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Bordeaux 2019 En Primeur

You can view all of our 2019 Bordeaux en primeur wines by their original release offers, with full commentary, scores and tasting notes here.  Alternatively, see a list of the wines below.

"Two thousand and nineteen is a great vintage. I know. Boring. But my job is to tell it as it is, and that is what it is. It is an excellent vintage."  Neal Martin, Vinous.com, Jun 2020

The background to Bordeaux 2019 En Primeur may have been highly unusual, but there is no doubt about the brilliant quality of the wines, nor about the extremely attractive release prices from many top châteaux.  Even the most grudging critics of the en primeur system concede that in this year, Bordeaux "got it right".

We usually pride ourselves on taking a view early in the campaign, based on tasting hundreds of wines and speaking directly to winemakers and châteaux owners when we visit the region in April.  For obvious reasons, our appreciation of the 2019s has been a movable feast, evolving as each new cask sample arrived at the office.

Our FULL & FINAL BORDEAUX 2019 EN PRIMEUR OFFER now includes all of those wines we particularly recommend; a little over eighty châteaux, including over forty crus classés (around two-thirds of the total) and a further forty cru bourgeois, right bank wines and deuxièmes vins.  Hopefully, this puts the enthusiasm of our notes into context!  These are in our opinion a selection of the very best wines, from an excellent vintage, from possibly the world's greatest wine region.

 

Growing season & effect on the vintage

The question raised by so many wines we tasted was "how can such an elegant, balanced wine be made in such a warm year?".  Early on in the process, we expected each sample to show aromas of prune or fig, or a kind of 'hot' character to the alcohol indicating lack of integration, but on the contrary, sample after sample proved to be fresh and aromatically complex with excellent acidity. 

Gradually, with more and more tasting, we have gained a sense of how the weather shaped the vintage.  Each year, with advancing technology, analysis of the growing season grows more complex.  This year we have even begun to receive reports from a satellite telecommunications company who have branched out into analysis of classic wine regions.  More detailed information is available than ever before, both to winemakers and to the trade, so we offer just a summary of the key points.

The early part of the growing season saw far fewer extreme weather events than 2018, with frost damage and mildew far less prevalent, resulting in a clean, healthy crop.  This was not a heatwave year in the sense of 2003 (with sustained extreme temperatures without relief) but a year which saw some intense heat spikes, mitigated by a later start to ripening and some very useful rainfall at key times, namely in JuneJuly and just before harvest time. 

Record readings on the car dashboard thermometer from last summer may stick in the memory, but in the terms which matter to the vines (i.e. 'average heat accumulation days') 2019 scored lower than 2018.  The first of those heat spikes was in June, before ripening had even begun.  Add to this the healthiness of the crop and we have a year with wonderful ripeness levels and an aromatic complexity to the fruit which will probably prove to be the defining characteristic of the vintage.

Excellent vintages seem almost miraculously to come in pairs (1995/'96, '2005/'06, 09' &'10, '15/'16) and this is no coincidence.  The reproductive cycle of the vine is spread over two years and in a good growing season, the vines will take the opportunity to produce embryonic buds both for the current year and for the next, so potential was already developing during the 2018 growing season.

In 2018, a hot summer was accompanied by low summer rainfall and a reduction in the harvest due to frost and mildew which concentrated the fruit at many properties.  Described as a 'winemakers' vintage', the challenge was to handle the fruit to extracts its full (tremendous) potential. 

Despite casual similarities with 2018 and although there was less overall rainfall, the conditions in 2019 were just enough rain (as in 2009, '10 and '16) falling at just the right time.  Writing for Jancisrobinson.com, Gavin Quinney's prediction in November last year seems pretty spot-on to us:

"Stylistically, based on this, it would be no surprise if 2019 ended up as a mythical blend of 2012, 2014 and 2016, with a little 2015 thrown in. (By that I mean the charm and drinkability of the 2012s, the straightness and classicism of the 2014s, the freshness and fruity appeal of the 2016s, and the warmth of 2015.)"

Rather than the very interventionist approach needed to winemaking in 2018, this was a year in which winemakers needed to decide "when to act and when to do nothing" (Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, The Wine Advocate).

 

Vintage quality & comparisons

What is harder to say with certainty at this stage is where 2019 sits on the (very subjective and fluid) scale between 'excellent' and 'great'.  This was an extraordinarily easy and pleasurable vintage to taste from barrel samples, in contrast to years like 2018 and 2010.  For an elegant year, it has an easy charm quite unlike the 2016s at the same stage, but there is also a wonderful aromatic complexity, with fine acidity and tannic structure which points to excellent ageing potential.  Jane Anson writes:  "I am extremely confident that the best wines have decades ahead of them."  - Decanter, June 2020.

Whilst we speculate as to how the wines will develop in bottle, there is, of course, another kind of speculation to factor in, namely price.  Alfred Tesseron showed some real leadership when he released Pontet-Canet at 31% below the 2018 release price in late May.  Many chateaux subsequently followed a pattern of releases with lower prices, but scores equal to or higher than the 2018s.  Amidst uncertainty about exactly how great this vintage is, and about the wider economy, there is at least certainty that these are in many cases the best-priced examples of these wines on the fine wine market and we recommend adding them to your cellar.

