Bordeaux En-Primeur 2019
Claret is on a roll in quality terms. Prices are fair and conditions are right to tuck in.– James Handford
Flights, meetings and tastings were all cancelled and replaced by half bottles in the post. The end of May has been the crowning glory of lockdown; the taste of a few examples from this great vintage and the excitement of getting back into the groove.
Winter rains were generous enough and there was a bit more to come in the spring. Water levels were set fair for the near perfect ripening season. As in most recent vintages there were very hot days. This causes temporary stress but there was nothing lasting in 2019. By contrast there was showery relief in late August and mid September, perfect timing for the final push.
2019 is more homogeneous from village to village than in 2018. Harvesting carried on from the second week in September through to mid August and so key differences are the result of timing. Well-managed harvests have resulted in wines more akin to the pure and refined styles of 2010 and 2016 than the more fulsome, less elegant 2009 and 2015.
This is a very good vintage indeed. Critics are already raving and scores are high. Claret is on a roll in quality terms. Prices are fair and conditions are right to tuck in.
Update – 19/06/2020
The offer has been running for 2 weeks. By and large prices are back to 2013/14 levels but quantities released have been reduced. This has made it very difficult and so we apologise to the few who haven’t been able to get everything they requested.
We have tasted a few more wines in the meantime and would highlight from the Medoc; Potensac (from the Las Cases stable), the Haut Breton Createur (our selection) and both Leoville and Langoa Barton. From the left bank we loved Larcis Ducasse (as did most of the commentators consistently giving 95/96 points) and we have begun to work with Chateau Rouget in Pomerol. This has been bought by a Meursault producer that we know well, and will convert from organic to biodynamic in the coming years. An already great wine is set to become outstanding. – JH