1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984
1983 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1977 1976 1975 1974 1973 1972 1971 1970
1969 1968 1967 1966 1965 1964 1963 1962 1961 1960 1959 1958 1957 1956
1955 1954 1953 1952 1951 1950 1949 1948 1947 1946 1945 1944 1943 1942
1941 1940 1939 1938 1937 1936 1935 1934 1933 1932 1931 1930 1929 1928
1927 1926 1925 1924 1923 1922 1921 1920 1919 1918 1917 1916 1915 1914
1913 1912 1910 1899 1855 1851
Port: 2011 Vintage Port Declaration: All of the major port houses have now declared the 2011 vintage as being of exceptional quality. For many shippers this is the first declaration since 2007. The avalanche of declarations started with Sogrape, owners of Sandeman and Ferriera. This has been followed by Symington, the company that owns Dows, Graham Warre and Cockburn and Taylor Fladgate owners of the Fonseca and Taylors brands.
"The 2011 Vintage Ports are characterised by an unusual combination of elegance with power and structure. Whereas “elegant” usually implies lighter-bodied, the 2011s have fantastic aromas and great elegance but are big wines – not an easy balance to achieve. "
Charles Symington, 15 March 2013
Heavy rain at the end of 2010 created the water reserves deep in the soil which were key to the progress and extraordinary success of the 2011 harvest, despite 2011 itself being a very dry year. The temperatures throughout the growing season were variable. A warmer than usual April and May resulted in vines rapidly maturing producing one of be earliest flowerings on record. A spike in the temperature in June caused some of the thinned grapes to ripen prematurely thus reducing the crop for those varieties affected.
The early flowering indicated that an early harvest would be required. However, a little rain on 21 August followed by some cooler cloudier weather until early September was ideal to finalise the ripening of the grapes so that the flavours developed balancing the sugar levels perfectly.
Port: After three very dry years, the winter of 2009-2010 saw an extraordinary change, with heavy rains of 100 mm or more recorded at Pinhão for each of six months in a row. The viticultural year progressed well until July and August when we had not one drop of rain. Temperatures in excess of 35ºC throughout most of August slowed the maturation cycle, as the vines cannot photosynthesise and mature the grapes properly in conditions of continued extreme heat. As a result the harvest began 5 days later than usual, but was conducted under mostly perfect conditions with a few welcome light showers in early September and only one overnight rainfall in early October.
Port: The 2009 Port was declared as a vintage by the Taylor Fladgate Partnership covering Taylor, Fonseca and Croft. It will be remembered as a year of low yields which produced wines of massive density and scale. This was partly the result of a small amount of fruit produced across all grape varieties and also the very dry summer during which there was no rainfall from July through to harvest time in September.
Bordeaux: 2008 Wine: This Vintage produced wines have good balance with ripe, fine grained tannins, refreshing acidity and a real sense of 'terroir'. The yields were generally low overall but quality is good to excellent.
2008 was a year of particularly changeable weather. Following a cool and wet Spring which included some late frost, the weather finally began to improve in June with the vegetative cycle already two weeks behind. July was dry and sunny, although it was easy to forget this by the end of a dull, grey August which called for careful vineyard management. August was compounded by a lack of sunshine in the first half of September which seemed to herald a difficult vintage.The vintage was saved by magnificent Indian summer that began on 14th of September and continued through until the 20th of October. Because the vines flowered late, and July had been warm, the grapes began this period of Autumn sun in much better condition than in 2007, attaining full ripeness and acquiring better concentration of sugars, tannins and acid.
Overall, a good to excellent vintage.
Port: 2008 Port: An excellent vintage for ports and had it not come so soon after the outstanding 2007 vintage, may have been declared. The quality across the board is on a par with 2008 with the majority of the 2008’s possessing great color extraction. The best however, exhibit finely tuned tannins, crisp acidity and fresh, concentrated wild berry flavours.
Bordeaux: 2007 Wine: The finest 2007s tend to be dark ruby-coloured with purple highlights, sweet, ripe berry fruit similar to black cherries and black currants, medium body, silky tannins, low acidity, and pure, round, charming personalities with good equilibrium. By and large, the wines lack density, structure, and serious long-term aging potential. Most will be drinkable as soon as they are bottled, and should age surprisingly well for 10-15 years. Truthfully, most consumers will probably love the style of the vintage’s top wines because they are so flattering, seductive, and fruit-forward.
Port: 2007 Port: 2007 is the first widely declared Port vintage since 2003. Virtually every Port house that matters made a Vintage Port attesting to the quality of the year. The growing season was preceded by a wet winter which put plenty of moisture back into the soil after a lengthy period of dry conditions. Summer temperatures were relatively mild (unlike the torrid conditions in 2003, the last previous declared vintage). September and October weather was close to ideal so that the grapes enjoyed a lengthy hang-time under excellent conditions with full ripening of Turiga Francesa and Turiga Nacional, the two most important grape varieties.
2007 Port: Reception for the vintage appears to be strong. The quantities produced are small, so there is a high demand for them, and there is simply no substitute for a great bottle of Vintage Port. There is little doubt that 2007 is a high class vintage.
Bordeaux: 2006 Wine: This vintage produced somewhat hard and tannic wines. Whilst they do not have the flesh or ripeness of 2005 or 2003, they will have longevity. In time the 2006 vintage may turn out to be a more classic vintage like 1996 - but with less ripeness.
Bordeaux: 2005 Wine: An outstanding vintage that produced wines that are rich in substance, flavour and tannin, and most have good acidity. The 2005 vintage produced great wines, built in many cases for the long haul. The flavours are fresh and certainly cool climate in style, despite the character of the vintage; many show delightfully lively cranberry, redcurrant, red cherry and crunchy blackcurrant leaf character, and yet have a depth, substance and richness.
Port: 2005 Port :This year produced a high quality harvest in the Douro region that has given rise to some outstanding single quinta vintage ports. The big producers did not declare the vintage and concentrated on producing single quinta ports from selected vineyards. The 2005 vintage ports are generally built for early consumption. The wines are already approachable but would benefit from further cellaring.
Bordeaux: The 2004 wine vintage marked a return to a more classic Bordeaux vintage. The wines are more traditionally styled, and will make fine drinking for many cellars. The vintage seems a little under-rated compared with 2003 and the wines represent good value.
