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1981 Wine and Port Vintage

Vintage Summary and Recommendations:


1981-wine-gifts

Welcome to Vintage Wine and Port's 1981 wine page. Read on for our summary of the 1981 vintage, our top recommendations and region reports. Scroll down to see all of our wines currently available. If you cannot find what you are looking for please call us on 01425 837177 or Contact Us. We would love to help you with your wine choice!

The 1981 vintage ranged in quality, with many regions producing excellent wines, but few stood out as truly exceptional. In France, Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Loire, Alsace and the Rhône Valley all enjoyed good years but the vintage for Sauternes and Champagne was lackluster and poor for Burgundy. The rest of Europe was also a mixed bag, with Piedmont suffering a particularly bad year while Tuscany excelled. Spain, Germany and Austria all enjoyed good but not great years and both Port and Tokaj produced some nice wines.

Our Wine Expert currently recommends the following wines for this year:

  • Warres 1981 Late Bottled Vintage Port
  • Montepulciano 1981 dAbruzzo Valle dOro Tollo
  • Ryst Dupeyron Armagnac 1981 Reserve Joseph Millesime vintage Armagnac
  • Doliveiras Madeira 1981 Sercial Madeira
  • Chateau Branaire Ducru 1981 St Julien 4th Growth Classification

  •  
    This Year in History: Fun Fact: "Little Miss Bossy", the first book in the Little Miss series (the female counterpart to the Mr. Men series) is first published.
    Eurovision Winner: UNITED KINGDOM with "Making your Mind Up" by Bucks Fizz
    Top Grossing Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark
     
    Bordeaux: 1981 was a very good vintage for Bordeaux wines that was overlooked in favour of the outstanding 1982 Vinatge. Although July was cool, the fruit ripened well through a warm and dry August and September. The harvest began under good conditions in the very last days of September but was hampered by rain in the first two weeks of October, leading to a dilution of the grape juice. Nevertheless, reliable chateaux still managed to fashion some stylish, classic wines, with medium body and good structure.
     
    Italian: The good 1981 Italian vintage produced a large crop of consistent wines. The best examples from Tuscany and Piedmont are now at their peak of their maturity, and will offer a good drinking experience.
     
    Portugal: No vintage port was made in 1981. Our recommendation would be for a 1981 Colheita port from 1981. Kopke are renowned for their colheita and this would make a wonderful gift for a Birthday or Anniversary this year.
     

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    34 products found.

    Ryst Dupeyron Armagnac, 1981

    Ryst Dupeyron Reserve Joseph Millesime vintage Armagnac
    50cl bottle
    Includes original orange colour cardboard gift box

    This Armagnac Réserve Joseph vintage 1981 with an amber color will be chocolate in the mouth. Its pastry aromas will reveal themselves magnificently in a balloon glass heated in the palm of your hand. It is a full-bodied eau de vie to enjoy as a digestive.

    The 1981 Dupeyron Armagnac is the expression of a single year and has a unique character associated with the year and the cask in which it has been stored. These vintages are bottled at the alcohol level in which they naturally come out of the cask. There is a wonderful contrast between the sweet and sour flavours of wood, amplified by the strong alcoholic degree.
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    Price: $119.05 USD
    Stock: 6 in Stock

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    D'Oliveiras Madeira, 1981

    Sercial Madeira

    Raisins, plums, walnuts and a hint of prunes in this wonderful Madeira. The scent fills the room as soon as it is open. Pouring it into the glass you notice the crystal clear golden brown color with hints of red. You swirl and smell, noticing the raisins and the walnuts. You take a sip, the flavors of raisins and plums fills the front of your mouth, not too sweet. You swish and swallow, the walnuts taking over in the back of the mouth. The taste lingers…
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    Price: $212.69 USD
    Stock: 14 in Stock

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    Barbaresco, 1981

    Giovanni Scanavino

    Barbaresco is one of the great wines of Italy's north-western Piedmont region. This aristocratic red has its vineyards situated in the Langhe, on the right-hand side of the Tanaro river and extending from the area north-east of Alba to the communes of Barbaresco, Nieve and Treiso. The dominant variety grown is Nebbiolo, but Dolcetto and Barbera also play a part. The vines are generally grown on limestone-rich marl soils. similar to the Tortonium soils of the Barolo and La Morra areas in Barolo. Similar to its more famous sibling Barolo, Barbaresco is made from 100% Nebbiolo and shares its cult status as one of the finest wines in the world.
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    Price: $172.56 USD
    Stock: 1 in Stock

