Vintage update from Bordeaux: what’s drinking well in your cellar?
Author: Tom Cave
In Bordeaux, most 2000s are drinking well now, while the higher grade ones will continue to develop. I am also finding that 2001 is proving to be a very amenable, even-mannered vintage to be enjoyed now. There are some pleasant surprises, too, such as 2002, which has proven to be one of those unfashionable years that a decade on provides delightfully cheery drinking. It is a vintage to get on with – as, too, in most cases, is 2003, where many wines may be susceptible to maturing more rapidly than more classic Claret vintages.
The Bordelais like to show 2004 now, and generally the wines are emerging from their shells. Meanwhile, 2005, a great vintage, needs to be left to lie, except at more modest grades, as do most 2006s and 2008s. We are finding that 2007s are providing very agreeable drinking and, while some lesser 2009s are ready, these and the 2010s require more time in the cellar.
There seems to be little if any merit these days in buying ahead as in the heady times of pre-2008 with stocks aplenty and accordingly, many good opportunities to buy for current drinking. In general terms, Bordeaux does not make indifferent wine; quality is and always has been the name of the game.
Accordingly, in order to maximise quality/cost ratios, go for lesser vintages from cru bourgeois properties such as Ormes de Pez or Capbern Gasqueton. At this level, 2006 and 2007 offer good drinking at sensible prices and with plenty cellar life remaining. These are reputable wine-makers with excellent reputations.
I think you need a simple summary to stick in the cellar
Ready: lesser 2009; 2007; 2002; 2003;
lesser 2001; most 2000
Nearly ready: 2004;
Need more time: 2010; 2009; 2005;
I’d agree with Michael on this – it would be handy to have even a “rough” guide as to what to consider taking out for drinking versus leaving it…
Where you refer to leaving 2005 except for ‘at more modest grades’ – what do you mean at more modest grades ? 4th/5th growths or below that ?
It is just that I am sat on wines such as La Tour Carnet and Cantemerle for example wondering if it is time to crack open or wait !
at christmas i drank 8 2000s , all from petit chateauxs , all were fantastic however i found it difficult to ascertain the individual standards as they tended to roll into each other and it wasn’t a formal tasting.