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.  

VIEW OUR FULL BORDEAUX 2018 EN PRIMEUR OFFER

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

  

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 10 cases Château Giscours 75cl £546 per case of 12 IB
Red 2018 6 cases Château Grand Puy Lacoste 75cl £670 per case of 12 IB
Lots of perfumed violets and delicate spice on the nose, dark cassis fruit and f... Read more
Lots of perfumed violets and delicate spice on the nose, dark cassis fruit and fresh acidity. Very focused on the palate, with the intense, firm tannins giving way to fruit on the finish. Plenty of evidence of elegance and freshness, GPL seems to be moving towards a more restrained style, based on the evidence of this year. RKL "This is a deep and beautiful 2018 with blackcurrant, wet-earth and fresh-tobacco undertones. Full-bodied, tight and polished. Gorgeous finish. The tannins kick in at the end. Fine texture. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com "Another success from Grand-Puy-Lacoste – it's bright and full of juice, prioritising vibrancy over power. As such, it has a touch less Pauillac typicity than in the absolutely brilliant 2016 vintage at this estate, although as it unfurls through the palate you do get the menthol, cassis and smoked cedar that is just such a beautiful sign of ripe Cabernet up in this corner of the world. They were extremely careful with extraction because of the high alcohols, so grapes underwent the shortest maceration to date with no pumping over just an infusion during the extraction process. Drinking Window 2026-2040. 95 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "A wine of precision, energy and nuance, the 2018 Grand-Puy-Lacoste is fabulous. Freshly cut flowers, mint and sweet red berry fruit grace this exquisite, nuanced Pauillac. Medium in body, understated and classy, Grand-Puy-Lacoste is one of the highlights of the year. In a word: impeccable. The 2018 is 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot from yields of 40 hectoliters per hectare. 93-96 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Close
Red 2018 5 cases Château Gruaud Larose 75cl £660 per case of 12 IB
Not so full-bodied as some other wines from this commune at the same level, clas... Read more
Not so full-bodied as some other wines from this commune at the same level, classical and exact, with fresh acidity emphasizing hedgerow and red fruits and some cedar notes. Suspect there is more generous black fruit here waiting to reveal itself with some time in bottle. RKL "This is good quality, not exactly generous but clearly carefully extracted - they kept the simultaneous alcoholic and malolactic fermentations to between 24°C and 26°C. It's packed full of flavour, with real precision to the fruit. Bramble and hedgerow scents suggest a firm acidity and a structure that's built to last, while still being appetising and full of pleasure. As it opens in the glass, liquorice and dark chocolate come to the fore. A wine that will age well without question. 85% new oak. Drinking Window 2027-2040. 94 points". Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "This is really generous and rolls off the tongue with ripe and velvety tannins and a fresh undertone. Full-bodied, firm and silky. Extremely long and flavorful. Very complex already. 95-96 points". Jamessuckling.com "The 2018 Gruaud Larose is blended of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc, with a pH of 3.88 and 14.2% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple in color, it leaps from the glass with bold black cherries, mulberries, plum preserves and blackcurrant cordial scents with hints of menthol, lilacs, licorice and cloves plus wafts of fallen leaves and tilled soil. Medium to full-bodied with a taut core of ripe, densely packed, muscular fruit, it has a firm line of ripe, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and spicy. Very exotic Gruaud! 95-97 points". Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert.Parker.com Close
Red 2018 20 cases Château Haut Bages Libéral 75cl £365 per case of 12 IB
Tremendous intensity, quite hard on initial tasting but returning to it the dept... Read more
Tremendous intensity, quite hard on initial tasting but returning to it the depth of fruit becomes apparent, hedgerow freshness to the fruit suggesting another property which has succeeded in making a fresh, lively wine in this vintage. RKL. "A more unfussy than slick wine, less sumptuous than some as is often the case with this estate, but as you sit with it you start to realise there's real quality here. It has a juiciness and integrity to the cassis and bilberry fruit, alongside brambles and hedgerows, with chewy tannins that build slowly through the palate providing a welcoming cushion of support. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040. 92 points." Jane Anson, Decanter.com April 2019. "A fantastic wine with lovely depth of ripe fruit and transparency and beauty. Full bodied. Succulent and rich tannins to the gorgeous fruit. From biodynamically grown grapes. 96-97 points." James Suckling, jamessuckling.com April 2019 Close
Red 2018 3 cases Château Haut Batailley 75cl £520 per case of 12 IB
"Dark and pure on the nose just a touch stony/smoky to add finesse to the fruit.... Read more
