Steven Spurrier's Christmas cellar vintage guide: Bordeaux

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Bordeaux

Pessac-Léognan whites have been a constant revelation over the past decade: the 2009s are superb, if young; 2008 all elegance; 2007 exotically expressive; 2006 perfectly balanced; 2005 structured.

For claret: 1990s from both left and right banks justify their reputation at 21 years; while 1995 and 1998 from the right, the classic 1996 and lighter 1999 from the left and 2000 from both are all on top form.

2001 impresses me more and more and is now ready; and avoid anything but good names in 2002 in favour of the controversial 2003 (which I like but many do not). 2004 is good but still tight, 2005 too young, 2006 better than 2004 and starting to show well.

Barsac and Sauternes are gorgeous at any age, 1996 being the star of that decade, while 2001 has never been surpassed. Rain killed 2002, but the heatwave helped 2003, now rich and open.


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