Bordeaux: The hot summer months of June and July, followed by an August heatwave, set the Bordeaux 2003 wine vintage apart from recent years. On tasting, the tannins are rather prominent in many wines. Many of the wines, particularly on the left bank are very 'new world in style, frequently displaying super-ripe blackberry, plum and cherry characteristics. Sauternes also showed well, with a number having very good freshness alongside a rich weight of residual sugar and botrytis.
Port: A general declaration of vintage. Classic Vintage Port. The 2003 port vintage has great traditional tannic structure with attractive ripe fruit flavours.
Bordeaux: 2002 Wine :For the third straight year Bordeaux pulled off yet another miracle vintage, thanks to a final bout of fine weather. The long, fine, sunny days of early autumn—a great October, in fact—opened the way for some fine wines. The best-prepared chateaus, made wines ranging from good to excellent. Their wines are strongly built and truly the “Highs” of the vintage. They have high acids (about 15% higher than normal), high alcohol content (over 13% natural alcohol), high tannin content, and high fruit content. They also have tight structure, dark colors, and lots of power. They are quite full-bodied.
Champagne: The 2002 Champagne is proving to be the finest vintage since 1996, more redolent of 1995 or 1990 in terms of the ripeness of fruit and power of structure.
Port: 2002 Port: A potentially excellent vintage for those who picked their grapes before the rains. Not so great for those who did not.
Italian: The 2001 italian wines vintage caps off a remarkable string of outstanding vintages for Piedmont that began in 1996. During that relatively brief time period producers gained a great deal of knowledge and experience, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, a positive trend which continues today. In addition, 2001 featured the growing conditions in which Nebbiolo thrives: hot daytime temperatures alternating with cool nights. The favorable weather, along with producers' newfound sense of maturity combined to produce an extraordinary set of wines. Simply put, for Barolo, 2001 is the most complete of the vintages between 1996 and 2001.
Bordeaux: 2001 wine : This vintage is characterised by wines that are in a classic style with high tannic qualities and with fresh acidity and medium body. The weather throughout the growing season was cool and cloudy. A mostly dry September and October contributed allowed the late harvest of a large crop. The wines will be relatively slow to evolve given the relatively good acid and tannin levels.
Port: The 2001 port was a good vintage yielding dark and well structured wines. Not generally declared but an excellent vintage nevertheless comming after the 2000 vintage. Some excellent single quinta wines were produced.
Italian: 2000 was one of the finest post war vintages for Piedmont wines. The wines are still tannic and youthful. They will last for many years to come.
Bordeaux: 2000 wine: The fabled millennium vintage produced wines that are of true greatness and longevity. They are characterised as being powerful, concentrated with high tannins. The quality is due to ideal weather from the end of September. This allowed the grapes to develop thick skins from lack of moisture. For the first time in many years there was little rain in the harvest season allowing the skins to thicken further. This served to further concentrate the wines. The wines have evolved slowly and will continue to do so for many decades to come.
Port: 2000 Port: The 2000 Vintage was the first to be declared in the 21st century and will be remembered for the immense concentration of its wines and for the small quantities produced. The wines are already showing tremendous promise, with intense berry fruit aromas and full-bodied structure, which at this early stage is an excellent sign.
Bordeaux: 1999 wine : A very good vintage that produced low acidity, ripe wines which have matured quickly and are drinkable now. However, they should last a good 15-20 years. The weather during the growing and harvest season was excessively wet and hot and in earlier times could have been disastrous. However, those Chateau that adopted modern selection and processing techniques produced wines of good quality. Those that did not fared less well. This is reflected in the wide variation in quality across the region. Prices are fair and reflect good value.
Port: 1999 port: Not a general declaration of vintage. Some vineyards produced small quantities of outstanding single quinta wines.
Bordeaux: 1998 wine: This year favoured the merlot grape leading to a glorious vintage in Pomerol and St Emillion. This is undoubtedly the greatest vintage for Merlot-dominated wines since 1990 and the quality of the St-Emilions and Pomerols is outstanding being powerful and tannic. The Médoc wines were initially under-rated, but properties with the finest terroirs have produced some excellent high-quality wines that are now showing tremendous promise.
Champagne: The 1998 champagne has, over the last couple of years, been re-appraised in an upwards direction. What was always seen as very good year is now regarded as excellent. The wines are ripe, not overly ripe, fleshy but with structure to repay cellaring.
Port: 1998 port: Not generally declared as a vintage. A small crop produced some good and powerful Quinta Vintage Ports.
Italian: 1997 is undoubtedly a great vintage for Italian wines. Like 1982 and 1990 Bordeaux, it will have its critics because of its extreme style, but if wine is a beverage of pleasure, this vintage offers extraordinary wines.
Bordeaux: The 1997 vintage wines are characterised by being attractive, soft, user friendly with broad appeal. They have been quick to mature and, except for the most concentrated wines, should be drunk within the next few years.
Port: 1997 was one of the great port vintages of the decade and marked a general declaration of vintage. The vintage is characterised by full-bodied wines that will be at their best after 2015.
Italian: 1996 was an outstanding vintage for Italian wines. This is an extremely good year just as the stunning 1997s. In Piedmont, tricky weather all summer yielded to a period of hot and dry weather from mid-September through to mid-October. This enabled the late-ripening Nebbiolo to achieve a classic balance between fruit and structure. The best Barolos and Barbarescos are substantial on the palate and give every indication of a long life ahead. Like Piedmont, Tuscany had a cooler than average summer and this enabled a long, slow ripening of the grapes. The wines are richly aromatic, deeply coloured and abundantly fruity.
Bordeaux: The 1996 vintage produced exceptional wines that broke all price records (until the 2000 vintage). The top wines will just about have reached full maturity now but will keep for many more years.
Port: Although 1996 was one of the wettest years for port on record, the Douro region produced a large, abundant crop. The year was not declared as a Vintage, however a few good port wines were produced which are noted for being fruity and forward.
Italian: 1995 is generally good vintage for Italian wines that was overshadowed by the exceptinal vintages that followed. The vintage produced consistent wines. The best examples from Tuscany and Piedmont are now at there peak of their maturity.