"Dark and pure on the nose just a touch stony/smoky to add finesse to the fruit. Oak is quite evident on the palate but there's fruit to fill it out. Less aromatic than the second wine (new name: Verso) but there's still a restraint and subtlety in a powerful vintage. Long on the finish yet the persistence is gentle. Fine-grained tannin texture. 17 points" jancisrobinson.com (JH) "This is a lovely wine from the second vintage under Lynch Bages' ownership, full of power and poise and controlled precision. It has a slightly unusual blend owing to a greater proportion of Merlot than has been used in previous vintages, but it doesn't suffer in terms of concentration due to the thick skins and structure of the Merlots in 2018, and what you get instead is a creamy, velvety texture through the mid palate. It has lots of tannins but they have the enrobed quality that comes from the higher than usual alcohols, and are extremely seductive. It's more lightly framed than the Lynch Bages, as it was in 2017, and is enjoyable. 3.61pH. 81IPT. Drinking Window 2024-2036 93 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "Blended of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot aging in 60% new barriques, the 2018 Haut Batailley is very deep purple-black in color and takes some coaxing to reveal profound notes of dark chocolate, crème de cassis, blueberry pie and anise with waves of raspberry pie, lavender and Indian spices. Full, very tightly would and jam-packed with layers of crunchy black and blue fruits, it has a firm line of ripe, grainy tannins and compelling freshness, finishing long with a mineral hint coming through. 92-94 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert.Parker.com "I can't remember a Haut-Batailley this tannic, yet the tannins are savory and very ripe with beauty and purity. Full-bodied, chewy tannins and a long and intense finish. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com "The grand vin 2018 Château Haut-Batailley is a beauty and is comprised of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot brought up in 60% new French oak. It's an attractive, elegantly styled wine that has lots of juicy Merlot notes of black cherries, graphite, scorched earth, and spice. Rich, medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced, and with terrific purity on the palate, this brilliant Pauillac is going to be approachable in just a few years and will evolve gracefully. This wine hit 14.3% alcohol with 3.61 pH and an IPT of 81. My money is on it being one of the best to date from this estate. 93-95+ points" Jebdunnuck.com Close
Red 2018 9 cases Château La Chenade 75cl £145 per case of 12 IB
Seemingly riper on the nose with lovely, leafy Cab Franc notes in evidence. Swee... Read more
Seemingly riper on the nose with lovely, leafy Cab Franc notes in evidence. Sweeter on entry than the Saintayme with delicious red fruit flavours combining with the darker, plummy fruits. Elegant and very long. RKL "This is super fresh and juicy - an easy wine to recommend. It's full of well-ripened autumnal fruits and is in fact pretty concentrated in terms of flavours – a wine that shows just how fully the grapes ripened on gravel soils in 2018 and yet maintains its floral aromatics and sense of easy elegance. 30% new oak was used. A yield of 40hl/ha. Drinking Window 2024-2038. 92 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "This is really delicious and fresh with lovely dark berries and purity at the same time. Medium body, fine tannins and a lovely finish. 92-93 points" jamessuckling.com Close
Red 2018 2 cases Château La Chenade Magnum £160 per case of 6 IB
Red 2018 6 cases Château La Conseillante 75cl £1,010 per case of 6 IB
"This is extremely good quality with a lovely persistency, luscious and luxuriou... Read more
"This is extremely good quality with a lovely persistency, luscious and luxurious with richly textured tannins that place you perfectly in the heart of Pomerol. It's inky and concentrated with clear liquorice from the start and an abundance of flowers and fruit; violets and iris followed by black chocolate alongside subtleties of woodsmoke and coffee that curl out of the glass after a few minutes. It has bouncy tannins with a 95IPT but they're so hugely silky that you can be pretty sure this is going to age every bit as well as the 2016. They continued with all biodynamic and organic farming here except for one treatment during flowering against mildew which meant they had to stop the certification process. 3% will be aged in amphoras, the rest in barrel. Michel Rolland consults. A yield of 32hl/ha. 3.65pH. Drinking Window 2028 – 2044. 97 points." Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019 "The 2018 La Conseillante is magnificent. A wine of real vertical lift and explosiveness, the 2018 is distinguished by its spine of energy, freshness and purity of fruit. Inky blue/purplish berry fruit, mocha, lavender spice and mint develop in the glass, but it is the wine's overall sense of harmony that truly stands out. The 2018 showed tremendous vibrancy and vitality, with superb mid-palate richness and phenomenal balance all three times I tasted it. It is without question one of the wines of the vintage. The blend is 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc. This is the first vintage that includes a touch of wine aged in amphora, just 3%. Don't miss it! 95-98 points." Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019 "The 2018 La Conseillante is a blend of 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc, with a 3.65 pH and 14% alcohol. Yields were 32 hectoliters per hectare; Merlot was harvested September 19 to October 1, and Cabernet Franc was harvested on October 4. Very deep purple-black colored, it comes charging out of the gate with energetic notes of wild blueberries, chocolate-covered cherries and warm black plums plus hints of lilacs, damp soil, cardamom and cloves with gentle wafts of cast iron pan and fragrant earth. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with elegant black fruit and earthy layers, framed by soft, velvety tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. 96-98+ points." Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, April 2019 "This is a forceful red, showing blueberry and blackberry character with violets and light wet earth. Clarity and beauty with so much transparency and focus. Full-bodied, firm and silky with lots of white-pepper and salt undertones. 97-98 points." James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019 "The 2018 Château La Conseillante checks in as a blend of 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc brought up in 70% new French oak, with a small amount in amphora. Yields here were a light 32 hectoliters per hectare, and the 2018 is a respectable 13.5% natural alcohol. Winemaker Marielle Cazaux commented that the secret to the vintage was to be a lazy winemaker (i.e. hands off). Her 2018 boasts a saturated purple color as well as incredible purity in its blue and black fruits, spice, liquid flower, and violet-like characteristics. Full-bodied, pure and seamless on the palate as well, it's flawlessly balanced, with building yet sweet tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. It's going to flirt with perfection. Hats off to Marielle for another magical wine from this estate, which has quickly risen into the top echelon of estates in Bordeaux. 97-100 points." Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019 Close
Red 2018 3 cases Château La Mission Haut Brion 75cl £2,850 per case of 12 IB
Restrained and not overt on the nose, but fresh blackcurrant and blackberry frui... Read more
Restrained and not overt on the nose, but fresh blackcurrant and blackberry fruits in evidence, confirmed on the palate with stupendous minerality and slightly dry on the finish. Very ripe and fine filigree tannins sustain the wine through the mid-palate and finish as it unfolds. RKL "Deepest crimson with very dark core. Intense, pure aromatic cassis and a hint of cassis leaf, though fully ripe. Smells very Cabernet. And the tannins are upright and structured but extremely lithe and supple. No thickness here. Agile. Just a little chewy on the finish. So seemingly approachable and full of energy. 17.5+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JH) "An extremely fine Mission, just beginning to say its piece. It's dense, gorgeously velvety in texture and bursting with fruit and energy. On the palate you get liquorice and dark chocolate notes, showing clear generosity while easily walking the line of balance. The longer it sits in the glass, the more the minerality takes hold on the mid-palate, doling out its tiny sparks of electricity and holding your attention. The subtle smoke, freshly cut herbs and tight tannins steal up on you, planting their flag in the finish. Drinking Window 2023 - 2032. 97 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "Straight up awesome notes of black raspberries, smoked earth, melted licorice, and tobacco all emerge from this deeply colored 2018, and it develops a beautiful violet and floral quality with time in the glass. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated on the palate, with subtle background oak and sweet tannins, it's one sexy yet also seamless 2018 that does everything right. 97-99 points" Jebdunnuck.com "Deep purple-black in color, it slowly unfurls to reveal a beguiling nose of earth and soft-spoken fruit, opening with wild blueberries, wet slate, pencil lead and fresh black cherries giving way to a serious core of blackcurrant cordial, baked plums and wild sage, and then exposing delicate wafts of rose hip tea and candied violets. Full-bodied, the palate is very tightly wound and super intense with amazing restraint and energy focused around very firm, exquisitely fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing incredibly long and fantastically multilayered. Extraordinary wine. 98-100 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert.Parker.com Close
Red 2018 5 cases Château Langoa Barton 75cl £435 per case of 12 IB
Lovely ripeness evident on the nose here; rich entry to the palate with a delici... Read more
Lovely ripeness evident on the nose here; rich entry to the palate with a delicious chewy sweetness. The tannins are very firm and the overall sense is of balance but considerable power. RKL "There's real freshness to the crushed-raspberry and blueberry character of this young red. Medium-to full-bodied and zingy with energetic tannins. Crisp finish. Lovely purity of fruit to this. 93-94 points" jamessuckling.com "The deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Langoa Barton is slightly shy at this nascent stage, revealing wonderfully pure, warm red and black currant scents with nuances of blueberry preserves, chocolate mint, smoked meat and a waft of bouquet garni. Full-bodied, rich and sporting a lot of vibrant, juicy fruit in the mouth, it has firm, rounded tannins and a lively backbone lifting the fruit to a good, long finish. 92-94 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert.Parker.com Close
