What to drink in 2016: red Bordeaux


Photograph: Jason Lowe

Photograph: Jason Lowe

With a new year comes the challenge of keeping up to date with one’s cellar, unearthing only the vintages that are drinking well, and leaving no bottle behind to go past its peak. While much of the trade is occupied with the latest release from Burgundy, our Cellar Plan Manager Tom Cave offers the briefest of guides to the vintages of Claret you should and shouldn’t be uncorking in 2016.

The 2000 vintage is drinking well and proving that it was a very successful year, even if not perhaps quite as super-stellar as some predicted on release. The 2001s remain very fine, elegant and poised while 2002 also continues to drink well but isn’t a year to warrant much further ageing. The wines from 2003 remain divisive – some of the grander bottles, and those hailing from further north on the Médoc peninsula may well go on to be spectacular, but the general feeling for most 2003s is to be well into them by now. The 2004s are coming into their own and certainly warrant a look at most levels: they have a pleasing freshness, that ‘crunch’ which is what much of drinking Bordeaux is all about.

The 2005 vintage warrants further keeping as there is more to come, some are mid-slumber and even a little awkward. Wines from 2006 need wait longer, though some of lower classed-growth calibre are showing well now.  The 2007s were never meant to be kept longer than a decade and are best now and soon. The 2008 vintage needs a while longer and in another year will be due a closer review. The wines from 2009 are showing their appeal at lesser levels – decanted early and exposure to air displays their very apparent appeal. The tannins of 2010 remain prominent, confirming this as a grand vintage for the long haul.

Explore our range of red Bordeaux on bbr.com.