Bordeaux: The 1995 vintage produced consistent wines that will reach full maturity between now and 2012. Superb weather and July and August augured well for the crop, however rain in September slightly impaired the quality. Unlike 1994, the rain only lasted for just over a week and those producers that delayed harvesting were rewarded with a harvest of mature grapes. The wines produced from these vineyards are dense tannic affairs that should mature well.
Port: 1995 Vintage port. If it hadn't directly followed the quite exceptional 1994 Vintage, 1995 could well have been a fully declared Vintage. It did however produce exceptionally good single quinta's with concentrated, fruity and well-structured ports.
Bordeaux: 1994 wine :The 1994 vintage is generally rated as good but a little inconsistent. The top estates produced some very fine wines that are far superior to those in the poor years between 1991 and 1993. The best 1994 Bordeaux wines are characterised by high tannin levels with rich fruit and should mature well over the next few years.
Port: 1994 port: One of the greatest vintages of the 20th Century that produced classic, monumental port wines with rich fruit character. While these wines can be approached in their youth, the best will need 20 years in bottle.
Bordeaux: 1993 wine: This is considered to be a moderate vintage following on from the poor vintages of 1991 and 1992. Despite some dilution from late rains in September, the better examples of wine from this year exhibit a deep colour, rich intensity and have a good structure. The top wines from 1993 find more favour with critics than 1991 and 1992 and should be drinkable for a few years to come.
Port: 1993 Port: One of the worst years ever in the Douro with rain falling throughout the harvest. No declarations were made and little or no vintage Port was made
Bordeaux: 1992 Vintage Wine: Rain during the harvest produced wines of variable quality. The crop was enormous but most of the top vineyards adopted strict selection policies and discarded a large percentage of their crops. This led to wines that are characterised by being soft, fruity, and low in acidity level with light to moderate tannin levels and moderate to good concentration. The wines are now mature and should be drunk soon.
Port: 1992 Port: The vintage was declared by some port houses who produced some rich and concentrated wines. The port is still young in 2008 and will benefit from further cellaring.
Italian: 1991 Italian Wines: The 1991 vintage was better than first thought but did not rival the three exceptional vintages that preceded it. July was generally very hot and sunny, continuing into August. September continued warm, but rainfall from the middle of September on prevented Nebbiolo and Barbera from ripening fully. As a result the crop was small and the wines will not maintain the traditional longevity associated with the grape.
In Tuscany most producers in Chianti made only small quantities of Riserva, if any at all. In Montalcino and Montepulciano however producers who thinned out the crop during the summer were rewarded with raw materials for wines which have kept well. The best examples of Brunello and Vino Nobile have good depth and structure and although the fruit is not particularly exuberant they are drinking well now.
Bordeaux: 1991 wines: Generally an inconsistent vintage with First and Second Growths still drinking well. An abnormally cold frosty April killed many of the buds on the vines particularly those in the southern part of Bordeaux (Pomerol and St Emilion). Although new buds formed and developed, the harvest was always going to be late to allow the grapes to mature fully. Despite the set-back, some acceptable, light wines were produced from northern vineyards of Medoc and Graves.
Port: 1991 Port: Declared as a Vintage by some producers the first since 1985. A very small but good Vintage.
Italian: 1990 Italian Wines : A spectacular vintage, one of the best in modern times. Most producers made very good wines at all levels. The wines are drinking well but will continue to develop with good cellaring.
Bordeaux: 1990 Wines:1990 was the third year in a row of excellent Bordeaux vintages. The hot, dry sunny year ensured that, like many of the great vintages, 1990 produced rich wines from across the Bordeaux region. Many of the red wines from this vintage have a roasted or baked quality derived from the hot sun ripening the grapes. The vintage is characterised by having a tannic quality coupled with low acidity. Most of the quality wines from this vintage are still at the peak of their maturity and will continue to remain so for a few more years.
Champagne: 1990 Champagne: A superb year and one of the top half-dozen vintages of the last century. The champagnes display good body and marvellous depth of fruit as well as great finesse and very good longevity. The best will be drinking well for many years to come.
Port: 1990 Port: Not a general declaration. The 1990 Vintage produced abundant quantities of good quality port wine, a small amount of which was outstanding.
Bordeaux: 1989 Wines: The 1989 was the middle year of a successful run of three vintages from 1988 to 1990. The vintage is now regarded as an excellent vintage for Bordeaux. As with the other successful vintages the weather was kind with a long, hot, dry summer ripening the grapes. The conditions seemed to favour St Jullien, Pauillac and Pomerol but not Margaux The wines from this vintage are generally characterised by high tannin levels, low acidity and high alcohol levels due to the ripe grapes.
Port: 1989 Port: Not a general declaration of Vintage. However this was a good year that produced some attractive, full bodied single quinta wines with plenty of appeal.
Italian: 1988 Italian Wines were produced in an excellent, almost outstanding vintage. Good growing conditions particularly in Tuscany and Piedmont produced rich, full bodied wines that will hold for many years to come.
Bordeaux: 1988 Bordeaux Wine: The first in a trio of great vintages and one that has been rather overshadowed by the 89s and 90s. 1988 is the most classic of the trio, with many of the wines not being overtly fruit-driven but having levels of extract and concentration that that make them perfect candidates for keeping.
Port: 1988 Port: 1988 was a very difficult growing year, with bad weather in the spring and summer resulting in a small crop of average quality. As a result there was no declaration of vintage (a mark of the highest quality). Nevertheless, some very attractive single quinta ports were produced.
Italian: 1987 was a good vintage for the Italian region. The wines produced are generally of good consistency. Barolos are now fully mature and ready for drinking.
Bordeaux: 1987 wines are generally under-rated as a vintage. Had it not been for 14 straight days of rainfall in early October, then the harvest would have been a great one. The wines are characterised by being light to medium bodied, ripe and fruity with low tannins and low acidity. 1987 wines are generally overlooked in favour of the great vintages that followed in 1988-1990. However, those producers who adopted strict selection policies produced some very good wines which still make good drinking but should be consumed in the next few years.
Port: The 1987 Port was very close to being a fully-fledged Vintage. The port wines are balanced and elegant and will provide fine drinking in the medium-term. The result is that the consumer can buy Ports at a fraction of the price of what they would have cost.
Italian: 1986 was a very good year for Italian wines. The wines produced that year are generally quite consistent and there are some great Barolo wines from Piedmont.The wines have reached full maturity but will last for a few more years.
