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Flashcards in Vintages Deck (54):
1

1959

1959

  • Exceptional
  • Perfect weather - warm, sunny
  • Lush, easy drinking up front - much like 2009 
  • Have aged very well, but are harder to find due to popularity and drinkability at release

2

1960

1960

  • Abysmal 
  • Destroyed by rain

3

1961

1961

  • Exceptional
  • Very warm, dry summer
  • Early harvest w/ low yields
  • Small, thick-skinned, deeply concentrated berries
  • Rich, tannic, ageworthy

4

1962

1962

 

  • Fair for still wine
  • Exceptional sweet wine

 

5

1963

1963

  • Abysmal
  • Cold, wet, rotted 
  • Palmer declassified entire crop

6

1964

​​1964

  • Disaster vintage Left Bank and Sauternes
  • Excellent on Right Bank - harvested before devastating rains

7

1965

1965

  • Disaster vintage

8

1966

1966

  • 2nd best of the 1960s
  • Hard and tannic on release
  • Still drinking well now

9

1967-1969

1967-1969

1967: Light, easy-drinking, over the hill, very good in Sauternes

1968: Disaster, WETTEST year since 1951

1969: Similar

10

Great vintages of the 1960's

1961 

1962 (Sauternes only)

1966 (by comparison)

11

Disaster vintages of the 1960's

1960

1963

1964

1965

1968

1969

12

1970

  • Excellent
  • 1st good vintage since 1961
  • Big crop, heavy production

13

1972-1974

1972-1974

  • Series of disasters
  • Cold, wet, rainy

14

1975

1975

  • Only fair - hard and tannic - but best of a string of bad vintages
  • Exceptional in sauternes

15

1977

​​1977

  • Disaster vintage
  • The other worst vintage of the decade

16

Great vintages of the 1970's

1970

1975 (by comparison)

17

1982

1982

  • Vintage of the century
  • Phenomenal, perfect weather

18

1983

1983

  • Very good for dry wines
  • Spectacular for sweet wines - best since 1967

19

1985

1985

  • Exceptional
  • Particularly good on the right bank
  • Elegance over power

20

1986

1986

  • Also Exceptional
  • Hot, very dry "Traditional", high-tannin

21

1987

1987

  • Worst of the 1980's along with 1984
  • Harvest was totally rained out

22

1988

1988

  • Very poor and dilute red wines
  • Exceptional sweet wines (1st of 3 great vintages)

23

1989

1989

  • Exceptional
  • Very hot - hottest summer since 1949
  • Earliest harvest since 1870's
  • Big crop, lots of power, lots of fruit
  • Exceptional for sweet wines as well

24

Great vintages of the 1980's

1982

1983 (especially Sauternes)

1985

1986

1988 (Sauternes only)

1989

25

Disaster vintages of the 1980's

1984

1987

26

1990

1990

  • Exceptional - vintage of the century vs 2 Record-breaking heat, sun, and rain
  • Similar to 1989; slightly more well-regarded

27

1991-1994

1991-1994

* Series of poor years 

1991, 1992: Total disaster, across the board

1993: slightly better, but not much 

1994: Mediocore, but optimism led to price inflation

 

28

1995

1995

  • Best of the last 5 years
  • BIG CROP
  • Hard, tannic, somewhat charmless similar to 1975

29

1996

1996

  • Exceptional
  • Best since 1990, bettter on  the Left Bank
  • Pure, deep, concentrated wines
  • Verg good sweet wines as well

30

1997

1997

  • Difficult year for dry wines 
  • Very exceptional sweet wines

31

1998

1998

  • Excellent on the Right Bank
  • Similar quality to 2000, but much better QPR
  • Left Bank washed out by rain

32

1999

1999

  • Rainy and fraught by hail
  • Would have a disaster if it weren't for modern winemaking philosophy and techniques

33

Great vintages of the 1990's

1990

1996

1997 (Sauternes only)

1998

34

Disaster vintages of the 1990's

1991

1992

1993

35

2000

2000

  • Exceptional across the board
  • First great vintage for both banks since 1990

36

2001

2001

  • Spectacular for sweet wine 
  • Right Bank very good, especially now
  • Left bank wines are somewhat dilute

37

2002

2002

  • "Classic" - somewhat green and underripe
  • But, the pricing is reasonable

38

2003

2003

  • Heat wave vintage
  • Best wines are from cooler and/or more clay heavy appellations