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    Barbaresco, 1981

    Corte Staffarda - Riserva Speciale

    Barbaresco is one of the great wines of Italy's north-western Piedmont region. This aristocratic red has its vineyards situated in the Langhe, on the right-hand side of the Tanaro river and extending from the area north-east of Alba to the communes of Barbaresco, Nieve and Treiso. The dominant variety grown is Nebbiolo, but Dolcetto and Barbera also play a part. The vines are generally grown on limestone-rich marl soils. similar to the Tortonium soils of the Barolo and La Morra areas in Barolo. Similar to its more famous sibling Barolo, Barbaresco is made from 100% Nebbiolo and shares its cult status as one of the finest wines in the world.
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    Price: $185.94 USD
    Stock: 3 in Stock

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    Barolo, 1981

    Conterno Fantino, Piedmont

    Barolo is known as the 'king of wines' and is made from the Nebbiolo grape. Heady aromas of rose, leather, vanilla, cherry, pepper, cranberry, strawberry. Fruits are perfectly knitted with the tannins and acidity. It's a powerful wine but remarkably subtle. Don't underestimate it and certainly serve it with food to show at it's best. Nebbiolo has naturally high tannins and acidity, so it will take on full-flavoured, rich foods no problem at all.
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    Price: $226.07 USD
    Stock: 1 in Stock

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    Barolo, 1981

    Giordano, Piedmont

    Barolo is known as the 'king of wines' and is made from the Nebbiolo grape. Heady aromas of rose, leather, vanilla, cherry, pepper, cranberry, strawberry. Fruits are perfectly knitted with the tannins and acidity. It's a powerful wine but remarkably subtle. Don't underestimate it and certainly serve it with food to show at it's best. Nebbiolo has naturally high tannins and acidity, so it will take on full-flavoured, rich foods no problem at all.
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    Price: $226.07 USD
    Stock: 8 in Stock

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    Barolo, 1981

    Poderi Scanavino, Piedmont

    Barolo is known as the 'king of wines' and is made from the Nebbiolo grape. Heady aromas of rose, leather, vanilla, cherry, pepper, cranberry, strawberry. Fruits are perfectly knitted with the tannins and acidity. It's a powerful wine but remarkably subtle. Don't underestimate it and certainly serve it with food to show at it's best. Nebbiolo has naturally high tannins and acidity, so it will take on full-flavoured, rich foods no problem at all.
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    Price: $212.69 USD
    Stock: 3 in Stock

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    Barolo, 1981

    Bersano, Piedmont
    Clearance Offer | Last Bottle | Was £149 | Now £70

    Barolo is known as the 'king of wines' and is made from the Nebbiolo grape. Heady aromas of rose, leather, vanilla, cherry, pepper, cranberry, strawberry. Fruits are perfectly knitted with the tannins and acidity. It's a powerful wine but remarkably subtle. Don't underestimate it and certainly serve it with food to show at it's best. Nebbiolo has naturally high tannins and acidity, so it will take on full-flavoured, rich foods no problem at all.
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    Price: $93.64 USD
    Stock: 1 in Stock

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    Barolo, 1981

    Giovanni Scanavino, Piedmont

    Barolo is known as the 'king of wines' and is made from the Nebbiolo grape. Heady aromas of rose, leather, vanilla, cherry, pepper, cranberry, strawberry. Fruits are perfectly knitted with the tannins and acidity. It's a powerful wine but remarkably subtle. Don't underestimate it and certainly serve it with food to show at it's best. Nebbiolo has naturally high tannins and acidity, so it will take on full-flavoured, rich foods no problem at all.
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    Price: $212.69 USD
    Stock: 2 in Stock

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    Blandys, 1981

    Malmsey Madeira
    Half Bottle
    In Gift Box

    For 200 years, Blandy’s Madeira has been synonymous with quality Madeira wine. The Blandy’s are unique in being the only family of all the original founders of the Madeira wine trade to still own and manage their own original wine company. The family has played a leading role in the development of Madeira wine throughout its long history and members of the family continue to live on Madeira, maintaining a tradition that goes back to 1811.

    Reviews
    The 1981 Malmsey Madeira by Blandy's is deep amber-red in colour; lifted, toasted and singed on the nose, really rather wonderful, this sings from the glass;
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    Price: $172.56 USD
    Stock: 1 in Stock

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    Blandys, 1981

    Malmsey Madeira 75cl BOTTLE

    For 200 years, Blandy’s Madeira has been synonymous with quality Madeira wine. The Blandy’s are unique in being the only family of all the original founders of the Madeira wine trade to still own and manage their own original wine company. The family has played a leading role in the development of Madeira wine throughout its long history and members of the family continue to live on Madeira, maintaining a tradition that goes back to 1811.

    Reviews
    The 1981 Malmsey Madeira from Blandy's is deep amber-red in colour; lifted, toasted and singed on the nose, really rather wonderful, this sings from the glass;
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    Price: $266.20 USD
    Stock: 1 in Stock

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    Brunello di Montalcino, 1981

    Mastroiani

    Brunello de Montalcino is one of Italys most famous and most expensive red wines. It is produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino located about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Florence in the Tuscany wine region. Brunello, roughly translated as "nice dark one" is the unofficial name of the clone of Sangiovese used in production.
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    Price: $199.31 USD
    Stock: 1 in Stock

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    Brunello di Montalcino, 1981

    Orazio Bagnasco

    Brunello de Montalcino is one of Italys most famous and most expensive red wines. It is produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino located about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Florence in the Tuscany wine region. Brunello, roughly translated as "nice dark one" is the unofficial name of the clone of Sangiovese used in production.
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    Price: $212.69 USD
    Stock: 8 in Stock

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    Brunello di Montalcino, 1981

    Argiano

    Brunello de Montalcino is one of Italys most famous and most expensive red wines. It is produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino located about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Florence in the Tuscany wine region. Brunello, roughly translated as "nice dark one" is the unofficial name of the clone of Sangiovese used in production.
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    Price: $252.82 USD
    Stock: 2 in Stock

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    Chateau Bel-Air Lagrave, 1981

    Moulis en-medoc
    Magnum 1.5L
    Clearance Offer | was £169 | Now £85

    The Seguin-Bacquey family have owned this nine-hectare Moulis property for over 150 years. The vineyard is planted with 60% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot and 5% petit verdot. The wine spends 18-20 months in oak, between 35% and 50% of which is new.

    About Chateau Bel Air Legrave Château Bel Air Lagrave, located in the esteemed Pomerol appellation of Bordeaux, France, is a historic estate celebrated for its dedication to crafting exceptional wines that express the unique terroir of the region. With a rich history dating back centuries, this picturesque property has been meticulously managed by generations of passionate winemakers who prioritize quality and tradition.
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    Price: $113.70 USD
    Stock: 1 in Stock

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    Chateau Branaire-Ducru, 1981

    St Julien, 4th Growth Classification

    The 1981 Branaire is quite forward, precociously supple, and fruity. The bouquet is showing expansive, complex, chocolatey, cedary components.

    About Chateau Branaire Ducru Château Branaire-Ducru is a renowned wine estate located in the Saint-Julien appellation of the Bordeaux region in France. It is classified as a Fourth Growth (Quatrième Grand Cru Classé) in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, which highlights its longstanding reputation for quality. The estate spans approximately 60 hectares of vineyards, planted mainly with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.
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    Price: $159.18 USD
    Stock: 11 in Stock

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    Chateau Clarke, 1981

    Listrac Cru Bourgeois

    The 1981 Chateau Clarke Stoic and firm in character, the nose, with its tobacco, wet earth, spice, cassis and cherry aromatics are the best part of the wine. There is an austerity on the palate that will definitely appeal to lovers of older classic wine.

    Château Clarke is a wine property of Bordeaux of 54 hectares (130 acres) based in the Listrac-Médoc AOC and classified as Cru Bourgeois. The vineyard is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon (48%), Merlot (42%), Cabernet Franc (8%), and Petit Verdot (2%), planted on a limestone ground calcareous eocene and calcareous clay (spacing: 6060 vines/ha).

