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  

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



You can view all our release offers (in date order) below, along with a full list of wines offered, in alphabetical order.


2018 Château Beaumont (17.04.19)

2018 Château Angélus (16.04.19)

2018 Château Angludet (23.04.19)

2018 Châteaux Saintayme, La Chenade, Les Cruzelles & Montlandrie from Denis Durantou (24.04.19)

2018 Château Fonbel (24.04.19)

2018 Châteaux Laroque & Labégorce (25.04.19)

2018 Château Potensac (26.04.19)

2018 Châteaux Langoa-Barton & Branaire-Ducru (29.04.19)

2018 Château Capbern (29.04.19)

2018 Château Villa Bel-Air: "Great value from the Graves"

2018 Châteaux Gazin & Clinet: Pomerol's "signature year"

2018 Chateau Ormes de Pez (03.05.19)

2018 Châteaux Beychevelle, Pavie Macquin, Malescot St Exupery & Marquis de Calon (07.05.19) 

2018 Château Haut Batailley & Meyney (07.05.19)

2018 Châteaux Beauséjour-Bécot, Rauzan-Gassies & Pape Clemént

2018 Château Duhart-Milon and Larcis Ducasse

2018 Château Les Gravieres, St-Emilion Grand Cru: £165 IB, 94-96 pts The Wine Advocat (16.05.19)

2018 Châteaux Pavie Decesse (97-100 points) Lagrange & Rouget

2018 Chateaux Leoville-Barton & Grand Puy Lacoste




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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 Pavie Decesse 75cl £540 per case of 6 IB
Hugely intense but very fresh on the palate, rich and very ripe but with great b... Read more
Hugely intense but very fresh on the palate, rich and very ripe but with great balance and controlled tannins. Limestone freshness on the finish giving length and reinforcing the impression of energy, remarkable against such concentration. RKL "Grapes for this wine come from the plateau and were harvested October 3 with yields of 32 hectoliters per hectare. Composed of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc with a pH of 3.57 and 14.52% alcohol, the 2018 Pavie Decesse is deep purple-black in color and strides confidently out of the glass with a very serious nose of crushed blackberries, warm black plums, mulberries and cassis plus touches of camphor, lavender, black olives and crushed rocks with a waft of woodsmoke. Full-bodied and laden with taut, muscular black fruit and loads of mineral accents, it has a firm structure of super ripe, finely grained tannins and amazing freshness, finishing very long and very layered. 96-98 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, "Powerful young red with blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, very strong and concentrated with great length and minerality at the end. Finesse with power. 97-98 points" "All from the upper plateau and incredible limestone soils, the 2018 Château Pavie Decesse is a crazy good wine that's going to flirt with perfection. Black raspberries, cassis, crushed stone, exotic flowers, and an incredible salinity all give way to a full-bodied, concentrated yet elegant wine that just glides over the palate. Made from 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, it’s going to require 4-6 years of bottle age, but it’s one of the great wines of the vintage. 97-100 points" Close
Red 2018 Château Pavie Macquin 75cl £630 per case of 12 IB
"The 2018 Pavie Macquin is deep garnet-purple colored and a little closed to beg... Read more
"The 2018 Pavie Macquin is deep garnet-purple colored and a little closed to begin, slowly revealing subtle notions of dark chocolate, candied violets and rose hip tea over a core of plum preserves, blueberry compote and cherry coulis plus wafts of woodsmoke and crushed stones. Full-bodied, the palate has a seriously impressive structure of ripe, firm, velvety tannins and bold freshness carrying off all that rich black fruit, finishing very long and mineral laced. 95-97 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, "This is a decadent and beautiful young wine with wild aromas and flavors of meat, wet earth and plums. Very complex. Full-bodied yet soft and very velvety. The tannins melt into the wine, as if they aren’t there. Extremely long finish...97-98 points" "This is just so good. Not overly big, it has nuance, sapidity and grace, with space between the lines. It's not sacrificing its concentration but it gives you a chance to get onboard and accompany it along the way. I love the quality of the brambled blackberry and loganberry fruit here, and the touch of austerity that gives a welcome note of bitter chocolate to the finish. It has great tannic grip and there's no question that this will age well, but it's also extremely drinkable now. Tasted several times, and each occasion blew me away. My favourite vintage to date from this property. 98 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "From a cooler, pure limestone terroir just over the hill from Château Pavie, the 2018 Château Pavie Macquin offers an incredible assortment of red and black fruits, cedary spice, white truffle, graphite, and beautiful minerality. Showing the cooler, complex, concentrated style of the vineyard, it's full-bodied and powerful on the palate, with no shortage of extract or tannins....I think this estate has been underrated in the market and it can still be found for reasonable prices. It ages beautifully and I doubt you could have too much in the cellar. 97-99 points" Close