All wines offered subject to availability, quantities in many cases extremely limited.  

RED 2019 1 case Château Angludet 75cl £295 per case of 12 Château Angludet
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£295 per case of 12
IB
RED 2019 3 cases Château Ausone - La Chapelle d'Ausone 75cl £725 per case of 6 Château Ausone
La Chapelle d'Ausone
2019 / 3 cases / 75cl
£725 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 bottle Château Beaumont Double Magnums £75 per bottle Château Beaumont
2019 / 1 bottle / Double Magnums
£75 per bottle
IB
RED 2019 12 cases Château Beaumont 75cl £125 per case of 12 Château Beaumont
2019 / 12 cases / 75cl
£125 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"The 2019 Beaumont impresses on the nose with intense blackberry and briary aromas, sous-bois and tobacco, all whilst maintaining its delineation. The palate is supple and silky on the entry. There is well judged acidity, plenty of cedar and seaweed, tinged black fruit and a spicy finish. Now, this is a bloody great Beaumont. 91-93 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com
RED 2019 1 bottle Château Beaumont Imperial £125 per bottle Château Beaumont
2019 / 1 bottle / Imperial
£125 per bottle
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Beaumont Magnum £140 per case of 6 Château Beaumont
2019 / 1 case / Magnum
£140 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Beaumont Double Magnums £215 per case of 3 Château Beaumont
2019 / 1 case / Double Magnums
£215 per case of 3
IB
RED 2019 14 cases Château Berliquet 75cl £410 per case of 12 Château Berliquet
2019 / 14 cases / 75cl
£410 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Vibrant damson in colour. I love the deep creaminess that is evident from the first nose, with hints of cocoa and gunsmoke. There is more clay here than at Canon; about 50% of the vineyard has a clay layer over the limestone whereas at Canon it is closer to 10%, meaning Berliquet is less ethereal, more urgent and powerful, still with precision and feathery chalky tannins. They have restored the underground limestone cellars for barrel ageing. A yield of 45hl/ha. 45% new oak, for what is the 2nd full year of the Canon team working the vineyard. Thomas Duclos consultant. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042. 93 points." Jane Anson, Decanter
RED 2019 3 cases Château Brane Cantenac 75cl £600 per case of 12 Château Brane Cantenac
2019 / 3 cases / 75cl
£600 per case of 12
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Calon Ségur 75cl £1,195 per case of 12 Château Calon Ségur
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£1,195 per case of 12
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Canon 75cl £720 per case of 6 Château Canon
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£720 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Cantemerle 75cl £220 per case of 12 Château Cantemerle
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£220 per case of 12
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Capbern 75cl £195 per case of 12 Château Capbern
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£195 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"This is a gorgeous young sample with wonderful blue fruit and spices, as well as a nice overlay of pretty wood. Medium to full body and firm, silky tannins. Hints of minerals. Better than 2018. 93-94 Points." James Suckling
RED 2019 2 cases Château Cheval Blanc 75cl £3,250 per case of 6 Château Cheval Blanc
2019 / 2 cases / 75cl
£3,250 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Clerc Milon 75cl £360 per case of 6 Château Clerc Milon
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£360 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 5 cases Château Clinet 75cl £580 per case of 6 Château Clinet
2019 / 5 cases / 75cl
£580 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Cos d'Estournel 75cl £1,720 per case of 12 Château Cos d'Estournel
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£1,720 per case of 12
IB
WHITE 2019 1 case Château Coutet 75cl £320 per case of 12 Château Coutet
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£320 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"A sweet, dense and rich white with oily character. Full and layered. Extremely long. Spicy. Very dense. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2019 2 cases Château d'Armailhac 75cl £220 per case of 6 Château d'Armailhac
2019 / 2 cases / 75cl
£220 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 3 cases Château d'Issan 75cl £460 per case of 12 Château d'Issan
2019 / 3 cases / 75cl
£460 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"The 2019 d'Issan has an intense bouquet with blackberry, raspberry, pencil lead and wilted iris scents that unfold gradually from the glass. The oak seems nicely integrated here. The palate is medium-bodied with juicy ripe tannins that provide quite a firm backbone. Mainly black fruit with hints of white pepper, sage and graphite, this is a tightly-wound d'Issan with impressive persistence on the classic pencil lead finish. Maybe a bit old school? There's nothing wrong with that if it is well crafted, like this. Tasted twice, one bottle showing a little more cohesion than the first. 93-95 points." Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"A concentrated but graceful feel to this Issan, showcasing why it is one of the powerhouses of Margaux without necessarily flexing its muscles the most obviously. Takes a few moments to unroll on the palate but as it does it expands both forward and outwards, beautifully filling the mid palate with creamy brambly fruits and firm but flexible tannins. This inches open, suggesting it has an extremely long life ahead of it, and is close to the 2016 in expression, although not quite with the depth of expression of that exemplary vintage. 50% new oak, 3.7pH. 45% of overall production went into the 1st wine. Harvest from 25th September to 11th October. Drinking Window 2029 – 2045. 96 Points." Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine------"This is a very pure expression of cabernet sauvignon with blackcurrants, blackberries and tar. Wet earth, too. It's full-bodied, yet very tight and reserved. Extremely racy, intense finish. This is super precise. Classical. 96-97 Points." James Suckling
