Bordeaux En Primeur 2018: Part Three
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 in News
A vintage report for Bordeaux En Primeur 2018 by Andrew Caillard MW.
2018 is an exceptional year. The Bordeaux whites and Sauternes are very good, but from an Australian perspective, the excitement is all in the red wines. All subregions produced examples of really good wines, but some performed better than others. Generally, the very top estates made exemplary wines illustrating that the human factor and wealth can have a major impact on terroir!
Saint-Émilion is a fascinating tapestry of colour and movement this year making some truly outstanding wines. Ch Cheval Blanc, Ch Ausone, Ch Belair Monange, Ch Fourtet, Ch Figeac, Ch Canon and Ch Pavie have all produced wines of richness and impact. I also enjoyed Ch La Dominique and the Burgundian-like Tertre Roteboeuf. But there is more inconsistency on the flats and fringes of the region. However, as is often the case the value can be found best with lesser names who have prevailed well. This includes a few wines in the nearby Cotes de Castillon which may represent good value.
Pomerol is more consistent than Saint-Émilion but there is also some variability. Ch Pétrus, Vieux Château Certan, Ch Certan de May, Ch Latour a Pomerol, Ch Gazin, Lafleur, La Fleur Pétrus and Ch Trotanoy made really terrific wine but there were some instances where the wines were lighter in weight and probably less appealing. On reflection I think Pomerol vies for line honours. The wines are amazingly impressive with beautiful polish, suppleness and concentration. There are many instances where second wines have performed .
2018 is not a very great Sauternes-Barsac year and the quality is dependent on the producer and how much of the crop was picked before the rain and humidity finally arrived to promote botrytis in the vineyards. My clear favourite is Ch Climens. Although I always see it in parts, the end result promises to be outstanding. Rieussec, de Fargues and Lafaurie Peyraguey are also standouts.