The Wine Advocate Vintage Guide (2011 – 1970)

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate Vintage Guide has recently been updated to show how vintages fared from country to country and region to region, from as far back as 1970. For most of us, vintages don’t affect our buying decisions in any way, and I’m not sure they really should unless you’re thinking of cellaring, or it’s just something that really excites you.

Click on the graph below to view the report in its entirety. The key at the bottom of the chart will help you to better understand the ratings. If nothing else, it is interesting to glance through and see where and when the supposedly poor, average and exceptional vintages lie.

Click on the above chart to view report in its entirety.

From what I can gather from those who do at least consider vintage as somewhat important, it is Bordeaux that seems to be of most concern to people. Perhaps because it is steeped in such tradition and carries the reputation it does, there is always great anticipation within the trade and among consumers as the freshly bottled wines from each new vintage are treacled through to market.

What this guide shows is that it is not only Bordeaux that is subjected to vintage variations. Every region is affected. However, bare in mind that even in poor vintages, exceptional wines can be produced, and likewise, poor wines from exceptional vintages. Also, when you’re talking about wines from the massive brands you’ll see available in the supermarkets, you’re not really going to find considerable differences between vintages. From these wines you’ll get reliability and consistency, but no real character. The price we pay for cheap, high volume wine is boredom.

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