best bordeaux vintages

Best Bordeaux Vintages (Vintage Chart, Best Years to Drink & Collect 2024)

by Hunter Robillard

A great Bordeaux wine is the result of several delicate factors - right from grape growing conditions to the winemaking techniques used. One of the most important factors is the weather conditions of the year in which the grapes were harvested - the vintage year.

So, which are the best Bordeaux vintages? 

The best Bordeaux vintages are born out of warm summer days, cool nights, and moderate rains. 

However, this changes from one Bordeaux region to another. For example, Merlot from Pomerol is best in cooler vintage years. 

Explore the detailed Bordeaux vintage chart - the growing seasons, weather conditions, and tasting notes of the Right Bank and Left Bank wines. Also, find out the exceptional vintages for drinking and for cellaring in 2024.

Further reading

Bordeaux Vintage Chart 

Lafitte Rothschild

Here’s a handy Bordeaux vintage chart for you to refer to:

2020 Bordeaux Vintage: The mid-August thunderstorms provided ample water reserves producing great fruit. Merlot was the star of the vintage, especially in northern Medoc. This vintage also produced some deeply colored, aromatic, and floral Cru Bourgeois wines.

2019 Bordeaux Vintage: Even with inconsistent yields, the vintage turned out great - thanks to average rainfall. Pauillac and Pomerol produced excellent wine bottles. Wine tasting reveals plush, silky, aromatic, and fresh wines.

2018 Bordeaux Vintage: An excellent vintage year with St Estephe, Pauillac, St Julien, Margaux, Pomerol, and St Emilion taking center stage. The wines have great concentration. The Sauternes white Bordeaux wines from the Semillon grape are ripe and rounded.

2017 Bordeaux Vintage: The best wines come from northern Medoc, Pomerol, and Saint-Emilion. These are fruit flavored wines with soft tannins. Sauternes produced juicy wines with tropical fruit tasting notes.

2016 Bordeaux Vintage: A great vintage, especially for Pauillac, St Estephe, and St Julien. The wines are intensely aromatic, luscious, and have velvety tannin. The white Bordeaux wines are fresh and youthful. 

2015 Bordeaux Vintage: An incredible vintage for Right Bank wines with Pomerol and Saint-Emilion emerging as stars. Cabernet Franc and Merlot performed equally well. The wines are fruit-flavored, balanced by racy acidities.

2014 Bordeaux Vintage: An excellent year for red Bordeaux wine, especially Medoc’s Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines are robust and ripe with silky tannin. Pauillac, St Estephe, St Julien, and Margaux also produced outstanding wines.

2013 Bordeaux Vintage: Light, easy-drinking wines with red fruit notes mark this vintage year. White Bordeaux wines are light and fresh.

2012 Bordeaux Vintage: In this classic Bordeaux vintage that endured a hot summer, the wines from Pomerol and St Emilion stole the show. Merlot wines of Pomerol weren’t far behind. However, Cabernet Sauvignon couldn’t reach the optimum ripeness. For white wines, the dry white wine of Pessac Leognan was a success.

2011 Bordeaux Vintage: 2001 was an average year, but Pomerol and St Emilion produced some good wine bottles by increasing the levels of Cabernet Franc grape in the Bordeaux blend. The wines are fresh, acidic, and filled with red fruit notes.

2010 Bordeaux Vintage: 2010 was a great vintage for every Bordeaux appellation. It is marked by robust, structured, and tannic wines.  Sauternes wine region also produced dense sweet white wines with tropical fruit characters.

2009 Bordeaux Vintage: 2009 wines are ripe, luscious, and deep. The Left Bank St Estephe and Pauillac appellations produced the best wines. 

2008 Bordeaux Vintage: The 2008 vintage year produced some great wines - the most successful being Pomerol and Pauillac. 

2007 Bordeaux Vintage: Light, easy-drinking red wine marks the 2007 vintage - not the best for adding to your wine cellar. The Semillon whites are rich, with tropical fruit flavor.

2006 Bordeaux Vintage: Pomerol and the Pauillac appellation were the successes. The red wines are highly tannic and will do good with a few more years of aging.

2005 Bordeaux Vintage: An excellent wine year, the 2005 vintage is one of the best wines to add to your cellar. The wines are super tannic and elegant. The white wine from the Sauternes wine region is opulent and structured.