Bordeaux: 1986 was a great vintage for the wines produced in the northern part of Bordeaux (St Julien, Pauillac) where many of those wineries produced deep, concentrated wines that will mature over the following two to three decades. What marks the 1986 vintage is tannin. The tannins originate from the skins of those well ripened grapes which were left on the vines for several weeks before harvest. In vertical tastings the 1986 usually stands out because of this particular quality. The 1986 vintages are only reaching their peak now but will remain there for many years to come. 1986 wines are drinking well now and would grace the table of any 25th anniversary event.
Port: 1986 Port: No declaration of vintage. A good year that produced forward, fruit packed Quinta Vintage port wines that are at their best now and will remain so for many years.
Italian: 1985 was an outstanding vintage for Italian wines, one of the best in the last 50 years for Piedmont and Tuscany. The vintage produced wines of great consistency. The best wines should be great.
Bordeaux: The 1985 wine vintage produced examples that are characterised by being well developed, rich and having a seductive complexity with an attractive perfume. A drought for much of August and September led to concentrated grapes at harvest. The wines have now generally gone through the peak of their maturity and should be drunk within the next few years.
Port: 1985 is a great classic Port Vintage, with concentrated, rich and potent wines. General declaration of vintage.
Bordeaux: The 1984 wine vintage was hampered by a poor Merlot crop which led to wines that are generally deeply coloured, tannic and austere affairs with a high level of acidity. This is because Merlot in small percentages is added to soften the wine by counterbalance the characteristics of the Cabernet Grapes. Many of the top producers only made small quantities of wine.
Port: 1984 Port: No declaration of vintage but some attractive single quinta port wines. Now fully mature but will keep for years.
Italian: The 1983 wine vintage is rated as very good for the wine regions of Tuscany and Piedmont. The 1983 wine vintage produced rich, structured, full bodied wines that are still drinking well today.
Bordeaux: The 1983 wine vintage produced wines of mixed quality with some excellent wines from the Margaux region. A tropical humid heat-wave in August led to some over-ripening in some regions. Those Chateau who adopted careful selection produced some outstanding wines. Those from the Margaux region were probably the greatest of the decade. St Julien and Pauillac also turned out very good wines. The irregularity means that no single characteristic defines the vintage. The wines are now at the peak of their maturity.
Port: The 1983 port vintage is now considered great classic with concentrated, rich and potent wines. General declaration of vintage. 10 major shippers declared this year. In youth the wines were powerful yet austere, lacking the showy opulence of the 85s. However, in bottle they have developed marvellously, with the best examples being complex and harmonious. Excellent value for money ports.
Italian: 1982 was a tremendous wine vintage for big, rich and fruity Barolo and Barbaresco. The grapes were in superb condition for an early harvest and, thanks to the wonderful summer, the crop was large as well as very healthy. Wines from Tuscany(Chianti and Brunello) were also in fine form producing ripe, flavoursome, well-balanced wines.
Bordeaux: The 1982 wine vintage was an outstanding one that produced some of the most complex profound wines since 1961. Great weather made this vintage a successful one. Harvests were boosted by a September heat-wave, the result of which was super-ripe grapes, both in respect of sugar content and physiology. The lesser wines from the St Emillion, Graves, Pomerol and Margaux regions are now fully mature. The heavyweight wines from these regions and St Julien, Pauillac are evolving slowly and will continue to do so.
Champagne: 1982 is an exceptionally fine, rich vintage for Champagne. Ideal weather conditions in 1982 led to a good vintage, a relief after a disappointing run. A cold and frosty winter gave way to a coolish spring, but temperatures picked up later in the season. The flowering conditions in June were ideal, and summer was sunny and dry. The grapes were ripe by relatively early on in September, and showers mid-month helped them achieve near-perfection. The crop was one of the largest on record.
Port: 1982 was a good Port Vintage, with elegant and aromatic wines. Declared by a few houses, but most made Quinta wines.
Italian: A bottle of 1981 wine from Italy makes the perfect 30th anniversary gift or birthday present. The good 1981 Italian vintage produced a large crop of consistent wines. The best examples from Tuscany and Piedmont are now at their peak of their maturity.
Bordeaux: 1981 was a very good vintage for Bordeaux Wines. Although July was cool the fruit ripened well through a warm and dry August and September. The harvest began under good conditions in the very last days of September but was hampered by rain in the first two weeks of October leading to a dilution of the grape juice.Nevertheless, reliable chateau still managed to fashion some stylish, classic wines, with medium body and good structure.
Port: 1981 Port : Our recommendation would be for a 30-year aged tawny port to celebrate a 30 year anniversary.
Italian: A very good year. The 1980 wines, are generally quite consistent and there are some great Barolo wines from Piedmont. The wines have reached full maturity but will last for a few more years.
Bordeaux: The 1983 wine vintage produced wines of variable quality. A very wet, cool, year resulted in wines that were light and diluted. Nevertheless some producers who operated a strict selection policy still managed to produce some acceptable wines.
Champagne: 1980 Champagne is an exceptionally fine, rich vintage.
Port: An outstanding generally declared vintage from a hugely underrated year. The 1980 port wines are outstanding. This vintage is ready now but will continue to develop and keep for decades.
Italian: 1979 is a very good wine vintage. Good growing conditions particularly in Tuscany and Piedmont produced rich, full bodied wines.
Bordeaux: 1979 Wine: Initially overlooked in preference to the 1978 Vintage, 1979 was one of the very few cool years that produced a good vintage. The wines were initially very tannic and acidic but after three decades of cellaring the wines have matured nicely and are now at their peak. They will remain so for many years to come.
Port: 1979 was an average Port vintage, that produced some quite good straight forward single-quinta wines that are now mature but will keep well for years.
Bordeaux: The 1978 wine vintage was excellent one for the Bordeaux region. The dry hot summer produced wines that were medium bodied, deeply coloured, fruity and moderately tannic. The wines reached the peak of maturity in the 1990s but the 1978 wines are still drinking well now and will continue to do so for some years to come.
Port: 1978 was a good Port vintage but not a declared one. The port wines are not outstanding but are still attractive and drinkable. 1978 was the year when the labelling of 'single quinta' became popular.