Red 2018 Château Pontet Canet 75cl £1,035 per case of 12 IB
Heady aromas of summer fruits, cherry, violets, peppery spice, amazingly open an... Read more
Heady aromas of summer fruits, cherry, violets, peppery spice, amazingly open and concentrated at the same time. The palate shows the same blend of intense, succulent fruits (which will flesh out in time) with powerful, fine chalky tannins. Evolves rather than explodes on the palate. It has the same energy and vibrancy as in other years. Utterly brilliant. RKL "The concentration that comes from having yields of 12hl/ha is extremely clear - it makes it feel very Pauillac, again resembling as at Latour, a 2010 style in terms of its backbone and sense of hunkering down. The fruit quality is dark and knitted, with a creamy texture if you give it a minute to settle, an obvious tannic structure and a menthol finish that lets in some juice, bramble and hedgerow pleasures. It’s clearly impressive, although I get just the slightest touch of over-concentration with hints of prune on the finish. The small yields meant the entire process, from destemming to sorting, was done by hand (last year around 30% of the crop was treated in this way), then fermented in small 40L cement vats that had seen their first service for just part of the crop in 2017. There was huge amounts of hard work and stress to ensure that no dried grapes made it through, with no pumping over and only soft manual punch down to control extraction. This is 100% 1st wine, same as it has been here for the past three years. 55% will be aged in new oak barrel, 45% in amphoras. Drinking Window 2026-2040. 96 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "Deeply colored, the 2018 Pontet-Canet checks in as a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot that was destemmed by hand, fermented all in concrete tanks (punch downs only) and is still aging 55% in new French oak and the balance in concrete amphoras. It's an incredibly rich, opulent, and plush Pontet-Canet that offers loads of black and blue fruits, licorice, crushed violets, and graphite aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, powerful, beautifully textured and layered, it's reminiscent of the magical 2009 with its rare mix of both hedonistic and intellectual pleasure. Unfortunately, the estate was decimated by mildew in the spring and lost a full two-thirds of their total production. 96-98 points" "A bright and open young wine with polished and soft tannins that spread out and fold into the wine, becoming barely discernible, yet the feel and beauty of them frames the wine in a beautiful way. Love the fruit and purity. 97-98 points" "The 2018 Pontet-Canet is a freak of nature. Dark, rich and explosive, the 2018 possesses off the charts richness and concentration, much of it coming from tiny yields of just ten hectoliters per hectare, or one third of a normal crop. The 2018 soars out of the glass with stunning aromatic intensity and depth. Black cherry, gravel, grilled herbs, leather, lavender and menthol stain the palate. Dense and hedonistically ripe, the 2018 is a stunningly beautiful wine. The grapes were crushed by hand. Because of the tiny yields, the entire production was vinified in Pontet-Canet's new smaller concrete vats. All winemaking was done manually, without the aid of external temperature control or electricity....Quite simply, I have never tasted anything like it. 96-99 points" Antonio Galloni, "Very deep purple-black in color, it comes rolling sensuously out of the glass with all the opulence and seduction of Cleopatra on a carpet. It emerges with flamboyant scents of crème de cassis, preserved plums and blueberry compote, and after a few moments, it bursts with nuances of molten licorice, sandalwood, Chinese five spice, candied violets, dark chocolate and dried roses, followed by underlying earthy suggestions of fallen leaves, black truffles, underbrush and wild sage. Full-bodied, wonderfully dense, rich, impossibly layered and very, very decadent, the palate delivers all it promises on the nose, with a firm, wonderfully velvety frame and finishing with epic length, a scintillating wave of freshness and a beguiling perfume. This is one for true hedonists. 97-99 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, Close