RED 2019 1 case Château d'Issan Magnum £475 per case of 6 Château d'Issan
2019 / 1 case / Magnum
£475 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Ducru Beaucaillou 75cl £1,830 per case of 12 Château Ducru Beaucaillou
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£1,830 per case of 12
IB
RED 2019 5 cases Château Durand Laplagne "Les Terres Rouge" 75cl £95 per case of 12 Château Durand Laplagne "Les Terres Rouge"
2019 / 5 cases / 75cl
£95 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesRestrained, fresh nose showing red summer berry fruits, plum, dark chocolate, camphor, herbs (thyme) and peppery spice. Very fine, assertive tannins giving a linear focused attack, then concentrated with lots of spice and depth on the mid-palate. The finish is characterised by those tannins, which linger, along with a stony-gravelly character which makes this seem very grown-up indeed. Classic right bank claret but in a modern style, can't wait to see how this develops. RKL------"The 2019 Durand-Laplagne Les Terres Rouges is so distinctive. Firm tannins give the wine shape, structure and energy that build with time in the glass. Dark cherry, plum, gravel, spice and leather all flesh out in the glass. The 2019 is a bit eccentric, but it is also incredibly appealing; this is a cru to watch. It will be interesting to see if the 2019 gains a bit more flesh in élevage. 88-90 points." Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
RED 2019 5 cases Château Durand Laplagne "Les Terres Rouge" Magnum £110 per case of 6 Château Durand Laplagne "Les Terres Rouge"
2019 / 5 cases / Magnum
£110 per case of 6
IB
WHITE 2019 2 cases Château d'Yquem 75cl £1,500 per case of 6 Château d'Yquem
2019 / 2 cases / 75cl
£1,500 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Grand Puy Lacoste 75cl £300 per case of 6 Château Grand Puy Lacoste
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£300 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 bottle Château Grand Puy Lacoste Jeroboam £360 per bottle Château Grand Puy Lacoste
2019 / 1 bottle / Jeroboam
£360 per bottle
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Grand Puy Lacoste 75cl £595 per case of 12 Château Grand Puy Lacoste
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£595 per case of 12
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Grand Puy Lacoste Magnum £620 per case of 6 Château Grand Puy Lacoste
2019 / 1 case / Magnum
£620 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Haut Bailly 75cl £960 per case of 12 Château Haut Bailly
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£960 per case of 12
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Haut Brion 75cl £2,780 per case of 6 Château Haut Brion
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£2,780 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 3 cases Château La Chenade 75cl £150 per case of 12 Château La Chenade
2019 / 3 cases / 75cl
£150 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesMade from fruit sourced from Les Cruzelles, La Chenade is a blend of 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, aged mostly in one-year old oak barrels. RKL------"Sweet, carefully extracted and poised blackberry and brambled fruits with gentle smoked oak notes and fresh acidities that cut through the heat of the summer. Delicate overall, this is an unforced and highly enjoyable wine. Drinking Window 2023 - 2036. 91 points." Jane Anson, Decanter------"Plenty of sweet berries with chocolate and smoke. Even coffee. It’s medium-bodied with ripe tannins. Cherries at the end. 92-93 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2019 1 case Château La Mission Haut Brion 75cl £1,895 per case of 6 Château La Mission Haut Brion
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£1,895 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Labegorce 75cl £240 per case of 12 Château Labegorce
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£240 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"The 2019 Labégorce, picked from 19 September to 12 October and matured in 40% new oak, has one of the more flamboyant Margaux bouquets with expressive black cherries, bilberry, light cedar notes and crushed violet. It develops impressive cohesion with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied and what you first notice is the finesse of the tannins. This has a satin-like texture and very well judged acidity. The new oak does poke out a little on the finish - if that can be assimilated during its barrel maturation, this could turn into a very serious Margaux. 93-95 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com
RED 2019 1 case Château Lafite 75cl £4,100 per case of 6 Château Lafite
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£4,100 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Lafite - Carruades de Lafite 75cl £1,640 per case of 6 Château Lafite
Carruades de Lafite
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£1,640 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 3 cases Château Lafon Rochet 75cl £340 per case of 12 Château Lafon Rochet
2019 / 3 cases / 75cl
£340 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Spiced pepper and cinnamon on the first nose, good concentration, pencil lead and slate abound in this alongside cassis bud and touches of brambled hedgerow, all of which suggests fresh acidities and good backbone. Some chewy tannins also, this is a serious Lafon that will age well. Less immediately seductive than the 2018. Tasted twice two weeks apart. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042. 93 points." Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine "The 2019 Lafon-Rochet, which was picked from 25 September to 5 October, requires a little coaxing from the glass, eventually unfurling with blackberry, bilberry, violet and light crushed stone/clayey scents that is quintessential Saint-Estèphe. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-boned tannins, fresh and saline in the mouth, old school in the best sense of that expression. No, it is not the most flamboyant Lafon-Rochet, but it is imbued with a sense of nobility and classicism that I much admire. Tasted three times with consistent notes. 93-95 points." Neal Martin, Vinous.com