Italian: 1977 was a good vintage for Italian Wines. Top regions such as Tuscany and Piedmont produced rich, full bodied wines. The wines are fully mature but will still make good drinking today.
Bordeaux: Poor weather throughout the growing season led to a very small crop of thin, light 1977 wines, most of which were drunk within a few years of the vintage. As a result, wines originating from this vintage are rare.
Port: 1977 was a classic Port vintage that was declared by all the major port houses. Even after more than thirty years, the ports are only just becoming approachable. They will last for many more decades. The port wines are concentrated, complex, well structured and balanced. Marked by strong tannins, these wines have great finesse and staying power.
Italian: A large crop was produced but the 1976 wines lacked the ripeness and longevity of the 1975 vintage. Although the wines will not improve further with age, they are still very drinkable.
Bordeaux: 1976 wines still offer delightful attractive drinking if they have been well stored. The wines are characterised assoft bodied with low acidity levels.
Rain during the harvest that following the long hot summer of 1976 tarnished what could have been the vintage of the decade. Much to general surprise, the 1976 vintage although mature on release has maintained its maturity to date.
Port: A moderate year that produced unrefined ports of variable quaility. The 1976 port wines are well past their high point.
Italian: The 1975 wine vintage is widely regarded as an excellent vintage for Tuscany. The wines are generally big on alcohol, colour, extract and acidity.
The 1975 vintage is remembered for the extremely hot and dry summer which produced grapes of high concentration. The harvest in Tuscany was complicated by late rainfall.
1975 was without a doubt the outstanding Brunello vintage of the decade and in the opinion of many producers one of the all time greats. the best wines in Chianti were very good indeed.
Bordeaux: The 1975 wine vintage are only now beginning to fully mature The summer months were hot and, initially dry. Despite storms in August, good weather was restored through September and October, permitting the harvest to go on uninfluenced by rain. The wines on release are incredibly tannic yet were intensely fruity and rich. This has mellowed somewhat over 30+ years of cellaring leaving excellent examples of wines that will last and last well into the future.
Port: The 1975 vintage ports are characterised as being light bodied, but the best are elegant and a pleasure to drink. After a run of poor vintages and under threat of nationalisation the port producers announced a general declaration. The wines are now fully mature. However, if well cellared, the best wines will last for some years. The good '75's will grow old gracefully and are in good shape. They are elegant fruity and well balanced but not big.
Italian: The 1974 wine vintage is considered to be very good for Italy. The wines from 1974, particularly those from Tuscany and Piedmont, are characterised as being rich and full bodied. The wines have reached full maturity but will last for many more years.
Bordeaux: A massive crop was produced but the 1974 wines were hard and tannic and lacked the ripeness of the 1975 vintage. Although the wines will not improve further with age, they are still very drinkable.
Port: 1974 Port produced a moderate vintage, that was not declared by the major port houses. Still drinkable now but on the decline and may appear a little light. Despite a huge crop, very few vintage port-wines were bottled from this year.
Italian: The 1973 wine vintage was a good one for Italian Wines from Tuscany (Chianti and Brunello) and fair for Piedmont (Barolo and Barbaresco).
Spring was mild and the summer hot and dry, but the run in to the harvest was wet and many producers were faced with the problem of either picking early with low sugar levels or risking the harvest by waiting for the weather to improve. It was a big harvest everywhere in the region. The best wines were produced by those vineyards that adopted careful selection.
Bordeaux: The 1973 wine vintage produced an enormous crop of easy drinking wines full of succulent fruit. The best examples from vineyards that adopted good selection are still drinking well today. Wines from Pauillac and Graves stand out.
The weather was dry and warm throughout most of spring, providing good conditions for flowering. Heavy rain fell during much of July, but the month that followed was hot and dry. September began fine, but wet conditions returned from the middle of the month onwards.
Port: No vintage ports were produced in 1973. A 40 year old tawny port makes an excellent gift to celebrate an anniversary or to mark a special occasion like a 1973 vintage birthday. The oldest aged tawny port you can buy is 40 years old. 40 Year Old Tawny Port is ready for drinking now or in the next few years and it has the advantage over vintage port that it will last for a few weeks after opening if kept cool.
Italian: Only a small crop of 1972 wine was produced and the wines are now very rare. The growing season was held back by inclement weather in the main Italian wine regions of Piedmont and Tuscany. Tuscany produced a small crop of Brunello and Chianti. These are generally characterised as having good colour, high acidity and some dryness. The best of the vintage originates from the more southerly regions.
Bordeaux: Bordeaux 1972 wines are generally characterised by having good colour, with dryness and high acidity. However, the style was for early drinking and very few examples exist today. The growing season was difficult with the grape development held back by inclement weather. This did not allow the grapes to fully ripen by harvest. Sweet wines from Sauternes and Barsac are very good.
Port: A good vintage that was not declared. Some vintage port and single quintas were produced. Port wines from 1972 are now fully mature but well stored examples will last for many years more.
Italian: 1971 was considered to be one of the greatest vintages of the 20th century for Italian wine. Excellent growing conditions during 1971 produced a small crop of rich, full bodied wines that have aged gracefully and will last for many years. In Piedmont, Barolo and Barbaresco are outstanding with a high level of consistency. Barbera d'Alba and Barbera d'Asti were also excellent.
In Tuscany, the best results were in Chianti where 1971 was officially rated a 5-star vintage. Many of the wines have shown exceptional ageing qualities. It was also a good vintage for Brunello.
Bordeaux: 1971 was a very good wine vintage whose only failing was to be overshadowed by the outstanding 1970 vintage. The crop size of the 1971 vintage was very small making wines a rarity. Well-stored examples of wine are likely to remain mature for a few more years.
Sauternes and Barsac: Sweet wines such as Sauternes and Barsac were outstanding in this year and will last for many decades to come.
Port: Port lovers should opt for 40 year aged Tawny ports. Not a declared year.
Italian: 1970 was an outstanding vintage for the wine regions of Tuscany and Piedmont. The 1970 wine vintage produced rich, structured, full bodied wines that are still drinking well today.
Bordeaux: An outstanding vintage against which others are compared. The 1970 wine vintage is the best vintage between the outstanding years of 1961 and 1982. Perfect weather led to huge crop that set a record at the time but was also of a high quality across all regions. The wines generally have a dark colour, are fragrant, have full body and a richness of fruit. The wines produced are consistent and will continue to drink well for decades to come.
