Vin-X were fortunate enough to attend a prestigious annual 10 year on tasting for the 2006 Bordeaux vintage this week. While clearly not as significant a trade event as the same tasting last year for the legendary 2005 vintage, it was still fascinating to taste these wines back to back, and update our opinions on what was, if not a weak vintage, certainly a mixed one.
In fact each of the seven tables (there were a total 71 wines to taste) held at least one pleasant surprise, and some of the highlights were very high indeed.
To understand the nature of the vintage, it’s worth singling out the words used to describe the weather conditions seen in 2006: “sweltering, coolish, humid, overcast, blistering, torrential, exceptional heat, drizzly, modest temperatures, tremendous heatwave” all of which were used to describe just the four months from June-September, and go a long way to explaining the character of 2006.
This was the first significant tasting for the 2006s since the Southwold tastings in 2010; we were lucky enough to see the scores from that event and while we were sworn to secrecy it was certainly instructive to compare the wines performance today to 6 years ago.
Our “all things considered” award for wines under £1,000 per case is split between Pontet Canet and La Conseillante, both of which offered good drinking at sane prices. Honourable mention here goes to Brane Cantenac.
In the luxury category for wines over £1,000 we would highlight Leoville Las Cases, Pavie and Angelus. Many favourable things were also said about La Mission Haut Brion.
As far as the ‘money no object’ wines were considered, that’s where the strapline for this article comes from. In context of the other wines shown, the likes of Lafite, Ausone, Le Pin and Petrus were a revelation, so much more sophisticated, so much deeper and so much more subtle than anything else on offer.
It feels like a cop-out to award wine of the vintage to Petrus, 2900% more expensive than the most affordable of our “all things considered” wines, but when excellence beats you around the head with a bat, you can’t really ignore it.