2018 Vintage Bordeaux Primeur Tastings, Part 1 – Saint Estephe

Chateau Montrose 2018 Vintage (2nd Growth)

“Nature can give you everything, just it can take it all back and surprise you at the end…”

Vineyard: In 2018 Chateau Montrose stepped into organic viticulture under the strong weather pressure, with wet and warm Spring, late bud burst, early flowering, rainstorm in early June, slight problem of poor fruit set, severe mildew problem, resulting a significant drop in yield. The hot and dry Summer was marked by strong water stress as from the end of July, which limited berry growth (20% below average size) but strongly increased their concentration. Harvest was under perfect conditions.

Winemaking: The high skin to juice ratio yielded very concentrated juice of exceptional richness. Meticulous control was applied during extraction, press and blending.

Tasting: Very pleasant smell, with mingled flavors of juicy & ripe berries, rose petals, nuanced spices and oak flavors, perfect structure with velvet tannin and balanced acidity, high alcohol (14.5%), but as a whole elegant as usual. This is the first wine I tasted during the Primeur and it surprised me already.

Blending: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot

Figures: Bud Burst- 9 April, Flowering- 1 June, Veraison- 6 August, Harvest- 17th Sep./ 5th Oct.

Cos d’Estournel 2018 Vintage (2nd Growth)

“Journal of an ideally contrasted year.”

Vineyard: Damp and especially cold winter made bud break occurred quite late, around 6 April. Higher Spring temperature compensated for delays in growth, and flowering began in early June, only 2/3 days late. The risk of mildew was at a historic high, while ongoing vigilance and care was taken to limit these risks. From July, the weather turned to be dry and hot, with warm daytime temperatures and cool nighttime allowed the grapes to lose their vegetal aromas and their tannings to ripen. Slightly water stress problem was countered by ploughing more frequently and intensely than usual to help water accumulate and reduce evaporation. On August 28th, long waited rains fell with greater intensity than elsewhere in Medoc, reviving the grapevines and allowing the skins on the grape berries to thin and their tannins to soften. The perfect weather condition continues till harvest, contributing to a perfect balance between ripeness and freshness.

Tasting

Red: Powerful yet balanced wine! The ripeness of fruitiness balanced well with the powerful tannin and alcohol ( 14.59%), 50% of new French oak contributed to layered spiciness and nuances. It will be a longevous wine and an outstanding vintage of the estate.

Blending: 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot

White: Fresh nose yet round palate, the 67% Sauvignon balanced well with 33% Semillon, resulting in a supremely sophisticated, finely honed wine.

 

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