RED 2019 1 case Château Le Tertre Roteboeuf 75cl £830 per case of 6 Château Le Tertre Roteboeuf
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£830 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"...the 2019 Tertre-Rôteboeuf marks the first time that I taste a barrel sample from outside François Mitjavile’s cellar. It possesses a very classy bouquet with beautifully defined black fruit that feels maybe less flamboyant and more introspective than previous years. It is very finely tuned, almost Burgundy-like. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins: layers of black fruit laced with dark chocolate and a gorgeous, mineral-driven finish that fans out wonderfully. It will require several years to full absorb the oak, but it is a very impressive Tertre-Rôteboeuf. Chapeau François Mitjavile. 95-97 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com
RED 2019 1 case Château L'Eglise Clinet 75cl £2,600 per case of 6 Château L'Eglise Clinet
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£2,600 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Léoville Barton 75cl £850 per case of 12 Château Léoville Barton
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£850 per case of 12
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Léoville Las Cases 75cl £1,050 per case of 6 Château Léoville Las Cases
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£1,050 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 10 cases Château Les Cruzelles 75cl £215 per case of 12 Château Les Cruzelles
2019 / 10 cases / 75cl
£215 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesThe fruit for Les Cruzelles is grown on soils with a higher clay content than La Chenade, with slightly more Merlot in the blend, giving darker, more intense wines. RKL "This is smoky, spicy and meaty with blueberry character. It’s medium-bodied with a chewy texture and a tight, pronounced finish. Serious. 92-93 points" jamessuckling.com "For me this stands out above La Chenade, in the yin and yang of these two terroirs. Has more signature of the Pomerol side of Lalande, with rich coffee-tinged blackberry fruits, still with beautiful control and lift. Silky, elegant, concentrated. This is a wine that stands as a tribute to the brilliance of Denis Durantou in these smaller appellations, and is one that you will drink with emotion. Drinking Window 2023 - 2036. 93 points." Jane Anson, Decanter
RED 2019 1 case Château Les Cruzelles Magnum £240 per case of 6 Château Les Cruzelles
2019 / 1 case / Magnum
£240 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Lynch Bages 75cl £620 per case of 6 Château Lynch Bages
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£620 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Margaux 75cl £3,350 per case of 6 Château Margaux
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£3,350 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 3 cases Château Montlandrie 75cl £160 per case of 12 Château Montlandrie
2019 / 3 cases / 75cl
£160 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Montlandrie is a 12 hectare vineyard on a mix of clay and limestone, planted to 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Like all of Durantou's wines, the hallmark of Montlandrie is a voluptuous texture and concentration, accompanied by wonderful freshness and purity of fruit. RKL------“The 2019 Montlandrie, Denis Durantou's Côtes de Castillon vineyard, was picked from 30 September with the Cabernets picked 7-10 October before maturation in 40% new oak. It has a well-defined, very focused and compelling bouquet with intense cranberry and raspberry scents laced with cedar and sous-bois. The palate is exquisite: built around a core of finely chiseled tannins, a mélange of black and red fruit with hints of liquorice and subtle briny notes on the persistent finish. This is outstanding. 92-94 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"Cinnamon and spice box tinged pulped raspberry fruits on the nose, this has the restrained exuberance of Montlandrie in spades, where the ripe fruits are balanced step by step with fresh acidities and lip smacking salinity that speaks to the limestone soils of this estate. Cabernet Sauvignon adds a savoury touch, and overall this is yet another example of why the loss of Durantou will be felt for years. Drinking Window 2025 - 2036. 93 points." Jane Anson, Decanter ------"The 2019 Montlandrie is a blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It comes bounding out of the glass with bright, cheerful scents of warm redcurrants, Morello cherries, wild blueberries and boysenberries with touches of lavender, red roses, cinnamon stick and cast-iron pan. Wow. I LOVE this energy on the elegantly styled, medium-bodied palate. The red and black fruit layers practically dance, intermingled with grainy (Cabernet-like) tannins and tons of freshness. It has a satisfyingly long, fragrant finish. Truly impressive! 93-95 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, RobertParker.com
RED 2019 1 case Château Montrose 75cl £850 per case of 6 Château Montrose
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£850 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Mouton Rothschild 75cl £3,200 per case of 6 Château Mouton Rothschild
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£3,200 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Ormes de Pez 75cl £210 per case of 12 Château Ormes de Pez
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£210 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Plenty of punch in this Ormes de Pez, full of rich ripe black fruits, traces of exotic spices of cinnamon and saffron from the heat of the summer, and brilliant value if looking for personality and appellation signature in St Estèphe. Blend completed with 3% Petit Verdot. Drinking Window 2024 - 2038. 92 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine
RED 2019 10 cases Château Pavie Macquin 75cl £295 per case of 6 Château Pavie Macquin
2019 / 10 cases / 75cl