39

2004

2004

  • Huge crop - very high yields
  • Ladybug vintage - some complaints of greenness 
  • Drink now

40

2005

2005

  • Vintage of the century - exceptional across the board
  • Generally hot and dry with just the right amount of rain
  • Record upticks in price

41

2006

2006

  • Hard, tannic, and austere vintage
  • Good wine made through rigorous sorting
  • Very wet September

42

2007

2007

  • Soft, pleasant, easy drinking
  • Gratuitiously overpriced as futures
  • Exceptional for sweet wine

43

2008

2008

  • Very long, cool, sunny, dry summer
  • Vey late harvest - up to 160 days of hang time for some (vs 100 avg)
  • 1st vintage to hit once the Asian market blew up

44

2009

2009

  • Exceptioanl across the board
  • Rich, opulent, well-fruited

45

2010

2010

  • Also Exceptional, but more tannic, less drinkable now
  • Very powerful
  • Will age
  • Drought year = high extract

46

2011

2011

  • Difficult year, very small yields
  • Fresh and aromatic, less concentrated, drink now
  • Big botrytis year - excellent in Sauternes

47

2012

2012

  • Hot, dry summer delayed ripening (shutdown)
  • Very late, harvest, affected by rain
  • Rigorous sorting necessary

48

2013

2013

  • Extremely difficult weather
  • rainstorms, rainstorms, rainstorms, hail, wind, etc.
  • Very low yields - most of the crop was destroyed or unusable

49

2014

2014

  • Better than the 3 previous years
  • Warm and sunny at harvest, yields are up, and the grapes are likely in better condition

50

20th Century Exceptional Vintages

1899

1900

1921

1928 (high tannin, austere)

1929

1934

1937 (Sauternes only)

1945

1947 (especially Right Bank)

1949

1953

51

Bordeaux Vintages 2011 - 

 

 

 

 

 

2014  Great vintage for the Cabernet Sauvignon based wines of the Medoc. The wines are especially strong the further north you go, with Pauillac and St. Estephe producing really good wine, followed by St. Julien and Margaux. The wines are soft, ripe and display silky tannins with good concentration. Due to their forward style, while age worthy, many of the wines will be fun to drink early. The vintage is mixed in St. Emilion and moderate in Pomerol, with many wines possessing a slightly dilute character. It’s a good vintage for dry, white Bordeaux wine, in a bright, acidic style. Sauternes and Barsac was also successful. Drink or hold. 92 Pts

2013  Light, early drinking year with a focus on red fruits. St. Julien and Pomerol are the top two appellations. Dry white Bordeaux was also successful. The best wines of the vintage are the sweet Bordeaux wines from Sauternes and Barsac. Enjoy the red wines on the young side. Drink 83 Pts

2012  A classic vintage, in a good way. The best wines come from Pomerol and St. Emilion. However Pomerol is favored as the Merlot for most estates fully ripened. The vintage was also successful in Pessac Leognan, but more difficult in the Medoc, as the Cabernet Sauvignon did not achieve ripeness. While the dry white wines are of high quality, Sauternes was a disaster. Some of the top estates were forced to declassify their entire crop, including Chateau d’Yquem. Most of the red wines will drink well young. Drink 89 Pts

2011  An average year with the best red wines coming from Pomerol and St. Emilion that could be described as classic. The wines are fresh, bright and acidic and focus more on red fruit than darker berries.  It’s another very successful year for Sauternes. For most wines, it’s an early drinking vintage. Drink 85 Pts


 

52

Bordeaux Vintages 2001 - 2010

2010 Very good year for wines from all Bordeaux appellations. Tannic, powerful, structured and rich, the best wines need 15-20 or more years to develop. Margaux, Pauillac, Pessac Leognan and St. Emilion are the best regions. Sauternes was also successful. Hold 97 Pts

2009 Great year with a wonderful style. The wines are ripe, sexy and lush. Pomerol, Pauillac, Pessac Leognan and St. Estephe produced the best Bordeaux wines. Hold 97 Pts

2008 This is a mixed vintage with some good wines, but not great wines. Pomerol and Pauillac were the most successful regions. Prices remain fair for the quality. Hold 91 Pts

2007 Overpriced, early drinking vintage. Drink or hold 87 Pts

2006 Powerful, tannic, broad shouldered wines that require cellaring. The best wines came from the Pomerol, the Medoc, especially Pauillac and Pessac Leognan. Hold 91 Pts

