March 31st 2009
In the most recent issue of the Wine Advocate Robert Parker revisits the best wines produced in Bordeaux in 2006. His conclusions are very similar to our own comments at the time of the En Primeur campaign.
We stressed that “selection was the key to the vintage” and commented as follows:
“It does not appear to be an ‘appellation’ vintage nor a ‘left bank’ or ‘right bank’ vintage. It appears at this stage to be a winemakers vintage, or should I say a proprietors vintage.
The Chateaux that had the desire, the money and the sorting table to use only their best fruit in their Grand Vin were able to produce some excellent wines. (Vieux Chateau Certan reduced its crop by 25%). Comparisons to recent vintages also depend on the individual Chateau. Alfred Tesseron puts his 2006 Pontet Canet “at a much higher level than 2004″, and that seems to be the case at most of the top estates, but not everywhere.”
Parker says, “As reported when I first tasted the 2006s from barrel, there are many fine wines, especially from the top terroirs, but also from the over-achieving smaller estates that continue to push the envelope and try to undermine the image that Bordeaux is only about limited, very expensive wines from historic classifications.
As far as trying to handicap this vintage in terms of what appellations did best, it is one where the viticultural work in the vineyards and the selection process at the château level seem to have dictated how successful properties were….. In the Médoc, it’s the same old story – the most seriously-run châteaux, who do extensive labor-intensive work in the vineyards and make severe draconian selections in the wine cellars, have fashioned impeccably fine wines.”
So we all agree, it is about hard work and ruthless selection. And who got the best results? No hundred pointers out there at the moment. Mouton Rothschild got our highest score and Parker gives it 98+.
Parker’s other stars on the Right Bank are Ausone, La Mondotte, Eglise Clinet, Pavie and Vieux Chateau Certan. While across the river he favours Lafite and Haut Brion.
At the 95 point mark there is a flurry of interesting wines – including some of our favourites: Pichon Lalande, Haut Bailly and Pontet Canet.