Red 2018 3 cases Château L'Eglise Clinet 75cl £1,300 per case of 6 IB
Initially quite closed and unapproachable, but with endless finesse and and a re... Read more
Initially quite closed and unapproachable, but with endless finesse and and a reassuringly dry note on the palate suggesting balance. Tannins are noticeably finer than the Petite L'Eglise and there is more minerality and freshness. Gradually unfurls in the glass to show black cherry and other deep black fruits, but retaining the savoury impression overall. Very fine and for long-ageing. RKL "This is rich, with layers upon layers of black chocolate, ripe fleshy blackberries and raspberries tempered by acidity and tannins that support, pushing the entire palate slowly onwards and upwards. It has all the generosity of the vintage but tempered with Durantou's amazing ability to sculpt freshness out of the fruit his vineyards deliver. It's immensely seductive and powerful with more evident flesh than the 2016 – a wine that's going to run and run. Drinking Window 2028 – 2040. 97 points." Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019 "Maintaining freshness in the wine was a priority for Denis Durantou at L'Eglise Clinet. "The pH developed quite quickly," he said. "We had to test it every day; we had made a conscious decision to pick before it got too high. At a maximum of 3.7 pH, we pick. As soon as we have an evolution—a flavor change—we decide to pick." Merlot was picked September 18-26 and Cabernet Franc on September 28. The resulting wine has a 3.63 pH and 14.5% alcohol and will be aged in 70% new barriques. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 L'Eglise Clinet is deep purple-black in color and opens with beguiling truffles, forest floor, mossy bark and black tea scents, slowly unfurling to reveal a core of Black Forest cake, plum preserves, licorice and candied violets plus wafts of tar and cast iron pan. Full-bodied, concentrated and jam-packed with muscular fruit, the velvety-textured palate delivers layer upon layer of savory and earthy accents, finishing with a lingering mineral lift. 96-98 points." Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, April 2019 "The 2018 L'Eglise-Clinet is a powerful, tightly wound wine. In fact, it is one of the most reticent Pomerols I tasted, which makes it hard to evaluate today but probably bodes extremely well for the future. Dark and brooding in the glass, the 2018 has too much to offer. A wine of real gravitas and power, the 2018 is likely to need the better part of the next decade to open up, and even that probably won't be enough. Spice, leather, lavender, rose petal and tobacco gradually develop in the glass, but what really comes through is the sheer depth and intensity of the year. 95-98 points." Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019 "One of the true "wow" wines in the vintage, the 2018 Château l'Eglise-Clinet is a blockbuster offering stunning notes of black currants, roasted herbs, truffle, earth, and graphite. It's a ripe, voluptuous, and incredibly opulent wine that has full-bodied richness, no hard edges, silky tannins, and gorgeous length. The blend is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, all harvest in September, and raised in 70% new oak. It has remarkable purity, as well as balance, and will benefit from 5-6 years of bottle age and evolve for two decades or more. 96-98 points." Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019 "Lush in feel, with boysenberry reduction and crushed plum flavors, carried by a polished, solid structure. A mineral hint filters through on the finish, adding length and cut. 95-98 points." James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2019 "This is incredibly powerful with fantastic depth and length. It goes on for minutes. Full-bodied yet so tight and intense. Blackberries and hints of spice. It has such energy and persistence. It is a wine that makes you really reflect. Bravo. Tiny production. 99-100 points." James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019 Close
Red 2018 7 cases Château Léoville Barton 75cl £755 per case of 12 IB
Cassis and violets on the nose. Structured, muscular and weighty on the palate.... Read more
Cassis and violets on the nose. Structured, muscular and weighty on the palate. Very textural, tannins far more powerful but also more refined than anything so far in this flight with lots of mineral character. Restrained and elegant, fruit balanced by savoury notes, great concentration, likely very long-lived and will need some time in bottle before drinking. RKL. "The 2018 Léoville-Barton is fabulous. Graphite, gravel, crème de cassis, mint, violet, spice and exotic spices are some of the many notes that infuse this stunningly beautiful unctuous Saint-Julien. In 2018 Léoville-Barton has an extra dimension of volume and resonance, yet it never loses its super-classic mid-weight structure and regal bearing....93-96 points." Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019 "Deep garnet-purple in color...simply sings of crushed black cherries, blackcurrant cordial and wild blueberries with touches of violets, dark chocolate, allspice and cardamom with a waft of stewed tea. Full-bodied, rich and decadently fruited in the mouth, the generous fruit has a solid structure of firm, ripe, grainy tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long and layered. 