I finally got around to reading some of the long postings in our WineSpectator.com Forums about the Union des Grands Crus tastings in the States for 2006 Bordeaux. And I had to wonder why some people even bothered going? Many spent most of the threads bitching about the organization of the tastings instead of discussing the wines.
I wish I had the time to go to one of the tastings myself. Granted, standing with hundreds of people and racing through samples of young Bordeaux is not the best way to evaluate these young wines. But it is better than nothing. Few wine consumers could duplicate a tasting, either in America or France.
Anyway, I guess the posters just don’t like tasting young Bordeaux? Or maybe it’s a waste of time giving wine lovers the chance to taste young Bordeaux, or young reds in general?
The only thing that I could ascertain from the postings was that they found the wines too tannic and hard, and that they thought the wines were less good than the fabulous 2005s. Those are good basic conclusions, but there is a lot more to learn when tasting young reds such as the 2006s. And apparently there was the opportunity to taste dozens of 2006s and 2005s at the tastings, whether in Chicago or Los Angeles.
Just for a comparison, I tasted close to 500 wines in blind tastings in my office in Italy as well as in Bordeaux (it took me close to two weeks), and I was very happy with the quality of the samples that I tasted. I thought I would find many more reds that were unripe, astringent and even diluted. But they weren’t. They showed beautiful perfumes of fruit, minerals and flowers. They were medium- to full-bodied, with firm, racy tannins and a long, fresh finish. They were very typical young Bordeaux, or clarets, as the English might say.
I think that 2006 could be remembered as a sleeper vintage in a few years, along the lines of 2001. Granted, it will never match the greatness of 2005, but it’s still a very good to outstanding vintage for the leading names in Bordeaux. And the wines will not take 10 or 20 years to come around. I think that many will begin to be drinkable in four to six years of bottle age, or around 2013 to 2015.
Look the March 31 issue of Wine Spectator for my tasting report on the 2006 vintage in Bordeaux.
Steve Kirchner — Huntington — February 3, 2009 5:02pm ET
Lorenzo Erlic — victoria canada — February 3, 2009 6:52pm ET
Michael Donohue — Toronto ON Canada — February 3, 2009 6:57pm ET
John Wise — milwaukee, wi — February 3, 2009 7:14pm ET
Jeffrey Alle Cassetta — Ada, MI — February 3, 2009 7:50pm ET
Matt Scott — Honolulu HI — February 3, 2009 10:42pm ET
Daniele Nardi — Bowling Green, OH — February 4, 2009 11:56am ET
James Suckling — — February 4, 2009 12:03pm ET
Thomas Matthews — February 4, 2009 4:47pm ET
Giovanni Annicchino — Turin, Italy — February 4, 2009 6:55pm ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — February 4, 2009 8:49pm ET
Theodore Mukamal — NY, NY — February 5, 2009 2:18am ET
Lorenzo Erlic — victoria canada — February 5, 2009 7:31am ET
Jeffrey Ghi — New York — February 6, 2009 9:54am ET
Chris Tenggren — Elburn, IL — February 11, 2009 9:35am ET
Chris Tenggren — Elburn, IL — February 11, 2009 9:38am ET
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