The 1970 Forecast

International Herald Tribune

September 11, 1970

Predicting how a vintage will turn out has a lot in common with betting the horses. There is no winner until he has been announced and there is no wine until it has been made. But with the Beaujolais grape harvest less than two weeks distant, it seems safe enough, with the usual hedges, to make a few predictions about the 1970 wines.

The outlook is good. The crop is abundant and, barring incessant rain, will be of good quality. According to official sources at the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine, it is certain that the wine will be very pleasant.

In July, the outlook was for a very great year, but August was not sunny enough. The wine will be high in alcoholic content, even higher than in '69, but it will lack acidity. This means that, as in '64, it will be a little too round, lacking a bit in the sort of distinction that immediately sets off a Beaune from a Pommard.

One of the best things about the 1970 vintage is that it should bring prices back down from the high-flying orbit that the '69 vintage with its exceptional quality and small quantity put them into. And the 1970 wines should also be ready early, which will permit rapid replenishing of depleted stocks.

Here is a run-down of the prospects for the various regions: