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Vintage information 1981:

A vintage with losses as bad as 2016 - but with significantly lower degrees of ripeness and lots of acidity. It's hardly surprising that not many remember the vintage, indeed most of the vignerons were happy to forget it!

1981 Clavelier SA, Corton Clos RognetsMay. 2012
Magnum. A good medium-plus colour. The aromas have some mature leaf and a depth of brown-sugared fruit – rather nice, whatever it sounds like! Rather anonymous entry but then there’s a nice acidity and all of a sudden an impressive expansion of flavour that slows into the finish – it could even be a grand cru! Tannin seems an after-thought, the finish being rather sweet. Can I honestly say this is Corton? Nope, but I can say it is tasty mature wine with no faults – this is (was) a hit!
1981 Clavelier SA, Nuits St.Georges Les Corvées PagetsMay. 2012
Hospices de Nuits Cuvée Saint Laurent The wine is clear and bright – a good start. The nose is also rather good, there’s a little (not too much) mature leaf and a fainter undertow of ripe fruit – the last drops in the glass are that lovely acid red-cherry. Fine balancing acidity and still some tannin – the flavour is a little subdued before a nice and rather tasty lift in the mid-palate. Decent finishing. I wonder if that rather anonymous opening flavour is down to filtration? Whatever, it is clean and very, very drinkable – a good result
1981 Ampeau Robert, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les LavièresNov. 2011
Medium colour. The nose has depth and width – there’s still some fruit and sweetness of fruit, turned-over leaves and a hint of meat. There is a slight cushioning to texture and still a little velvet from the tannin – lovely acidity flows through the core of the wine. There’s plenty of flavour here, perhaps becoming a little higher-toned in the mid-palate but it’s not about to fall off a cliff. Very smooth, very yum…
1981 Moillard-Grivot, Bâtard-MontrachetNov. 2003
Golden colour. The nose is very individual and interesting, waxy with spent fireworks (gunflint?), walnuts and no trace of oxidation. The palate is very much alive, thick and smooth as smooth. Unfortunately no fireworks on the palate, good acidity but quite one-dimensional and the finish is medium length at best. Given the ‘poor-ish’ 1981 vintage, this, I suppose, is a testament to the vineyard. Interesting, but drink-up.
1981 Hospices de Beaune, Beaune Clos des AvauxFeb. 2003
From a number of magnums bought at auction for a good price. Colour was an excellent deep ruby moving through brown to amber at the rim. The nose is a lovely mix of chocolate, cooked plums and a faint resinous tone. The palate is broad long and structured with cooked cherry fruit, good acidity and still mildly tannic. Still a big and vigorous wine – very good.
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