In Bordeaux, the 2006 vintage is in the shadow of the 2005 vintage and presents a heterogeneous quality due to less favourable weather conditions. Nevertheless, those who were able to harvest late (October) and select the best grapes produced beautiful wines. At the end, this vintage reveals a nice finish, but marked tannins. The red wines of the Right Bank of Bordeaux (2006 Pomerol and 2006 Saint Emilion) are more accessible and palatable for tasting because the 2006 Medoc Crus Classes (Margaux, Saint Julien, Saint Estephe and Pauillac, mainly made from Cabernet Sauvignon) need more time in the cellar. However, this patience will be rewarded with very good wines. 2006 Bordeaux dry white wines are elegant, but with less cellar time potential. Finally, the 2006 Sauternes wines are weaker because they only present small amount of botrytised grapes (2006 Yquem remains far above the rest because of a incredible work of grapes sorting). In Burgundy, 2006 will be marked by the heterogeneity of the wines (especially the red wines from the Cote de Nuits), because the weather conditions did not favour this vintage. The best wines will avoid the dilution trap, but at the cost of a scrupulous sorting. The 2006 white burgundy wines are better (2006 Chablis and 2006 Cote de Beaune are well balanced and fresh) , with elegant and fine 2006 Pouilly Fuisse. In Champagne, the 2006 vintage is considered to be average because of the difficult weather (hail early July in the Marne Valley, and cold and rainy August blocking veraison, and even delaying the harvest in certain areas until the end of September). In the Rhone Valley, 2006 is a classic vintage that has produced very good wines. If these wines are less warm than 2005, they stand out more for their balance, finesse and freshness (2006 Cote Rotie, 2006 Hermitage in white and red and 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape). Rather poor year in Alsace, the rains at the end of September having severely affected the harvest. The Loire Valley produced an average 2006 vintage, the red wines are weak, the whites (chenin) were also affected by the rains at the end of September, and the best 2006 white wines can be found in the designations of Centre Loire in Sancerre and Pouilly Fume.
If you want to invest in a bottle from 2006, we advise you to favor the 1st Crus Classes of the Medoc (2006 Latour, 2006 Chateau Margaux, 2006 Lafite Rothschild, 2006 Mouton Rothschild) as well as 2006 Haut Brion (also superb in white). Among other successes, there are also: 2006 Cos Estournel, 2006 Montrose, 2006 Ducru Beaucaillou, 2006 Leoville Barton, 2006 Leoville Las Cases, 2006 Armaillac, 2006 Lynch Bages, 2006 Haut Bailly, 2006 Pape Clement (especially in white), 2006 Angelus, 2006 Ausone, 2006 Cheval Blanc, 2006 Pavie, 2006 Troplong Mondot, 2006 Eglise Clinet, 2006 Evangile, 2006 Vieux Chateau Certan… In Sauternes 2006 Yquem or 2006 Fargues. In Burgundy red: 2006 Nuits st Georges Vaucrains by Henri Gouges, 2006 Musigny from Frederic Mugnier, 2006 Chambertin Clos de Beze by Bruno Clair, or in white 2006 Corton Charlemagne… In the Rhone Valley, a 2006 Hermitage (white or red) from Jean Louis Chave or Chapoutier, or even a 2006 Cote Rotie from Jamet. Why not a 2006 Sancerre from Alphonse Mellot in Loire?
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