£295 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"The 2019 Pavie Macquin feels very tight on the nose at first and certainly from my sample bottle, I allowed it 15-20 minutes to open. Eventually it reveals very intense scents of black cherries, cassis and crushed violet, touches of blood orange in the background. The palate has a satin-like texture, almost Vosne-Romanée-like, with extraordinarily pure blue and black fruit. Seamless! There is fine tension on the finish with impressive persistence. This is a seriously good Pavie-Macquin from Nicolas Thienpont and his team. 2025 - 2055. 95-97 points." Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"Violet-edged floral attack, hitting you straight up with the full range of concentrated black fruits and spices. Such a great quality wine that stands out from the pack. Full of nuance, just when you think you are done it pushes another flavour into the room. The texture is controlled and precise, with slate edges that slow down its progress through the palate; just all round excellent terroir and winemaking. Tasted twice, a week apart, and its the depth to the palate that really sets it apart, and the mouth-scrapingly slow slate finish. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044. 97 points." Jane Anson, Decanter------"Really classy red, offering blueberries, minerals, salt, limestone and light fresh herbs. It’s full-bodied, but so refined. Fine layers of fruit and tannins. It’s like millefeuille. The 2018 is more exuberant, but I love the elegance and structure here. Subtle and complex. 78% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 2% cabernet sauvignon. 98-99 points." James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2020
RED 2019 1 case Château Pichon Baron 75cl £720 per case of 6 Château Pichon Baron
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£720 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Pichon Lalande 75cl £1,130 per case of 6 Château Pichon Lalande
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£1,130 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Pontet Canet 75cl £525 per case of 6 Château Pontet Canet
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£525 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Potensac 75cl £195 per case of 12 Château Potensac
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£195 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes“Excellent Potensac with a creamy and tight tannin structure. Blueberries and blackberries with some salt and minerals at the end. Classic structure. One of the best ever. 94-95 points" jamessuckling.com
RED 2019 9 cases Château Poujeaux 75cl £225 per case of 12 Château Poujeaux
2019 / 9 cases / 75cl
£225 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Solid as a rock this year with blueberries and crushed stones. Dried lavender, too. It’s medium-bodied, yet structured and long. Excellent. 93-94 points" jamessuckling.com------"The 2019 Poujeaux has a more introverted bouquet than some of its Moulis associates, though it opens nicely offering black cherries, liquorice, pressed iris petals and touches of crushed stone. The palate is medium-bodied with insistent grip on the entry. This Poujeaux has good backbone, almost Pauillac-like in style with a dense and persistent finish that augers for a long-term wine that will repay those with the nous to cellar it a few years. Superb. 93-95 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com
RED 2019 1 case Château Rauzan Ségla 75cl £895 per case of 12 Château Rauzan Ségla
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£895 per case of 12
IB
WHITE 2019 1 case Château Rieussec 75cl £330 per case of 4 Château Rieussec
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£330 per case of 4
IB
Tasting Notes"Pale lemon-gold in color, the 2019 Rieussec flaunts a delicately scented nose of fresh grapefruit, lemon curd, lime leaves and clover honey with wafts of jasmine, white truffles and nutmeg. The palate slowly builds, revealing layers of apple and citrus fruits with loads of savory accents, framed by refreshing acidity and a seductively oily texture, finishing on a lingering honey-nut note. 94-96 points." Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, The Wine Advocate------"Expertly constructed, with luxuriously intense pineapple, mango and apricot pit flavours matched step for step by bitter orange peel, lime juice and tingling grated ginger. Sauternes doesn't always manage to deliver such a mouth-watering mix of satin texture set against pinpoint acidity, but the late harvest 2019 - botrytis arrived when the nights were cool - made for some exceptionally successful wines in the appellation, even if yields were tiny. This is a delicious Rieussec, full of personality, and its 120g/l residual sugar leaves its trace in texture rather than in weight. First year of organic certification. 96 points" Janeanson.com
RED 2019 5 cases Château Roc de Cambes 75cl £260 per case of 6 Château Roc de Cambes
2019 / 5 cases / 75cl
£260 per case of 6
IB
Tasting NotesRich earth and humus notes on the nose alongside powerful red and black cherry fruits, with additional notes of figs, black tea. Extraordinary glycerin-like texture on the palate, with obvious full alcochol but no sense of heat or imbalance. Despite a sweatness to the fruit flavours the overall impression is entirely savoury, with tremendous length. A complete tour de force. RKL "Ripe, jammy fruit with a present but integrated toasty edge. Less expressive than some years (François Mitjavile conceded afterwards that it needed racking). Rich and round on the palate but there’s freshness as well. Tannins firm on the finish. On another day probably worth a higher score. Drink 2026 – 2034. 16+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL) "The 2019 Roc de Cambes is focused and intense on the nose with Japanese nori tinged black fruit, damp loamy soil and later, hints of violet and incense. The palate is very well balanced with supple tannins, supremely well judged acidity and an irresistible creamy texture that maintains tension on the finish. This is a sophisticated and very satisfying Roc de Cambes in the making. 92-94 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com
RED 2019 12 cases Château Saintayme 75cl £125 per case of 12 Château Saintayme
