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#37 Post by Thomas Keim »

Domaine Leroy has quite a few '71s in Stock stateside - Those are always a pretty safe bet -
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#38 Post by PeterH »

Thomas Keim wrote: February 20th, 2020, 2:25 pm Domaine Leroy has quite a few '71s in Stock stateside - Those are always a pretty safe bet -
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#39 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch »

Roger Shideler

No Limit Fine Wines

707-894-9900

Just received an email from him. Tons of '71 German wines.

No affiliation. Bought wine from him once which went very smoothly.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#40 Post by Eric Ifune »

Drank a lot of 1971 BV Private Reserve. Nice but probably faded now.

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#41 Post by bradkaplan »

My birth year, too - 9 years ago had a Corton which was in good shape, a BA, and Coteaux du Layon - all of which were in good shape. Have a Madeira, more Coteaux du Layon, and a Fontanafredda Barolo on deck to enjoy next year (the first bought from Rare Wine Co, the latter two from Envoyer, both many years ago).

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#42 Post by Nicos Neocleous »

Jayson Cohen wrote: February 20th, 2020, 6:56 am
Nicos Neocleous wrote: February 20th, 2020, 5:31 am All of the above, plus 1971 Huet Vouvray's.
Those are too young! 😀 Pinon’s 1971 Vouvrays are very good too.
That's why I am still ageing my bottles of Huet! [cheers.gif]
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#43 Post by Mike Evans »

bradkaplan wrote: February 20th, 2020, 4:15 pm My birth year, too - 9 years ago had a Corton which was in good shape, a BA, and Coteaux du Layon - all of which were in good shape. Have a Madeira, more Coteaux du Layon, and a Fontanafredda Barolo on deck to enjoy next year (the first bought from Rare Wine Co, the latter two from Envoyer, both many years ago).
Brad, I’m also a 1971, so we should definitely open some birth year wines together next year. I have several bottles of Yquem coming as well as a Noval Colheita and a few others.


I went nuts chasing 1971s many years ago and agree with the recommendations for Right Bank Bordeaux, Sauternes/Barsac (the Climens is stunning), Germany, Loire, and Piedmont. I’ve had the 1971 Ridge Eisele and it was definitely worth the $100 or so that I paid for it, but not the current pricing and the Montebello is a better wine. The Latour was good, but not the equal of the 1970 Latour or better 1971 Right Bank Bordeaux (the Trotanoy in particular was terrific).

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#44 Post by Jayson Cohen »

While 71 Right Bank is well known, my favorite being (now unaffordable) Cheval Blanc, some Left Bank favorites from the last few years are Haut Brion, La Miss, Montrose, Ducru, Haut Bailly, and Giscours. I would guess Calon is good based on its aging track record, but I haven’t had it.

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#45 Post by Pat Martin »

I’m another 1971 birthyear. I strongly second the Chambers St suggestion assuming you like italian wines. Chambers regularly gets back vintages including 71s and they always have ideal provenance.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#46 Post by tpetty »

I checked, and Chambers St won't ship to IL. IL is a weird state for shipping to. Some stores/internet sites will ship here (like wine.com) but most won't. I happened upon Flickinger Wines in Chicago - looks like they deal in lots of vintage European wines as well, I will keep my eye on their site for updates.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#47 Post by R. Frankel »

Flickinger is very good, I’ve bought from them. Might be worthwhile to go in and talk to them about what you’re looking for.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#48 Post by Mel Knox »

I'd second the comments about 71 Germans. For Sauternes 71 Rieussec and Rayne Vigneau were excellent and so was Yquem of course although much more expensive.
The sweet Lore Valley white idea is good but I have no idea who might have these wines for sale.

The Barolo/Barbaresco idea is also pretty good.

I'd stay clear of red Bordeaux and Burgundy unless you bought Tesla at $100 and just cashed in.

Not much 71 Napa Cab around, I would think.
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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#49 Post by Mel Knox »

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Re: 1971 wine - what to look for?

#50 Post by Mel Knox »

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