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2018 Bordeaux wine, the complete guide to all the best wines of the vintage.

I was in Bordeaux from mid-March until early April. I tasted over 600 different wines during those weeks. Some wines I was able to taste more than once with consistent results.

2018 Bordeaux wine is complicated. In a nutshell, it is a very good vintage with several incredible wines that could become legends as they mature!

2018 Bordeaux delivers more peaks, than valleys. Overall, the vintage is not as consistent in every appellation as the recently released 2016. But the high points in 2018 are better in many cases than you find in previous years and have more potential than I have ever experienced. That is going to be what separates 2018 Bordeaux from preceding vintages.

Stylistically, 2018 Bordeaux reminds me of a better version of 2009. When you look at the scores I’ve awarded, you can see how much I dig this vintage.

Where are the best 2018 Bordeaux wines…

In the Left Bank, the best wines come from the Northern Medoc, where the roots, especially old vines were able to dig deep into the soils. Clay rich terroirs also made a difference. The Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Estephe, Pauillac and St. Julien are prodigious.

From north to south, some of the wines are simply breathtaking! It is not just the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot also enjoyed a beautiful vintage.

The Cantenac plateau of Margaux is another hot spot as well as parts of Pessac Leognan for the red wines. There are stunning wines from each of the above mentioned appellations that Bordeaux wine lovers should take notice of.

In the Right Bank, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, depending on the soil can be extraordinary. Clearly, the wines of the vintage, at least from the Right Bank from the plateau of Pomerol, where you find the wine of the vintage, Chateau Lafleur! To quote my friend Stephan von Neipperg, “No risk, no fun”. You also find very strong wine in Saint Emilion, mainly from 3 hot spots.

In St. Emilion, world-class wines were produced from vineyards located on the famous limestone plateau, the gravels near Pomerol and in the clay rich soils close to, or in Saint Christophe des Bardes.

You can read tasting notes, ratings and detailed information for the best 600 wines of the 2018 Bordeaux vintage below. The reviews are sorted by appellation going from north to south, moving from the Left Bank to the Right Bank. That is the order I tasted the wines in. You can also use the search functions to find tasting notes for wines you are interested in.

Guide to the 600 best 2018 Bordeaux wines by appellation.

2018 Saint Estephe Buying Guide, Tasting Notes, Ratings

2018 Pauillac Buying Guide, Tasting Notes, Ratings

2018 Saint Julien Buying Guide, Tasting Notes, Ratings

2018 Margaux Buying Guide, Tasting Notes, Ratings

2018 Pessac Leognan Red and White Wine Buying Guide, Tasting Notes, Ratings

2018 Haut Medoc, Listrac, Moulis, Medoc Buying Guide, Tasting Notes, Ratings

2018 Saint Emilion Buying Guide, Tasting Notes, Ratings

2018 Pomerol Buying Guide, Tasting Notes, Ratings

2018 Bordeaux Value Wine Buying Guide for wines under $35 with Tasting Notes, Ratings

2018 Bordeaux White Wine Guide, Tasting Notes, Ratings

Everything you need to know about 2018 Bordeaux wine.

Great wine is about character and style. All the world’s best art, music, food, architecture and of course wine provide unparalleled experiences. That special sense of uniqueness shows itself with the 2018 Bordeaux vintage.

It is important to take note of Saint Christophe des Bardes, as that commune is a hotbed of competition. Today, many producers located there are rapidly upping their game there and the majority of wines there cost about $30! Fronsac and the Cotes de Bordeaux along with Bordeaux Superieur were also capable of producing very strong wine this vintage!

Overall, 2018 Bordeaux wines are dark, inky and often opaque in color. This beautiful depth of color emanates from the thick grape skins. The depth of the skins, coupled with the small berry size created tannic wines with intensity and concentration.

2018 Bordeaux wines are aromatically complex, and fruity, blending ripe black, red and blue berry and pit fruit aromas.

The truth of the vintage comes through when the wines hit your palate. At their best, 2018 Bordeaux is concentrated, opulently textured, full-bodied and express a beautiful purity of fruit. The wines are mouth-filling, offering weight and density.

However, it is the opulence, concentration, depth, sensuality and freshness that provides the uniqueness of character that gives 2018 Bordeaux its signature personality.

2018 Bordeaux wine can be alcoholic. But it is important to keep in mind, that alcohol is only a part of a wines character. Here you also find vibrancy and freshness in abundance, awarding that all important contrasting lift. It is that feeling of energy that stops the wines from being too much, and instead, allows them to be truly special.

2018 Bordeaux is a vintage that favors the red wines. That is not always the case, but the hot, dry summer months did not provide from enough acidity in the white wine grape varieties. The dry white wines which show some tropical, honeyed characteristics, instead of their usual crisp, citrus leanings will be best in their youth.

What’s new with 2018 Bordeaux

With 2018 Bordeaux, the region has taken another leap forward in quality. More than just the high level of wine, there is an unspoken change that appears to have taken place in Bordeaux. You can see it in the movement to organic and biodynamic farming.

It is more than just better knowledge of the vineyards and state-of-the-art cellars. You are also seeing more experimentation in the vinification and aging process. More vignerons are using fermenting with whole bunch clusters. In the cellars, there are vintners aging portions of their harvest in amphora and foudres.

Something else to take note of. Previously, second wines were simply the product of a way to sell declassified juice. That is no longer the case. There has been an explosion of quality found in numerous second wines that is clearly evident in the 2018 Bordeaux vintage.

The overall feeling I get from the region is that part of the qualitative jump is that the new generation of vignerons and wine makers are stepping up their game, making their own mark. Bordeaux is once again a brave new world.

It’s as if the kids of the region, that only a few years were following in their parent’s footsteps all got together and said, “It’s time to make our mark.” They were only waiting for the right year to do so, and 2018 Bordeaux gave them their chance.

How 2018 Bordeaux became 2018 Bordeaux. The 2018 Vintage and Harvest Report…

Simply put, 2018 Bordeaux is a vintage in two parts. The initial portion of the growing season had many vineyards drenched from record-setting amounts of rain. The winter was wet, and moderate in temperature, and so was the spring. Although the amount of rain is never equal across Bordeaux, so some appellations experienced more precipitation, as well as higher or lower temperatures than others.

Water, mildew and hail storms…

The massive amount of water soaking Bordeaux, coupled with warm temperatures created tropical conditions which provided the impetus for intense attacks of downy mildew. The severity of the attacks varied from vineyard to vineyard, striking the berries and leaves. The attacks came fast and furious. Growers that were able to survive the mildew due to fortitude and no financial constraints suffered little or no loss.

Other vigneron’s committed to organic or biodynamic farming, like Chateau Palmer, Chateau Durfort Vivens and Chateau Pontet Canet lost close to 75% of their crop! If that wasn’t enough, hailstorms struck the region, devastating Chateau La Lagune, Chateau Cantemerle and Chateau Guiraud, as well as other estates.

2018 Bordeaux, The Dry Summer.

That period of intense moisture had several vignerons worried about the vintages ability to achieve ripeness. However, the continuous rainy period was followed by a long dry spell from late June, July, August and September. But unlike other dry summers, which are also hot, that is not what took place here.

Instead you have a very warm, extremely dry summer, record amounts of sunshine and cold nights, which provided the necessary acidities that makes everything work so well for 2018 Bordeaux wines. When looked at on a historical basis, 2018 Bordeaux is one of the warmest and driest summers over the past 4-5 decades.

Soils began drying out once the summer started in earnest. Slight rain fell in June and July, which helped foster maturity. August experienced heat spikes, but they were not too severe as temperatures shot up to 35 degrees Celsius, 95 Fahrenheit, which is hot, but not brutal.

August was extremely dry, which caused problems for soils lacking the ability to retain water. Young vines were also suffering from water stress. The light rain in September, before harvest hit the spot, allowing the grapes to achieve maturity.

The warm, dry conditions of 2018 Bordeaux favored vineyards with old vines, as they had the ability to seek out water as needed.

2018 Bordeaux Harvest

Harvest took place under beautiful conditions, allowing growers to pick at their desired degree of ripeness. In fact, 2018 Bordeaux for several properties earned the record for the longest harvest in their history. That length of harvest is part of the recipe for the success of the 2018 Bordeaux vintage.

For the white wines, picking began as early as August 20 with Sauvignon Blanc.

For the red wines, vineyards were being picked starting as early as September 10 for the Merlot and went into late October for the Cabernet’s, although most of the fruit was brought in by mid-October.

The grapes were for the most part, small with thick skins, providing concentration of flavor and extract along with intense color. Sugar levels are high, and that means so are the alcohol levels.

But acidities are high as well, with the right pH needed to give you that sensation of freshness, which is going to be one of the key points of 2018 Bordeaux.