2019 / 12 cases / 75cl
£125 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesFrom a single 9 hectare parcel of 35 year old vines, almost entirely Merlot with a very small proportion of Cabernet Franc. The wine will be aged in 30% new oak for 18 months. RKL------“A red with lovely, juicy character and plenty of ripe fruit and chocolate undertones. It’s rich and layered. Flavorful. More concentration than the 2018. 93-94 points" jamessuckling.com------"Black chocolate, baked earth, liquorice root and silky smooth tannins greet you on the first attack of this wine. I've never found this the easiest to love of the Durantou range but it is strikingly successful in 2019. Silky and yet slatey in texture, this both eases you through the palate and pulls you up short, slowing things down. Sparks of fresh minerality accompany the pulsing blueberry and raspberry fruits, and the juicy finish makes this one to look out for. Drinking Window 2027 - 2042. 94 points." Jane Anson, Decanter
RED 2019 5 cases Château Saintayme Magnum £140 per case of 6 Château Saintayme
2019 / 5 cases / Magnum
£140 per case of 6
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Sénéjac 75cl £130 per case of 12 Château Sénéjac
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£130 per case of 12
IB
RED 2019 1 case Château Talbot 75cl £540 per case of 12 Château Talbot
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£540 per case of 12
IB
RED 2019 2 cases Château Tour Saint Christophe 75cl £280 per case of 12 Château Tour Saint Christophe
2019 / 2 cases / 75cl
£280 per case of 12
IB
RED 2019 4 cases Domaine de Cambes 75cl £185 per case of 6 Domaine de Cambes
2019 / 4 cases / 75cl
£185 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes(80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc) | 100% new oak. Tremendous freshness to the red fruits on the nose with more black fruits on the palate. Velvet-textured, tasted after Le Tertre but not over-shadowed by it. Some very appealing toasted notes from the oak, but also some caramelised Maillard reaction notes, probably intentional, nevertheless all remarkably in balance. Quite unique. RKL------"Fruit pushed to the edge of overripeness but it works. Bright, dark-fruit notes with toasted overlay. Palate sweet, silky and gourmand, bringing a freshness to the finish. Clearly surpasses its appellation status. Drink 2024 – 2030. 16 points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)
RED 2019 1 case La Dame de Montrose 75cl £160 per case of 6 La Dame de Montrose
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£160 per case of 6
IB
Tasting Notes"The Merlots were so good this year that most have gone into the first wine, giving this a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon than usual and making it a serious Dame de Montrose, with clear ageing potential. Elegant and balanced, with purity and juicy black fruits. It has that savoury Cabernet quality which is very Médocain, this is absolutely one to look out for, packed with estate signature. 30% new oak. 43% of total production. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Lovely new label here also, with rose gold roses across it. Drinking Window 2025 - 2040. 94 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine
RED 2019 1 case Les Pagodes de Cos 75cl £380 per case of 12 Les Pagodes de Cos
2019 / 1 case / 75cl
£380 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"The 2019 Les Pagodes de Cos (14.03% alcohol) is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, aging in 20% new barriques. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, notions of wild blueberries, boysenberries and redcurrant jelly come bounding out of the glass, followed by a profound core of warm cassis, licorice and bouquet garni with a touch of cinnamon stick. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with bright, expressive black and red fruit flavors, framed by firm, fine-grained tannins and loads of freshness, finishing on a lingering spicy note. 92-94 points." Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, The Wine Advocate "This is really minerally and salty with spices, such as cloves. Full-bodied, yet tight and beautiful. Chewy, yet focused and bright. Very integrated. Hard not to drink. 94-95 points." James Suckling
RED 2019 15 cases Pichon Comtesse Reserve 75cl £340 per case of 12 Pichon Comtesse Reserve
2019 / 15 cases / 75cl
£340 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"This is well structured and approaches 2010 in terms of its weight and depth of fruit. Deep spiced damson on the nose, you would be hard pressed not to say that this is as good as very many Cru Bourgeois 1st wines. Huge depth, similar to the 2018 but a little higher acidity, a little less round, a little more classic Pauillac in character. This is confident and serious with lots of tannins. A great 2nd wine, and a reminder of the consistently successful winemaking that is happening at this estate. Drinking Window 2024 - 2038. 93 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine “The 2019 Réserve de la Comtesse is conspicuously deep in colour. The bouquet takes time to unfurl with exceedingly pure blackberry, raspberry and cassis aromas, the oak seamlessly integrated. The palate is very well balanced with fresh acidity, fine grain tannins, a touch of salinity developing towards the finish that has more grip than previous vintages. Superb. 92-94 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com “Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Reserve de la Comtesse hits the ground running with aromas of warm black and red plums, stewed cherries and mulberries wafting out of the glass plus hints of spice cake, violets, bouquet garni and Ceylon tea. The medium to full-bodied palate appears a bit weightier than the grand vin, with more open-knit, richer fruit at this youthful stage, delivering a plush texture and plenty of freshness, finishing with lingering notes of plum preserves. 92-94 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, RobertParker.com
RED 2019 2 cases Pichon Comtesse Reserve Magnum £355 per case of 6 Pichon Comtesse Reserve
2019 / 2 cases / Magnum
£355 per case of 6
IB

