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One Cru Classé is celebrating 1982, “the first vintage of the century” and of Robert Parker

By Vitisphere October 26, 2022
One Cru Classé is celebrating 1982, “the first vintage of the century” and of Robert Parker
Château Dauzac claims that with a consumer price tag of 180 euros per 75 cl bottle, the pricing is affordable. - crédit photo : Château Dauzac
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ne winery is taking down memory lane. After the 2022 campaign for 2021 En Primeur wines, Château Dauzac, the 49-hectare, 1855-classified Margaux Cru Classé, intends to market 600 bottles of its 1982 vintage. “The first vintage of the century”, quips its managing director Laurent Fortin, stressing the quality of the wines that have not moved from the chateau in forty years. After tasting all the bottles before re-corking them – Fortin says that none were topped up and those that needed it were discarded – the estate is marking the 40th anniversary of the vintage that marked the emergence of star critic Robert Parker.

The American lawyer identified the full potential of the 1982 vintage during the spring 1983 En Primeur tastings, and then became a pivotal figure for decades. As Jean-Michel Cazes recalls in his must-read Bordeaux Grands Crus - La reconquête (Glénat, 2022), “at the start of the 1980s, the influential American critic was called Robert Finigan [...] His opinion on the 1982 vintage was on a par with that of the English critics: “The wine is good to drink now, but it won't run the distance”. Parker was the first to go against the prevailing opinion of the time. And he did it with great talent, because he writes well.”

In Parker’s Guide to Bordeaux Wines, the American critic praises 1982 Château Dauzac as An enjoyable, charming, plump, fruity wine with a good ruby colour, a spicy, savoury fatness on the palate, and soft, ripe tannins on the finish. It is a good rather than noteworthy effort. Anticipated maturity: Now – 1995”. The prediction by the leading critic was flawed, according to Fortin, who jokes that “if he was right about everything, we would know about it”. The estate is marketing its 1982 vintage with a label replicating the original one, but stating the “40th anniversary”, in order to promote what is being touted as outstanding quality.

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