I don’t know about you, but I like to consult Vintage Charts from time to time. While each wine is absolutely individual, and good winemakers manage to keep the consistency in good vintages and in bad vintages, so called Vintage Charts, generalized ratings of the wines in the specific region and specific year, provide good insight into what to expect from the wines on average. Of course, even if the vintage for the region is rated, for instance, as 90, it doesn’t mean that particular wine from that same vintage can not be rated 100. A vintage rating allows you to set the expectations as to what to expect from the average wine, and for how long that individual wine might last in your cellar. No, Vintage Charts don’t hold the absolute truth, but I still find them helpful, at least as a reference.
There are many vintage charts available from many different sources. Some are very global, like Wine Spectator’s ones, covering lots of winemaking regions. Some are very specific, like the vintage charts for Rioja. Below you will find a collection of the Vintage Charts from the different publications. It is important to note that Vintage Charts are constantly updated, adding ratings for the new vintages, and sometimes even changing the ratings for the old ones. I will do my best to keep the links current – but I’m sure there will be some gaps in my coverage. Here we go.
Wine Advocate: vintage chart covers lots of regions and vintages starting from 1970, all in the format of one single table. Also available for download as PDF. Very convenient.
Wine Enthusiast: vintage chart covers multiple regions and starts from 1990.
Decanter: Vintage chart covers a limited number of regions (less than the previous two), and the rating is done using the stars (up to 5 stars).
Rioja: Covers only Rioja wines, starting from 1925
Wines from Spain: Vintage chart covers in great detail all the region in Spain, starting from 1992
Jancis Robinson: No numerical ratings here, but instead there are vintage descriptions for the different regions for the past 12-15 years.
Wine Spectator: Wine Spectator Vintage Charts are good,
but require the subscription, which sucks. I’m not sure why they want to play a big gorilla here instead of servicing the people. and as of 2016 it seems that many of the vintage charts (not all) are available without subscription. And they might be the most detailed vintage charts out there.