Yields varied from vineyard to vineyard. Several estates experienced normal yields, while others were impacted by hail, and attacks of downy mildew. Actual yields varied widely depending on the vineyard, method farming and ability to ward of mildew.

Overall as you can see, 2018 Bordeaux is a vintage worth exploring at all ends of the spectrum. If you have questions, or comments, please feel free to post.

The post 2018 Bordeaux Complete Guide to the Best 600 Wines of the Vintage appeared first on The Wine Cellar Insider.

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2018 Bordeaux is a year for the red wines. The hot summer with its sunny dry conditions seems to have been too much to really allow for the production of first-rate dry white Bordeaux at many estates.

There are a few exceptions, of course. But generally speaking, 2018 Bordeaux white wines range from just not quite fresh enough, all the way to the honey-suckle accented, tropical side, with some wines edging close to the slightly flabby side of the style range. Clearly there are wines that are better than others. 2018 white Bordeaux is a vintage that consumers should do a little homework on before buying.

The issue here is that far too often, the crisp acidity associated with the best dry white Bordeaux wines is not pronounced, so there are 2018 white Bordeaux wines that can lack energy and verve. In short, 2018 is not always an exciting vintage for Bordeaux’s dry whites.

On the plus side, most of the 2018 white Bordeaux wines can be enjoyed early in life, as most will be quite delicious on release. On the other hand, because the wines will show so well young, they are not for the most part, going to develop into candidates for long-term cellaring.

Though it is interesting that white Bordeaux wines from the Medoc fared reasonably well across the board and you find more difficulties in Graves and Pessac Leognan white wines.

2018 Bordeaux is also a complicated vintage for the sweet Bordeaux wine. There are wines without enough botrytis to make them compelling, and acidities are not as high as you find in the best vintages.
On the other hand, this is a mixed blessing.

I like sweet wines in that style if I am seeking to match them with savory dishes. They often make complimentary wine and food pairings, as the sweetness and botrytis are not overpowering. If you want to read details on the 2018 Bordeaux vintage 2018 Harvest Report

It is also interesting to note that starting with the 2018 Bordeaux vintage, Chateau d’Yquem did not allow the vintage to be shown during the En Primeur tastings. Chateau d’Yquem will not be offered as a future. Tastings will be available once the wine is in bottle and ready to be sold.

With close to 600 wines tasted, you can expect a few more 2018 Bordeaux reports to be published. The following 2018 white Bordeaux wines were tasted between late March and early April 2019 in non-blind conditions.

The guide to 2018 white Bordeaux wine focuses on wines from Pessac Leognan, Graves, Bordeaux, Entre Deux Mers, the Medoc, Cote de Francs and other smaller appellations that allow for the production of white Bordeaux wine. Several wines were tasted more than once, with consistent results.

This coming week is interesting. Vinexpo, which occurs every other year in Bordeaux has historically taken place in mid-late June, as the futures campaign closes in on its crescendo. That is not the case with 2018 Bordeaux! The idea to move Vinexpo to May was a poor decision causing an unnecessary interruption to the release of countless wines. But that’s for another day.

While last week saw a flurry of releases, many wines at all price levels have not been offered. With most negociants spending time at Vinexpo, the number of releases this week could be quite small. Things will really take off the following week as the trade rushes to get all their offers out by the start of the summer.

2018 White Bordeaux Guide

2018 dAiguilhe Blanc – Green apple, yellow citrus and pears come through in a forward, bright, fresh, crisp style that you can drink on the young side. – 91 Pts

2018 Alto de Cantenac Brown – Pineapple, white peach, vanilla and lemon rind produce the aromatic character. On the palate, the fruit is just a little sweet, with a fresh, juicy lemon and semi-tropical finish. The wine was produced from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon. – 91 Pts

2018 Blanc de Lynch Bages – Just picked honeysuckle, orange rind, Granny Smith apples and vanilla are a treat to smell. Packed with citrus on the palate, the lemon chiffon finish is perfect for current drinking. The wine is a blend of 59% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Semillon, and 20% Muscadelle. – 93 Pts

2018 Brown Blanc – Juicy, bright, crisp lemons, grapefruit, vanilla and florals are here from start to finish. Medium-bodied and ready to go, drink this over the first few years of life for the maximum amount of fruit and freshness. – 90 Pts

2018 Cantelys Blanc – With a sweet, fresh, lemon and white peach character and enough pep to get the wine going, this will be ready for prime time drinking on release. – 90 Pts

2018 Carbonnieux Blanc – The nose works well with its blend of green apples, Meyer lemon and a touch of floral and there is vibrancy in the fruit as well but this is not a long term drinker. So, enjoy it early in life for all that delicious fruit. – 91 Pts

2018 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc – With a blast of crisp, zesty pomelo, floral scents and a full body loaded with crushed rocks, Mandarin oranges, mango and a background of pineapple, this is tasty now — I could not stop drinking it. I can only imagine how good this is going to be with a decade or two of aging! – 96 Pts

2018 Clarendelle Blanc – Light, bright and fresh, enjoy this yellow citrus filled summer quaffer in the first year or two after it hits the shelf. – 85 Pts

2018 Clos des Lunes Lune d’Argent – If you like white peaches and juicy, sweet Meyer lemons, you came to the right place. Just bottled, the wine is soft, floral, open and ready to go! – 91 Pts

2018 Clos des Lunes Lune d’Or – Picture a dry Sauternes blended with sweet, white peaches and you begin to get the idea of what’s in your glass. Add some ripe, yellow citrus and a dollop of pineapple, with a shot of acidity, and you can complete the picture. – 92 Pts

2018 Clos Marsalette Blanc – Vanilla, white peach, honeysuckle and pomelo are front and center and in the finish as well. Drink this young for its sweet, pure fruity character. – 90 Pts

2018 Chantegrive Blanc – Pomelo, pineapple and lemon offer a nice initial pop along with honeysuckle and tropical fruits. Drink this on the young side for the maximum amount of fruit and freshness. – 86 Pts

2018 Chantegrive Caroline – Leaning to the tropical side, you also find vanilla, lemon peel, pineapple and tangerine with a hint of honeysuckle on the nose and palate. This will be best enjoyed in its youth for maximum freshness. – 88 Pts

2018 Cos d’Estournel Blanc – Youthful and crisp, with little effort, the spark of honeysuckle, orange, grapefruit, vanilla and lemon hits the perfume. On the palate this wine is drenched in brightness, yellow citrus and a hint of honey, providing a fresh, refreshing, juicy experience. – 94 Pts

2018 Les Pagodes de Cos Blanc – Bright, fresh and juicy, with sweet yellow fruits and a touch of honey with a fresh, crispness to the juicy finish. – 91 Pts

2018 Couhins-Lurton Blanc – The just squeezed yellow citrus pops with lift, allowing the sweetness to shine through in this forward, medium-bodied, early-drinking wine. – 90 Pts

2018 deFrance Blanc – Bright, yellow citrus and white peach are found here from start to finish in this early drinking white Bordeaux charmer. – 88 Pts

2018 Ferran Blanc – Floral and citrus dominate the wine. There is sweetness and juicy lemons but they fade quickly so drink this on the young side. – 87 Pts

2018 Gazin-Rocquencourt Blanc – Bright, juicy and fresh, the florals, mint, yellow citrus and vanilla stand out. On the palate, the wine refreshes with lemon zest, tangerine, vanilla and a drop of honey. – 91 Pts

2018 Girolate Blanc – Light, fresh, easy drinking, yellow citrus based wine for early drinking consumption. – 86 Pts

2018 Hubert de Boüard Chardonnay – Forward, fresh, fun, early drinking white with a nice combination of yellow citrus, pear and green apple. This is a nice summer drinking quaffer. – 87 Pts

2018 Hubert de Boüard Le Sauvignon – Crisp, bright, fresh juicy lemons and pomelo with a tint of honeysuckle that is perfect for uncomplicated summer drinking. – 87 Pts

2018 Grand Village Blanc – Hints of tropical fruit and yellow citrus fruits come to you with a tint of honey. On the palate, the wine is round, fresh and refreshing. The wine was made from 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Semillon. – 91 Pts

2018 Grand Village Les Champs Libres – Always produced from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, the wine shows off its green apple, pomelo, flowers and lime essence with ease. Fresh and fruity, with lift and the bite of a Meyer lemon in the finish, this is quite nice this vintage. – 92 Pts

2018 Haut Brion Blanc – Floral with a strong note of pomelo, Meyer lemon and wax, the wine is sweet, juicy and even a bit honeyed. The large percentage of Sauvignon in the blend offers the pop you need. Made from a blend of 80.6% Sauvignon Blanc and 19.4% Semillon, this is the highest percentage of Sauvignon Blanc in the blend for Haut Brion Blanc. – 98 Pts

