A blockbuster - En Primeur week 2019

When esteemed members of the wine community like super consultant, Michel Rolland, and Head Winemaker at Lafite, Eric Kohler, are suggesting that the 2018 may be one of the greatest ever, one sits up and takes notice. Those two were just a couple of the various winemakers, negotiants and critics that we met as we criss-crossed Bordeaux over four days who waxed lyrical about a vintage that surpassed tempered expectations and delivered wines that we couldn’t quite believe.

In the words of Monsieur Rolland, “across Bordeaux the wines are, on average, the same quality as the 2016s, but in a small number of cases the wines surpass even those superb quality levels”. Kohler at Lafite who was as humble when we met as he is proud of his 2018 creation said he compared the wine to Lafite 1959, widely regarded as the finest Lafite ever. The bar then has been set high, and pleasingly it was rare that we were left disappointed.

asting Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion's stable of wines

The chais at La Mission Haut Brion

Star appellations were Pauillac, St Estephe and St Julien, with Margaux also having a bumper year, whilst the wines on the plateau in St Emilion were outstanding, too. In 2017 it was the blue-blooded Chateaux either on the banks of the river, or on the plateau on the right bank, who survived the frosts, and it was these properties who found success again, with their older, deeper vines being able to access crucial stores of water deep un