This is unquestionably one of the greatest wines made in the twentieth century. In the two dozen tastings where I have had the 1961 La Chapelle, I rated it 100 points twenty times. The opaque purple/garnet color is accompanied by spectacular aromatics representing the essence of old vine Syrah (smoked meat, pepper, hoisin sauce, and soy). As the wine sits in the glass, notions of pepper, new saddle leather, grilled meat, and awesome levels of blackberry, plum, and black currant liqueur-like notes emerge. Extremely unctuous, with compelling concentration and purity, this full-bodied, seamless, mouthfilling 1961 is truly immortal. It still possesses a freshness and vigor that defy its nearly forty years of age. It should continue to drink well for two more decades. Prodigious stuff!
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