Wine Talk

Snooth User: amyces

Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1967

Posted by amyces, Apr 27, 2012.

Hi.

This is my first time on here. I received a bottle of wine from a friend and I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about it?? It's the above named Chateau Lafite Rosthschild 1967. I'm not very knowledgeable about wine, but am trying to learn from this site. I feel badly drinking this because of how old it is, but what else do you do with wine, right??

If anyone has any input, I'd be grateful!!

Thanks :)

Amy

 

Replies

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Reply by dmcker, Apr 27, 2012.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild is a First Growth, one of the greats of Bordeaux, and one of the most expensive wines on earth. It is very good to drink, especially from a good year, when it's been allowed to age a number of years, and when the bottle is in good condition. Whoever gifted you this was generous, assuming care was taken in its storage, etc., all the while.

That being said, 1967 is generally considered a weak vintage. The wines produced that year are not thought to age all that well, though a Lafite has as good a chance as most any to do well over time. Also, how the bottle has been treated/stored all the while massively affects its drinkability. I've had great Bordeaux bottles from '70, '64, '62, '61 and '59 in the past couple of years, but those are better vintages. I wouldn't go searching for a '67 to drink now.

This means that there isn't a great market for the bottle if you were to try to sell it, which would likely be more trouble than its worth. By all means drink it, but do so with friends or family who can enjoy it with you. I'd also be sure to have another bottle to open and drink at the same occasion--one that you are confident will be good, since this bottle may be interesting, but is also likely to be well past its peak.

Before you plan to drink it, you should stand it up for several days to a week. It will have a lot of sediment. Also be careful with the cork, which may be aged and a bit soft or crumbly. Don't shake the bottle around a lot while opening and serving since the sediment that was allowed to settle during that standing up will then be reawakened and add bitterness and murkiness if it makes its way into the glass. If you're up to decanting, that would be a good way to limit sediment intrusion, but do so gently, since this wine is no spring chicken and will bruise easily....

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Reply by Matthijs Visser, May 1, 2012.

Totally agree with dmcker: this wine has started to decline, so should be drunk soon and depending on how it was kept, it may have gone well past its peak. So get some friends together and enjoy one of the world's most famous wines!

Also to the point mentioned by dmcker, selling the bottle may be a hassle. It's worth about $400 though...

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Reply by dmcker, May 1, 2012.

Curious about your valuation of it at $400. Basically it's just the label, with actual wine still in the bottle, that's worth anything. The wine itself by all reasonable calculations should be extremely iffy. So the most realistic commercial interest would be from someone who wanted to display it, rather than drink it.

This could be the easiest and best opportunity for amyces and associates to drink an aged Lafite. That's where the optimal value will be, in my estimation.

If I were thinking of spending $400 right now, I'd rather spend it on a sixpack of Dunn cab, than this....  ;-)

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Reply by Matthijs Visser, May 2, 2012.

@dmcker, the valuation is based on auction numbers from the Wine Market Journal. Details for the past few quarters are as follows:

  • 3/31/2012: $404.57
  • 12/31/2011: $435.00
  • 9/30/2011: $542.25

To your earlier point though, actually finding somewone who will be able to pay that amount of money could be quite a bit of trouble. So I wholeheartedly agree that drinking this bottle with some good friends is the way to go.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 2, 2012.

One note I didn't see above: 

USE A CORKPULLER! Your cork has a good chance of being too crumbly for a corkscrew.  If you haven't used a corkpuller (the kind that has two prongs instead of a screw-shaped device that penetrates the cork--the prongs go along the side), then practice on some other bottles, because good insertion will make it easier to pull out. 

If the donor who gave this to you has old wine, then maybe you can borrow his/her screwpuller or one of those nifty devices called a Durand. Follow that link to an article about opening old wine--there's a link to the Durand Co, too. 

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Reply by amyces, May 3, 2012.

Thanks everyone for your responses and GREAT advice!! I will definitely let it sit upright and very gently get the cork out. Will try it next weekend and let you all know if it's past it's peak!!

 

Thanks again!!

Amy

 

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Reply by 2 Wine Lovers, May 5, 2012.

Amy ... what a great friend you have! 

We concur with earlier comments that the '67 Bordeaux vintage was a weak one & that your wine is past it's "prime"  ... 'tho still from one of the top wineries of the world ... so enjoy!

We've drunk older wines that have been on the 'downward slide', so to speak, but have enjoyed them nevertheless.  We've looked at the experience from the point of view that we've been given a chance to taste a part of wine 'history' that very few people ever get the chance to enjoy!

An analogy we've used with friends is that tasting a very old wine, even one 'past its prime' is like seeing great movie stars in films they made in the latter part of their careers - while still great actors (if not better) - the stars might not be as physically attractive (perhaps) ... 'tho everyone has their own likes & dislikes!  Favorite examples for us are Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn & Humphrey Bogart, whose star qualities are evident across their long careers.

Now concerning your '67 Lafite (!) we suggest you consider enjoying it 'on its own' with perhaps just a simple bagette, butter & some mild cheese (brie being a favorite of ours) along with some pate.  We've personally found that serving 'big' dinners with rare wines often times ends up with the food overpowering the wine, thus relegating it to second place'.  [For that same reason, we don't taste two or more very great wines 'head-to'head' either.]

Please understand that this is simply OUR personal take on the matter of enjoying 'older' wines, & should not be taken as 'dogma'.  Enjoyment of anything that calls on our 5 senses will always be unique to the individual!

Hope this helps (& apologies in advance for the length of our post).

 

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Reply by dmcker, May 5, 2012.

Good advice, 2WLs, though I'd even skip the cheese. Brie's not always the best match for Bordeaux blends, and in this case it or just about any cheese might blow away all chance the wine has to develop something interesting in the mouth....

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Reply by 2 Wine Lovers, May 5, 2012.

Thanks for your complement, 'dmcker'! 

We readily 'confess' to our personal preference for brie with good wine as it has a 35+ yr long 'romantic' link with many of the wonderful wines we've enjoyed.  In fact, one of our most memorable wine experiences involved drinking a local Beaujolais, a day-and-a-half old baguette, a bit of cheese, some sausage & a light snowstorm in December!   :-))


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