2005 This is a stunning vintage from top to bottom in all appellations and in all price ranges. If you have the money, this is one of the best Bordeaux vintages to lay down in your cellar. These stunning wines will only get better and more expensive. Hold 100 Pts

2004 This is a moderately priced vintage with some attractive wines, but not great wines from both banks. Drink or hold. 91 Pts

2003 An interesting vintage with some stunning Bordeaux wines that were produced in the northern Medoc appellations of Pauillac and Saint Estephe. Some strong wines were produced in St. Emilion from heavy limestone soils. Avoid 2003 Pomerol wines. The vintage lacks consistency. But at the top end, 2003 Bordeaux wines are stunning. Sauternes was also strong in this vintage. Drink or hold. 93 Pts

2002 The best wines were produced in the Medoc. This is an average vintage with a lot of wines that can be bought for fair prices. But there is an under ripe quality to the wines that will become more pronounced as the years go on. Drink or hold. 89 Pts

2001 A nice charming vintage. The best wines came from Pomerol and St. Emilion as well as Sauternes. Many of the wines are ready to drink. 92 Pts

53

Bordeaux Vintages 1991 - 2000

2000  A stunning vintage which produced great wines with opulent character, freshness and purity from every red Bordeaux wine appellation. This is the type of vintage Bordeaux lovers can never have enough of in their cellars. It might look expensive today, but when these wines mature, prices will be much higher. Drink or hold 100 Pts

1999 Rapidly maturing wines of decent quality. This is not a year for long term cellaring as almost every wine was ready to drink. 86 Pts

1998 Sublime Bordeaux wine was produced in Pomerol and St. Emilion. The Medoc was mixed. Pessac Leognan offers good wines. Strong wines are harder to find in the Left Bank. The best Right Bank wines are not quite at the level of 2000, but they sell for uch less money and they are delicious. This is a vintage to buy. Drink or hold. 92 Pts

1997 Early maturing and expensive on release, every wine is now mature and ready to drink. Sauternes produced wines of quality as well. Drink. 85 Pts

1996 The wines from the Medoc in this vintage can be stunning! The wines are much better in the Left Bank, where the Cabernet Sauvignon excelled. Avoid Pomerol and St. Emilion. Drink or hold. 89 Pts

1995 Tannic and austere, this vintage is better suited for fans of old school, traditional styled wine. The wines from the Right Bank, Pomerol and St. Emilion are perhaps slightly more successful. Drink or hold 90 Pts

1994 Lean, slightly green and not exciting. Merlot based wines were better in this year. Drink 87 Pts

1993 Early drinking vintage that is in decline. Drink 85 Pts

1992 A poor rain plagued vintage that should be avoided. 70 Pts

1991 A bad vintage that should not be purchased. 65 Pts

54

Bordeaux Vintages 1981 -1990

1990 Great, every appellation. Most ready to drink, but can be aged. Petit chateaux should have been drunk a few years ago.  Rich, roasted, round, ripe. Consistent on both banks. 96 Pts

1989 Stunning, both banks. The exception of perfect, legendary Haut Brion. First Growths were not the top wines. Ripe, rich, silky. Lacks consistency.  Better in Pomerol than St. Emilion.  Most wines are drinking great. Drink or hold. 95 Pts

1988 Good but not great year that allowed consumers to drink this while waiting for 1989 and 1990 to mature. Not developing as well as hoped. Some developed green, herbal or olive sensation. Merlot based wines were more successful. Drink 89 Pts

1987 Majority are in decline. Drink 82 Pts

1986 Hard, tannic, austere, still requires aging. Cabernet Sauvignon wines were most successful. Drink or hold. 88 Pts

1985 Charming from both banks; fully mature. Drink 90 Pts

1984 Poor vintage; over the hill. Drink 80 Pts

1983 Fully mature; most in a slow decline. Margaux and Sauternes were best appellations. Drink 87 Pts

1982 Stunning, great style that ushered in modern age of Bordeaux and Robert Parker. Great from both banks in every appellation. Most are fully mature. If well stored, the better wines will improve with additional cellaring. Pauillac, Saint Julien and Pomerol were the most successful appellations. Drink or hold. 96 Pts

1981 Early drinking vintage in decline. Drink 84 Pts