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1976 Vintage Wine

For those who can remember that far back (which includes us), 1976 was an exceptionally hot year throughout Northern Europe and resulted in an overall average vintage for 1976 wines. As with all vintages however, there are some outstanding wines. Whilst the wine critics favour 1976 wines from Alsace and Germany, there are many estates and Chateaux from Bordeaux and Burgundy which excelled in 1976 with Château Figeac making 5 stars and others such as Château Haut Brion, Ausone and La Lagune rated 4 stars (Michael Broadbent).

For Bordeaux, 1976 was described as a vintage of undoubted charm with limited potential for wines to develop and continue improving beyond 25 years, though the 1976 vintage of Chateau d’Yquem should still be drinking magnificently in 2025 and beyond. For Burgundy, the hot, drought conditions in ’76  produced tannic and unbalanced wines and for the 10 years following the vintage, there was a big question as to whether the wines would recover, which fortunately, with the passage of time, many did and have now matured into some rather special wines.

Winestore’s top 1976 wine has to be the Givry ‘76 from Domaine de la Renarde. This single estate wine, now classified as a Premier Cru, was tasted on 17th March 2016 and was probably the best wine of this age we have ever tried. After years of careful cellaring, there were virtually no tannins to speak of, but the complexity and depth of the fruit… boy oh boy, it just doesn’t get much better than this (unless you have a limitless budget that is). As mentioned, when they were released, many red Burgundies from 1976 were considered to be over-endowed with tannin and unbalanced. Clearly, the passage of time has seen this right and this is a star 1976 vintage wine.

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