2018 Le Clarte de Haut Brion Blanc – Floral, fresh and fruity with zesty lemons, pomelo and a drizzle of orange honey, this will drink well on release. – 92 Pts

2018 Jean Faux Les Pins Francs – Bright, yellow tropical fruits and citrus are paired with a touch of white peach and honeysuckle that will be perfect to drink on release. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 La Garde Blanc – Honeysuckle and pomelo with lemon chiffon on the palate will be perfect with fresh, grilled seafood this summer. – 88 Pts

2018 Laurence Blanc – Green apple, lemon, pomelo, and Mandarin orange show up in every sniff and sip. Fresh, and juicy, this is going to be delicious on release. From 100% Sauvignon Blanc and aged in 100% new, French oak, the wine is a new venture from Hubert de Bouard and Philippe Nunez. Drink this young for its energetic freshness. – 90 Pts

2018 La Louviere Blanc – Light in color and fruit, the ripe, sweet, yellow citrus is quite juicy but it lacks the length and freshness found in the best vintages. – 89 Pts

2018 La Mission Haut Brion Blanc – With a strong lemon essence, the crushed rock, oceanic nuances, tropical yellow fruit, honeysuckle and spice cut through. Medium-bodied and lacking the power and freshness found in the best vintages, this wine will be an early drinking vintage for La Mission Haut Brion Blanc. Made from a blend of 57.4% Sauvignon Blanc and 42.6% Semillon. This is only the second time that the blend featured more Sauvignon Blanc than Semillon. – 97 Pts

2018 La Tour Carnet Blanc – With a nice jolt of lemony freshness, you also find pomelo, vanilla and yellow tropical fruits. This will be perfect on release and over the next few years. The wine was made from blending 60% Semillon and 40% Sauvignon Blanc. – 91 Pts

2018 La-Tour-Martillac Blanc – Citrus, flowers and a background note of pineapple show up in the nose. On the palate, this is bright, crisp, forward and juicy. The wine was made blending 54% Sauvignon Blanc and 46% Semillon. – 91 Pts

2018 Larrivet Haut Brion Blanc – With a nice aromatic profile of grapefruit and lemon, this wine is medium bodied and while it shows good sweetness and some tension, this is not a wine for long term aging. So enjoy it in its youth for all that juicy, yellow citrus fruit. – 91 Pts

2018 Les Charmes-Godard Blanc – Honeysuckle, white peach, pineapple and orange hit the spot here, especially with the crisp, bright, acidity keeping everything juicy and bright from start to finish. – 91 Pts

2018 Lespault-Martillac Blanc – Juicy just squeezed lemon, lime and green apple have a real pop on the palate and in the finish. – 92 Pts

2018 MagrezFombrauge Blanc – Juicy, bright, crisp and fresh, this is loaded with lemons, pomelo, vanilla, honeysuckle and just a bit of tropical fruit. Refreshing and fruity with a nice pop of citrus on the palate, this will be great on release and better with a few years of age. – 92 Pts

2018 Malartic Lagraviere Blanc – Crisp, stony, yellow citrus, lemon curd, vanilla and green apple are on the nose and in the palate. The wine has cut, definition and a mineral essence. You’ll find juice, sweetness and refreshment with a core of ripe citrus in the finish. The wine is made from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon, reaching 13.5% alcohol and will be aged in 55% new, French oak barrels. – 93 Pts

2018 Marjosse Blanc – The wine is fresh, refreshing, bright, sweet and juicy, with green apple, lemon peel, pomelo and honeysuckle, making this a perfect wine for pairing with fresh seafood this summer. The wine is a blend of 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% percent Semillon, 20% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Muscadelle. – 90 Pts

2018 Monbousquet Blanc – Honeysuckle, green apple, lemon chiffon, tangerine, flowers and tropical fruits with just a bit of honey is what you find in the nose and in the bright, juicy, fruity finish. The wine was made from 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Gris, 5% Semillon and 5% Muscadelle. – 91 Pts

2018 Mouton Rothschild Aile D’Argent Blanc – Honeysuckle, orange peel, pineapple, pears and vanilla shine with little effort. The balance between the yellow citrus, hints of tropical fruits and freshness on the palate brings it all together. The wine will be perfect when paired with all types of fresh seafood dishes. The wine was made from a blend of 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Semillon. – 94 Pts

2018 Nardian – On the tropical side with vanilla, honeysuckle, mango and candied grapefruit, the wine is rich, bright, crisp and juicy and will be best enjoyed early in its life. – 90 Pts

2018 ChateauOlivier Blanc – Juicy, ripe, sweet, fresh, slightly honeyed yellow citrus and bright pineapple with vanilla pop right away on the nose and mouth. – 91 Pts

2018 Pape Clement Blanc – A nice blast of pomelo, lemon peel, Mandarin orange, flowers, honeysuckle and vanilla, in a richly-textured, lush style of white Bordeaux. You can drink this fairly close to release. The wine was made from 57% Sauvignon Blanc, 39% Semillon and 4% Muscadelle. – 94 Pts

2018 Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux – Honeysuckle, green apple, orange rind and pomelo scents are available with no effort. The wine is sweet, bright, fresh and juicy, displaying a combination of yellow tropical fruits and citron on the palate and in the finish. – 94 Pts

2018 Puygueraud Blanc – It is impossible to find a better value in white Bordeaux wine than you have here. Meyer lemon, white peach, pomelo and flowers with a bright, crisp, slightly sweet, fruity character. Drink this over the next few years. – 89 Pts

2018 Rahoul Blanc – White peach, yellow citrus and a touch of vanilla are offered in a medium bodied forward style, that is perfect for summer drinking. – 87 Pts

2018 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc – White peach, flowers, honeysuckle, lemons, pomelo and Granny Smith apples with just a touch of honey are on the nose and palate. The finish adds pears, vanilla and almond with traces of vanilla bean to round things out. The wine was produced from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon. – 94 Pts

2018 Le Petit Haut Lafitte Blanc – Fresh, juicy lemons with a shot of orange on the nose and palate make for perfect, near term, summery drinking. – 88 Pts

2018 Les Hauts de Smith Blanc – Bright, yellow citrus blended with juicy, green apples hits the spot. If you are seeking a fresh, easy-to-like white Bordeaux, this is your wine. – 90 Pts

2018 Domaine de Solitude Blanc – Fresh squeezed lemons and pomelo with peppy freshness and a jolt of lemon rind in the bright finish is what you will find here. You can drink this on release with pleasure. – 89 Pts

2018 Stella Solare Croix de Labrie – Yellow and orange citrus with honeysuckle and white peach on the nose and in the mouth. The wine is juicy, fresh and with the pop of acidity to lift the wine on your palate and a shot of slightly honeyed citrus in the finish. You can enjoy this on release. – 93 Pts

2018 du Tertre Blanc – The nose is all about the white peach, flowers, cantaloupe, vanilla and citrus peel. The wine is unctuous and lively, with a blast of yellow citrus and peach in the finish. The unique blend is made from 30% Viognier, 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Chardonnay and 20% Gros Manseng. The wine was vinified in stainless steel and barrel and aged in 100% new, French oak barrels. 91 – Pts

2018 Suduiraut “S” de Suduiraut – White peach, pears, apple and flowers take a bit of effort to find. The wine is fresh, just a little sweet and will offer early drinking, easy going pleasure. – 89 Pts

2018 Blanc Sec de Suduiraut – Made from a blend of 53% Semillon and 47% Sauvignon Blanc, the wine displays ripe tangerine, orange, white peach and citrus in the nose and mouth. On the palate it’s round, fresh, just a bit sweet and ready to drink on release. – 87 Pts

2018 Talbot Caillou Blanc – With a strong floral accent that plays escort to all the tropical fruits, orange and yellow citrus, the wine is fresh, refreshing and slightly honeyed in the juicy, ready to drink finish. The wine is a blend 69% Sauvignon Blanc and 31% Semillon. – 90 Pts

2018 Blanc deValandraud No. 1 – Ripe, juicy, lemon rind, pineapple, mango and green apple with a splash of acidity that brings it all together, providing lift and vibrancy. The wine is made from 50% Sauvignon Gris, 40% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon with aging on its fine lees for 10 months before bottling. – 94 Pts

2018 Virginie de Valandraud Blanc – Grapefruit, spice, apricot and lemon combine perfectly. The fruits are ripe and sweet, but it is the juicy freshness giving the wine lift that creates its character. – 91 Pts

The post 2018 Bordeaux White Wine Guide, Tasting Notes, Ratings for Top Wines appeared first on The Wine Cellar Insider.

