So recently (once we started our French Promotion) we’ve been talking a lot with our customers about vintage. When it comes to French wines- given the general lack of information on their labels- Vintage is one of the key indicators. Climate is one of the most important factors in wine production- so a good vintage is as good a place to tell how a wine is going to drink as any! But for obvious reasons only people who work in wine are the only ones who have enough time to look up random points about different vintages…
So luckily for you I have decided to do a brief synopsis of recent Vintages throughout the major regions in France! Where else would we start but Bordeaux!

  • 2007: A cool, wet summer made for a difficult year- but was saved by sunny weather in September which gave the grapes time to ripen. Given the sheer size of Bordeaux and the different grape varieties the reds are generally variable, but will mostly be drinking young. However, whites are superb!
  • 2006: Cabernet Grapes struggled to ripen this year- but Merlot did just fine! Stick to the right bank- you won’t go wrong!
  • 2005: Across the board there was perfect growing conditions, which makes 2005 one of the best years in Bordeaux… until 2009! A little of topic, but early reports from 2009 vintage in Bordeaux suggest a great great year- for anyone looking to buy en primeur, now would be a good time!

So there you have Bordeaux, but what about Burgundy?

  • 2007: Tricky growing conditions during the summer were saved by a good September. Slightly better than Bordeaux this year- but its because of the Pinot Noir Grape. These wines will be good for medium term.
  • 2006: no complaints about this year- wines will tend to be fruity and forward! Monthelie reds are great value from this year!
  • 2005: Again another great year in France- look out for Cotes De Nuits reds!

The Rhone!

  • 2007: Brilliant brilliant- especially in ChateauneufduPape. Northeren Rhone had a slightly more difficult time with it, but there are still some great wines to be had from this region!
  • 2006: Produced rich balanced wines with generous fruit. Some age-Worthy reds from the Northern Rhone.
  • 2005: Perfect year with conditions enabling rich, balanced wines to be produced in the North!

I know that’s only 3 regions, but you get the general idea of how different wines can be form year to year. On a side note 2009 appears (in much the same way as 2005 did) to be a fantastic year across the board. We’ll find out if it lives up to the hype in a couple of months- but for anyone looking to Buy en Primeur should expect to pay a pretty price…