Vintage Charts

France

France Bordeaux/Sauternes

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Vintage Score Drink Window Description
Vintage
2017
Score
91–94
Drink Window
NYR
Description
Spring frost hit Barsac hard, Sauternes less so, reducing yields; dry and warm season led to healthy grapes, with late-season rains kicking off a very fast botrytis infection as grapes were ripe. Growers had to move fast, most picking just two or three tries; wines are juicy and forward, with tropical fruit profiles
Description
Spring frost hit Barsac hard, Sauternes less so, reducing yields; dry and warm season led to healthy grapes, with late-season rains kicking off a very fast botrytis infection as grapes were ripe. Growers had to move fast, most picking just two or three tries; wines are juicy and forward, with tropical fruit profiles
Vintage
2016
Score
90
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Second half of growing season was extremely dry, affecting botrytis. Grapes were ripe and healthy, but botrytis arrived late, in only one or two waves, rather than in multiple waves. Wines are fresh and friendly, but without the complexity of great years; Barsac has a bit more energy than Sauternes
Description
Second half of growing season was extremely dry, affecting botrytis. Grapes were ripe and healthy, but botrytis arrived late, in only one or two waves, rather than in multiple waves. Wines are fresh and friendly, but without the complexity of great years; Barsac has a bit more energy than Sauternes
Vintage
2015
Score
94
Drink Window
Hold
Description
Growing season was warm and dry early, cool and wet late. Rains were light, though, and separated by periods of dry weather, allowing for waves of botrytis growth and leisurely picking. Wines are fresh and pure in style
Description
Growing season was warm and dry early, cool and wet late. Rains were light, though, and separated by periods of dry weather, allowing for waves of botrytis growth and leisurely picking. Wines are fresh and pure in style
Vintage
2014
Score
96
Drink Window
Hold
Description
After a dry, cool growing season, initial harvests brought in fresh, racy fruit. Botrytis was spurred after a long Indian summer, allowing for successive pickings of more tropical styled, botrytis-affected fruit. The combination should make for a special vintage
Description
After a dry, cool growing season, initial harvests brought in fresh, racy fruit. Botrytis was spurred after a long Indian summer, allowing for successive pickings of more tropical styled, botrytis-affected fruit. The combination should make for a special vintage
Vintage
2013
Score
93
Drink Window
Hold
Description
Botrytis spread quickly during a rainy September and October, with just enough breaks to allow grapes to concentrate. Both Sauternes and Barsac excellent, with fresh, racy styled wines. A cross in style between the racy '11 and flattering '07, with a bit less zip and concentration
Description
Botrytis spread quickly during a rainy September and October, with just enough breaks to allow grapes to concentrate. Both Sauternes and Barsac excellent, with fresh, racy styled wines. A cross in style between the racy '11 and flattering '07, with a bit less zip and concentration
Vintage
2012
Score
86
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Botrytis formed but with constant rains and no warm, sunny patches during harvest, the grapes couldn't get concentration. Best Sauternes are friendly, but loosely knit and lack complexity; some top châteaus did not produce grand vins. Barsac fared much better, with some excellent wines
Description
Botrytis formed but with constant rains and no warm, sunny patches during harvest, the grapes couldn't get concentration. Best Sauternes are friendly, but loosely knit and lack complexity; some top châteaus did not produce grand vins. Barsac fared much better, with some excellent wines
Vintage
2011
Score
97
Drink Window
Hold
Description
Botrytis arrived early and spread quickly; a cool second half of season allowed grapes to retain acidity. Wines are racy, detailed, pure and driven
Description
Botrytis arrived early and spread quickly; a cool second half of season allowed grapes to retain acidity. Wines are racy, detailed, pure and driven
Vintage
2010
Score
93
Drink Window
Hold
Description
Botrytis arrived late and quickly. Wines are ripe and juicy, with tropical fruit character. Barsac shows more freshness than Sauternes. Not as dense as '01 or '09
Description
Botrytis arrived late and quickly. Wines are ripe and juicy, with tropical fruit character. Barsac shows more freshness than Sauternes. Not as dense as '01 or '09
Vintage
2009
Score
96
Drink Window
Hold
Description
Terrific companion vintage to the reds, with ripe, powerful botrytis character and rich texture with freshness and balance
Description
Terrific companion vintage to the reds, with ripe, powerful botrytis character and rich texture with freshness and balance
Vintage
2008
Score
90
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Marked by tangy acidity; not broadly ripe, but some are showy enough
Description
Marked by tangy acidity; not broadly ripe, but some are showy enough
Vintage
2007
Score
92
