The first week in April always heralds our departure for Bordeaux and the beginning of 10-hour, action-packed days, visiting many Chateaux and joining in comparative tastings throughout the week. Many of the top wines have been tasted two or three times and very often on different days. It’s so difficult to summarise a vintage in a few words but, nonetheless, we asked several of the world’s finest winemakers to do just that in one word! They found it quite a challenge as you will see in our full Bordeaux 2018 report – it makes interesting reading!
In short it was a vintage of great challenge with difficult spring conditions and a less than easy summer. Those growers who managed to avoid mildew were lucky. However, given excellent conditions into late summer and early autumn many stunning wines have been made. It was absolutely necessary to taste as many wines as possible and over the week we managed in excess of 500! Our conclusion? This is a top vintage – in some instances the wines have an edge over 2016. The Northern Medoc probably wins on the Left bank and in our opinion the Saint Emilions overshadow many of the Pomerols, with the exception of VCC, Petrus and Le Pin. All three are simply works of art. If it’s the value end you are chasing, Chateau Rouget in Pomerol is a stunner.
The whites are more uneven and in many cases lacking definition and acidity: Domaine de Chevalier, Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion being notable exceptions.
As always we are conscious that pricing is a vital component and we sincerely hope for a reduction in price over the 2016s.