2018 Vintage Bordeaux Primeur Tastings, Part 3- Margaux and St. Julien


Chateau Margaux (1st Growth) 2018 Vintage

“The warmest year since the beginning of the 20th century… But one of the best vintages in recent years even taking into consideration the extraordinary quality of the 2015 and 2016 vintage.”

Vineyard: The heavy rain in the first half of 2018 made a good vintage less likely, but sun finally came and brought warm and dry summer conditions till the end of harvest. The sensitive merlot plots faced poor or failed fruit- set, and mildew led to slightly lower yields than hoped for after the fruit-set. The sun, combined with low yield, resulted in satisfactory grape sugar and acidity levels, as well as pleasant and complex aromas. The perfect weather condition during harvest provided the best time to harvest the perfectly balanced and mature grapes.

Chateau Margaux tasting: Elegant as a fair lady. The tannin is firm yet silky, the power of the tannin is there while melt on the palate and throat afterwards. Vivid and juicy black and red ripe fruits flavors perfectly match the fresh acidity, with nuanced and integrated oak flavors as support. This is a well- crafted wine with great skill of tannin management, exhibiting the elegance and grace of Chateau Margaux.

Blending: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Presenting 36% of the harvest.

Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux tasting: like Margaux, but to a less extent. Mature yet lively, big but graceful. Although with the highest tannins of any Pavillon Rouge, but not astringent at any point in the tasting.

Blending: 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot. Presenting 30% of the harvest.

Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux tasting: Racy and fresh, 0% MLF, 100% Sauvignon Blanc and slightly early harvest brought the freshness and its natural aromas to extreme.  Although the weather condition for producing white is less favorable than in 2017, the consistently rigorous standards reflect the style of the white wines that have been producing for nearly a decade.

Chateau Palmer (3rd Growth) 2018 Vintage

“2018 is unprecedented- Twice over.”

Vineyard: “Jacques who retired at the end of last year after 40 years as vineyard manager could not remember having ever seen such incredibly favorable conditions for the development of mildew in his entire career.” Fortunately, the weather changed afterwards and provided ideal conditions for recovery. Throughout August and September, the vines bathed in perfect sunlight while enjoying cool nights without a drop of rain, allowing grapes to reach a level of exceptional maturity, both skins and pips. The low yield made the vines concentrated all their energy into the remaining bunches. An unprecedented decision was made: all the grapes were incorporated into the final blend of Chateau Palmer (without second label), with the 10% exception sold to other wineries.

Tasting: Great balance between the fruitiness and structure- the high percentage of Merlot (40%) softened the whole tannin level and brought more juicy aromas of red berries. High alcohol but matches the whole profile, the wine offers optimum ripeness and record concentration.

Blending: 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 7% Petit Verdot.

Chateau D’Issan (3rd Growth) 2018 Vintage

“Haute- Couture winemaking.”

Winery: Very gentle pumping over to preserve the body and liveliness of the fruit during fermentation, followed by 3 weeks’ maceration and MLF before transferring the wine into the barrels.

Tasting: The precision of the Merlot fruit brought lively and lithe fruitiness, which dances across with the sleek polished tannin. The fragrant of rose petal indicates something special, with refined spices diving underneath, which elevates the complexity.

Blending: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot. 50% new French oak barrels.

Chateau Giscours (3rd Growth) 2018 Vintage

“Technically, this was a most unusual vintage.”

Tasting: This a pleasant wine, with balanced red and black fruitiness, as well as oak nose;  easy to appreciate and understand. The ripe and pure fruity flavor reflects the optimal ripeness of grapes during harvest and good selection of fruits.

Blending: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot.

St. Julien

Chateau Ducru- Beaucaillou (2nd Growth) 2018 Vintage

Tasting: Full- bodied, plump and bursting with ripe dark fruits flavors, exotic spices such as cardamon, fennel, star anise, back by opulent oaky nose of vanilla and toast. The mouth coasting tannin, medium plus acidity and high alcohol forming an enticing mouthfeel. The intense wine will for sure unfurl beautifully with aging.

Chateau Leoville las Cases (2nd Growth) 2018 Vintage

“Complexity and freshness, power and elegance, outstanding aging potential… certainly one of the most outstanding vintages in the history of bordeaux.”

Tasting: Powerful and balanced. The rich dark ripe fruits notes, black licorice and olives, strong senses of cedar and toast, match well with firm and powerful tannin, high alcohol (14.5%), forming a harmonious echo on the palate, and contributing to a perfectly balanced structure.

Blending: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 9% Merlot. 90% new French oak.

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