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Bordeaux 2019: The Lockdown Vintage

Posted on 1st June 2020 by JN Wine

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Bordeaux 2019: The Lockdown Vintage

Normally I have the great joy of travelling the roads of Bordeaux in early April. I think this is only the second vintage I have missed since 1983. It’s one of the most exciting tasting experiences annually travelling from Right to Left bank, sometimes tasting up to 150 wines each day, usually an 8.30am start and a 10pm finish. I actually managed to get breathalysed last year at 7 in the evening after a full day of tasting, a salutary reminder that spitting does pay. Driving 30 minutes to test your eyesight is also not advised!

James Nicholson tasting in Bordeaux, April 2017


We have been fortunate during the last few weeks in receiving cask samples from various Chateaux and our first tasting was from our good friend Francois Mitjavile owner of Chateau Tertre Roteboeuf and Roc de Cambes our tasting will be on line from Tuesday, this will be our 25th vintage distributing his wine! We will video some of the tastings and give our honest appraisal of the wines with a follow up offer sent by email with critical scores. We have been encouraged by the 31% drop in price from Pontet Canet last Thursday and we are in a lucky position of enjoying a good allocation from the property again our opening offer will be available on Tuesday. All will be allocation only.

Tasting at Chateau Clos d’Estournel, April 2019

An overview of the vintage

2019 has all the ingredients to be a top vintage, while the spring was cold and uneven and the flowering patchy the summer was hot, sanitary conditions were good with a very fine autumn and some rainfall which helped the size and health of the grapes. We have deduced from our tastings so far, wines with good acidity and rounded tannins, perhaps more structure than the 18s which we loved and importantly wonderful intense aromatics. Like all classic vintages the wines generally show well at most stages of development but these are seriously built and should stand the test of time. The crucial decision will be pricing and hopefully other Chateaux will follow Pontet Canets example, well done Alfred Tesseron, we missed the wonderful lunch you host each year at the Chateau but we have a beautiful vintage to thank you for.

Alfred Tesseron, Chateau Pontet-Canet
Lunch at Chateau Pontet-Canet, April 2019

Happy hunting,


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