Red 2018 Château Potensac 75cl £216 per case of 12 IB
"Dense on the nose and palate, some cedary oak notes, with a very fine tannic st... Read more
"Dense on the nose and palate, some cedary oak notes, with a very fine tannic structure hinting at the old austere style of Potensac, but complimented by lots of bright damson plum fruits, presumably from the increasing proportion of Merlot in the blend. Has the structure to age but that fruit will likely make it accessible quite early too. RKL "The 2018 Potensac is blended of 45% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, all harvested between September 21 and October 13, with yields of 49 hectoliters per hectare. The wine has 14.42% alcohol and is to be aged in barriques, 35% new; the finished blend was put into barrels last December. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it rolls effortlessly out of the glass with bright, fresh red and black plums, crushed blackcurrants and bay leaves with hints of cracked pepper and damp soil. Full-bodied, rich and laden with red and black fruit layers, it has a plush frame of rounded tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing long. 90-92 points." Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019 "The excellence of this lies in the quality of the tannins, which are so polished and refined. Compact and tight. Medium-bodied. Very, very long. Beauty already. 93-94 points." James Suckling, April 2019 Close
Red 2018 Château Rauzan Gassies 75cl £480 per case of 12 IB
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Floral,... Read more
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Floral, fresh, lots of cassis fruits, very open and inviting, lots of fruit intensity on the palate but without in any way being overdone. Not a classic Margaux year in many respects but the generosity and fine tannins make this really delicious. Four ticks! RKL "The 2018 Rauzan Gassies is superb. Powerful and savory to the core, the 2018 packs a serious punch. Gravel, tobacco, cedar and grilled herbs add striking aromatic complexity and nuance. Classy and full of personality, the 2018 is one of the finest Rauzan Gassies in recent memory. 92-95 points" Antonio Galloni, "Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Rauzan-Gassies rocks up with flamboyant notions of kirsch, blackberry preserves, warm cassis and Chinese five spice with touches of black tea, red roses and menthol plus a waft of molten chocolate. Medium to full-bodied with a firm frame of ripe, fine-grained tannins and fantastic freshness, it has a solid core of rich fruit, finishing long with perfumed red and black fruit layers. 93-95 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, Close
Red 2018 Château Rouget 75cl £420 per case of 12 IB
“Deeply colored, the 2018 Château Rouget is another impressive Pomerol, which is... Read more
“Deeply colored, the 2018 Château Rouget is another impressive Pomerol, which is a region loaded with impressive wines in 2018. Cassis, black raspberries, white chocolate, and a touch of spicy wood all flow to a medium to full-bodied, beautifully layered, expansive 2018 that has top-notch mid-palate depth, notable purity of fruit, and silky tannins. Give bottles 2-4 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following 10-15. 91-93 points.” Jeb Dunnuck,, May 2019 “The 2018 Rouget is plush, flamboyant and exotically beautiful. Super ripe black cherry, chocolate, new leather, licorice and cloves are all amped up. Sumptuous fruit and silky, polished tannins add to its considerable appeal. Although not especially subtle, Rouget is very beautiful in 2018. It will appeal most to readers who enjoy big, rich wines. This full-throttle Pomerol is a real star in 2018. Tasted three times. 91-94 points.” Antonio Galloni,, May 2019 “This young wine really sings with a level of purity and precision that I’ve never seen from here. Medium to full body, ultra fine tannins and beautiful red-berry and floral character at the end. 96-97 points.” James Suckling,, April 2019 Close
Red 2018 Château Saint Pierre 75cl £506 per case of 12 IB
Intense dark black fruits on the nose and palate, open and enjoyable, evidently ... Read more
