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Vintage Chart for Bordeaux Left Bank

2018 ** "Complicated" is the word most often used to describe 2018. Spring and early summer were rainy, and there were problems with mildew. Then there was very hot, dry weather until October. Barrel samples give impression of dense black fruits with strong but supple tannins, and often are surprisingly approachable. The best wines are concentrated, with chocolaty tannins, but some may not have enough acidity for longevity.
2017 * A difficult vintage with rather small production (only a little more than half of 2016), due to frost early in the season, but quality is quite good, with wines a little on the lighter side, making this a good vintage for restaurant wines. The best results were in St. Estèphe,Pauillac, and St. Julien. It's one of the most hetergeneous recent vintages.
2016 *** The best vintage since 2010, widely regarded as a classic Cabernet Sauvignon vintage. Margaux tends to silky, St. Julien is precise, Pauillac has finesse, St. Estèphe is surprisingly uniform. Pessac-Léognan is elegant, St. Emilion is relatively restrained, Pomerol is finer and more elegant than usual. The whites from Pessac Léognan tend to a silky elegance.
2015 ** An attractive vintage, with very nice wines for the mid term. St. Julien and Pauillac are the most successful, Margaux is more variable, and St. Estèphe a little hard. Pessac-Léognan has good reds, but the whites can be bland.
2014   Not a great vintage, but better than the preceding three years. A cool summer was followed by the longest Indian summer on record, with perfect sunny conditions into October. High acidity, good tannins, high but not excessive alcohol, gave elegance rather than power.
2013   Cool Spring made for a very slow start to season with uneven flowering, leading to late harvest at the start of October. Acidity is high, fruits are light and more often in the red spectrum; these are wines to enjoy young before the fruits fade. Just over half the usual size, this was the smallest harvest since 1991.
2012 * "Lovely restaurant wine" is the phrase that appears most often in my tasting notes of this vintage. It's generally described as a Merlot year, but in spite of rains in the Médoc in September, there are many wines that will be elegant in the mid term. Graves is relatively soft. Whites are often described as excelling, but I find them good rather than great.
2011 * Saved from disaster by fine conditions in September, but uneven. Margaux is extremely variable, St. Julien is rather tight, Pauillac stands out for its consistency, and Pessac-Léognan has managed to retain typicity. Not a very generous vintage, drink before it goes flat.
2010 *** The vintage is as ripe as 2009, but acidity and tannins are higher, giving a more classic impression. This is generally viewed as more classic and longer lived, but I am not so certain the fruits will outlive the tannins and acidity into really old age. The wines tend to elegance rather than power.
2009 *** Reputed to be so rich as to break tradition, but in fact showing surprising freshness on release. Ripe, round, and attractive already: very possibly longer lived than general commentary would suggest, but probably not destined to be a very old vintage in classic tradition.
2008   Rain at the beginning and end of the season was the problem this year. There's variation from dilute impressions to more classic wines, but these are wines for the short term.



For older vintages see Bordeaux Left Bank or Vintages


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