Course: Bordeaux

Class 1: Bordeaux


"New wave" Bordeaux, with its emphasis on riper fruit flavors and supple tannins, is much easier to enjoy when young, yet the wines continue to improve with age.

A great bottle of Bordeaux reveals its true character only after 10 or 15 years of bottle age.


Stages of Maturity

Among the top tier of châteaus, wines live in three stages.

  1. Youth lasts about two to five years after a good vintage, with fresh fruit flavors and prominent tannins.
  2. Maturity is an undulating plateau of harmony and complexity that may last 20 years or more.
  3. Then comes decline—or, in great vintages, an apotheosis that can make the wine seem immortal. Certain bottles of Château Lafite-Rothschild 1870 are...
Ready to enroll? First, you must register for a membership to Your membership benefits include:

FREE enrollment in any course at Wine Spectator School

Over 230,000 searchable ratings and tasting notes

FREE mobile access so you can research wines wherever you are

E-newsletters with advance ratings

Editors’ blogs

Food and wine matching tool

And much more

Log In If You're Already a Member

Please log in using your email address and password for Wine Spectator School students who enrolled before 7.4.10, log in with your email address and school password or get more info here.

Forgot Password?

By clicking "Log in" you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Wine Spectator Online

Read our FAQ for more information

If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.


= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Job Opportunities

Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.

Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences