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2018 Bordeaux Futures

Here we go again. I just got off the phone with my supplier in Bordeaux who attended the barrel tasting a few weeks ago. 2018 is looking to be a collectible vintage
The first six months of 2018 were generally sodden with rain, while August, September and most of October turned gloriously sunny. But the combination of heat together with rain in July resulted in mildew, causing a reduction in yields of 10% to 20% in some vineyards. Fortunately, conditions improved when drier weather from mid-July through September arrived. During an October harvest lunch at Château Angelus in Saint-Émilion, owner Hubert de Boüard de Laforest and his nephew Thierry Grenié de Boüard mentioned the presence of mildew in the region in conversation, but classified it as having negligible impact and expressed optimism for an exceptional vintage.
Fortunately, Saint-Émilion missed a brief and merciless bout of weather this year.
In late May a brief 15 minute hailstorm moved northward along a narrow corridor from the city of Bordeaux over a portion of the Médoc and Entre Deux Mers, across the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, then over a slice of the Côtes de Bourg and Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux appellations. According to The Drinks Business, some 8,400 acres were damaged, mostly in Bourg and Blaye. The localized damage did not impact the majority of Bordeaux grapes.
This year good production is expected. Wine makers are really excited and I think it’s going to be a great vintage. Precautions weer taken to avoid disease, and the timing of rain was perfect.
The word through the grapevine is that the quality of the 2018 Bordeaux vintage could exceed that of 2015 and 2016, and match that of 2009 and 2010. Time, as always, will tell.


*2018 Chateau Beychevelle St Julien
$86.25btl/$517.50 per case of six
(Jeb Dunnuck 94-97)

Showing beautifully both times I was able to taste it, the 2018 Château Beychevelle checks in as a blend of 50% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that’s aging in 60% new French oak. This ultra-pure, refined, gorgeously layered Beychevelle offers terrific notes of black cherries, blackberries, cassis, violets, and damp earth. Deep, concentrated, and layered on the palate, it has a thrilling sense of purity and elegance as well as building structure. This is the third vintage vinified in the new cellar, and the 2018 represents a selection of 50% of the total production. It hit 14.5% alcohol with a healthy pH of 3.74 and a massive IPT of 81. Hats off to director Romain Ducolomb for another brilliant wine that I suspect will surpass both the 2015 and 2016! 95-97+ (5/2019)


*2018 Chateau Prieur Lichine Margaux
$41.95btl/$503.40 per case
(Decanter 94)

The deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Prieure-Lichine slips sensuously out of the glass with gorgeous raspberry coulis, chocolate-covered cherries and warm cassis scents with hints of candied violets, licorice, camphor and wilted roses. The full-bodied, richly fruited palate is beautifully perfumed with loads of floral accents and has a firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins, finishing long with some mineral notions coming through. Very pretty.