2004 Bordeaux Vintage: Not a very long-lived vintage for red wine. However, white Bordeaux wines are harmonious, aromatic, and spicy.

2003 Bordeaux Vintage: Pauillac and St Estephe produced some stunning Cabernet Sauvignon wines. St Emilion followed closely. The sweet white wines are exotic, ripe, and spicy.

2002 Bordeaux Vintage: The 2002 vintage was a great success for Medoc. But not all wines may age well.

2001 Bordeaux Vintage: A charming vintage for Pomerol, St Emilion, and Sauternes which gave us magnificently rich, structured, and balanced wines.

2000 Bordeaux Vintage: Another stunning year for Bordeaux. The red Bordeaux wines are opulent, fresh, and have great consistency.

1999 Bordeaux Vintage: 1999 was a great year for red Bordeaux wines, and most are ready to drink now. The white wines are creamy, rich, and spicy.

1998 Bordeaux Vintage: Pomerol, St Emilion, and Pessac Leognan offer great wine bottles. Sauternes produced elegant, refined, and rich wines.

1997 Bordeaux Vintage: The 1997 vintage is mature and ready-to-drink. The white wines are balanced and structured with racy acidity.

1996 Bordeaux Vintage: A stunning, long-lived vintage, the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety excelled this year. That’s why the best wines come from the Left Bank. The Sauternes whites are rich and spicy.

1995 Bordeaux Vintage: This vintage reflects old-school Bordeaux wine. Pomerol and St Emilion excelled on the Right Bank.

1994 Bordeaux Vintage: The Merlot grape variety performed better than Cabernet. The wines were ripe with a fruity character. 

1993 Bordeaux Vintage: An early-drinking vintage, it’s better to consume this now.

1992 Bordeaux Vintage: The vintage year produced light, fruity, and simple wines that are best consumed early. The same was the case for Sauternes wines.

1991 Bordeaux Vintage: The spring frost ruined the crops leading to a bad vintage. However, moderately sweet Sauternes and Barsac make good aperitifs.

1990 Bordeaux Vintage: One of the greatest Bordeaux vintages, the 1990 vintage produced ripe, luscious, and outstanding wine with overripe fruit. 

1989 Bordeaux Vintage: This was another great vintage where both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Pomerol and St Emilion wines stole the show. The botrytis-affected Sauternes plantations gave us plush sweet white wine.

1985 Bordeaux Vintage: The 1985 wine bottles are charming and fragrant. Most wines have reached their peaks and are best consumed now.

1982 Bordeaux Vintage: A stunning Bordeaux vintage, especially for Pauillac, St Julien, and Pomerol. The wines are fully mature, so enjoy right away.

1978 Bordeaux Vintage: Termed as the miracle vintage, this year’s crop was saved by perfect autumn. Go for the Left Bank wines.

1975 Bordeaux Vintage: Although it was a difficult vintage for the red Bordeaux wine, Pomerol still gave us some good wine bottles.

1971 Bordeaux Vintage: Pomerol and Left Bank emerged at the top. These wine bottles are ready to be devoured.

1970 Bordeaux Vintage: This year produced some good wines in Pomerol and Medoc, most of which are ready to be drunk. 

1967 Bordeaux Vintage: Most wines have passed the peak. The only bottle to hold is Chateau d’Yquem.

1966 Bordeaux Vintage: Medoc produced some excellent wines. Some wines that can still improve are Chateau Palmer and Chateau Latour.

1959 Bordeaux Vintage: An exceptional vintage, this year produced sensual Bordeaux wine. Some great bottles can still age. 

Let’s now look at the best vintages that are ready to open now.

5 Best Bordeaux Vintages For Drinking In 2024

best Bordeaux Vintages Chateau Latour

Some of the recent vintages that wine drinkers can go for are:

1. 2009

This was a controversial year, as critics weren’t sure how the overripe and high alcohol wines would age in the bottle. However, the Clarets stood the test of time.

The wines are dramatically voluptuous and powerful.

Chateau Latour, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Haut Brion, Leoville Las Cases, and Le Pin are some of the exceptional wines. You can also hold them for a few more years.

Best Wines

  • 2009 Le Pin Pomerol ($4,877)
  • 2009 Chateau Latour Pauillac ($1,611)

2. 2008

Even though 2008 wasn’t the easiest year for winemakers, the Cabernet grape variety performed well. Pomerol also had one of its finest years.

The wines are elegant, with refined aromas and good acidity.

