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Apr 24, 2010 04:56 PM

Ch. Palmer 1964, Ch. Margaux 1962

I have some Chateau Palmer 1962 magnums and Chateau Margaux 1962 750mLs in my collection. Has anyone tasted any of these recently and know how well they have held up? Also, does anyone know any wine shops where I can get these bottles recorked in the Montreal, Canada area? I hear that it is prudent to get old bottles recorked every 40-50 years.

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  1. Decanter's vintage guide goes back to 1962. Both '62 and '64 are "drink now." The notes on '62 include remarks on Palmer and Margaux.

    1. This was a brilliant period for Palmer and if well stored, the wine should be great, especially in magnums. This era was less successful for Margaux, but I'd expect the wine to still be pretty good. Note that 1962 was a pretty light-bodied vintage and, while many excellent wines were made, I'd expect the 750MLs to be fully mature and possibly starting to get past their best. The magnums I would not be too worried about.

      As a side note, I don't know where you can get these recorked, but as a full-time rare wine professional I strongly recommend that you not do that without an extremely good reason, without professional assistance, and without having enough bottles to sacrifice one to top up the remainder. Even with all of those, I would normally recommend not doing it. If the cork is sound, and the bottles are stored properly, there's no need to, and the exposure to oxygen can be harmful; if the cork is showing evidence of failure, it's too late to worry about it and you might as well just open it and hope for the best. Additionally, should you ever want to sell them, recorked/reconditioned bottles usually sell at a discount.

      1. 1962 Château Margaux AND 1964 Château Palmer are both extraordinary wines -- or rather, WERE. (Don't freak out -- more on the use o the word "were" in a moment.) They are each among my "Top Ten" vintages of each château, respectively, from the 20th century. Truly, they are classics.

        I use the word "were" simply because I have not personally tasted either one in over a decade, and much depends upon the storage conditions, fill levels, etc., etc. to know about your specific bottles . . . and even then, the only way to know for sure is to taste them.

        Craig G. is absolutely right! I would NOT get these wines recorked, unless and until I can have it done professionally by the respective châteaux. Having the wines recorked by and at the château would not/should not seriously affect the value of the wines; having them recorked by any means will.


        1 Reply
        1. re: zin1953

          Nice to know, Jason! I have more notes on older Palmers than any other chateau, but I don't think I've ever had the '62. I did a big vertical ('59 - '05) with the chateau a couple of years ago but the '62 and '64 weren't there.

          BTW, the subject line says Palmer '64 but the text says '62. Despite the reputation of '64 as a vintage ruined by late rain, a lot of very successful wines were made in Margaux, Graves and the right bank. In magnum format I'd be very optimistic.

        2. Craig G and Jason, thanks for all the feedback and comments. My mistake, it's Ch. Palmer 1964 (not 1962). I will not have the bottles recorked - I would not even know how I would go about getting the bottles back to the respective chateaus to have them recorked! I have a good number of the Ch. Palmer '64s, so may try one with the right group for the right occasion, but only have two of the Ch. Margaux '62s, so keeping those in the collection for now!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jasper1

            Ch. Margaux's website has a page on recorking.
            BEWARE it's a double-edged sword:

            "The rules which are observed at Château Margaux for the recorking of old bottles are as follows : When the authenticity or the quality of the bottles is in doubt, or when the wine has no hope of improving any further, we refuse to proceed with any recorking. When the quality of the wines, which is assessed on their nose and verified on their palate, is poor, the bottles are recorked with a neutral cork and their label is taken off, leaving no trace of origin on the bottle."