BORDEAUX 2015: A Great Vintage
2015 offers charming, easy-to-like wines of balance, often elegance, and even pizzazz with forward, full-range red fruit and plenty of freshness. The fruit character on both sides of the river tends to red and dark red and darker red fruit with almost no black fruit. I saw much more red color and much less purple-black in these lovely 2015 wines than in recent top vintages. Terroir (place) is a bigger part of the equation in 2015 than it has been in recent great vintages such as 2009 and 2010. Maybe this is a welcome stylistic pendulum swing as very few chateaux covered up their terroir with winemaking.
At the top level, these are balanced, mostly elegant wines that are already delicious but have the acidity (freshness) to last and develop. Some say 2015 may be a bit better on the right bank than the left, but I don’t see that. At the level of the classified growths and the top wannabes (Cru Bourgeois and other unclassified Bordeaux chateaux with both good terroir and the resources to make good wines from it), quality is pretty even across both the Merlot-dominant Right Bank and Cabernet-dominant Left Bank wines. Some commentators have described 2015 as a cross between 2009 and 2010 with the charm of the former and some of the structure of the latter. For me, the 2015s are less marked by an overriding vintage character (such as a uniform ripeness or a defining phenolic profile) and much more marked by their terroir (here the grapes were grown) than any recent great vintage.
At its heart, 2015 is a pretty vintage. In fact, 2015 is the best pretty vintage in my experience. Already balanced and approachable, the best wines have the aging potential of the best wines of 2010 or 2009, 2005, or 1995. Of course, the wines I recommend are – at their price points – the best of the best. If you choose your 2015s from within those suggested, you will enjoy fine drinking for many years to come.
We have selected 129 Bordeaux wines from 2015 to offer as futures. Please click on the .pdf icon below for the complete list. Below that is our 2015 Futures order form. Below that is a .pdf of my 2015 Bordeaux Travelogue. And further down is a rather geeky weather summary of the 2015 vintage.