The year of the heat wave in France: a hot wind (the sirocco) dried the grapes out in Bordeaux at the beginning of September, and 1976 was the vintage of the earliest harvests since 1945 (which started on 13/09 in Bordeaux), but under raining conditions (from 11 to 15/09). The atypical profile of the 1976 vintage resulted in better successes in the north of the Medoc (Saint Julien, Pauillac, Saint Estephe) and a weaker vintage in the south (Margaux, Graves). Good vintage in Pomerol and Saint Emilion, and very good 1976 vintage in Sauternes. Very good quality in red Burgundy (beware young vines have suffered) and white Burgundy wines are drier and harder due to the overripe grapes. The best red Burgundy wines can still be beautiful today. Beautiful 1976 vintage in Champagne (large and very ripe). Great year in red wines from the Loire Valley (Chinon, rare red Sancerre).
A wine from the 1976 vintage to choose? : prefer the northern part of the Medoc (Pauillac, St Estephe, St Julien) such as 1976 Chateau Montrose, 1976 Chateau Cos Estournel, 1976 Chateau Lafite Rotschild, 1976 Chateau Pichon Comtesse, 1976 Chateau Branaire Ducru, 1976 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, 1976 Chateau Leoville Las Cases, 1976 Chateau Talbot …). Or a very good 1976 Sauternes (such as 1976 Chateau Climens, 1976 Chateau Coutet, 1976 Chateau De Fargues, 1976 Chateau Guiraud, 1976 Chateau Rieussec, 1976 Chateau Suduiraut and 1976 Chateau Yquem). Burgundy red wines from old vines are of great aging and to be preferred. Sancerre in red is at the top at Lucien Crochet. Alsace wines were exceptionally rich in sugar in 1976, and many still kept their promises.
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