Vintage Charts

France

France Bordeaux/Left Bank Reds (Médoc, Pessac-Léognan)

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Vintage Score Drink Window Description
Vintage
2018
Score
95–98
Drink Window
NYR
Description
Similar to 2016, with wet conditions early and dry conditions late, yet both were more extreme this year, with severe mildew pressure reducing yields; second half drought saved the vintage. Reds are dense and tannic, with slightly higher alcohol and lower acidity, but terrific drive and definition
Description
Similar to 2016, with wet conditions early and dry conditions late, yet both were more extreme this year, with severe mildew pressure reducing yields; second half drought saved the vintage. Reds are dense and tannic, with slightly higher alcohol and lower acidity, but terrific drive and definition
Vintage
2017
Score
90–93
Drink Window
NYR
Description
Warm and dry year ran early all season; southern areas most affected by spring frost, while Médoc generally spared. Well-timed rains prevented maturity blockage, but September diluted earlier-ripening Merlot. Wines are fresh and pure; best in Pauillac and St.-Julien, other AOCs more heterogeneous
Description
Warm and dry year ran early all season; southern areas most affected by spring frost, while Médoc generally spared. Well-timed rains prevented maturity blockage, but September diluted earlier-ripening Merlot. Wines are fresh and pure; best in Pauillac and St.-Julien, other AOCs more heterogeneous
Vintage
2016
Score
97
Drink Window
Hold
Description
A year of extremes, with a very rainy spring backed by a very dry summer. Cabernet relished the drought, yielding reds that are ripe and tannic, but also racy, fresh and full of aromas; yields normal to above normal. Upper Médoc superb, with St.-Estèphe, Pauillac and St.-Julien the epicenter of quality
Description
A year of extremes, with a very rainy spring backed by a very dry summer. Cabernet relished the drought, yielding reds that are ripe and tannic, but also racy, fresh and full of aromas; yields normal to above normal. Upper Médoc superb, with St.-Estèphe, Pauillac and St.-Julien the epicenter of quality
Vintage
2015
Score
94
Drink Window
Hold
Description
Extremely dry season saved by rain at veraison led to an even crop of ripe and lush reds. Later rains hampered some parts of the upper Médoc. Margaux is truly special, St. Julien and Pessac superb
Description
Extremely dry season saved by rain at veraison led to an even crop of ripe and lush reds. Later rains hampered some parts of the upper Médoc. Margaux is truly special, St. Julien and Pessac superb
Vintage
2014
Score
93
Drink Window
Hold
Description
A good spring was followed by a gray, humid summer, but dry weather and a long harvest period through September and October saved the vintage. Best in the upper Médoc with Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, along with Petit Verdot, relishing the late harvest; less dynamic in Margaux and Pessac
Description
A good spring was followed by a gray, humid summer, but dry weather and a long harvest period through September and October saved the vintage. Best in the upper Médoc with Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, along with Petit Verdot, relishing the late harvest; less dynamic in Margaux and Pessac
Vintage
2013
Score
84
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Cool start and very wet finish saved by warm, dry July and August. Disease pressure was very high and harvest on the early side. Reds are light and easy; Margaux least successful of Left Bank AOCs
Description
Cool start and very wet finish saved by warm, dry July and August. Disease pressure was very high and harvest on the early side. Reds are light and easy; Margaux least successful of Left Bank AOCs
Vintage
2012
Score
88
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Cool and wet early led to uneven crop set and disease pressure, while dry, hot August resulted in some blocked ripening; September rains helped, but harvest window was short before October rains arrived, leaving some Cabernets marked by taut tannins; Pessac and Margaux favored over upper Médoc; more inconsistent overall than Right Bank
Description
Cool and wet early led to uneven crop set and disease pressure, while dry, hot August resulted in some blocked ripening; September rains helped, but harvest window was short before October rains arrived, leaving some Cabernets marked by taut tannins; Pessac and Margaux favored over upper Médoc; more inconsistent overall than Right Bank
Vintage
2011
Score
91
Drink Window
Hold
Description
Dry and hot early, then cool and wet late. Yields down due to small berries. Fresh fruit and bright acidity are prominent; tannins are strident but ripe, with lower alcohols
Description
Dry and hot early, then cool and wet late. Yields down due to small berries. Fresh fruit and bright acidity are prominent; tannins are strident but ripe, with lower alcohols
Vintage
2010
Score
99
Drink Window
Hold
Description
Ripe and powerful, with racy tannins and acidity for balance. More structure-driven than the opulent 2009, with better definition of fruit; should be very long-lived
Description
Ripe and powerful, with racy tannins and acidity for balance. More structure-driven than the opulent 2009, with better definition of fruit; should be very long-lived
Vintage
2009
Score
97
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Lush, rich and beautifully polished reds. Top Médoc estates made glorious wines; Pessac also excelled
Description
Lush, rich and beautifully polished reds. Top Médoc estates made glorious wines; Pessac also excelled
Vintage
2008
Score
87
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Damp, gray growing season led to disease pressure; Indian summer in September saved the vintage. Wines are fresh rather than dense, with sometimes crisp acidity
Description
Damp, gray growing season led to disease pressure; Indian summer in September saved the vintage. Wines are fresh rather than dense, with sometimes crisp acidity
Vintage
2007
Score
85
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Inconsistent; look to top names for delicacy and balance
Description
Inconsistent; look to top names for delicacy and balance
Vintage
2006
Score
90
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Best are solid, tannic and racy; others slightly hollow
Description
Best are solid, tannic and racy; others slightly hollow
Vintage
2005
Score
98
Drink Window
Hold
Description
Fabulous aromas and great length; wines with depth, structure and finesse
Description
Fabulous aromas and great length; wines with depth, structure and finesse
Vintage
2004
Score
89
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Overlooked vintage with round, supple tannins and charming fruit
Description
Overlooked vintage with round, supple tannins and charming fruit
Vintage
2003
Score
95
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Exotic and powerful, with big, velvety tannins
Description
Exotic and powerful, with big, velvety tannins
Vintage
2002
Score
86
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Cool-style clarets, with firm tannins; stick to top names
Description
Cool-style clarets, with firm tannins; stick to top names
Vintage
2001
Score
90
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Sleeper vintage; balanced, fruity and structured
Description
Sleeper vintage; balanced, fruity and structured
Vintage
2000
Score
95
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Racy tannins and very delineated reds now hitting their stride
Description
Racy tannins and very delineated reds now hitting their stride
Vintage
1999
Score
87
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Fruity and balanced; some wines slightly green
Description
Fruity and balanced; some wines slightly green
Vintage
1998
Score
88
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Very good quality despite rain at harvest
Description
Very good quality despite rain at harvest
Vintage
1997
Score
85
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Tropical August; light and pleasant wines
Description
Tropical August; light and pleasant wines
Vintage
1996
Score
91
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Wet August, yet Cabernets still excellent; firm
Description
Wet August, yet Cabernets still excellent; firm
Vintage
1995
Score
95
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Harmonious, rich and structured; long-lived
Description
Harmonious, rich and structured; long-lived

Vintage ratings: 95-100, classic; 90-94, outstanding; 85-89, very good; 80-84, good; 75-79, mediocre; 50-74, not recommended

A score range indicates preliminary analysis based on barrel samples and/or a limited sampling; many wines of the vintage not yet reviewed.

Drinkability: "NYR" means the vintage has not yet been released; "drink" means most of the wines of the vintage are ready to drink; "hold" means most of the ageworthy wines have yet to fully mature; "past peak" means most of the wines are declining rather than improving.

SOURCE: WINE SPECTATOR