Port: Ideal growing conditions produced what is a classic, outstanding vintage. The port-wines have great balance, good structure, and will age superbly for decades to come. Declared by all the major port houses, 1970 is one of the finest Port vintages for the last 50 years.
A bottle of 1969 vintage wine will make a memorable and unique gift for a 40th birthday or a ruby wedding anniversary.
Italian: 1969 was a very good vintage for Italian wines. The weather was good throughout the year enabling the grapes to reach a high degree of ripeness. Of particular note are the heavyweight, long-lived wines such as Barolo, Brunello and Tauresi and lighter wines such as Chianti and Valpolicella. The wines are now fully mature and are still drinking well today.
Bordeaux: 1969 Wine Vintage is one to avoid! Rain during the September harvest contributed to what was a small crop of light-weight wines that lacked longevity. Only first growth wines will be drinkable.
Sauternes and Barsac: Sweet wines from these regions were very good in this year and will last for many more years.
Champagne: 1969 Champagne is one of the outstanding vintages of the 20th Century.
Port: No declaration of vintage but the 1969 port-wines produced were of good quality and have stood the test of time.
Italian: 1968 was a good year for Italian heavyweight wines such as Barolo and Brunello. Whilst Bordeaux suffered from a poor vintage, 1968 marked somewhat of a renaissance for Italian wines particularly those from Tuscany and Piedmont. 1968 was the vintage that Sassicaia was first offered on the open market.
Bordeaux: Poor weather throughout the growing and harvest seasons led to a small, low quality, vintage. Most of the 1968 wine produced was consumed within a few years of the vintage and very few examples exist today. Those that still exist are well into decline and are unlikely to be of good drinking.
Port: 1968 was a moderate vintage not declared by any of the port houses.
Italian: 1967 Italian Wines represent an outstanding vintage which was probably the best of the decade. Good growing conditions particularly in Tuscany and Piedmont produced rich, full bodied wines that will last for many years to come.
Bordeaux: The 1967 wine vintage is generally considered to be a good, solid vintage that favoured the vineyards in regions that harvested early such as Pomerol, Graves and St Emilion. The 1967 wines will not improve further with age and are still very drinkable and pleasant.
Port: Very few port vintages were produced in 1967 but some houses declared. The best ports show good structure and elegant fruit and will keep for many years to come.
Italian: 1966 produced a good vintage for Italian wines from Piedmont and Tuscany. However quality Italian reds such as Barolo and Brunello are still drinking well today.
Bordeaux: 1966 was a very good wine vintage for Bordeaux. At the time the wines were tannic and had high acidity. Over the past four decades, the tannins have faded to make the wines more drinkable. The best quality wines such as Latour and Palmer are still in their prime even now and will remain so for many years to come. Other Bordeaux wines will remain good to drink.
Port: 1966 is an outstanding Port vintage of exceptional quality that was generally declared. Always overshadowed by the legendary 1963 but now recognised as being one of the very best post-war Vintage Ports. The wines are characterised by being long lasting with firm, perfect weight and balance. Most will outlast the 63's and turn out greater in the long run.
Italian: Whilst Bordeaux suffered from poor weather, Piedmont and Tuscany produced an abundant crop of long-lived 1965 wines that still make good drinking today.
Bordeaux: 1965 Bordeaux Wines are generally considered to have produced a poor vintage due to wet weather. It is unlikely that anything other than the first growths will have sttod the test of time.
Port: 1965 is a Vintage that produced some rich and powerful port-wines. Not declared by the major Port houses
Italian: 1964 is an important vintage for Italian Wines closely challenging 1967 as the ‘vintage of the decade’. The main regions of Tuscany and Piedmont produced rich, full bodied wines. The wines are mature but heavy-weights such as Brunello and Barolos will keep for many years to come.
Bordeaux: An outstanding vintage! The 1964 Wine Vintage produced opulent, concentrated wines with high alcohol, an opaque colour, super length and unbridled power. The harvest and weather favoured those producers on the right bank who harvested early (Graves, St Emilion and Pomerol). All of these wines reached the peak of their maturity two decades ago, but show little signs of decline today. They will probably last for another decade.
Port: A good year in which none of the port houses declared. Some attractive 1964 ports were made which are still of good drinking.
Italian: The Italian 1963 wine vintage was hampered by wet weather and is generally considered to be a mediocre vintage for Italian wines from Piedmont and Tuscany. Quality Italian reds such as Barolo and Brunello are most likely to have longevity.
Bordeaux: The 1963 wine vintage was a very poor for Bordeaux wines. The winter was harsh. The spring weather did little to promote successful flowering, and the weather throughout summer was cold and damp right through to September. Rot was a continual issue throught the region.
Port: 1963 vintage ports are the benchmark against which others are compared. The Vintage is considered to be legendary! Anyone born in 1963 has a wine for life. with Cockburn Croft, Dow, Fonseca, Graham, Quinta do Noval Nacional, Taylor, Warre standing out amongst a uniformly excellent field.
The combination of a near-perfect growing season and temperate weather during the harvest made for a benchmark vintage. Nearly all the shippers produced supremely balanced well-structured wines for a full-on declaration.
1963 vintage port never fail to impress with their essential three components of fruit, tannin and elegance. Almost always appear to be younger than they really are.
Italian: An excellent vintage across the main regions of Piedmont and Tuscany. The 1962 wines produced exhibit a deep colour, rich intensity and have a good structure. The top quality Italian reds such as Barolo and Brunello are still drinking well today.
Bordeaux: 1962 wines represent an outstanding vintage that was overshadowed by legendary 1961 one! Consequently, it is one of the most underrated vintages still available. Good weather in the summer and harvest led to what, at the time was a record crop. The wines were delightful and well proportioned across all regions from the start and the top wines have maintained this quality to this day. The wines should last for a few more years.
Port: Not a general declaration, but some very good vintage and single quinta ports were made. Now fully mature, the 1962 Ports still have good structure and finish and will last a few more years.
Italian: In Italy, 1961 wine is considered to be one of the greatest vintages of the 20th century. The wines from Piedmont (Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbara) and Tuscany (Chianti, Brunello) are outstanding. The wines are now fully mature and, with careful cellaring, will still keep for many years to come.
