Even before the beginning of the harvest, this vintage was acclaimed as "vintage of the century". It is true that in every part of France the summer had been exceptionally hot and dry in fact, not only Bordeaux but also Burgundy and Champagne had great success. The heat-wave during the harvest made the vinification difficult, and sometimes perilous, since few cellars at that time had equipment to cool the fermenting musts. It has sometimes been said that 1959 was the last great vintage of a bygone age; 1961 being the first one in the modern era. Château Margaux 1959 is really a great wine, with a powerful, complex, very fine and elegant bouquet but a little less profound and rich than the 1961. On the palate, it is very concentrated, powerful, but rather less long and less smooth than the 1961. Without any question, it is a very great bottle, which should be enjoyed now. The magnums today are showing more freshness; they can be kept for a few more years.
An exceptionally good summer brought the grapes to remarkable ripeness. It rained a little before the harvest, then the fine weather returned and got even hotter than before. (The picking began 24th September)