Some 2008 wines to try are Le Pin, Chateau Latour, Petrus, Chateau Lafitte Rothschild, Chateau Smith Haut, and Cos d’Estournel.

Best Wines:

  • 2008 Le Pin, Pomerol ($3,039)
  • 2008 Petrus, Pomerol ($3,332)

3. 2005

One of the greatest vintages of the century, the 2005 wines showed an immense aging potential.

The wines have a perfect balance of fruit and tannins.

Some wines to look out for are Chateau Angelus, Chateau Ausone, Cos d’Estournel, Haut Brion, Lafite, Lafleur, and Petrus.

Best Wines:

  • 2005 Petrus, Pomerol ($5,241)
  • 2005 Chateau Lafleur ($2,018)

4. 2000

The vintage was widely acclaimed at the time of release, especially in the US. 

The rich red wines showcase great structure and depth with brilliant complexity and tannin.

Wines to look out for include La Mission Haut-Brion, Margaux, Pavie, Lafleur, Petrus, Leoville las Cases, Haut-Brion and Evangile.

Best wines:

  • 2000 Petrus, Pomerol ($5,902)
  • 2000 Chateau Lafleur, Pomerol ($2,139)

5. 1990

The wines from this exceptional vintage are ready to be devoured after over 30 years of good aging.

These wines exhibit fruit and roasted notes with velvety tannin.

Some bottles to try out are Chateau d’Yquem, Cheval Blanc, Petrus, Margaux, and Lafite Rothschild.

Best Wines:

  • 1990 Petrus, Pomerol ($5,400)
  • 1990 Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru ($1,417)

5 Best Bordeaux Vintages For Cellaring In 2024

best bordeaux vintages

Here are some great vintages that you can add to your wine collection. 

1. 2019

A brilliant vintage year for Bordeaux chateaux. The wines are opulent, silky, aromatic, and concentrated and will do good after at least 10-12 years of aging. 

St Emilion, Pauillac, and Pomerol wines take the spotlight this year.

Best Wines:

  • 2019 Chateau Latour, Pauillac ($4,499)
  • 2019 Le Pin, Pomerol ($3,821)

2. 2018

An extraordinary vintage that produced exceptional wines. The wines are plush with intense tannin, giving them a good aging potential.

Some of the best performing wines include Petrus, Le Pin, and Lafleur from Pomerol, the first growths, and Chateau Ausone of St Emilion.

Best Wines:

  • 2018 Le Pin, Pomerol ($4,095)
  • 2018 Chateau Lafite Rothschil, Pauillac ($1,054)

3. 2016

This was a great year for Pauillac, St Estephe, St Julien, Pomerol, and St Emilion.

Dry summer and cool nights resulted in aromatic and luscious wines which can stay in the wine cellar for at least over a decade, at least.

Best Wines:

  • 2016 Petrus, Pomerol ($4,095)
  • 2016 Chateau Ausone, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru ($931)

4. 2015

An incredible vintage, especially for the Right Bank chateaux. Pomerol’s Merlot wines emerged at the top, with St Emilion, St Estephe, and Pauillac following closely behind.

Some bottles to look out for are Petrus, Le Pin, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Haut Brion Blanc, and Cheval Blanc. There are some great cru Bourgeois in this vintage.

Best Wines:

  • 2015 Petrus, Pomerol ($4,809)
  • 2015 Chateau Margaux ($1,983)

5. 2010

Brilliantly tannic, powerful, and structured wines, the 2010 vintages have the potential to age for 20+ years.

Some great bottles to look out for are Petrus, Lafleur, Liber Pater, Le Pin, first growths, and Chateau Ausone.

Best Wines:

  • 2010 Le Pin, Pomerol ($4,796)
  • 2010 Liber Pater, Graves ($4,347)

Add A Fine Bordeaux Vintage Bottle To Your Collection

best Bordeaux Vintages

While looking for the best wines, remember that not every wine from a great vintage is investment-worthy. Poor vintages also sometimes produce some great wine bottles. 

Also, the top producers may have fine second wine bottles that score brilliant ratings from critics and perform just as well as the first growths.

Now, if you’re looking to invest in fine wines, you need a seasoned professional to help you select the finest bottles. 

A trusted wine investment company like Vinovest can help you select the best bottle, source an authentic bottle, store it under perfect conditions, and even help you sell it at the right time to the buyer. Explore the Vinovest website right away!

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