1983 Bordeaux - The Wine Independent

1983 Bordeaux

1983 Vintage Ratings:


Médoc Rating: 93

Pessac-Léognan Rating: 92

Saint-Émilion & Pomerol Rating: 91

Sauternes & Barsac Rating: 93

Dry Whites Rating: 90

1983 Top Three Bordeaux Wines Today:



Château Margaux


Kicking off as a promising vintage, the middle of the 1983 growing season developed into one hot, sticky complication after another.


After a suitably rainy spring and swift, abundant flowering and fruit set, Mother Nature turned the thermostat up to full blast. Thunderstorms throughout July and August kept the humidity at sauna level, leading to outbreaks of downy mildew and rot, affecting mainly the Merlot and, therefore, especially the right bank. It’s also worth noting that the northern part of the Médoc received significantly more rain in August than other areas, partly accounting for the lackluster showing from Saint-Estephe. Fortunately, September and October remained dry and sunny throughout Bordeaux, allowing the grapes to finish ripening under fair conditions.


Margaux has turned out to be the red wine commune of the vintage, although there are also enough great 1983 Sauternes wines to challenge that top position. Château Margaux produced a spectacularly fragrant wine that has aged slowly and gracefully, creating a perfect bookend to the equally stunning 1982. The 1983 Palmer is legendary stuff. 1983 Yquem, tasted again recently, remains incredibly bright, lively, and youthful. Pomerol pulled it out of a bag and produced a clutch of stunning wines. One of the biggest surprises from this year was what has emerged as a rich, powerful, hedonic 1983 Petrus—a wine that certainly took its time coming around, but when it did, wow.