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While 90% of the press on 2018 Bordeaux, and for all Bordeaux wine in general is for the top wines, The First Growths and other 1855 Classified Growths, as well as the most famous, glamorous wines from the Right Bank, the truth is, Bordeaux also produces an ocean of well-priced, value-wine.

The wines are often large case production estates that make the wines easy to find in the marketplace. They are delicious to drink on release, and they age well too! They have character, style and class.

Part of the reason these value wines are so good is that they have terroir that is often equal to some of the better terroirs in more exalted appellations. But because wine is like life, and location, location, location matters, these wines sell for a pittance for their level of quality.

However, 2018 Bordeaux can be a tricky vintage for many regions that produce value Bordeaux wine. It is really going to depend on the terroirs. The vineyards that were able to handle both parts of the growing seasons.

The opening act with its constant deluge of rain that continued until the summer was in full bloom, and the finale with its hot, dry, sun-filled, endless summer months that left little water to feed the vines. That is why terroir matters more in challenging vintages. The clay and limestone soils were able to nourish the vines, allowing the grapes, seeds and skins to mature.

If that wasn’t enough to contend with, hail storms blasted portions of Entre Deux Mers, Cotes de Blaye, Cotes de Bourg and made its way into the southern Medoc, as it struck La Lagune and Cantemerle. Mildew was also an issue, and depending on the severity of the attack, many smaller estates do not have the resources to aggressively fight it off, so yields are down at some properties. If you want to read details on the 2018 Bordeaux vintage 2018 Harvest Report

With 2018 Bordeaux value wines, you can find them on both both banks and Pessac Leognan. They are all over the Right Bank in the Cotes de Bordeaux and other appellations, and even St. Emilion. (Although you need to read the report on St. Emilion for those wines) On the Left Bank, in the Medoc, there are several wonderful Cru Bourgeois properties worth considering, especially in the northern part of the region.

With close to 600 wines tasted, you can expect a few more 2018 Bordeaux reports to be published. Next up is the dry white Bordeaux wine report.

The following wines were tasted between late March and early April 2019 in non-blind conditions. Several wines were tasted more than once, with consistent results.

2018 Bordeaux Value Wine Tasting Notes

2018 Domaine-de-lA – Deep in color, the dark red fruits combine sweetness, freshness and opulent textures. The wine has volume, lift, character and most importantly, a lingering, fruity, plushly textured finish. This is the best wine from the home property of Stephane Derenoncourt yet. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 dAiguilhe Querre – Ripe and fleshy, the wine is forward, juicy, sweet, and most importantly, ready to go on release! 88 – 90 Pts

2018 d’Aiguilhe – Deeply colored, the wine is loaded with licorice, flowers, truffle, blackberry and plum on the nose. On the palate, the wine is rich, supple, round and fleshy, with freshness and density on the palate. There is purity in the fruit and length in the finish which provides you with sensuous red pit fruits, silky tannins, licorice, cherries, cocoa and crushed rock sensations. The harvest took place September 18 to October 5. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Alcee – Fruity, ripe, round and forward, the wine is loaded with sweet, black cherry, cocoa, licorice and espresso. You can enjoy this on release for all its ripe, juicy, round fruit. Produced from 96% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 dArce – Floral in nature, the wine shows off its ripe, black raspberries, licorice, espresso and earth with ease. Round, lush, polished and fresh, the silky tannins and fruity finish works here. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Balthus – Voluptuous in texture, the wine is dense, fat and loaded with toasty oak, licorice, extremely ripe fruit and chocolate. This is not a refined wine, but it is sure hedonistic. The wine is a parcel selection of 100% old vine Merlot. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Belle Coline – Medium bodied, forward, fresh, bright and clean, with a core of sweet cherries, licorice and espresso, you can enjoy this young. This is a solid Bordeaux value wine. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Bolaire – Spicy, floral and polished, the wine is juicy, forward and sweet, with a nice dose of ripe, spiced black raspberries from start to finish. The wine was made from blending of 50% old vine Petit Verdot and 50% Merlot, which is unique for Bordeaux. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Bouscat Caduce – Juicy, dark, sweet and fresh, with round textures and a blast of ripe black cherries from the get-go. It is amazing that you can buy a wine this good for such little money. If you are looking for an early drinking value play, this is it. The wine is an exclusive in the American market for Jeffrey Davies Signature Selections. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Bouscat Cuvee la Gargone – Inky in color, the wine is round, sweet, floral, juicy, fleshy, frruity and already easy to drink. The wine is made from blending 60% Merlot, 20% Malbec, 18% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Franc. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Bouscat Les Portes de L’Am – The color of ink, this stunner is fat, plush, juicy and loaded to brim with licorice, plums, flowers and chocolate covered cherries. Opulent in texture, this blend of 50% Merlot, 25% Malbec and 25% Cabernet Franc is pure hedonism in a glass. This wine is a Jeffrey Davies Signature Selection Exclusive. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Brande-Bergere O’Byrne – Forward, medium-bodied, early drinking, crisp, bright, red berry filled wine with an olive, licorice, dark chocolate and herbal accent. You can enjoy this young due to its early drinking ability. The wine is made from a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Domaine de Cambes – Truffle, tree moss, wet earth, tobacco and dark red fruits are served up with a juicy, mouthful of earthy, fresh, dark red fruits and tobacco leaf. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Cap de Faugeres Mouleyre – Round, dark, juicy and loaded to the brim with ripe black cherries, licorice, espresso and plums, this is a richly styled lush textured wine. Even better, it will be great early in its life and will be fun to taste for at least a decade or more. The wine was made from blend of 80% old vine Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Cap St. George – Floral and fresh, with leafy, green herbs, rocks and plums, the wine is silky, round, sweet and delivers a serious blast of ripe red fruits and stone in the finish. This will be better if you age it for a few years. The was made from blending 82% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is going to be very hard to find a better wine for the money than you find here in this vintage. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Carignan Prima – Medium bodied, blending herbs, red currants, oak and olives in the finish. The wine was made from 100% Merlot. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Les Charmes-Godard Blanc – Honeysuckle, white peach, pineapple and orange hit the spot here, especially with the crisp, bright, acidity keeping everything juicy and bright from start to finish. – 91 Pts

2018 Clarendelle – Forward, medium-bodied, accessible, early drinker with red fruit, cherries and just a bit of tobacco in the mouth as well as in the finish. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Clos de Bouard – Black plums, licorice, smoke, espresso and chocolate are easily discerned. On the palate, the wine is lush, polished, round and silky. The fruits are ripe, the tannins are polished and the finish mixes dark red fruits with cocoa, licorice, smoke and spice. This is only the second vintage for Coralie de Bouard, who was not able to produce a wine in 2017, due to difficult weather conditions. The wine is a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Clos Lunelles – Deep in color, the wine is dense, full-bodied, lush, ripe and powerful. The deep, dense fruits are accompanied by rocks, stones, espresso, anise and oyster shell. The finish is long, with polish and intensity in the chocolate, licorice, infused, dark plums and black cherry end notes. The wine was made from blending 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. Give this at least 5 years and perhaps longer in the cellar to come together. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Clos Puy Arnaud – Medium-bodied, bright, crisp, fresh and floral, with a licorice and red cherry twist to top it off. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Courteillac – Bright, juicy, fresh, crisp red fruits in a medium bodied format that will offer easy drinking on release. 88 – 89 Pts

2018 Croix Lartigue – Medium-bodied, round, ripe, rich and fruity, the licorice coated cherries, cocoa, espresso and floral notes come through on the nose and fruit filled palate. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Croix Mouton – It is going to be hard to find a better value wine in Bordeaux than this. The wine is forward, round and fruity with black plum and floral notes. Drink this young for the fruit as well as for the pleasure. Produced from 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Dalem – Plush, round, ripe, fruity and delicious. Here, even with all this ripeness and density, the truffle, cocoa and ripe, black fruits shine through. The wine is made from a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Dame de Bouard – Fresh, bright fruits, chocolate and licorice work together perfectly in this forward, open, already easy to drink, medium-bodied, plummy wine. The second wine of Clos de Bouard was produced from 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 La Dauphine – Showing good color, the wine is rich, fat and juicy, espresso, dark chocolate covered cherries and licorice from start to finish. Lush, rich and concentrated, there is length, density and freshness here. Plus, you can pop a cork on release or age it for a few years. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Faizeau – Round, ripe and still a bit oaky, this medium bodied wine is going to be best in its youth for all its ripe, lush, licorice covered, dark red fruits. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Fontenil – The nose pops with flowers, crushed rock, cherries and licorice without being asked. On the palate, the wine is concentrated with layers of ripe, fleshy, sweet black raspberries, licorice and plums. Complex on the nose and palate, there is the perfect amount of lift giving all the layers of fruit life. The is a new level of quality for Fontenil. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Fontenil Le Defi – Inky in color, the wine coats your palate with fruit, rocks and stones. Dense, but light on its feet, which is a difficult balance to achieve, the nose is all about the flowers, licorice, black cherry and boysenberry. With dark chocolate coming in at the end, the finish keeps on going long after the wine has gone to where it was destined to go. This is the best vintage ever of Le Defi Fontenil. 94 – 96 Pts

