Print this page


1982 - A great vintage. Very ripe grapes giving extraordinarily plump wines, easy to drink in their youth. Now that they are maturing, little wines should probably be drunk up, while grander wines are still tasting astonishingly youthful. I recommend leaving them in the cellar for years yet.
1983 - Quicker maturing than 1982. A classic claret vintage. Virtually all wines from this vintage are ready to drink now, but many will keep as well.
1984 - The worst vintage of the 80s, although some reasonably good wines were made.
1985 - A large vintage of lovely wines - top wines drinking well now. Some minor wines at Cru Bourgeois level still delicious.
1986 - Although this is said to be a keeping vintage, below Classed Growth level the wines are fine for drinking now.
1987 - This was a brilliant vintage for small shopkeepers like us - but most should have been drunk up by now.
1988 - A classic claret vintage - best of all for Merlot (St. Emilion, Pomerol).
1989 - A very hot summer produced rich wines, turning out in many cases to be the equal of 1990.
1990 - A really wonderful vintage. Certainly a great vintage. It was almost impossible to make bad wine in 1990.
1991 - Drink up.
1992 - My advice is to avoid 1992s. They seem to me dilute, one-dimensional and dull.
1993 - A much better vintage, rather underrated, with many wines exhibiting nicely defined fruit - bit like 1973.
1994 - Said to be better than 1993. I'm afraid most of those that I have tasted lack the elegance of 1993, and seem to me rather clumsy. Better for wines from the right bank (St Emilion, Pomerol, etc), and Bourg and Blaye than the Medoc.
1995 - All the 1995s I have tasted have been delicious.
1996 - At the top level, a keeping vintage - at Cru Bourgeois level, good drinking now.
1997 - In their youth, this year provided what wine merchants like to call a "useful" vintage: nice wines for early drinking.
1998 - Good vintage, especially for Merlot.
1999 - Sound vintage - more interesting on the right bank. A bit patchier on the left bank; however, there are good wines in a soft style which are already providing very good drinking.
2000 - Terrific vintage, with nearly all wines at Cru Bourgeois level and above still displaying deep colour and assertive flavour.
2001 - An underrated vintage, in the shadow of 2000, but ultimately may turn out superior to its predecessor. Some delcious wines were made - drinking well now.
2002 - There are always exceptions, but this is definitely a weak vintage.
2003 - Small vintage, atypical, exceptionally deep-coloured wines. Particularly good in the northern Medoc.
2004 - Attractive vintage - and some very advantageous prices since punters are chasing the 2003s and 2005s.
2005 - Undoubtedly a terrific vintage, and below the superstars not greedily priced.
2006 - A fine vintage, in the style of 2004, but better.
2007 - A weaker vintage, but "useful". Good for drinking now and for a few years yet.
2008 - Sound, but uneven vintage.
2009 - Delicious! Lots of easy fruit - and prices seem to have eased a bit.


Ch. LA PETITE ROQUE 2016 AC Côtes de Bordeaux Blaye
A blend of 70% Merlot with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon - but you can really taste the Cabernet, giving it a lift of classiness and grip to go with the plumpness of the Merlot. This is an impressively good value petit château claret.


RONAN by Clinet 2014 AC Bordeaux
This is produced by Ronan Laborde, the owner of one of Pomerol's top châteaux, Ch. Clinet. 
Grape variety is 100% Merlot. It is succulent and juicy, with appealing fresh fruit, and just the faintest hint of oak.


From a vineyard near to Pomerol and Saint Emilion, in a similar style - 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc - this has beautiful, soft, elegant flavour. 


Ch. CISSAC 2017 AC Haut Medoc 
I have been following Ch. Cissac since I first opened my shop over 30 years ago. It is a reliably delicious claret. 


Ch. FOURCAS-DUPRÉ 2015 AC AC Listrac-Medoc
Delicious, soft, supple, with luscious fruit, and a hint of woodsmoke.


Other clarets - I keep a small stock of other, grander clarets. Please ask.