Friday, January 27, 2023

LeDomduVin: Theory of the decades for Bordeaux Vintages - Vintage Chart 1900 to 2020 (suite)


LeDomduVin: Theory of the decades for Bordeaux Vintages - Vintage Chart 1900 to 2020

Back in 2012, I wrote a long post on my blog, (read it here), about a "theory", originally initiated by my grandfather, a winemaker making "Cotes de Bourg" & "Cotes de Blaye" wines, who planted the idea in my mind.

This idea, or "theory", consists in believing that there could be a recurring "pattern" or "cycle" of the vintage's quality and conditions, for Bordeaux wines, which come back nearly every decade, in very similar ways, making the quality of the vintages almost predictable (despite the acceleration of recent climate changes since the mid-80s, more especially since 2000).

I know it is a far-fetched idea, "theory", and I should not generalize, or make any general assumptions, as each Bordeaux vintage is different and, therefore, inconsistent from one another, and, even more so when you take each appellation individually.

But, let's say, we take Bordeaux as a whole and generalize on the overall quality of each vintage, regardless of the appellations and left bank/right bank differences (topography, geography, climate, micro-climate, grape varieties, soils, sub-soils, etc...).

To do that, I studied different Bordeaux vintage charts from various reputable sources (Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Decanter, Wine Cellar Insider, etc...), and compiled them into an "easy-to-understand-at-a-glance" vintage chart.

As a visual is worth a thousand words, I first created this Vintage Chart back in 2019, as a supporting visual to the post I wrote back in 2012 (easier to understand the theory, see it here).

Today, I reviewed this chart a little (above), and the results speak for themselves: despite some rare exceptions, like 1947, 1961, 1964, and 1982, since the 40s, the vintages ending in 0, 5, 6, 8, and 9 are consistently coming back as "Best" or "Great to good", while the ones ending in 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 are consistently “Good to fair" and/or "Fair to mediocre”. 

It is just a theory (for more details you can read my 2012 post on the subject, read it here).

Meanwhile, I have just pre-ordered Neal Martin's new book "The Complete Bordeaux Vintage Guide - 150 years from 1870 to 2020" (official release mid-April), which I highly suggest you buy to complete your "necessary wine books to have" and better comprehend the complex variations/factors that have influenced each Bordeaux vintage.

Cheers! Santé!


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