2018 Fougas Maldoror – The wine is full-bodied, and deep, letting the ripe plum, blackberry and earth sing out. Rich, sweet and fleshy, there is freshness in the end, giving the fruit its much needed lift. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 de Francs Infinity – Ripe plums, licorice, black cherry and floral characteristics are easy to find. And the fruity, sweet red fruits with their refined soft tannins hits an even better note in the finish. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 de Francs Les Cerisiers – Deeply colored, the wine is round, fruity and happy to present its licorice, espresso, floral and mineral driven, black cherry profile. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Gaby – Floral, medium-bodied and showing fresh, ripe, red berries, licorice and dark cocoa from start to finish, the wine should be easy to drink early in life. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Gigault Cuvee Viva – With a floral edge, the wine is medium-bodied, round, soft and loaded with licorice, and fresh, juicy plums accompanied by a nice note of spice in the finish. You can drink this young for all its sweet ripe fruits. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Grand Village – Flowery in nature, you find an earthy, leafy, tobacco, spice and cherry profile. The wine is medium bodied, silky, soft and fresh, with loads of ripe, dusty black raspberries in the finish. It was produced from a blend of 78% Merlot and 22% Cabernet Franc, setting a record for the highest amount of Cabernet Franc in the blend. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Gree-Laroque – Open, forward, fresh and fruity, with round textures, medium-body and a ripe, dark cherry and licorice-filled finish. This offers serious value drinking and it can be enjoyed on release. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Haut Carles – Flowers, licorice, chocolate and ripe, lush red and black fruits are served up in a silky, forward, supple textured styled that will be great on release. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 de Carles – Medium bodied, forward, fruit filled, early drinking charmer with a nice, sweet, fruity character and softness in the finish. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Hubert de Boüard Cabernet Franc – For those looking to experience a 100% Cabernet Franc wine from Bordeaux, search no further. This well priced, medium-bodied, forward, easy drinker offers plenty of ripe plums, flowers and hint of peppery spice, with soft textures and will be nice to taste on release. 86-88 Pts

2018 Hubert de Boüard Cabernet Sauvignon – For those looking to experience a 100% Cabernet Franc wine from Bordeaux, search no further. This well priced, medium-bodied, forward, easy drinker offers plenty of ripe plums, flowers and hint of peppery spice, with soft textures and will be nice to taste on release. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Isle Fort – Floral, fruity, fresh, medium-bodied, soft and vibrant, the ripe cherries, with their hint of spice and licorice works great here. You can enjoy this young, for all its easy to like charm. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Jean Faux Les Pins Francs – Bright, yellow tropical fruits and citrus are paired with a touch of white peach and honeysuckle that will be perfect to drink on release. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Jean Faux – Tobacco, licorice, ripe red fruits, earth, herbs and crispness all come together in this juicy, easy to like, medium-bodied wine. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Joanin Becot – Chocolate mint, licorice, black cherry and smoke are easy to spot. There is volume with layers of ripe, dense, black fruits along with a touch of fig, dark cocoa and espresso bean. Fleshy, long and rich, this is clearly the best Joanin Becot ever. The blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc is aging in a combination of 50% new, French oak barrels, 25% in vat, 15% in amphora and 10% in one year old barrels. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 La Prade – A big juicy blast of fresh ripe fruits, rocks and stones comes in every sip . If you are seeking value Bordeaux and you’re not familiar with La Prade — get to know this wine, which is made from 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 La Rousselle – With licorice, smoke, jam and black fruits, the wine is forward, lush, fat and rich. The wine offers early drinking charm, so you can pop on cork on release letting you enjoy all this ripe fruit without delay. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 La Vieille Cure – Concentrated, lush and loaded with chocolate covered, black cherries and licorice, the wine hits your palate with the essence of dark cocoa and red fruits that offer their pleasures with ease. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Lafont-Fourcat – Medium bodied, the smoky black raspberries and licorice come through in the nose and on the silky, soft palate. You should be able to enjoy this young. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Lafont-Fourcat A Nos Amours – Deep in color, the wine is soft, supple and shows hints of minerality along with its juicy, fresh, dark cherry profile. This will take a few years before it really begins shining. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 lAurage – Earthy black cherries, kirsch, wild herbs and spice come through easily in the nose and mouth. All of this is wrapped up in a fresh, round, silky bow of red, juicy fruits, licorice and earth in the finish. The wine is a blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Le Conseiller – From 100% old vine Merlot, the wine is forward, soft fruity and juicy. Easy to drink, this is going to be fun on release. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Le Petit Verdot Belle-Vue – Don’t plan a trip to the dentist after tasting this wine. It’s inky, it’s going to stain your teeth. Massive, powerful, rich, fleshy, dark and spicy, it reminds me of a Napa wine. Some tasters are going to like this more than others. This is a rarity in Bordeaux as it is one of the few wines made from 100% Petit Verdot. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Le Rey Argileuses – As soon as this hits the stores, you can grab a bottle, pop a cork and enjoy all the sweet, ripe, round, red fruits and licorice with ease. It is hard to find better value from any wine region. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Le Rey Rocheuses – Floral, ripe, juicy and already a lot of fun to drink, this is sweet, ripe and plummy with a nice spicy note in the round, finish. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Leroy-Beauval – Easy drinking charmer with soft, ripe, dark red fruits, a touch of fennel and round textures. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Grands Marechaux – Medium bodied, easy to like charmer with ripe, soft-textured, sweet red fruits, licorice and a touch of espresso. This is a wine that you can enjoy on release. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Les Trois Croix – Lush, round, forward, medium/full bodied, with a dark, juicy plum, licorice, black cherry and earthy character. Fresh, plush and polished, this will be better with a few years of age. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Marjosse – Medium bodied, round, forward, charming and fruity, with a nice drizzle of licorice and cocoa in the finish. The wine will be delicious to enjoy on release for all its sweet, red berry charm. You can drink this value priced Bordeaux on release. The wine was made from blending 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Mauvais Garçon (Bad Boy) – Forward, round and ready for prime time drinking for those thirsting for ripe, lush black cherries, licorice and chocolate in a crowd-pleasing style. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Montlandrie – Floral in nature, the wine focuses on its freshness, silky tannins and red, licorice coated fruits. The medium-bodied wine is going to need a few years to soften and come together. The wine is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Moulin-Haut-Laroque – Flowers, smoke, espresso and dark red berries with a touch of minerality come together in this medium bodied, juicy, fresh, polished, fruity wine. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Moulin-Pey-Labrie – Luscious, ripe, fresh sweet cherries that offer a nice pop of flavor on the palate. The fruits come along with licorice and coffee bean to round things out in the soft, round, medium-bodied finish. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Esprit-de-Pavie – Flowers and licorice with dark red berries on the nose and palate. The wine is medium-bodied and vinified for early drinking appeal, which works, due to all the ripe, fleshy, sweet, fruits. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Perriéres de Lafleur – With a nice level of density, the wine has good concentration of flavor, round tannins, sweetness in the fruit, vitality and complexity in the finish. Perriéres de Lafleur has replaced the Acte series from the Guinaudeau family. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Pey-La-Tour Reserve du Chateau – Ripe, fruity, forward and loaded with licorice, chocolate, black cherries and dark plums, the wine is round in the mouth, soft in the finish and will be easy to enjoy on release. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Le Pin Beausoleil – This outstanding, Bordeaux value wine is ripe, sweet, fresh, juicy, forward and on the black cherry and plum side with hints of licorice in finish. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Prieure Saint-Anne – Dark cocoa, licorice, black cherry can be found from in this ready to drink, ripe, round, easy to like charmer. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Puygueraud – Earthy with tobacco leaf, herb, licorice and wild cherry aromatics, the wine has richness, volume and length. The fruit is ripe. There is an earthiness to the fruit and density that is not usually found here. As the finish lingers, you get a sense of the minerality, which adds to the fruit and complexity. The wine was made from a blend of 85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Reignac – Round, lush and juicy, with plenty of smoke, licorice, espresso and ripe, black cherries coupled with a dark chocolate underpinning and freshness in the finish. Age it a few years, or drink it on release. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 La Riviere – Dark in color, the wine is round, fat, sweet and filled with ripe, dark red fruits, licorice, wet earth, coffee bean, smoke and cocoa. Lusciously textured in the finish, this is going to great shortly after release. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Roc de Cambes – Wild black cherries, truffle, tobacco, smoke and licorice on the nose gets your focus. Full-bodied, lusty, round and juicy, with an earthy accent to the fruits, this will be best with at least 7-9 years of age. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Simon Blanchard Champ de la Fenetre – Floral, with sweet, silky, fresh cherries, plums and chocolate to kick this off. The wine is silky, round and delivers a nice a forward blast of juicy red fruits in the end note. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Domaine Simon Blanchard Guitard – Deep, juicy dark black cherries with cocoa and licorice, the wine has good weight, density and freshness. The fruit is lively as well as rich and fleshy. The wine is made from 52% old vine Merlot paired with 48% Cabernet Franc. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Thenac Bergerac Sec Fleur de Thenac Blanc – Medium-bodied, earthy, mineral driven, red pit fruit filled wine with a lean, stony character that will please some people more than others. 84 – 86 Pts

