Download word document

Vintage Guides

Region Rating Drinkability Style
California Cabernet Sauvignon starstarstarstarstar keep Looks to be a strong, good - if not great - vintage; wines are charming and up-front.
California Merlot starstarstarstarstar keep A tricky vintage that may not have the complexity and power of 2002, but charming and useful wines from vigilant winemakers.
Germany starstarstarstarstar drink soon Looks like a classic vintage for those who waited before picking but those who didn't produced dilute wines.
Italy Piedmont starstarstarstarstar keep For growers who worked judiciously in the vineyards, the vintage is expected to show a classic, good structure, nice restraint on the fruit but a certain element of power as well
Italy Tuscany starstarstarstarstar keep Good - but not over-the-top - intensity and concentration, excellent balance promises wine for the long haul
Medoc and Graves starstarstarstarstar keep Potentially hard and tough but good for people who like their wines tannic. Doesn't have the flesh or ripeness of 2005 or 2003 but is better than 1999. May turn out to be a more classic vintage like 1996 - but with less ripeness
Oregon Pinot Noir starstarstarstarstar keep Best wines will be on the lean side with good acidity, very structured flavour profiles - with moderate alcohol and excellent balance
Red Australia starstarstarstarstar keep Outstanding vintage, though quality falls short in Western Australia. Fully ripe wines with good tannic structure and well-developed flavours.
Red Burgundy starstarstarstarstar keep Wines have good fruit purity and freshness, but lack the ripeness of better years. Serious wines may be worth keeping for a bit but also may be relatively precocious.
Red Rhone starstarstarstarstar keep Finesse and elegance, but with nuance and subtlety - a charming 'gourmand' vintage
Red South Africa starstarstarstarstar drink soon Bordering on an outstanding vintage. Incredibly well-balanced wines, with great depth and fruit purity for drinking in short to medium-term.
Red South America starstarstarstarstar drink soon Outstanding harvest for Argentina, producing really fresh, mouth-filling and perfectly ripe wines. More challenging for Chile, though wines are fresh, rich and well-balanced, if a little less intensely flavoured than 2005.
Saint-Emilion and Pomerol starstarstarstarstar drink soon Patchy quality, especially in Saint-Emilion where too many are pallid, dilute and dull. Pomerol's the star (could warrant 4 stars) with many rich and balanced wines. For medium-term drinking.
Sauternes and Barsac starstarstarstarstar keep A challenging harvest but with potential. The successes are impressively pure, fresh and complex, for drinking in both short and long term.
Spain Rioja starstarstarstarstar drink soon Good to very good vintage, with a moderate harvest securing good quality fruit and fresh, supple and crisp wines. Look out for some big, long-lived Crianzas.
Vintage Champagne starstarstarstarstar keep Producers are hesitant to declare a vintage Champagne will be made in 2006, but most are pleased with the quality so far. Wines are showing clean aromas, rich fruit and promise finesse and balance.
Vintage Port starstarstarstarstar keep Generally undeclared vintage but with some notable exceptions. Unrelenting hot weather.
Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon starstarstarstarstar keep Warmer-region Cabernets are deeply flavoured, well-structured, with good acidity and tannins; wines from cooler regions, which struggled to achieve full ripeness, are leaner and can have an herbaceous edge.
Washington State Merlot starstarstarstarstar keep Seriously outstanding vintage producing supple, well-balanced, deeply-flavoured wines with the accent on blackberry, sage and tobacco notes. Best through 2011-2018.
White Burgundy starstarstarstarstar keep Wines have excellent freshness and acidity with good supporting fruit and character; a relatively precocious vintage.