94-96 points." Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019 "....While never the most showy or opulent, this team always fashions a fresh, focused, incredibly age-worthy wine, and the 2018 follows suit, revealing a vivid purple color, notes of crème de cassis, crushed violets, salty minerality, and lead pencil shaving-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and incredibly elegant on the palate, it has building tannins, flawless balance, and integrated acidity, all making for a wine that's going to demand upwards of a decade of bottle age yet keep for 40 years or more. The tannin quality here is exceptional and this is a wine you won't regret having in the cellar. 95-97+ points." Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019 "They are just hitting it out of the park at Léoville Barton at the moment, keeping the relaxed and effortless feel of a great St-Julien but loading up on the complexity and concentration that lies behind it. You don't see all the mechanisms, but you know they are there. This is going to age exceptionally well, but there's a freshness and juiciness to the structure already that suggests it's going to be great fun to drink along the way. It has glass-staining extraction, with plenty of cassis, graphite and liquorice flavours - everything's turned up high...96 points." Jane Anson, Decanter April 2019 A stunner, showing a great degree of purity, with long flavors of cassis, plum and blackberry preserves, seamlessly integrated with the graphite structure. A very vivid, defined, precise wine. 96-99 points." James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2019 Close
Red 2018 14 cases Château Léoville Poyferré 75cl £815 per case of 12 IB
64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot. Amazingly... Read more
64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot. Amazingly perfumed with floral and peppery spice notes from the outset, complimented by deep kirsch and cassis fruit. Great depth of cassis fruit but very pure and with not a hint of over-extraction, perfectly balanced. Texture on the palate is superb with silky but powerful tannins. RKL "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Léoville Poyferré begins sporting a veil of cedar, opening out to reveal profound notions of crème de cassis, warm kirsch, Black Forest cake and Indian spices plus hints of chargrilled meats and Sichuan pepper. Full-bodied and built like a brick house, the taut, muscular black fruit has a solid frame of firm, ripe tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with loads of savory nuances....94-96+ points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert.Parker.com "The 2018 Léoville-Poyferré is a stunning wine that shows a very distinct shift in style under the leadership of Sara Lecompte Cuvelier towards greater energy and vibrancy. The 2018 soars out of the glass with stunning aromatic presence. In its latest incarnation, Léoville-Poyferré is marked by a distinct emphasis on freshness and less extraction than in the past, with sweeter, riper tannins than is the norm. It will be interesting to see if that is an expression of the vintage, or a move toward a gentler approach to winemaking, but I suspect much of it is the latter. Dark red cherry, menthol, pine and wild flowers abound in a stunning, vibrant Saint-Julien that will leave readers weak at the knees. Tasted three times. 94-97 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com "Deep, silky, and satiny in texture, you can practically stroke this in the glass! The round mouthfeel tells of ripe fruit and generous alcohol but there's not a trace of heat, and the balance is gorgeous. Tannins match you step for step, stopping for breath in all the right places. They keep the luscious black cherry, liquorice and dark chocolate all in place. The 2016 vintage was almost one degree less in alcohol, and certainly this is a little less architectural in its construction, but that extra percent has clearly gone a long way to covering the tannins in silk. 3.7pH. IPT90. Tasted several times. Drinking Window 2028-2042. 97 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "This is so powerful and dense with amazing tannin quality that reminds me of dense clouds, because they are agile and light. Multilayered. Extremely long, too. Punchy! One of the best wines I have ever had from here. 97-98 points" jamessuckling.com "One of the gems in the vintage will be the 2018 Château Léoville Poyferré, which is a powerful, incredibly sexy wine...In the same ballpark as the 2000, 2005, 2009, and 2010, its deep purple color is followed by a rich, opulent bouquet of sweet black and blue fruits, tobacco, and graphite. Both intellectually and hedonistically satisfying, it fills the mouth with fruit, has remarkable purity and precision for such a powerful wine, sweet tannins, and a finish that goes on for nearly a minute. It's similar in character to the 2009 and will keep for three decades or more. This wine checks in at 14.4% alcohol, with a pH of 3.7, and a massive (one of the highest in the vintage) IPT value of 90. Tasted twice. 96-99 points" Jebdunnuck.com Close
Red 2018 6 cases Château Les Gravières 75cl £165 per case of 12 IB
"A sleeper in this vintage, the 2018 Les Gravières (100% Merlot) is a very prett... Read more