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Lots of botrytis led to a rich, tropical fruit and raisined-style vintage with rounded, hedonistic wines
Description
Lots of botrytis led to a rich, tropical fruit and raisined-style vintage with rounded, hedonistic wines
Vintage
2006
Score
91
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Not as dense as top years, but fresh, vibrant wines with lively acidity
Description
Not as dense as top years, but fresh, vibrant wines with lively acidity
Vintage
2005
Score
93
Drink Window
Hold
Description
Opulent and structured, with underlying finesse
Description
Opulent and structured, with underlying finesse
Vintage
2004
Score
89
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Harmonious, aromatic and spicy; for early drinking
Description
Harmonious, aromatic and spicy; for early drinking
Vintage
2003
Score
95
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Exotic, ripe and spicy; good botrytis
Description
Exotic, ripe and spicy; good botrytis
Vintage
2002
Score
87
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Small crop; clean and spicy, with good fruit
Description
Small crop; clean and spicy, with good fruit
Vintage
2001
Score
97
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Magnificently rich and structured, yet balanced
Description
Magnificently rich and structured, yet balanced
Vintage
2000
Score
87
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Most of the crop was rained on; only small quantities of good wine
Description
Most of the crop was rained on; only small quantities of good wine
Vintage
1999
Score
90
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Creamy, rich and spicy
Description
Creamy, rich and spicy
Vintage
1998
Score
88
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Elegant, refined and delicious
Description
Elegant, refined and delicious
Vintage
1997
Score
92
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Balanced, racy and structured; classy
Description
Balanced, racy and structured; classy
Vintage
1996
Score
89
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Spicy, rich and round; generous style
Description
Spicy, rich and round; generous style
Vintage
1995
Score
87
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Sweet and balanced; uneven quality
Description
Sweet and balanced; uneven quality
Vintage
1992
Score
72
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Light, straightforward, diluted and medium sweet
Description
Light, straightforward, diluted and medium sweet
Vintage
1991
Score
77
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Moderately sweet, attractive apertif wines
Description
Moderately sweet, attractive apertif wines
Vintage
1990
Score
97
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Harmonious, rich and racy
Description
Harmonious, rich and racy
Vintage
1989
Score
98
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Loads of botryitis; opulent and structured
Description
Loads of botryitis; opulent and structured
Vintage
1988
Score
93
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Elegant and refined
Description
Elegant and refined
Vintage
1987
Score
79
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Clean and appealing, with little botrytis
Description
Clean and appealing, with little botrytis
Vintage
1986
Score
90
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Charming, lively and fresh; spicy and sweet
Description
Charming, lively and fresh; spicy and sweet
Vintage
1985
Score
79
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Little botrytis character; clean and sweet
Description
Little botrytis character; clean and sweet
Vintage
1984
Score
68
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
A wet, difficult harvest; a few good wines
Description
A wet, difficult harvest; a few good wines
Vintage
1983
Score
95
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Intense, complex and rich
Description
Intense, complex and rich
Vintage
1982
Score
77
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Mostly fat, alcoholic and sweet
Description
Mostly fat, alcoholic and sweet
Vintage
1981
Score
83
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Medium richness; finely balanced wines
Description
Medium richness; finely balanced wines
Vintage
1980
Score
82
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Good year; balanced, lightly botrytized wines
Description
Good year; balanced, lightly botrytized wines
Vintage
1976
Score
93
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Exotic, thick and powerful
Description
Exotic, thick and powerful
Vintage
1975
Score
94
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Harmonious, lively, spicy and sweet
Description
Harmonious, lively, spicy and sweet
Vintage
1971
Score
91
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Supple, refined and long
Description
Supple, refined and long
Vintage
1967
Score
97
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Classic; long-lived, everything is there
Description
Classic; long-lived, everything is there
Vintage
1959
Score
98
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Concentrated, lots of botrytis
Description
Concentrated, lots of botrytis

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