The Insider’s Guide to Bordeaux – Vintages: Richard Curty

IMG_8709This is an installment of our Insider’s Guide to Bordeaux.  It is a series of interviews of people who live in Bordeaux providing their thoughts and tips on the wines, the city, and the food.

This interview was with Mr. Richard Curty the Wine Director of Ch. Parenchere.  He is a graduated oenologist and the wine-maker at Ch. Parenchere. You can visit him on facebook.

We interviewed him about his thoughts on Bordeaux vintages.

1. Which vintage of Bordeaux do you think is drinking the best right now?

For very prestigious wines, I like the 2003 vintage for its power and its fruitiness but, in general, I am a big fan of the 2005 vintage. Concentrated, fine, long-lasting; it offers everything.

2. What was your favorite bottle of mature Bordeaux that you have had in the last couple of years?

Château Margaux 2003.

3. Do you have a special bottle of Bordeaux in your own cellar that you are saving for a special occasion?

Chateau Beau-Séjour Bécot 1995.

4. Which vintage from 2001-2010 would you buy for your own cellar? And, Why would you choose this vintage?

We have had many amazing vintages this past decade, but I would choose 2010 for its strength, its balance, its fruitiness and its freshness. For sure an exceptional vintage to keep.

5. Do you decant when you drink mature Bordeaux? Why or why not?

We tend not to decant too much very mature wines (earlier than 95) as the bouquet will disappear very fast. In this case, I prefer to filter the wine in a caraf right before serving it.

6. At what age do you think Grand Cru Classé (or equivalent wines) reach their peak?

For me the pick is at 15 years as the fruit is still omnipresent but the wine is more velvety, more voluptuous and the aromas are much more complex.

7. Do you think it is a pity to drink a Château de Parenchère 2008 now (4 years after its elaboration)?

Château de Parenchère for sure has a much longer ageing potential (about 10 years and even more depending on the vintage), but, thanks to the work we do in the cellar, the wine is already quite open and silky, with a lot of red berries aromas. Of course, if you are more patient, the wine will get more complexity, but it already offers a lot of pleasure right now.

Thanks to Mr. Curty for his time and generous answers.  If there was a wine mentioned in this post that you want to try – be sure to contact me at and I will try and find it for you.