The first 2006 Bordeaux tastings have happened, and we’ve got our first idea of what we might expect from the vintage. Following a wonderful 2005 vintage, the industry has been on tenterhooks wondering what would be found, with predictions ranging from pretty good to pretty bad – the one thing everyone was sure of was the this was no repeat of 2005.
Berry Brothers (www.bbr.com) have struggled to compare it with other vintages, saying that it has elements of several good but not great vintages with 1996, 1988 and 1986 mentioned, but they do go on to say that they thing 2006 will turn out to be a better vintage than 2004 and point to St Julian as the potential pick of the left bank, but talk of sumptuous St Emilion and perhaps lean towards a right bank vintage.
Steven Spurrier over on the Decanter website (www.decanter.com), talks of it being a real First Growth vintage, where the tops wines which have had all expenses lavished at them come to the fore, including Mouton which has been criticised recently for underperforming. He even goes onto proclaim Le Petit Mouton (2nd wine of Mouton) as “ the best second wine of the entire vintage” He agrees with Berry’s team that St Julian is the pick of the Medoc, although also picks out Margaux for some praise.
As for prices? Well Spurrier says that the people he’s spoken to are happy with his idea of releasing the wines at the current 2004 prices (which he calls the Spurrier Theory) but I wonder whether the owners are just paying him lip service – certainly in a comment on the site Gil Lempert-Schwarz thinks he’s off the mark “I have to respectfully completely disagree with Spurrier's contention that 'The chateaux will come out at the current price of the 04s...' I'll therefore be the first to disgree with the 'Spurrier Theory', which is nice in principle, but has no foundation in the actual thoughts of the majority of the Chateaux I have surveyed (and they are numerous). Certainly at the top, there is no worry about virtually any price at this point in time. Jean-Guillaume Prats of Chateau Cos D'Estournel, who has made a splendid wine in 2006 is 'looking carefully at the present price of his 2004 in connection with the price of 2005 and will be somewhere in between' he says”.