Bordeaux to uncork in 2022
Author: Tom Cave
Tom Cave, our Customer Reserves Manager, gives his recommendations on what Bordeaux vintages we should be uncorking in 2022.
Another year sails by and hopefully we have all been enjoying fine bottles from our cellars, albeit sharing with a more limited number than perhaps imagined at the time of purchase.
BOTTLES AT THEIR PEAK
The 2000 Bordeaux vintage strides on with energy. Meanwhile, ’01 remains in a very good place but with little capacity to improve greatly – good to go.
Perhaps maligned at the time, but fabulously cheap, and now with a full score of years behind it, the ’02s are best drunk by now or soon. They’ve done better than expected.
The ’03 vintage can surprise but I’ve never warmed to them.
On the other hand, ’04 has always been favoured. They sold initially for little outlay and that occasional whiff of green pepper crispness has not harmed them. A vintage that harks back to Claret of old, they’re generally very satisfying and going well but little point in holding for more; in fact, a colleague made glowing compliments for Château Pontet-Canet only the other day.
The ’05 vintage cruises comfortably and on a very firm keel, they’re not overtly tannic but many show extremely well if allowed some air in a decanter. A vintage full of well-placed promise, it was followed by one that has lived in its shadow – the ’06s are ripe, stylish and accessible enough; they just haven’t got that concentration of a ‘great year’.
There is little point holding ’07, that’s if you have any.
The vintage of ’08 enjoyed low prices on release and you’ll appreciate this when you see the comparatively modest VAT charged on withdrawal. This is a vintage to be getting on with. No great surprise there; it’s a property that consistently achieves great things, ’08 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste makes very pleasing drinking.
THE 2010 VINTAGE AND BEYOND
As ’09 and ’10 march on, there is some really drinking to be had at the low to mid-range grade. The ’10s are in excellent balance, at this level they can and should be looked at. The senior wines can slumber on.
Although ’11 has developed better than perhaps predicted, it has always been labelled a “restaurant vintage”. Yes, a little on the light side but they offer pleasing drinking and are to be pressed on with. Indeed, ideal ‘luncheon Claret’.
Another perfectly agreeable year is ’12 – more affable than ’11, a little plumper and generally easier-going. Again, press on – you probably have ’09, ’10 and ’15s which will be more desirable henceforth than these.
With few exceptions, ’13 should have been consumed by now.
VINTAGES OF PROMISE
A vintage of promise and one that offers value is ’14 – traditional, fresh, balanced wines, they bode well and are by no means impenetrable. A sentiment proved by a well-received magnum of ’14 Château Batailley at the Cave family Christmas.
Both ’15 and ’16 are stellar years, the latter especially so in my view, and could well become one of those years that carries a ‘last of an era’ tag. Lesser ’15s are showing well, ‘16s at the level of being cellar-worthy are best left to develop.
The ’17s could deserve a look soon, a vintage better drunk in its youth. The ’18s have more than a touch of warmth to them though modern techniques (and tastes) make this a vintage to look forward to mid-term. Finally, ’19 does show assured and very definite promise.
Browse our complete selection of Bordeaux here.