Category Archives: Earlier Vintages

Bordeaux 2007 report

From the archives: my en primeur report on Bordeaux 2007 for Wine & Spirit magazine. I’ve backdated the post to the time it was published.


Wine & Spirit

Get the article here. pdfpdf – 895 kb


“Our man in Bordeaux, Gavin Quinney, tasted over 550 wines in late March and early April during the annual trade tastings of the 2007 vintage.  Here is his report.”

The wines

2007 is a fair to good vintage for red wines, with no shortage of well-made, attractive wines from the best châteaux at all levels. There are, however, few really outstanding wines.

It is an excellent vintage for sweet whites, with the top estates in Sauternes and Barsac producing their best wines since 2001, and the best should be worth seeking out en primeur as futures.   2007 is also a very good vintage for dry whites, especially those made from sauvignon blanc from better vineyards.

For the reds, hundreds of châteaux on the Right Bank made supple, early maturing, easy drinking wines from merlot and a dash of cabernet franc. Pomerol performed best of all, with lovely, quaffable wines, and many estates across Saint Emilion and beyond, in the Cötes and in Fronsac, produced very good, tasty reds by not overdoing it. Enormous, oil-slick wines are less fashionable these days. Keep reading

Bordeaux 2005 from the bottle

From the archives; I’ve backdated this post to when the article was published.

Here’s my article in Wine & Spirit, December 2007. The wines were tasted in the Autumn, about six months after the wines were bottled.

Wine & Spirit – 2005 In Bottle

Get the article here. pdfpdf – 1.3mb


The real deal: Bordeaux 2005 from the bottle

In case you hadn’t heard, 2005 was the greatest vintage in Bordeaux in living memory. And, having tasted 450 of the leading wines from the bottle – the first ‘critic’ to have done so – I urge you to catch some of these wonderful wines before prices rise once again, or before many become impossible to find.

Whether you are looking to invest in a few cases for the long term, or are looking for a tasty drop for a tenner a bottle, there are still stocks available from UK merchants.

Unlike the mad stampede of the barrel tastings last April, when the press and the trade from the world of wine come to town, my tasting marathon of 2005s has been a personal labour of love. I have been to almost 100 chateaux and tasting rooms around Bordeaux between September to November 2007, and listed here is a summary of the best wines, each scoring at least 88 out of 100 points by my reckoning.

No other vintage has produced so many brilliant wines across the region as a whole. But there are some mediocre wines too, so my advice is not to think, “2005 – this must be good”, but to choose carefully. Keep reading

Bordeaux 2006 report and 100 top reds

From the archives. I’ve backdated the post to the time it was published.

Here’s my en primeur report, along with notes and my selection of the 100 best reds, for Wine & Spirit magazine.

Wine & Spirit

Get the article here. pdfpdf – 352 kb


Vintage defies the odds

Harvest 2006, Right Bank

Vieux Chateau Certan, Pomerol, 12 Sept 2006. One of the successes of the vintage.

Just when we thought we could write off the 2006 Bordeaux vintage after the circus surrounding a spectacular 2005, it turns out there are some seriously good wines on offer from top estates. And if the price is right, they might even be worth buying.

This was a potentially great vintage that only came off the rails towards the end of the season, not a poor one playing catch up. This is revealed in the wines, many of which, at the top level, have real quality but without the intensity of fruit and freshness of the previous year. But 2005 was always going to be a tough act to follow. Keep reading

Bordeaux 2005 from barrel

From the archives; I’ve backdated the date of this post to when the article was published. 

I’d been writing en primeur reports for my own Chateau Bauduc newsletter called La Gazette since the 2000 vintage. We used to mail it out in the post to around 3,000 lucky people, in the UK mostly. The 2005 vintage, clearly the best year since 2000, gave me the opportunity to write for a UK wine magazine. That was Wine & Spirit, a title that had recently taken over from the popular Wine International magazine. The Fine Wine Section carried the strapline ‘For those who can afford it, and for those who wish they could.’

I wrote two articles about the primeurs, the first in the May issue called ‘Bordeaux 2005: a truly great vintage’, with tasting notes on my pick of the Top 100 reds, and the second in the June edition. That was ‘2005: 100 Best Values at under £200 a case’ and the whites.

Wine & Spirit – 2005 En Primeur

Get the article here. pdfpdf – 840kb


I reviewed all the wines in bottle for a follow up in December 2007.

Here’s the vintage overview from the en primeur piece.


2005 is the greatest vintage in Bordeaux in living memory. No other year has given producers from across the entire region the opportunity to produce such high quality wine in reasonable quantities. It is a great vintage for reds, dry whites and Sauternes.

2005 harvest low7For the reds, 2005 is rather like a modern-day equivalent of 1982 but the number of châteaux making better wine today than 20 years ago is countless. Improved vineyard management, stricter selection, substantial investment in know-how and equipment, and smarter wine-making have changed the face of the region. Keep reading