"A sleeper in this vintage, the 2018 Les Gravières (100% Merlot) is a very pretty and expressive Saint-Émilion. Freshly cut flowers, rose petal, mint and sweet red berry fruit are beautifully lifted in this very understated Saint-Émilion. Medium in body, refined and supremely gracious, the 2018 has a lot to offer. This is such a gorgeous wine. 91-94 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com "This estate hit a home run in the vintage. Their 2018 Château Les Gravières (100% Merlot) reveals a saturated purple color as well as a massive bouquet of crème de cassis, black raspberries, lead pencil shavings, and flowery incense. Inky colored, full-bodied, incredibly pure, and layered on the palate, it has polished tannins and delivers a rare mix of elegance and hedonism. It's a serious Merlot to drink over the coming 15 years, if not longer. Tasted twice. 92-94 points" Jebdunnuck.com "Made from 100% Merlot, the 2018 Les Gravieres is deep garnet-purple and rocks up with gregarious blueberry pie, chocolate-covered cherries and plum preserves scents with nuances of violets, spice cake and mocha. Big, full and decadently fruited, it has a firm frame of super ripe, grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing very long and layered. 94-96 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert.Parker.com Close
Red 2018 1 case Château L'Evangile 75cl £1,100 per case of 6 IB
Beautifully floral on the nose, with violets, lilac and some coffee in the backg... Read more
Beautifully floral on the nose, with violets, lilac and some coffee in the background. Textured and silky on the palate, verging on extracted in style but with edge (possibly from the increased percentage of Cabernet Franc this year?). Structure persists right through to the very long finish...almost Pauillac in style. RKL "The 2018 L'Évangile is shaping up to be exceptional. Rich and sumptuous in the glass, the 2018 exudes richness in all of its dimensions. Opulent and dense in the glass, with soft curves and silky, polished tannins, the 2018 is hugely promising. All the elements just fall into place. Dark raspberry jam, cloves, menthol and new leather are some of the many notes that build in a sumptuous, racy Évangile loaded with class and personality. I can't wait to taste it from bottle. 94-97 points." Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019 "You feel the density and power straight off the nose here - this is really silky, sexy and smoky wine with a ton of complex flavours combining berry fruits with spices swirling through, and finishing up with liquorice bean and coffee grounds on the finish. There's less lift perhaps than the 2016, but you feel the concentration, the depth to the flavour, and the balance. It has a beautiful texture and feels very classically Pomerol but with elegance and persistency. A small production in 2018 but a very beautiful one. 75% new oak used. Drinking Window 2027 – 2044. 97 points." Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019 "The grand vin 2018 Château l'Evangile turns the intensity up substantially, offering a beautiful bouquet of blue fruits, violets, classy oak, spring flowers, and graphite. Rich, concentrated, and elegant on the palate, it has more Cabernet Franc than normal (20%) and this shows dramatically, with the wine staying more focused, straight, and fresh compared to the more massive and opulently styled 2015 and 2016. This is a regal, elegant yet still full-bodied l'Evangile that's going to benefit from 5-7 years of bottle age and keep for 25 years or more. 96-98 points." Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019 "The 2018 L'Evangile is composed of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The Merlot was harvested September 19 to October 2, and the Cabernet Franc was harvested September 25 to October 1. This is the optimal blend—with more Cabernet Franc coming through this year, since it was amazing. Deep garnet-purple colored, it slips seductively out of the glass with glamorous notes of baked black cherries, warm blueberries and raspberry tart plus wafts of kirsch, red roses, rose hip tea, espresso, licorice and sandalwood. Full-bodied, rich, concentrated and delivering opulent black fruit layers, the palate has a firm frame of lovely, ripe, rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and fragrant. Beautiful. 97-99 points." Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, April 2019 "A very plush and exciting L'Evangile with polished, velvety tannins that set this up to be a classic. It's full-bodied with glorious fruit and a great center palate that has fantastic depth. It's so caressing and beautiful. So much here. 98-99 points." James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019 Close
Red 2018 4 cases Château Lynch Bages 75cl £1,068 per case of 12 IB
Open and aromatic on the nose, with perfumed floral notes of rose and violet as ... Read more