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VIEW OUR FULL 2018 BURGUNDY EN PRIMEUR OFFER HERE

Over twenty five-odd years of tasting and learning about Burgundy, we have invariably, and somewhat secretly, wished for just a touch more fruit concentration (rarely have we wished for less!) whilst prizing terroir, which gives the wines their unique identity. As a vintage, 2018 pushes at the boundaries of just how much concentration the red wines, in particular, can sustain, without losing their distinct character. The answer, it turns out, is quite a lot!

The journalists’ view is that this was ‘a vintage of extremes’. Some growers judged picking dates and vinification just right; others over-egged the Burgundian pudding. Most merchants will tell you that choosing the right wines from the right growers is key - more of which below. Our modest but growing list of domaines is already the result of very careful selection. Wine after wine we tasted had energy and freshness, with nothing but vibrant fruit. This vintage may not be about tension, but it certainly is about enjoyment. In that respect, it is tempting to draw comparisons with the generous 2015 vintage, but the ‘18s have far more structure and freshness. With their combination of opulence and energy, we think 2018 is a vintage not to be missed.

The majority of the wines we offer are from small, family-owned domaines, already acknowledged both in Burgundy and internationally, but which have not yet been caught up in the speculative price rises which affected a small, ‘elite’ group of growers. Above all, domaines like Borgeot, Michelot and Voillot makes wines for people who enjoy drinking burgundy.

That said, we believe that prices for names like rising-star Hudelot-Baillet, and more established ones such as Tortochot and Rossignol-Trapet, will increase steadily over the next decade. Each time we visit Beaune, the more we are struck by the enormous worldwide demand for good burgundy. We had a vivid reminder of this last autumn in Beaune, observing three young Singaporean wine collectors at our hotel, breakfasting at the table next to us, with a liberal selection of grands crus open before them! Prices for that elite club led by DRC may have dipped of late, but more generally we expect prices to rise over the next decade. Please let us know if would like advice on wines with investment potential.

One of the most exciting aspects of modern Burgundy, as showcased by this vintage, is the emergence of many more new, high-quality growers, Jeannin-Naltet in Mercurey being a great example. If it were possible to taste the current vintages of these wines alongside Cote d’Or wines of two decades ago, we suspect they would fare very well indeed, so much has the quality in Burgundy risen.

For those less certain of their tastes when it comes to Burgundy than, say, Bordeaux, we have compiled some recommended cellars at the end of this offer. A joy of Pinot Noir is how delicious it can be in the first few years after bottling, with a more developed style emerging after 3-7 years. Our cellar plans include whites and reds which can be enjoyed soon after landing (late autumn this year) alongside wines like Beaune premiers crus, which will still be drinking into the next century

 

A brief summary of the growing season

 

2018 has the potential to be ranked with the all-time great vintages. The warmest year since 2003, it was also very dry, with just 55% of average annual rainfall. 'Warm vintages harvested early' are nothing new in the last two decades in Burgundy, but this one had several distinct features which will make for great wines.

Despite the warm weather and low precipitation during the growing season, rainfall earlier in the winter meant that the vines started the year with excellent reserves of ground-water. This is a key difference to truly ‘hot’ vintages like 2003. The vines were able to manage the temperature and for the most-part avoid heat stress. The health of the crop was exceptionally good, with fewer issues with mildew or botrytis than in recent vintages. One of the few problems was uneven ripening, with some berries becoming ripe whilst others were still green. At Domaine Ferret in Pouilly-Fuissé, winemaker Audrey Braccini told us how she had some difficult discussions with her vineyard teams, who were eager to harvest early (to retain freshness). She had to stand firm and persuade them to delay, in the interests of even-ripeness levels across the harvest.

Flowering was early, and although the harvest began in August (even for some reds), the growing season was of normal length, allowing plenty of time for both physiological and phenolic (i.e. sugar and flavour) ripeness to develop. This early flowering could also have led to an overly-abundant crop, in turn reducing final concentration levels. Fortunately, rain after flowering damaged some of the infant bunches, reducing the size of the harvest. Abundant cropping also conspired to make this a very high-quality vintage, with the high yields helping to reduce any possible over-concentration in the fruit.

