Bordeaux 2018 En Primeur

Having been in Bordeaux in the first week of April to taste the new vintage, we are delighted to report that 2018 is a VERY GOOD to OUTSTANDING vintage. Whilst not perhaps as homogenous as some of the really great recent vintages, the better wines are at least their equals in terms of ripeness, power and potential longevity.

2018 was a ‘game of two halves’, the first of which had record amounts of rain leading to severe problems with mildew at many properties. While this drastically reduced the crop the unaffected grapes were perfectly healthy, and on the day (coincidentally?) that France won the world cup the weather changed and the region experienced a long and glorious summer with above average temperatures. In many places drought conditions resulted in thick-skinned, tiny berries, that further reduced the yield. Across the piece production was approximately 30% below average but the quality of the vintage had been transformed from disaster to potential triumph.

In 2018 great wines are to be found in all areas and communes across Bordeaux. On the Left Bank we found the quality to be most consistent in the northern Médoc, particularly in Pauillac and St Estèphe, with a number of great wines in St Julien, and a few further south in Margaux. On the Right Bank the properties in and around the Pomerol plain made exceptional wines, as did many of the top châteaux on the côtes of  Saint Emilion. The low yields in 2018 have resulted in big powerful wines with concentrated fruit and strong tannins. In addition, crucially, the early season rainfall and cool summer nights have given the wines wonderful fresh acidities. They are hard to compare with those of previous vintages, but for us, if anything, the best have a combination of the depth and richness of the 2010s and the silky fresh tannins of the 2016s.

Whilst we do admit to having slight reservations about the heterogeneity of the vintage, critic James Suckling is unequivocal when he writes: Most people agree that it is a great year and can be compared in quality to recent excellent years such as 2016 and 2015. I think it could turn out to be an all-time great, similar to 2010, 2009 and 1989 or even such classics as 1982 or 1959.”

Please e-mail your advance expressions of interest for particular wines, or the vintage in general to sales@richardkihl.ltd.uk.  

You can read a report on the 2018 growing season on our blog here.

RELEASE OFFERS

2018 Chateau Beaumont (17.04.19)

2018 Château Angélus (16.04.19)

 

FULL LIST OF WINES OFFERED TO DATE BELOW

 

Wine Search

Prices are ex-VAT per case of 12 bottles, unless otherwise advised.  DP = duty-paid ex-London.  IB = under bond ex-London.

Red 2018 Château Angelus 75cl £1,530 per case of 6 IB
65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc. Full and intense nose with spice and complexity... Read more
65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc. Full and intense nose with spice and complexity, which makes the palate all the more surprising with its super-fine, silky tannins, and vivid, intense fruit. A great tension between dark black fruits and more lively, crunchy hedgerow fruits. Definite progression in the style of Angelus towards more balance and energy. RKL "This is rich and complex from the very first nose, showing dense brambled fruit with real precision of expression. After a few minutes the aromatics explode, leaping out of the glass and giving an extra level of enjoyment to the wine. In the mouth, lovely vibrant tannins grip without any sense of urgency, joined by curls of woodsmoke and salt taffy through the finish. It's gorgeous and will make you smile with its mouthwatering finish....Drinking Window 2027 - 2042. 98 points." Jane Anson, Decanter, April 2019 "This shows beautifully sensibility of generous fruit and soft and velvety tannins with an undertone of chocolate and cedar. Full-bodied, pure and supple with a direct delivery of vibrant fruit and real terroir expression. Savory at the end with hazelnut and crunchy-seed flavors. Reality check here. Incredible fruit quality. 99-100 points." James Suckling, jamessuckling,com, April 2019 Close
Red 2018 Château Beaumont 75cl £105 per case of 12 IB
45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot. Very intense, open and ... Read more
45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot. Very intense, open and approachable on the nose with gentle new oak aromas and red and blackcurrant fruits. Very fine, velvet tannins which frame the deep, blackcurrant and plum fruits on the palate. Possibly the much vaunted quality of the Merlot in this vintage is super-charging the blend this year, but still balanced by the assertive tannins. So balanced and lively, a delight to taste. RKL "Firm, deep and well extracted, this is a rich purple colour with sweet blackberry fruits on the nose along with some gentle spicing. It's an elegant and extremely classic Médoc wine. The tannins are already smooth and starting to integrate with the fruits. The quality bodes well for the medium-priced wines in this vintage. One of the value picks of the Médoc. Drinking Window 2023 - 2035. 91 points." Jane Anson, Decanter April 2019. Close
Red 2018 Château Beaumont Magnum £120 per case of 6 IB
45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot. Very intense, open and ... Read more
45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot. Very intense, open and approachable on the nose with gentle new oak aromas and red and blackcurrant fruits. Very fine, velvet tannins which frame the deep, blackcurrant and plum fruits on the palate. Possibly the much vaunted quality of the Merlot in this vintage is super-charging the blend this year, but still balanced by the assertive tannins. So balanced and lively, a delight to taste. RKL "Firm, deep and well extracted, this is a rich purple colour with sweet blackberry fruits on the nose along with some gentle spicing. It's an elegant and extremely classic Médoc wine. The tannins are already smooth and starting to integrate with the fruits. The quality bodes well for the medium-priced wines in this vintage. One of the value picks of the Médoc. Drinking Window 2023 - 2035. 91 points." Jane Anson, Decanter April 2019. Close
Red 2018 Château Enclos Tourmaline 75cl £309 per case of 3 IB
“Wow. The purity of fruit in this wine is stupendous with crushed raspberries an... Read more
“Wow. The purity of fruit in this wine is stupendous with crushed raspberries and blackberries. Full-bodied, very layered and gorgeous with superbly fine yet forceful tannins and a driven finish. A triumph. Pure-merlot magic here. 97-98 points" jamessuckling.com Close
Red 2018 Château Enclos Tourmaline 75cl £1,236 per case of 12 IB
Red 2018 Château Haut Brisson 75cl £220 per case of 12 IB
"This is a very powerful and structured Haut-Brisson, showing incredible depth a... Read more
"This is a very powerful and structured Haut-Brisson, showing incredible depth and richness. Full-bodied and layered with incredible depth and purity. Layers of fruit and tannin. Best ever. 95-96 points" jamessuckling.com Close
Red 2018 Château Tour Saint Christophe 75cl £260 per case of 12 IB
"Blueberry and blackberry character with hints of white pepper and chalk. Salty,... Read more
"Blueberry and blackberry character with hints of white pepper and chalk. Salty, too. Full-bodied, tight and polished with fantastic texture and length. Very closed and tight with gorgeous tannin quality. 96-97 points" jamessuckling.com Close

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