Open and aromatic on the nose, with perfumed floral notes of rose and violet as well as graphite. Intense cassis fruit with a shiny, silky textural quality, balancing the powerful but beautifully refined tannins. A very structured Lynch-Bages with long ageing potential, but much more approachable than the 2010 too. RKL "The 2018 Lynch-Bages is a potent, racy wine endowed with real textural depth and intensity. Even so, it retains terrific nuance and vibrancy. All the classic Lynch-Bages signatures are present, but amped up, with huge tannins and equally huge fruit. The 2018 is going to need at least a few years to shed some of its baby fat. Today, it is decidedly rich and unctuous in style. Rose petal, lavender, mint and sweet spice add striking layers of aromatic nuance. The blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. 93-96 points." Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com "This is hugely impressive right from the off - strap on your walking boots, get your crampons at the ready, there is a wall to climb - not one that you ever hit by the way, because contrary to expectations this unfurls slowly, keeping the peak just out of sight. It's great quality and one of my favourites from this property because it's full of power but with a caress, so much tannic power too and yet so light of foot. It's filled with absolutely delicious black chocolate, rosemary, cardamom and pepper but also lets the light in thanks for a fresh core running through. Having tasted it a few times it's clear it's going to age extremely well. A yield of 38hl/ha. Drinking Window 2026-2040. 97 points." Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "The 2018 Lynch Bages is made up of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot aging in 75% new barriques. Very deep purple-black in color, the nose is quite coy and restrained to begin, fanning out to offer pure, ripe blackcurrants, black cherries and preserved plums with wafts of red roses, cigar box, incense, cardamom and fenugreek with savory touches of black olives, Marmite toast and smoked meats. Full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house, with a solid foundation of very firm, very ripe, grainy tannins and superb freshness supporting the generous black fruit layers, finishing long with provocative ferrous suggestions. 96-98 points." Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert.Parker.com "This is incredibly powerful and structured with so much tannin backbone and length, yet it's cool and fresh with a compact palate and great length. Muscular. 97-98 points." jamessuckling.com "Cassis, graphite, blackberries, scorched earth, and graphite notes all emerge from the 2018 Château Lynch-Bages, which is a rich, blockbuster style beauty up with the finest vintages to date from this historic estate, which by the way, is just about complete with a massive new cellar construction project. Checking in as a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, brought up in 75% new French oak, it's incredibly concentrated, opulent, and sexy on the palate, with building underlying structure, a stacked mid-palate, and a great finish. It reminds me of the 2009 with its fleshy, powerful style. The IPT, or amount of tannins, is a through the roof 95 and it hit 14.1% alcohol with a pH of 3.66. It's going to live for just about forever. 96-98+ points." Jebdunnuck.com Close
Red 2018 1 case Château Margaux 75cl £2,340 per case of 6 IB
Intense blackcurrant, black cherry and fresh red fruits with spices, cocoa and v... Read more
Intense blackcurrant, black cherry and fresh red fruits with spices, cocoa and violets on the nose. Awesome refinement to the tannins, nothing aggressive about them despite their power. The concentration of fruit on the palate seems uncharacteristic of Margaux at first but it's beautifully handled, expanding ever so gradually on the palate and lingering there for what seems like forever. RKL "Intense cherry red with black core. Scented cassis and cassis leaf. Small, intense berries giving refined and intense fruit. Tannins are super-charged but not aggressive, deep and chewy but layered rather than monolithic. There's a fine dark, charry character on the palate, giving a savoury dry freshness. Very fine in all its tannic power. Dare I say, more Pauillac than Margaux? Elegance in power. Great length. So smooth on the finish. The concentration is carried lightly. (JH). Drink 2028-2048. 18.5 points." Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019 "Château Margaux's 2018 Grand Vin boasts off the charts textural richness and intensity from the very first taste. A huge core of dark fruit, potent, muscular tannins are two of the signatures. Dense and explosive in the glass, with breathtaking concentration, the 2018 is one of the finest Margauxs in recent memory. Lavender, rose petal and spice add striking perfume in this compelling, memorable Grand Vin. In 2018, the Grand Vin represents 36% of the crop and is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. 95-98 points." Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019 "Without doubt an incredible Margaux, although whether it will equal the 2015 remains to be seen. It's less serious than the 2016 but every bit as good, floating above the palate, performing that acrobatic trick that only happens in the really great years. It's silky yet intense and powerful, with sweet, fleshy and succulent raspberry cut through with fresh rosemary and sage that add texture and grip. The menthol side of the Cabernet is already coming through, which suggests the fruit was just perfectly ripe - these are aromatics that you don't get in true heatwave years like 2003. The flavours stretch out, gently gripping and keeping you involved in what is unfurling. Harvested between 17 September and 13 October, with an average yield of 31hl/ha due to both mildew and the concentration of the berries that occured at the end of ripening. The impact was uneven, depending on the vineyard blocks, so yields actually varied between 15 and 50hl/ha. The best plots were the least affected, which means that unusually there is more production in the grand vin and in Pavillon, with less in the third and fourth wines....Drinking Window 2028 – 2045. 