Intense dark black fruits on the nose and palate, open and enjoyable, evidently the fruit extraction has been carefully controlled. Powerful structure, this vintage makes St Pierre one to watch in future years. RKL "A St-Julien name that I can't recommend highly enough, Château Saint-Pierre 2018 is extremely architectural in feel, a beautiful, confident, masculine, muscled wine with vertical walls - although it's interesting to note it has slightly lower alcohol than some other St-Juliens. It's intense in its black fruit and charcoal character, rippling with tannins. I am full of admiration for this impressive wine that demands your attention. Drinking Window 2027 - 2040. 95 points." Jane Anson, Decanter April 2019 Close
Red 2018 Château Saintayme 75cl £135 per case of 12 IB
After a beautifully pure Merlot nose the palate is structured and ripe but quite... Read more
After a beautifully pure Merlot nose the palate is structured and ripe but quite austere at the moment. Long on the finish and medium-bodied, this should be an elegant and very fine iteration of this super-value St Emilion. RKL "Produced by Denis Durantou of Château L’Eglise Clinet, the 2018 Saintayme is made of 100% Merlot with 30% new oak and 14.5% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple colored, it bursts from the glass with plum preserves, crushed blackberries and chocolate-covered cherries with hints of lavender, unsmoked cigar and fragrant earth. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals beautiful freshness and elegance with soft tannins and loads of mineral sparks on the finish. 89-91 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, "Vibrant ruby in colour, this is a touch austere right now, subdued but rippling with potential. The plump and glossy fruits are good quality and the palate is well structured, with clear lift on the finish. It may be holding back right now but it has a long life ahead. 30% new oak. Harvested between 29 September and 9 October. 3.7pH. Drinking Window 2025-2038. 91 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "This is very perfumed with a firm and solid, stony tannin structure. Lovely, linear line through this. Full and tight at the same time. 92-93 points" Close
Red 2018 Château Sénéjac 75cl £122 per case of 12 IB
Barrel sample. Deepest crimson. Dark fruit and crushed rocks. Pure cassis intens... Read more
Barrel sample. Deepest crimson. Dark fruit and crushed rocks. Pure cassis intensity. Quite strict on the palate, the tannins upright and clean-cut giving a restraint that some wines lack in this vintage. Spicy, rounded on the finish. Harmonious and should be approachable early. 16 points" (JH) "The 2018 Sénéjac is powerful, racy and super-expressive. Floral and savory notes add striking shades of nuance to the dark fruit as this gorgeous Haut-Médoc opens in the glass. Pliant and rich in the glass, with striking aromatic top notes Sénéjac is brilliant in 2018. Best of all, it should be a tremendous value.89-91 points" Antonio Galloni, "The purity of the fruit is very pretty with so much blueberry and blackcurrant character. Medium-to full-bodied. Both the acidity and the tannins are bright and fresh. 92-93 points" Close
Red 2018 Château Sociando Mallet 75cl £300 per case of 12 IB
"A beautiful rich damson colour, this is powerful, intense, classic Sociando - a... Read more
"A beautiful rich damson colour, this is powerful, intense, classic Sociando - and for me it's even better than the 2016. It has good tannins, and lots of them, with a core of plum, damson and cassis with a side of fresh herbs, liquorice and subtle spice. It shows great persistency. A wine to look out for. Drinking Window 2024 - 2038. 94 points." Jane Anson, April 2019. "There is fantastic purity of black fruit with blackberries and ripe raspberries. Floral and bright. Full-bodied, compact palate with super polished tannins. Really fantastic. 94-95 points." James Suckling, April 2019. Close
Red 2018 Château Talbot 75cl £517 per case of 12 IB
Very pretty red fruit and good intensity on the nose; fruit-led entry on the pal... Read more
Very pretty red fruit and good intensity on the nose; fruit-led entry on the palate with fresh acidity and subtly firm structure. So finely-balanced and with wonderful finesse, it is clearly a powerful wine, yet it is a supremely elegant Talbot and its weight and potential longevity really only become apparent in the super-long finish. RKL "The 2018 Talbot is super-refined and nuanced from start to finish. Powerful yet also impeccably refined. Talbot is a wine of real character and glass. Savory Cabernet Sauvignon inflections of grilled herbs, cedar, tobacco, menthol, licorice and coffee all add shades of nuance. At times, Talbot can be a bit light. Not in 2018. Simply put, the 2018 Talbot is stellar. Tasted two times. 91-94 points" Antonio Galloni, "A great St-Julien that reflects the estate more than the vintage - a definite compliment to the winemaking team as well as those 50-year-old (on average) vines that are less swayed by climatic changes. This is full of blackberry and bilberry, with a touch of tobacco on the nose. There's good sweetness to the fruit, and although it's not quite as punchy, deep or concentrated as some, this means that it has a beautifully balanced appellation signature. 