Vintage update from Bordeaux: what’s drinking well in your cellar?


Photograph: Joakim Blockstrom

Photograph: Joakim Blockstrom

The fear of every wine collector is that, in the quest for perfect maturity, carefully nurtured bottles can slip past their prime. Worse still, is the bottle opened in haste – too young to be fully appreciated. In a series of blogs from our buyers, we unearth those wines which are ready to show their colours right now. Corkscrews at the ready, as Cellar Plan manager Tom Cave dusts off the best of Bordeaux.

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.