2018 Tour Bayard L’Angelot – Lush, round, dark, juicy, ripe, sweet, fleshy cherries surrounded by licorice and chocolate in a forward style, and for a fair price! You can drink this young. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Val de Roc – Dark in color, with chocolate coated cherries, round textures and a juicy finish, this is going to be charming on release. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Vieux-Chateau-Palon – Rich, dense, plummy, fat and with depth of flavor, the wine is loaded to the brim with all the ripe, fleshy plums, licorice and cocoa you need. This is a delicious value play for those willing to skip the big wines and just want pleasure in the glass. 91 – 93 Pts

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2018 Saint Emilion was not an easy vintage for producers. The winter months were easy, but the spring is one of the wettest in history. Depending on where you located in St. Emilion,during the initial 6 months of the year, between 550 mm to 600 mm (21″-24″) of rain soaked your soils. This is more than the normal amount of rain the region experiences in a year!

From there growers fended off violent attacks of mildew, which struck fast and furious. 2018 Saint Emilion was saved by the hottest, driest, sunniest vintage conditions since 2003.

Barely any rain fell from July to harvest. Picking took place under warm, sunny and dry conditions. On average, production was down 10-20% for many vineyards. Conditions were so good between late September and mid October, vignerons were able to pick at their chosen level of maturity. Harvesting took place from mid September to mid October.

The terroirs that were able retain enough moisture to feed the vines produced incredible wines. The peak of the limestone plateau, the gravels next to Pomerol and deep clay soils found in communes like Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes were the most favored terroirs this year. For many soils, especially sandy terroirs, there was not enough water to allow the grapes to reach full desired levels of ripeness.

At their best, 2018 Saint Emilion are just great! Across the board the wines are deeply colored. They are concentrated, ripe, opulent and velvety on the palate. Many are alcoholic. But the top estates held everything in check, maintaining balance between ripeness and freshness. There are wines that pushed the envelope, and as you can see from my comments, they can be over the top.

But if you focus on the wines from the better terroirs, there are numerous gorgeous examples of wines that belong in your cellar.

More importantly, there are several wines that are score in the mid 90 Pt range, with beautiful styles that are selling for $30 or less! Wine lovers and value seekers should be all over those wines, supporting their efforts.

With close to 600 wines tasted, you can expect more 2018 Bordeaux reports for every major appellation to be published daily. In a day or so, we will release our report on the best value wines from several regions including the Cotes de Bordeaux, Fronsac, Bordeaux Superieur and more.

The following wines were tasted between late March and early April 2019 in non-blind conditions. Several wines were tasted more than once, with consistent results.

2018 Saint Emilion Tasting Notes

2018 Adaugusta – Fruity, medium-bodied, soft, easy-drinking, round-textured expression of earth, licorice and cherries, which will be charming on release. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Angelus – Opaque in color, the nose sense just picked black raspberries, wet earth, smoke, licorice, flowers and liqueur of blackberry. On the palate, the wine balances power, elegance, refinement and depth. Clearly this is concentrated but there is a lightness in the touch with a refined, precise character. The finish keeps on going with groundswells of sensually textured fruits, spice, licorice and earth for over 50 seconds! With the 2018 you have an evolution not a revolution; there is a small shift in style moving to a more refined elegance while retaining all its power. The wine was made from blending 65% (oops forgot the grape) and 35% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol. it is interesting to note that with the 2018, only the oldest Cabernet Franc vines were used in the blend. The harvest took place September 24 to October 11. The yields were low at 30 hectoliters per hectare. This is the first vintage where all the vineyards used to produce Angelus were farmed 100% organically. The aging process has shifted as well, now 10% of the wine is aged in neutral foudres which will also go through malolactic fermentation in vat. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 Le Carillon de l’Angélus – No longer a second wine as the parcels once produced, Le Carillon de l’Angélus 2018 is undoubtedly a step up in quality. The floral nose with its licorice, ripe plum and smoke, seeks out your attention. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied and fresh and the finish is all about the elegance and sweetness in the fruit. The wine was made from 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Les Asteries – Firm with a distinctive stony edge, this wine offers fresh red berries, flowers, minerals and a nice purity in the red berry finish. This is not vinified for early consumption so you will need to wait at least a decade before popping a cork. The blend was made from 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Ausone – The color of purple ink, this wine displays an incredible level of density. It is hard to understand how they place so much fruit in a glass of wine and yet it is light on its feet! There is a purity here that resembles eating fruit off the vine seconds before it was picked. The finish is packed with minerals, red, black and blue fruit, flowers, spice, earth, rocks and stones and it has a 60 second impact. The cashmere tannins, freshness on the palate, density, length and purity are remarkable. The wine is made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, reaching 14.5% alcohol with pH 3.65 and is aging in 100% new, French oak for 20 months. The Merlot was harvested on two days, September 25 and September 27 and the Cabernet Franc was picked October 3, 8 and 9. The wine was made from low yields of 32 hectoliters per hectare. If you have the money there are few wines at this level of quality produced from any vineyard in the world. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 Chapelle d’Ausone – Deeply colored, the wine is rich, lush, round and concentrated. There is focus, precision, length and purity with notes of ripe, sweet, fresh, black cherries, plum, licorice, smoke and crushed stones on the nose and palate. It is difficult to believe that this is their second wine. 93-95 Pts

2018 Badette – Juicy, ripe, fresh and showing concentration, freshness and character with layers of ripe dark fruits, earth and licorice on the nose and in the long, voluptuous finish. The wine was made from blending 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, reaching 14% alcohol. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Balestard La Tonnelle – Medium-bodied, soft and polished with freshness, silky tannins, sweet plums, ripe cherries, licorice and earth in the supple, polished finish. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse – This is another off the hook vintage from Beausejour Duffau. I do not know where to start or to stop praising this wine. The texture is surreal. The level of density, concentration and power combined with more than ample energy is incredible. The wine tastes like you grabbed a handful of berries off the vine and placed them in a Vita mix blender with rocks and stones and drank it on the spot! After a recent vertical at Beausejour I was convinced they could never make a better wine than the 2010. Wrong! Very little of this elixir is made. So if you have the chance to buy it, do not pass. This is a cellar gem! The wine is made from blending 80% Merlot with 20% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol. The harvest took place September 25-October 5. Only 1,150 cases were produced. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 Beau-Sejour Becot – Just when I was sure the 2016 Beau-Sejour Becot was the best wine ever produced at the property, along comes the 2018! Deep in color, the wine shows a strong floral and mint accent with dark chocolate, black plums and even darker cherries. This is the highest level of concentration experienced with their wine, but it is also remarkably energetic. There is lift, vibrancy, minerality and multiple platforms of fleshy, opulent, sensual ripe, dark pit fruits. The silky finish coats your mouth with flavor and the essence of pure fruit. This is perfectly balanced between power and sensuality. The wine is a blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, aging in a combination of 65% new, French oak with 35% of the wine raised in amphora and used oak casks. The Merlot was harvested from September 12-25 and the Cabernet’s was picked between October 4 and October 10. 96 – 98 Pts

2018 Belair-Monange – Inky in color, the purple flecked ruby hue is impossible to see through but upon taste and reflection there is more than what meets the eye. The wine is built around a solid core of perfectly ripe black cherry, plums, crushed rock, spice and espresso sensations. Full-bodied, deep, rich, long and opulent, this is stunning! The finish hangs with you for over 50 seconds, which is a good thing as you don’t want to lose sight of all this hedonistic pleasure. With the 2018 Belair-Monange has made an announcement — they are moving to the next level. This should age for 2-3 decades or more with little effort. Give it time before popping a cork. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 Bellefont-Belcier – Flowers, crushed rocks, ripe, fresh stony fruits, silky textures and elegance. There is volume, refinement, length and character found here from start to finish. The wine was made from blending 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, reaching 14.3% alcohol. The wine is aged in a combination of new and used French oak casks with 10% of the harvest being aged in amphora. 95 – 97 Pts