98 points." Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019 "Deep purple-black in color, it comes prancing out of the glass with energetic Morello cherries, black raspberries and blackberry pie scents plus nuances of fragrant soil, candied violets, lavender, sandalwood, unsmoked cigars and black olives with a gentle wave of cassis and licorice emerging with coaxing. Full-bodied, the palate is charged with the most amazing energy, delivering layer after layer of red and black fruits with tons of earthy nuances, framed by the most exquisitely ripe, fine-grained tannins, finishing with amazing freshness and an extraordinarily long-lingering perfume. Magnificent. 97-100 points." Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, April 2019 "One of the wines of the vintage on the Left Bank is the 2018 Château Margaux, a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% each of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and the balance Petit Verdot. A thrilling, sensational Margaux that reminds me of the 2015 at this stage, it reveals a saturated purple/blue color as well as heavenly notes of black raspberries, blueberries, cassis, spring flowers, high-class smoke tobacco, and graphite. Deep, full-bodied, and seamless, it builds incrementally on the palate and carries masses of fine tannins, no hard edges, and awesome purity of fruit. Given its purity, depth of fruit, and texture, it's going to be approachable with just short-term cellaring, but I suspect it won't start to hit prime time for at least a decade. 98-100 points." Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019 "Wow. This takes off on the palate the moment you taste it. Aromas and flavors of redcurrants, flowers, cherries and hints of hazelnuts. Full-bodied, tight and compact, but the linear tannins, running down the center of the wine, draw the wine through the finish. 99-100 points." James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019 Close
White 2018 Château Margaux - Pavillon Blanc du Margaux 75cl £965 per case of 6 IB
"The 2018 Pavillon Blanc is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc that was picked in Augu... Read more
"The 2018 Pavillon Blanc is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc that was picked in August—there was no water stress on the vines at this stage. The wine has a pH of 3.1 and 13.5% alcohol. It leaps from the glass with exuberant green guava, fresh pineapple and apricot scents with hints of mandarin peel, honeysuckle and fresh ginger. The palate is medium-bodied, elegant and very fresh with wonderful, intense tropical layers, finishing very exotic. 93-95 points." Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, April 2019 "One of the whites of the vintage is the 2018 Château Margaux Pavillon Blanc, which is all Sauvignon Blanc brought up in barrel. This racy, medium to full-bodied beauty offers a terrific sense of freshness and tension as well as complex notes of lemon curd, white grapefruit, white flowers, and salty minerality. Vibrant, racy, yet also textured and beautifully concentrated, it's unquestionably in the top handful of whites in the vintage. 95-97 points." Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019 "A very powerful and dense white with loads of dried lemons and cooked peaches. Full-bodied with chewy phenolic tension and texture. Extremely long. Lasts for minutes. Layered! 97-98 points." James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019 Close
Red 2018 2 cases Château Margaux - Pavillon Rouge du Margaux 75cl £895 per case of 6 IB
"The 2018 Pavillon Rouge accounts for 30% of the crop this year. It is composed ... Read more
"The 2018 Pavillon Rouge accounts for 30% of the crop this year. It is composed of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, with 14.5% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple in color, it sings of crushed black and red currants, warm black berries and plum pudding with touches of fungi, cedar chest, truffles and smoked meats plus a fragrant undercurrent of fallen leaves and potpourri. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a solid backbone of fine-grained tannins and loads of freshness supporting the vibrant red and black fruits, finishing long. 93-95 points." Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, April 2019 "Representing roughly 30% of the total production and a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Château Margaux Pavillon Rouge is an incredibly elegant, juicy, and medium to full-bodied second wine that has fabulous purity in its cassis, violets, and floral aromas and flavors. It's silky, vibrant, and has sweet tannins, and just glides over the palate. This beautiful wine is already hard to resist and will keep for 15+ years. 93-95 points." Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019 "Fantastic depth of ripe fruit with currant and dark-berry aromas. Hints of citrus and dry earth. Full body and round, velvety tannins that are melted into the wine. Very intense and fruity. 95-96 points." James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019 Close
Red 2018 1 case Château Mouton Rothschild 75cl £1,275 per case of 3 IB

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