BORDEAUX VINTAGE CHART
Click on each vintage to see what we currently have in stock on our main website:
2018 - A deeply concentrated and structured vintage, a long, warm summer allowed for full ripening and a long picking season. One proprietor called it a “lazy winemaker vintage” because the fruit was so clean and pristine when it arrived at the winery. There was a ton work to be done in the vineyard though. Some early season weather brought a lot of rain and even some localized hail. But the day after France won the World Cup, the clouds cleared for practically the rest of the year. Northern Medoc (St-Julien, St-Estephe) saw the most successful and consistent wines. They are wines that will demand time in the cellar, and at the their heights they can rival other great vintages like 2016 and 2010, although the aforementioned vintages might be slightly more consistent across the board.
2017 - This was a vintage in Bordeaux that contained some great wines, but was highly variable due to some early season hail and mid-season showers. Most of the northern Médoc escaped any hail issues and some gems can be found in St-Julien, Pauillac, and St-Estèphe. Although affected by hail, some of the greatest wines were those of St-Emilion. Prices also dropped from 2016 levels, meaning there are opportunities to be found. At the best, the wines are ripe, with the structure and mid palate of great vintages, but as a whole not up to the levels of the three vintages preceding it.
2016 - The two things that define the 2016 vintage in Bordeaux are a true classic character and a unique season that makes the wines very singular. Early rains hinted at challenges but a long warm growing season in the summer and fall crafted wines of an ageworthy nature and alcohols that are often a degree lower than previous successful vintages. The northern medoc (St-Estephe, Pauillac, St-Julien) produced some of the most noteworthy wines, but successes can be found throughout Bordeaux in most of the region’s reds. Whites and Sauternes did not see the kind of high level of success that the reds did, but there are plenty of marvelous wines to choose from ranging from the everyday to cellar-worthy selections. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2015 - A vintage that produced very pretty wines with lush fruit and delicate aromatics. Margaux was especially good as were parts of Pessac-Leognan. The wines should drink well in their youth, but can be aged for decades as the ripe fruit is balanced by fine tannins and acidity. A stunning vintage on the Right Bank, however, with a number of amazing wines. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2014 - An underrated sleeper vintage if there ever was one, the 2014s are tremendous values due to initial caution during en primeur evaluations. It's a classic vintage for Bordeaux with plenty of structure balanced by ample fruit and secondary flavors. A great vintage for those who plan to drink their wines rather than simply collect. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2013 - The growing season started off cool and wet, but was saved from disaster by warm weather in August. The wines are lighter in style and will show well in their youth, but this is not necessarily a vintage to lay down in the cellar for long-term gains. There was more consistency on the Right Bank. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2012 - Another underrated vintage that was initially underscored due to cold conditions during en primeur tastings in 2013. The wines show charming fruit, soft and playful aromatics, and plenty of typicity in the various communes. Built more for the short than the long haul, but definitely a vintage that will surprise careful consumers with its depth and quality. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2011 - The yields in 2011 were small due to late rains in the region, but the result was a more concentrated and calculated set of wines. Overall the wines show juicy acidity with firm tannins and will need some time in the cellar. Far better on the Right Bank where prices are low due to blanket evaluations about Bordeaux as a whole. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2010 - A huge and powerful vintage with enormous praise (and press) that coupled ripe fruit with structured and mouth-filling tannins. Considered a modern classic by many critics. The wines will need decades in the cellar before all that power begins to subside and the underlying complexities and characters begin to unveil themselves. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2009 - One of the best vintages of the last three decades and certainly the harvest that put Bordeaux back in the spotlight after 2005. The wines are not only gorgeous in their youth, they're also built to last. One of the most versatile vintages in modern history with a number of wines that tempt drinkers with their early drinkability and easy-going nature. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2008 - Another sleeper vintage that will likely show its true colors later on down the road. Saved by an Indian summer, the wines ripened late in the season and are lighter on the palate as a result. The prices remained reasonable and over time the wines have showed tremendous value potential during their limited evolution. There's a bit more heft on the Right Bank. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2007 - This is an inconsistent vintage where drinkers have to choose carefully as a number of wines overachieved while a number of other producers were hampered by less than ideal growing conditions. There are some superb values, however, if you know were to look. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2006 - This harvest was definitely overshadowed by the outstanding 2005 and was perhaps subject to unrealistic expectations as a result. It's a classic vintage in every way and is built for the cellar with wines that have firm tannins, racy acidity, and plenty of depth. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2005 - Hailed by many as "the vintage of a lifetime," 2005 is the year that put Bordeaux back on the map as the king of the wine world. The wines are perfectly balanced across the board and there are few stragglers to be found. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2004 - A sleeper vintage that is already drinking much better than originally given credit for. Many of the wines are classically structured and balanced, a la 2006. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2003 - A very warm vintage that resulted in ripe and fruit-forward wines that were initially very popular with California cabernet drinkers. Big fruit, big mouthfeels, and big scores from almost every commune in the region, perfect for drinking in the near term. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2002 - This was a cooler vintage with higher acidity levels and firm tannins with far less fruit. There are some winners to be found, likely at prices are are quite reasonable. Choose carefully. (for the full K&L vintage report via PDF click here)
2001 - One of the best sleeper vintages of the last few decades, packed with great wines and great price points that are just starting to show beautifully. The wines are beautifully balanced and are drinking exceptionally at the moment. Look for values across the board.
2000 - Another modern classic; less fruity than 2005 and 2009, but not quite as powerful as 2010. The wines will need time in the cellar as they're still quite structured almost two decades later.
1999 - There are a number of good wines from 1999 (as in just about any vintage), but there is some greenness from a lack of ripeness in places. Choose carefully as there are some great values to be had.
1998 - Almost the opposite of the 2008 vintage in that it stayed warm right up until harvest, then rained right at the end. Yet, many of the wines are similar in quality to the 2008 vintage in that there are plenty of well-priced, classically-structured selections still available on the market. A very good vintage for the Right Bank, however. Definitely look in that direction.
1997 - We've found more sleepers from 1997 here at K&L than practically any other "off-vintage," so if you know where to look you can find some fantastic values. Over all the wines are lighter in style and don't pack as much heft.
1996 - A fantastic vintage that yielded a number of powerful and robust wines (with big scores). The wines are in a perfect drinking window at the moment, but can definitely live longer in the cellar.
1995 - Perhaps the best vintage of the decade with fruit-driven, forward, and utterly-drinkable wines that have the versatility of a vintage like 2009. A fantastic year to collect or to drink over the next decade.