45hl/ha yield. 60% new oak. Drinking Window 2027-2040. 94 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "This estate is on a roll and the 2018 Château Talbot might just be the best yet. A deep purple/blue color is followed by a mammoth-sized bouquet of crème de cassis, dark chocolate, tobacco, and lead pencil. Rich, full-bodied, and powerful, it nevertheless stays pure, balanced, and elegant, with a beautiful finish. Its tannins are ripe and integrated, it has balancing acidity, and this is unquestionably another beautiful vintage for this estate. 93-95 points" "Very attractive core of pretty fruit and polished yet chewy tannins. Medium to full body, integrated tannins and a driven finish. One of the best Talbots in a long time. 94-95 points" 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" Close
Red 2018 Château Vray Croix de Gay 75cl £600 per case of 12 IB
“Very tight and focused with ultra fine tannins that are polished and beautiful.... Read more
“Very tight and focused with ultra fine tannins that are polished and beautiful. Medium body. Fresh finish. 93-94 points" April 2019 “The 2018 Vray Croix de Gay is sensual, open-knit and inviting. Rose petal, mint, lavender and spice add striking aromatic presence to a refined, sensual Pomerol that hits all the right notes. Beautifully persistent and layered, Vray Croix de Gay is absolutely gorgeous. This is an especially nuanced, understated style. 93-96 points" Antonio Galloni, Close
Red 2018 Domaine de Chevalier 75cl £650 per case of 12 IB
"This wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot... Read more
"This wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot to be aged for approximately 18 months in oak barriques, 35% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Domaine de Chevalier starts a little closed before bounding out of the glass with bold expressions of fresh blackcurrants, kirsch, black raspberries and fragrant earth plus nuances of lilacs, Sichuan pepper and menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the palate maintains elegance and sophistication, with a lovely ripe, finely grained frame and plenty of freshness to back up the floral and black fruit layers, finishing long and perfumed. 94-96+ points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, "These guys clearly know what they are doing, and they keep doing it. This wine is consistent even in difficult years but in years like this, where they have the room to manoeuvre, it really shines. This is great stuff, with lovely freshness to the deep fruit flavours. There is persistency and plenty of slate and freshly cut herbs to stack up against the juicy, concentrated fruit. It's a powerful, well handled and confident wine but doesn't push too hard. One-third new oak. Drinking Window 2027-2040. 96 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "The 2018 Domaine de Chevalier is magnificent. Bright, lifted and wonderfully nuanced, the 2018 has so much to offer. Olivier Bernard turned out a dazzling Domaine de Chevalier in 2018 that speaks to precision and nuance above all else. Rose petal, mint, savory herbs and crushed rocks add striking aromatic top notes to this stunning, breathtakingly beautiful wine. The tannins need time to soften, but I doubt readers will be in a rush. The 2018 is simply majestic - that's all there is to it. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Tasted three times. 94-97 points" Antonio Galloni, "Possibly one of the finest wines ever to come from the Bernard family’s flagship estate near Léognan, the 2018 Domaine de Chevalier checks in as a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot that hit 13.5% alcohol and will spend 18 months in just 35% new French oak. Its saturated purple/plum color is followed by a mammoth bouquet of cassis, black currants, gravelly earth, smoked herbs, and tobacco. Full-bodied, deep, brilliantly balanced, and seriously concentrated, it has polished tannins, no hard edges, and a finish that won’t quit. It’s a heavenly Graves that will keep for 30+ years. 96-98 points" "Wow. I can’t get over the pureness of fruit in this wine with so much currant, tar and wet-earth character. Flowers, too. So aromatic. Full body, yet pureness and brightness of fruit. Layered. Incredible depth and beauty. 65 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 30 per cent merlot and 5 per cent petit verdot. Greatest ever? 99-100 points" Close

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