An interesting year to be following at this critical juncture, as Bordeaux 2006 wines have developed a reputation for being fairly unloveable over the past decade.
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Classic, traditional character with strong tannins and long ageing potential on the bright side, but backwards and brooding on the other. So how it is shaping up?
First, a reminder of what the winemakers had to work with. The weather during the Bordeaux 2006 growing season blew hot and cold. A strong heat in July and September was sliced up by a cool August and a stormy mid-September, which saw botrytis spores blooming in select spots around the region. Inevitably this meant a race to harvest in the unlucky areas.
Overall, Merlot and clay, and Cabernet Sauvignon on the best gravels resisted well, and this was yet another year where money talked.
Yields overall are usually lower than 2005 (with a few notable exceptions such as Ormes de Pez), as winemakers had to be very selective with the grapes they used. The best wines are concentrated, with balanced acidity and complex aromatics, but many had hard tannins and were unlovely at first showings during en primeur in 2007, and again in the first five years of opening.
At the 10 year mark, the best reds are still deeply coloured, with fresh yet complex fruit expression and high aromatics. Bordeaux 2006 is certainly a vintage to age, with all the old school meaning of that term (ie not approachable young!). Early tastings showed them to be less evenly successful than the 2005s, with some exceptionally bright spots, and many wines far exceeded expectations.
However, here’s a selection of Bordeaux 2006 wines that deserve to be brought out of the cellar.
Bordeaux 2006 wines for drinking now:
Jane tasted theses wines at London merchant Bordeaux Index’s 10-year-on tasting in January 2016.