Bordeaux: This is one of the legendary vintages of the century. Although most of the 1961 wines are now fading slowly, the top examples continue to shine through offering concentrated, ripe fruit with amazing bouquets. The crop was tiny and there are very few examples available. Provided the bottles have been stored correctly these wines should last for another decade.
Port: Not generally a declared year but the hot weather produced some concentrated ports. The harvest started in extremely hot conditions at the river quintas in early september and progressed in other areas until the end of the month making it a long drawn out vintage. The picking required a very rigorous selection which entails picking out the burnt and imperfect grapes from the bunches before putting them in the baskets. This led to a small harvest. The 1961 ports produced are still drinking well today.
Italian: The 1960 Italian vintage is rated as an average vintage. Heavy-weight, longer lived wines from 1960 such as Barolo and Amarone are still drinking well. They still exhibit a good structure and have deep colour with rich intensity.
Bordeaux: The vintage suffered from two rain filled months of August and September. The wines produced in 1960 were very delicate and light in Bordeaux and only the first growth and Grand Cru wines are now drinkable. The great estates from Sauternes and Barsac produced some good sweet wines in what was a depressed decade for the region.
Port: A very good vintage that was declared by all of the major Port houses. The 1960 Ports have now settled into the most glorious old Vintage Ports of the very highest quality. After more than 40 years bottle-ageing, these wines have a superb combination of lovely mature fruit combined with the elegance that only this length of time in bottle can give. They will last for decades to come.
Italian: The 1959 Italian wine vintage was a very good vintage that has been overlooked in favour of the outstanding 1958 and 1961 vintages. The wines produced exhibit a deep colour, rich intensity and have a good structure. The top quality Italian reds such as Barolo and Brunello are still drinking well today.
Bordeaux: 1959 was one of the great vintages of the century producing wines that are full-bodied, extremely alcoholic and opulent, with high degrees of tannin and extract. Initially the wines were criticised for having low acidity. However over time, the wines have matured more slowly than the great vintage of 1961 and now after nearly five decades the wines surpass the 1961s in many cases. Well-stored 1959 wines are still at their peak and will remain so for many years to come.
Port: A poor year - one to avoid!
Italian: 1958 was a good year for Italian heavyweights such as Barolo and Brunello. which were built to last. Well stored examples of 1958 wines still make very good drinking today.
Port: 1958 ports represent a good year with some fragrant and
delicate Vintage Ports, despite the rather
damp weather conditions throughout.
Declared by some but not all the major
Italian: The 1957 Italian vintage is a strong candidate for the ‘vintage of the decade’ in what was a run of solid vintages between 1954 and 1958. The main regions of Tuscany and Piedmont produced rich, full bodied wines. The 1957 wines are mature but heavy-weights such as Brunello and Barolos will still keep for many years to come.
Bordeaux: A very good vintage. A cold summer led to a small crop and wines that had extremely high acidity. The high acidity has enabled the wines to last well beyond later, more celebrated, vintages. Well stored examples of 1957 wines will still be very drinkable now and for a few years to come.
Port: A good vintage although not generally declared. 1957 Port wines are very difficult to get hold of due to the tiny production.
Italian: While the rest of Europe suffered poor weather, Italy produced a good vintage. Top regions such as Tuscany and Piedmont produced rich, full bodied wines. The 1956 wines are fully mature but will still make good drinking today.
Bordeaux: One of the worst vintages on record - avoid!
Bordeaux: The 1955 wine vintage is now considered to be outstanding. Good weather conditions led to a large healthy crop. For many years the wines from the 1955 vintage were much maligned for being harsh and impenetrable. However, five decades of maturation have softened them and they are only now at their peak. They will remain at their peak for many years to come. The wines are characterised by being full bodied and rich.
Port: The 1955 port vintage produced outstanding, fruity wines for long-term ageing - a real pleasure to drink, now or in a few decades time. One of the most underrated Vintages of the 20th Century. Declared by most of the major Port houses.
Italian: A good year for Piedmont for that produced rounded, well balanced wines.
Bordeaux: An awful vintage for Bordeaux wines. Avoid!
Port: A good Vintage that is now very hard to find. Not a declared year. This Vintage has been fully mature for many years but well cellared, the best 1954 port wines will be fine for years to come.
Bordeaux: Another strong candidate for Bordeaux vintage of the century. The 1953 wines which are sumptuous and rich have always been exalted highly by critics. The 1953 vintage reached its peak in the 1970s and is now declining slowly. The wines are still very drinkable and will last many more years.
Port: Not a declared year. Poor wines made as a general rule.
Italian: Long lasting 1952 wines such as Barolo are still drinking well.
Bordeaux: 1952 was a fine year for Bordeaux Wines with the right bank (St-Emilion and Pomerol) on top form.
Port: A few shippers produced some reasonable 1952 ports. Tiny production. Not a declared year.
Italian: a very good year for Italian heavyweights such as Brunello and Barolo. 1951 Wines from Italy are rare and in short supply.
Bordeaux: A poor year for Bordeaux
Port: Not a declared vintage. 1951 Single Quinta ports may still be drinkable but are in short supply.
Italian: Long lived 1950 wines, such as Barolos from the Piedmont region, have stood the test of time and are still drinking well in what was a fair-to-good vintage.
Bordeaux: The top wines from 1950 are prodigious and outstanding. The two best applellations were St Emillion and Pomerol. The 1950 wines are unbelievably rich, unctious and concentrated and in many cases are capable of rivaling the greatest of the 1949 and 1947 vintages.
Port: In Portugal, the Tawny (Colheita) Ports that were produced are excellent and a small crop of good quality vintage ports were produced.
1950 was also known as the "Lady's Vintage", this was a delicate and subtle Vintage. Declared by some but not all Port houses. 1950 Ports are still a pleasant and fruity but are now at the end of the drinking window. Most now resemble tawnies more than Vintage Port.
The finest wines from 1949 are still in full blossom displaying remarkable richness and concentration. This is one of the quartet of remarkable vintages of the late 1940's - 1949, 1948, 1947 and 1945!
Renowned wine critic Robert Parker states that this is the greatest of the four vintages possessing greater balance, harmony, and fruit than the 1945's and more complexity than the 1948's. In short the wines are magnificent!
Italian: 1949 wine exibits a good vintage for most of the Italian regions. The long lived Barolos are still drinking well today.
