Vintage Charts

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

vintage charts, are both useful and notoriously fallible, partly because young vintage assessment is so fraught with difficulty. Most vintage charts take the form of a grid mapping ratings for each combination of wine region and year. The least sophisticated vintage charts content themselves with a number for each major wine region: Bordeaux 2010 was given ‘9’ (out of 10), for instance. More sophisticated charts (such as that regularly updated in Robert parker’s newsletter) divide Bordeaux into its main districts, and add a letter indicating maturity: Margaux 2003 ‘91T’ (91 out of 100, T for Still Tannic) in 2013, for instance. The fact that this same vintage chart suggests that Pomerol 2003 is ‘84E’ (E for Early maturing) already demonstrates how difficult it is to generalize about a district in which there may be hundreds of different producers, each with a different winemaking policy and style of wine.