1989 is shining right now: As I was going through my tasting notes from the last year to construct this list, I was surprised to find that most of the wines I liked best this year came from 1989! Of course, this could simply be an indication that I like my Grand Cru Classé wine mature, but it could also be that this legendary vintage is at its peak right now – which is just another example that great wines need time to develop to their fullest potential. So, please, please, please, only drink your Bordeaux when it is ready. Do not commit infanticide. . .
General Drinking Advice: Here are some suggestions on what to pull from your cellar to drink this year:
- Drink your 1989s! They are as good right now as they ever going.
- Leave your 1995s. They are either awkward or closed right now and some have even acquired a slightly ‘stewed’ profile – so I suggest leaving them in the hope that they recover.
- Drink your lower end 1996s. Some of the lower growth Grand Cru Classé wines are just stunning right now – for example, 1996 Lafon-Rochet. Structure, power, and beautiful fruit with a hint of complexity. These won’t disappoint. If you have the big boys – keep those for a while.
- Drink your 1999 Right Bank wines: These wines are drinking really well right now. This is a more elegant right bank vintage – so go for the elegant styled wines like: Ch. La Gaffliere, Ch. Quinault L’Enclos, etc. 1999 Ch. La Tour Figeac will probably surprise you.
Restaurants are screwed: Another thing that I noted is that with Bordeaux prices soaring (some wines have tripled in the last year) – only two of the wines on my Top Ten list were consumed at restaurants: 2002 D’Yquem and 1999 Kirwan (surprisingly, both were offered by the glass). Prices of good quality Bordeaux have made it next to impossible to still offer good Bordeaux by the glass in restaurants.
If you have a wine in your cellar and you want to know whether now is a good time to drink it – feel free to e-mail me (email@example.com) – if I have tasted it recently, I would be delighted to offer you an opinion.