Bordeaux: The finest 1949 wines are still in full blossom displaying remarkable richness and concentration. This is one of the quartet of remarkable vintages of the late 1940's - 1949, 1948, 1947 and 1945!
Port: A poor year for the Oporto ports.
Bordeaux: An excellent vintage that had the misfortune to fall between two legendary vintages. Often when Bordeaux has three outstanding vintages in a row, one is often forgotten. The wines have aged extremely well and the best wines still tend to make excellent drinking today. 1948 wines will last for many years to come.
Port: 1948 was a very good port vintage that was only declared by 9 shippers. It was a seven year wait after this until the next declared vintage.
Bordeaux: The 1947 wine vintage was another superb, legendary year for Bordeaux and Burgundy.
Port: The 1947 port vintage was outstanding. An outstanding vintage that produced elegant and delicate ports and which was declared by only 11 shippers. Well cellared wines are drinking well and will last for many more years.
Bordeaux: The 1946 wine vintage was always going to be in the shadow of the legends of 1945. Nevertheless, 1946 holds up a a very good vintage.
Port: The 1946 port vintage is considered to have produced good quality ports but no producer declared as the quality of the following vintage would have become clear.
Bordeaux: The 1945 wine vintage was, without doubt, the vintage of the century. No vintage in the post war era enjoys the reputation that 1945 does. The celebraton of the end of the war, combined with the fact that the weather was remarkable, produced one of the smallest most concentrated crops of grapes ever seen. Many of the top wines are still not fully mature and will last for another 20-30 years. Fabulous vintage.
Port: The first end-of-war vintage was a superb quality five star vintage, although the quantity was small. 22 shippers declared 1945 port vintage with Cockburn being the only major abstention.
Bordeaux: The 1944 wine vintage produced a good standard of Bordeaux wines. France was exceedingly fortunate in the matter of weather during the war. Never, certainly, in the last half century have the French vineyard districts known a comparable succession of dry summers or a higher average of good or creditable vintage years.
Bordeaux: 1943 wine exhibits the very best of the war-time vintages. Wines are in very short supply. The French, took great care of their vines during the wartime era; the damage in general was substantially less than during the war of 1914-18. Furthermore, France was exceedingly fortunate in the matter of weather during the war. Never, certainly, in the last half century have the French vineyard districts known a comparable succession of dry summers or a higher average of good or creditable vintage years.
Bordeaux: The 1942 wine vintage produced good quality wines during a difficult harvest under war-time conditions. France was exceedingly fortunate in the matter of weather during the war. Never, certainly, in the last half century have the French vineyard districts known a comparable succession of dry summers or a higher average of good or creditable vintage years.
1940 was a very good year for Bordeaux, but wines are in very short supply.
The French, took great care of their vines during the wartime era; the damage in general was substantially less than during the war of 1914-18 and was extensive only in Alsace, around Colmar. The town of Chablis was badly hit in 1940, but the vines escaped injury. a few chais(wine-making plants) and cellars in Bordeaux were wrecked by Allied bombings; the village of Comblanchien on the Côte d'Or was burned to the ground by the Germans in 1944.
Furthermore, France was exceedingly fortunate in the matter of weather during the war. Never, certainly, in the last half century have the French vineyard districts known a comparable succession of dry summers or a higher average of good or creditable vintage years.
Lastly, of course, the French did an extraordinary job of hiding and protecting their stocks, walling up portions of their cellars, burying their more precious bottles, bilking, cheating, duping, and deceiving the Germans on every possible occasion and in every possible way
Bordeaux: Most of France was hit hard by the German Occupation from 1940 to 1944, but down in Bordeaux the wine business thrived. 1940 was a classic year that marked the end of a poor run of vintages during the late 1930s. Some of the best wines of the century originated from the war years. The long hot summer of 1940 produced well-rounded wines that have withstood the test of time.
Port: In Portugal, the Tawny (Colheita) Ports that were produced are drinking well. 1940 ports produced a small crop.
Start of the war years, so production and supply was disrupted.
Another good year, but not renowned for staying power.
Good to very good vintage in general throughout Europe.
Decent Bordeaux, very good red Burgundy, Great Port.
Very good indeed.
Better, but a small crop and scarce.
Three strikes in a row; a very poor year indeed.
Poor year again except excellent Port.
Poor Bordeaux year, so back to Cognac and Armagnac once more.
Superb vintage. The Latour is renowned, but will cost a packet.
Bordeaux: 1929 wine from Bordeaux wine is often compared to its closest vintage, 1928. But the two styles of Bordeaux wine could not be more different. 1928 Bordeaux is a brutally tannic vintage. 1929 Bordeaux is a completely different story. Prior to 1959, it was considered the most opulent, sensuous vintage of the century the day the wines were bottled. 1929 Bordeaux wines were so rich, lush, ripe and sexy when they were first tasted, commentators of the day were convinced the wines would not be long lived. Those types of nonsense comments are still made today with this style of Bordeaux wine. 1929 Bordeaux is the product of a very hot, dry, growing season. It was also the driest vintage of the century in its day. The perfect amount of light rain fell during harvest which gave the vines the nourishment they desperately needed. The 1929 Bordeaux harvest kicked into high gear September 26. The 1929 Bordeaux harvest took place under warm, sunny conditions.1929 Bordeaux wine was successful in every appellation. The Left Bank produced incredibly, opulent, rich wines. In Pomerol and St. Emilion, some of the best wines of the century were produced.
Very good Bordeaux.
Sauternes a better bet than Claret, but excellent Port.
Great Bordeaux vintage; top Burgundies may have some interest.
Vintage deemed as 'early drinking', so scarce and may not have lasted.
A great vintage and reputedly still drinking very well.
Big, hot vintage produced profound wines, so may have lasted well.
Fine vintage in Bordeaux. Top wines should be very good.
Good vintage but earlier drinking style, so not a lot has survived.
Bordeaux had a good vintage, but still war time so not much about.
Average year and always tannic. Unlikely to be great drinking now.
War time in France, so very little wine available.
Excellent vintage for Bordeaux, small crop so very scarce.
Another poor to moderate vintage for Bordeaux.
Average vintage, but some good Bordeaux. Excellent Port.
Very good vintage all round. Armagnac and Cognacs