1945 Haut Brion, D' Yquem, Latour, Lafite Rothschild, Mouton ....

In this auction we proudly present you a selection of wines from the legendary year 1945 with a perfect provenance: when we took them out of the cellar, the wines were still in the original tissue paper, with pieces of straw woven into it (the remnants of box packaging from that time). That's unseen. We have kept this paper for you wherever possible. The wines of that vintage are a testament to a unique harvest and are a time capsule. They tell the story of occupation, liberation, sense of duty and tradition.

There is no question about the quality of the 1945 harvest year. It is known as one of the greatest vintages in Bordeaux. In particular, the Mouton Rothschild, which was awarded no less than 6 times by Parker with 100/100 in tasting notes between the year 2000 and 2019. Don't hesitate to count the jubilant references that go back to tastings from 1985, a time when 'The Wine Advocate' was just a newsletter and a little later a wine buying guide. This Mouton is without doubt the most described, highest appreciated wine in the world. The only wine to be unanimously ranked #1 by Rene Gabriel, Neal Martin, Lisa Perroti-Brown, Antonio Galloni, Michael Broadbent, Clive Coates, Robert Parker, William Kelly & Jancis Robinson. If it were art, you now had the chance to buy the Night Watch. As Mouton's motto says:

“Premier je suis, second je fus. Mouton ne change”
“First I am, then I was. Mouton stays”

Harvesting and bottling
The 1945 harvest was a unique one. After the landing of the Americans and British a year earlier in Normandy and the liberation in France in August 1944, the after-effects of the Second World War were still clearly palpable. There was a shortage of materials, food and facilities. The shortage of fathers, husbands and sons in particular made working on the land more difficult. A lot of work in the vineyard and production was also taken over by women. The aim of the Rothschild family, a Jewish family that had had to flee France, was to show that a country cannot be conquered. The means: to produce a top wine. The 1945 label features the work of Philippe Julian and the V of Victory. From 1945, each year the work of an artist is on the label.

The first liberated growing season was started in perfect conditions: dry, sunny and warm. The female influence on the making of Bordeaux was now omnipresent. They took part in making barrels, working in the vineyard and working in the cellars. The engine was running at full speed. One has to understand that a reconstruction was going on here, with life in very difficult conditions. The work of the construction gave meaning to life. This is wine that symbolizes that resilience and zest for life. The harvested fruit of this 1945 Mouton Rothschild appears to be very concentrated and, as people say, 'rafle' is applied. This is fermenting with the stem of the bunch present. It gives layers that form a kind of sandwich, on which the skin of the grape settles. If applied correctly, it gives that well-known '50 seconds finish'. It adds a unique character to the wine that we no longer see in Bordeaux today.

Making this harvest a success only became a real feat when bottling. Still suffering from shortages, Mouton buys glass wherever possible. As a result, different bottle types can be seen for the same vintage. This phenomenon continued until the early 1950s. As a result, bottling was also done at different times, depending on whether bottles, capsules and corks were available.

Glory of Bordeaux
Surprisingly, as with many great vintages, 1945 wasn't poorly received, but it wasn't instantly praised either. In contrast to, for example, the equally classic vintages 1961, 1982 or 2000. The first hype only came in the mid-1960s thanks to the rise of nouvelle cuisine in Europe and the decision of Michelin to also include the quality of the wine list in the Michelin rating. Just think of the impact of restaurants and chefs such as Maison Troisgros, Paul Bocuse, Alain Chapel, Maxim's and Tour d'Argent, who systematically started to buy large Bordeaux. Thanks to the extraordinary buying urge of that time, we can still enjoy these wines in the top gastronomy 'si dieu le veux et la portfolio suive' to this day. The final confirmation followed in the 1990s thanks to Robert Parker.

1945 survived changing tastes, fashion trends in wine and the revival of interest at the beginning of this century. It's a tower of strenth. A timeless classic.


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