    About Chateau Clarke Château Clarke,
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    Price: $106.95 USD
    Stock: 4 in Stock

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    Chateau Cos d'Estournel, 1981

    St Estephe, 2nd Growth Classification

    The 1981 Cos d'Estournel is a deep ruby colour, with a spicy, rich, briery, tightly knit bouquet, this wine is deeper and more promising than the 1983, but relatively light, compact, and lean.

    Château Cos d'Estournel is a prestigious wine estate located in the Saint-Estèphe appellation of Bordeaux, France. Established in the early 19th century by Louis-Gaspard d'Estournel, the estate is renowned for its grand architectural style, including the iconic pagodas that distinguish its winery. Covering approximately 100 hectares, the vineyard benefits from a unique terroir of gravel and clay soils, ideal for cultivating Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.
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    Price: $172.56 USD
    Stock: 2 in Stock

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    Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, 1981

    St Julien, 2eme Growth Classification

    The 1981 Ducru Beaucailiou has a very intense red; nose of berries, nice claret bouquet; good fruit on the palate, broad; initially quite green - not a great vintage but quite acceptable.

    Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, located in the renowned Saint-Julien appellation of Bordeaux, France, is an iconic estate celebrated for its exceptional wines and illustrious history. Dating back to the 18th century, this historic property has been meticulously tended by generations of the Borie family, who have upheld a tradition of excellence in winemaking. Situated on gravelly soils along the Gironde River,
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    Price: $199.31 USD
    Stock: 1 in Stock

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    Chateau Leoville Poyferre, 1981

    St Julien 2me Growth Classification

    A deep tawny rim with a mahogany core. This has a delightful nose, very good intensity with notes of cooked meats, roasted chestnut, toffee and a touch of marzipan. It smells as if it is from a hot vintage! After five minutes in the glass, it become a little muffled but develops a touch of mint. The palate certainly has more fruit concentration than the 1980, a rounded texture, quite sharp acidity with notes of sour cherry, a touch of leather and a dry, rather gamey, but attenuated finish. Not bad for a 1981.

    Château Léoville Poyferré is a prestigious wine estate located in the Saint-Julien appellation of Bordeaux, France.
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    Price: $220.72 USD
    Stock: 6 in Stock

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    Chianti, 1981

    Fattoria Pieve a Pitiana

    Chianti, situated in Tuscany in central Italy, is home to probably the best-known and most iconic of all Italian wines. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are primarily made with Sangiovese grape whereas the Vernaccia grape is the basis of the white Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
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    Price: $92.30 USD
    Stock: 6 in Stock

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    Chianti, 1981

    Castelli di Toscana

    Chianti, situated in Tuscany in central Italy, is home to probably the best-known and most iconic of all Italian wines. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are primarily made with Sangiovese grape whereas the Vernaccia grape is the basis of the white Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
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    Price: $119.05 USD
    Stock: 1 in Stock

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    Chianti Classico, 1981

    Pian d'Albola MAGNUM 1.5L

    Tuscan wine (Italian Toscana) is Italian wine from the Tuscany region. Located in central Italy along the Tyrrhenian coast, Tuscany is home to some of the world's most notable wine regions. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are primarily made with Sangiovese grape whereas the Vernaccia grape is the basis of the white Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

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    Price: $172.56 USD
    Stock: 1 in Stock

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    Domaine de Chevalier, 1981

    Graves Pessac-Leogan
    Double Magnum (3L)

    Excellent complex nose, medium to high intensity, red bell pepper, roasted vegetables, earth and cherry fruit; a full bodied wine with some minerality, excellent fresh acidity and ripe red fruit. Ready to drink now.

    Château Domaine de Chevalier stands as an iconic wine estate located in the Pessac-Léognan appellation within Bordeaux, France. With origins dating back to the 17th century, the estate boasts a rich history of winemaking excellence. Its 45 hectares of vineyards benefit from a diverse terroir of gravel, clay, and limestone soils, ideally suited for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot for red wines, as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon for whites.
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    Price: $795.92 USD
    Stock: 1 in Stock

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    Franciacorta, 1981

    Cornaleto - Luigi Lancini

    Franciacorta is a wine from the Province of Brescia (Lombardy) with DOCG status produced from grapes grown within the boundaries of the territory of Franciacorta, on the hills located between the southern shore of Lake Iseo and the city of Brescia. It was awarded DOC status in 1967, the designation then also including red and white still wines.
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    Price: $92.30 USD
    Stock: 2 in Stock

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