2018 Bellevue-Mondotte – On the floral and licorice side, the wine is ostentatious, fleshy, full-bodied, opulent and powerful. With fabulous viscosity, density, length and power, the fruit, rocks and crushed stones get you hooked as it coats your palate. This is not a shy wine. It is big, powerful and comes with a massive wall of fruit, stones and tannin. The finish keeps on going with its powerful, flamboyant character. This is not a wine to enjoy young. So be prepared to cellar it for close to a decade before popping a bottle. The wine is made with 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. 96 – 98 Pts

2018 Bellevue – Dark in color, this wine is packed with cashmere textured, black, red, and blue fruits, licorice, cocoa and truffle. Opulent in nature with layers of velvet drenched berries, smoke, spice and chocolate, this is going to need at least 6-8 years or longer to begin expressing itself. Undoubtedly, this is the finest vintage ever produced here. The wine is made from 100% Merlot. 95 – 97 Pts

2018 Berliquet – Espresso, flowers, rocks, anise, stones and ripe fruits only tell part of the story. The wine is rich from all the plump, lushly textured, pure fruits, licorice and dark cocoa. The wine has volume, depth, complexity and velvety textures. This is just a joy to taste. The wine blends 78% Merlot with 22% Cabernet Franc and is aging in 45% new, French oak. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Cadet Bon – Medium bodied, forward, soft and fresh, the sweet cherry essence of the wine arrives with thyme and mineral accents. You can enjoy this within a year or two of release. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Calicem – With a black raspberry, licorice and smoke-filled character, this wine is ripe, round, lush and fruity. The berries are sweet, pure and fresh with depth, length and volume. From the owners of Couvent des Jacobins, this wine comes from a parcel selection of 100% old vine Merlot which was planted in 1961. 92-94 Pts

2018 Canon – With delicate, cashmere tannins, the wine is lavish, opulent, fresh and loaded with ripe black fruits, licorice, smoke, plums, minerals, flowers and cherries. The wine balances perfectly with elegance and a wealth of sensuous fruits. There is length, which is what the doctor ordered as you want to enjoy as much of this for as long as possible. The wine blends 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc, 14% alcohol. Picking took place September 7 to October 9, making 2018 the longest harvest in the history of the property. 97 – 99 Pts

2018 Croix Canon – Medium bodied, elegant, forward, soft and fresh, with ample ripe, red fruits and licorice to keep you busy, waiting for its big brother to mature. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Canon la Gaffeliere – Full-bodied, graceful and sensuous, this wine is packed with layers of luscious fruits. The purity of the berries stands out this year, as does the length, density and energy. In the finish you’ll find velvety plums, cherries, licorice, chocolate and spice. The wine was made from a blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, reaching 14% alcohol, the harvest took place September 17 to October 4. 96 – 98 Pts

2018 Clarendelle Saint Emilion – Round, forward, soft and showing a nice display of sweet, red cherries and licorice, drink this easy-going, Merlot dominated crowd pleaser in its youth. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Clavis Orea – Very ripe, fleshy, dense and oaky, the wine is plush, polished and packed with layers of dark red fruits, licorice, smoke, espresso and chocolate. Hedonistic in style, give this a few years of age, allowing it to become an even better wine. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Clos Badon Thunevin – Licorice, smoke and wet earth with ripe dark plums on the nose and a blast of black cherry, licorice and dark mocha on the palate work perfectly here. The wine needs only a few years in the bottle before it all comes together. 92 – 93 Pts

2018 Clos-de-lOratoire – Medium bodied, elegant, fresh and charming! At the core of this wine you’ll find licorice, smoke, cherry, flowers, wet earth, soft tannins and a dried, red pit fruit finish. The wine was made from blending 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Clos des Baies – Floral and polished, the deeply colored fruit is ripened and comes along with dark chocolate, licorice and black cherries. Lush, round textures and freshness in the finish, this Clos des Baies is produced by Philippe Baillarguet, the cellar master of Chateau Ausone. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Clos des Jacobins – Round, supple, fresh and fruity, the dark, red fruits and licorice pop with energy and the freshness and soft tannins come with a nice cocoa and plum note in the finish. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Clos Dubreuil – Blackberry, boysenberry, licorice and dark chocolate are all over the place here. Lush, round and silky with sweetness to the fruit, concentration, opulent textures and length in the finish, this is the best vintage for Clos Dubreuil I have ever tasted. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Clos Fourtet – Inky in color, the wine is almost opaque. The fruits are ripe, dark and deep. There is a touch of fig, black cherry, dark chocolate, flowers and licorice. Full-bodied, concentrated, intense, dense and yet with ample lift keeping the wine energized on your palate. The finish hangs in there with multiple shadings of ready pit fruits, luscious textures and purity. The yields are quite small for 2018 at only 33 hectoliters per hectare. 96 – 98 Pts

2018 Clos Junet – Forward, round and easy to drink, the wine shows an oaky, espresso and licorice dominated, red berry character. This is an early drinking, Right Bank wine of pleasure. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Clos La Madeleine – Medium bodied, silky and vibrant, the ripe, bright plums and cherries are accompanied by a strong sense of minerality and a background note of licorice which really shines. The long finish is lifted by the vitality of the ruby red fruits. Give this 4-7 years in the cellar for the wine to round — it is going to be quite nice. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Clos Romanile – With depth of color, the medium-bodied wine moves with a core of smoke, licorice and juicy plums. Round in texture with a black plum and espresso finish, give it a bit of time in the cellar to flesh out. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Clos Saint Julien – The wine is floral, full-bodied and shows a strong mineral component to all the ripe, dark fruits, licorice and crushed stone that you’ll find from start to finish. The wine was made from an even split of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Chauvin – Medium-bodied, polished, earthy and leafy with succulent cherries, plums, soft textures and roundness. The finish with its thyme-infused red fruits really hits the spot. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Cheval Blanc – Resembling the color of a dark ruby gemstone, this outstanding experience begins with roses, violets, roasted plum, oyster shell, fennel and spice. From there you’ll move to the velvet drenched, decadent, opulent, silky palate. The depth of fruit is off the charts. The sensual, sexy feel on the palate is unique. The over 60 second finish is too short because you’ll never want it to end. This is bottled decadence. If you can afford it, it is a wine you should have in your cellar and you’ll want to age this for at least 15 years before popping a bottle. The wine was made using 54% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, reaching 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. The Merlot was harvested September 10-October 1, Cabernet Franc was picked September 24-October 10 and the Cabernet Sauvignon was picked October 11. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 Le Petit Cheval – Floral in character, the wine is round, supple, silky, opulent and ripe. The velvet textured fruit is already easy to drink. The wine shows a resemblance to Cheval Blanc on the attack. In fact, if it was just a little longer the wine would be quite similar to Cheval Blanc. Produced from a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, only 8% of the harvest was placed into the wine this year. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Clos de Sarpe – Fresh and stony with a sweet edge to the plums, cherries and licorice, this wine offers a distinctive crushed rock and floral character to the fruit on the nose and on the rotundly lavish palate. From a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 15% alcohol. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Clos St. Martin – Velvet textured red berries, smoke, spice, licorice, wet earth and stone are all over the place. The wine is opulent, concentrated and polished. The berries are ripe, sweet, fresh and silky. This decadent offering from the plateau of Saint Emilion is going to offer pleasure for at least two decades and probably longer. 96 – 98 Pts

2018 Corbin – With a profundity of color, the wine is fresh, juicy, elegant, ripe and multi-faceted. On the palate and in the finish you find decadent cherries and licorice with lift, length and opulence. The wine blends 90% Merlot with 10% Cabernet Franc, reaching 15% alcohol but there is no touch of heat or jammy sensations. This is a beauty and it is the best vintage of Corbin I have ever tasted! 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Corbin-Michotte – Medium-bodied and spicy with a drop of licorice and herbs, this wine is forward, bright and light and will be ready for drinking upon release. 84 – 86 Pts

2018 Cote de Baleau – With a strong floral nature, the wine is medium bodied, silky, soft and fresh. Red pit fruit, smoke, licorice and berries with just a hint of cocoa, this forward, open, fruity, early drinking charmer hits all the right notes. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Couvent des Jacobins – With a silky, juicy, forward character, the wine is lush, plush and polished. The espresso, wild cherry, stone and fennel is apparent from start to finish. There is depth but you also find energy, giving it lift in the finish. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Croix de Labrie – Black plum liqueur, clay, smoke, licorice and spice are all over the place. Concentrated and quite sexy, the wine is polished, sensuous velvety and stony. The fruit on the palate runs the gamut from black to blue to red. The wine shows more minerality and tension due to the inclusion of fruit from recently purchased vineyards. The wine is a blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, it reached 14.2% alcohol. This is the second vintage for Hubert de Bouard as the consultant for Croix de Labrie. 94 – 96 Pts