At harvest time, the health of the crop was exceptionally good, with fewer issues with mildew or botrytis than in recent vintages. One of the few problems was uneven ripening, with some berries becoming ripe whilst others were still green. At Domaine Ferret in Pouilly-Fuissé, winemaker Audrey Braccini told us how she had some difficult discussions with her vineyard teams, who were eager to harvest early (to retain freshness). She had to stand firm and persuade them to delay, in the interests of even-ripeness levels across the harvest. Audrey’s ‘war of nerves’ was experienced by many a grower across the region in 2018, and to a great extent, it was the decisions made at this point which determined outcomes.

 

In the winery & cellar

 

In the winery, some growers prevented or stopped the malolactic fermentation, to retain acidity. This might be concerning in any other year, but based on our initial tastings, the ripeness levels are such that the absence of ‘malo’ is a beautiful counterpoint to the ripe fruit. Whole bunch fermentation was widely used, and in greater percentages, with the green pyrazine compounds in the stalks being riper than in most years.

As good as the abundant white wine harvest is, it is the reds which will prove to be the greatest wines of 2018. Ripeness levels are superb, as is the tannic structure. Perhaps it is the quality of the fruit – pure, healthy and undamaged – which adds the impression of freshness, as the pH in these wines is not notably low. We found even the red grands crus easy to taste (usually the wines become more closed the higher you taste), so ripe were the tannins, making this one of the most pleasurable vintages to taste from the barrel that we can remember.

 

 

 

Latest Releases:

 

Domaine Alain Chavy, Puligny-Montrachet

A small 7 hectare domaine, with excellent holdings in Chevalier-Montrachet and the Folatieres, Champs Gains and Clavoillons climats.

Domaine Bachey-Legros

Owned by the same family for six generations, this 18 hectare domaine is based in Santenay and produces superb value reds.

Domaine Faiveley

In the past, Faiveley's style was 'firm', verging on austere.  The reds, in particular, needed long ageing, to soften the tannins.  Since Erwan Faiveley took over from his father in 2005 (becoming one of the youngest directors of a Burgundy domaine in the process) the style has softened and become more elegant.  It is a style which in our opinion is complimented wonderfully by the 2018 vintage, with its generous, concentrated fruit. 

Domaine J-A Ferret, Fuissé

Domaine Ferret is an established name in Fuissé but is also at the forefront of efforts to establish a classification system for the varied terroirs in the Pouilly-Fuisse appellation.  After meeting winemaker Audrey Braccini, we have a sense that Pouilly-Fuissé is entering a period of renaissance.

Domaine Hudelot-Baillet, Chambolle-Musigny

Dominique Leguen took over the winemaking at this domaine from his father-in-law, Joel Hudelot-Baillet, in 2004.  Described as a 'rising star' of the village, his wines are full of dark, voluptuous black fruits with the silky, creamy texture associated with Chambolle.

Maison Louis Jadot, Beaune

Having offered Burgundy en primeur from Domaine Louis Jadot for many years, we took the opportunity of visiting them last month.  The ostensible reason was to taste the excellent 2018 vintage, but this was also an opportunity to become better acquainted with the team there and to learn more about one of the most important producers in Burgundy....(read more)

Domaine Jeannin-Naltet, Mercurey

An up-and-coming 9 hectare estate in Mercurey, comprised principally of premier crus.

Domaine Michelot, Meursault

With around 19 hectares spread across Mersault, Nicholas Mestre's family domaine produces wines with great fruit purity and very little oak influence. 

Domaine Rossignol-Trapet, Gevrey-Chambertin

Brothers Nicolas and David Rossignol make an exceptional range of Gevrey wines at this leading biodynamic domaine.

Domaine Joseph Voillot, Volnay 

A small, bright gem in Volnay, with holdings in neighbouring Pommard too.  Jean-Pierre Charlot is a winemaking mentor to many domaine owners in Burgundy, having taught at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune for many years.  His nephew Etienne Chaix has recently taken over as winemaker.  The wines are elegant and pure, almost - but not quite - to a fault.  

Domaine Tortochot, Gevrey-Chambertin

A family domaine established in the 19th century and still run by Chantal Tortochot.  The wines here are very classical with polished tannins. 

 

Other domaines we intend to offer (subject to allocations) include:

 

Côte de Nuits

Domaine Drouhin-Laroze, Gevrey-Chambertin

Surely one of the most over-looked domaines, with more than half of their holdings rated Grand Cru.  Thanks to reviews from Neal Martin in recent years, they are becoming better known.  

 

Côte de Beaune

Domaine Bonneau du Martray, Pernand-Vergelesses

Famously producing only Grands Crus from Corton and Corton-Charlemagne, Bonneau du Martray was also a pioneer in biodynamics.  Bought in 2017 by the owner of (amongst other things) Arsenal Football Club.

Domaine Jean Pascal, Puligny-Montrachet

Described by one Burgundy expert as a 'peasant' domaine...meant politely and as a compliment ('paysanne').  The Pascals make superb, concentrated Puligny wines which are great value.  

Domaine Borgeot, Remigny

The Borgeot brothers have built their small domaine parcel by parcel, and it now includes excellent holdings in Santenay and Chassagne.

 

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