2018 Chapelle de Labrie – Smoky with licorice, blackberry, dark cherry and even darker chocolate on the nose, the wine is forward, opulent, lush and silky. This supple textured, ripe wine can be enjoyed early or aged for a few years before popping a cork. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 – Stella Solare Croix de Labrie Blanc – Yellow and orange citrus with honeysuckle and white peach on the nose and in the mouth. The wine is juicy, fresh and with the pop of acidity to lift the wine on your palate and a shot of slightly honeyed citrus in the finish. You can enjoy this on release. – 93 Pts

2018 Dassault – Smoke, licorice and espresso jump before you’ll find the juicy black cherries. The wine is round, supple and oaky. Produced in a modern style, this is going to please some more than others. You will be able to enjoy this wine early. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Daugay – Medium-bodied, elegant, soft and forward, the ripe, sweet red fruits are already showing their gentle character. This is a wine to enjoy young for its plum, thyme and cherry charm. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 de Candale – Round, juicy, mature and fresh, there is an admirable sweetness to the juicy red fruits. There is energy in the cherries, cocoa and licorice which powers through to the finish. 89 – 899 Pts

2018 L’Eveche – On the fruity side of the style range, the wine is forward, soft, round and easy to drink, leaving you with ripe, cherry and plum notes. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 de Ferrand – Floral in nature, the red fruits are fresh, spicy, earthy and bright. The wine is medium bodied with lift and vibrant red plums in the finish. 89..

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With 2018 Bordeaux, in the Left Bank, clearly the success stories of the vintage are found in the northern part of the Medoc, and in the better terroirs. While it appears obvious, there are several reasons for this. The properties located in the better terroir had the financial ability to react quickly when it came to defending against the strong, rapid mildew attacks.

The growing season was also difficult for many estates. The vintage can be divided into two parts. The winter and spring brought a torrent of almost non—stop rain. Following one of the wettest initial growing seasons, 2018 Bordeaux was next in the middle of a long, warm, sunny drought, with temperatures that have not been seen since 2003!

These are difficult conditions for soils not able to retain ample water resources, as the vines can shut down and the grapes are unable to achieve full maturity. If that wasn’t enough to contend with, in the southern part of the Haut Medoc, they also experienced violent hail storms, which completely decimated Chateau La Lagune, who was unable to produce any for the second vintage in a row.

With all that in mind, quality levels, character and style vary widely with 2018 Haut Medoc wines. That being said, there are some very nice 2018 Cru Bourgeois wines and others from the Haut Medoc in 2018. You just need to know where to look.

This is a good thing because all of these wines sell for very consumer friendly prices and most will be ready to drink on release, or with just a year of two of aging. Savvy wine drinkers seeking value that are not concerned with buying big names should take a look at the better wines in the report.

With close to 600 wines tasted, you can expect more 2018 Bordeaux reports for every major appellation to be published almost daily. This report completes the Left Bank. We will wrap things up next week with Pomerol, St. Emilion, and of course all the great small Right Bank wines from the Cotes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Superieur and Bordeaux.

The following wines were tasted between late March and early April 2019 in non-blind conditions. Several wines were tasted more than once, with consistent results. This report looks at the wines from the following appellations: Haut Medoc, Listrac, Moulis and the Medoc. White Bordeaux wines from any of the estates in this report will appear in the article focused on 2018 Bordeaux Blanc.

2018 Agassac – Round, forward, earthy and fruity, the tannins are soft, the character is open and the floral sensation in the nose, along with the red fruits, thyme and espresso come through nicely. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Beaumont – With a blast of dark cocoa, black cherry, herbs and tobacco, this medium bodied, forward, fresh Medoc wine will be great for early drinking pleasure. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Belgrave – Inky in color, the nose pops with flowers, spice, black currant, tobacco leaf and espresso. Forward in style, the wine is medium bodied, supple, fresh and shows generosity in the ripe fruit filled finish. The wine was made from a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. You should age this for at least 5-7 years and enjoy it over the next 15-20 years with ease. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Belle-Vue – Floral, polished, sweet and spicy, the wine is elegant, juicy, medium-bodied and lusty on the palate. One of the few Bordeaux produced using all 5 allowable grape varieties, the wine was made blending 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 20% Petit Verdo, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carmenere. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Le Petit Verdot Belle-Vue – Don’t plan a trip to the dentist after tasting this wine. It’s inky, it’s going to stain your teeth. Massive, powerful, rich, fleshy, dark and spicy, it reminds me of a Napa wine. Some tasters are going to like this more than others. This is a rarity in Bordeaux as it is one of the few wines made from 100% Petit Verdot. 87-89 Pts

2018 Bernadotte – Medium bodied, tobacco tinged, crisp, red berries, with an earthy, bright finish. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Branas-Grand-Poujeaux – Filled to the brim with licorice, espresso, plum and black currant, the wine is soft, polished, sweet, fresh and juicy. The fruity finish comes with espresso, licorice and wet earth as well as a mouthful of dark red fruits. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Cambon La Pelouse – Medium bodied, soft, round, forward, earthy charmer with the character of ripe, red fruits, tobacco, espresso and currants in the finish. This is not for long-term aging. So give it a few years and enjoy it over the next 10-12 years or perhaps longer. The wine is made from a blend of 50% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Camensac – Medium bodied, bright, lean and simple with more cranberry than cassis, this classically styled wine is best to drink early in life. 84 – 86 Pts

2018 Cantemerle – Ruby in color, flowery, and tobacco edged, the spicy red fruits come through nicely. Medium bodied, elegant and with freshness to the red fruits, this classically styled vintage should age well. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Caronne Ste. Gemme – Fresh, crisp, crunchy, bright red fruits are easy to find in this classic, medium bodied, lean, earthy wine. Lovers of old school, classic Bordeaux will like this a lot more than I did. 85 – 87 Pts

2018 Charmail – Opaque in color, the wine is powerful, concentrated, lush and juicy. There is some noticeable oak, but there is so much fruit, the oak should integrate into the wine by the time it is bottled. The wine is made from blending 39% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 11% Petit Verdot. Charmail remains one of the most popular Haut Medoc wines for price and quality. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Chasse Spleen – Cranberry and cassis in a bright, medium-bodied, lean format with a dried red berry finish. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Cissac – Medium-bodied, with a piquant red cherry edge to the fruit, the wine is juicy, fresh, bright and classically styled. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Citran – Tobacco and cherry fruit in the front end, and crisp bright, red fruit on the back end is what you will find here in this medium- bodied, lean wine. 85 – 87 Pts

2018 Clarke – Ripe, round, medium-bodied, sweet and with plenty of dark red berries and thyme to go around, you can drink this early in life. Chateau Clarke is one very few wines in the Medoc planted to 100% Merlot. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Clement Pichon – Medium bodied, ripe, earthy dark red red fruits with tobacco leaf are easy to find. The wine focuses on its freshness in an open, forward style. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Clos Manou – Inky dark, dense and full-bodied, the wine shows lots of sweet, juicy red fruits on the palate and in the long, earthy, fresh finish. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Coufran – Forward, direct, simple, Merlot dominated Medoc that will be easy to drink on release.. 85 – 87 Pts

2018 Ducluzeau – The peppery spice adds to the red fruits in the early drinking, correct, red berry filled charmer. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Fleur la Mothe – Medium bodied, with a nose of flowers and black currants, in this vintage you also find a bright, spicy, energetic blast of red fruits. You can enjoy this young, but it will be nicer after a few years in the bottle. The wine was produced from blending 40% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Fourcas Borie – A solid Bordeaux value year after year, here you find a nice gulp of ripe, dark, cherries, round textures, hints of licorice and a splash of cocoa. The wine is soft, medium bodied and can be enjoyed on release. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Goulee – Big, round, juicy and fat, with density, ripe, dark fruits, a kiss of oak, black cherry and licorice. Not refined, but it is so full of fruit, flavor and it’s going to be fun to drink on release, that more than makes up for it. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Les Grands Chenes – Deep in color, the wine resonates with dark black cherries in the nose and mouth. Full-bodied, round, forward and richly textured, the finishes with dark, red fruits, licorice, espresso and bitter chocolate in the end note. The wine was made from 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Greysac – Medium bodied, with a tobacco and floral accent to accompany the soft, textured, ripe, cherry and currants, you can enjoy this on release, or age it for a few more, to gain more of its Left Bank character. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Haut Condissas – Forward with a strong jolt of espresso, licorice and smoke, on top of the ripe dark red fruits, the wine is round, fleshy and should provide pleasure early with its modern approach. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Haut-Madrac – Easy drinking, round, forward Medocian wine with a slant to the earthy, red fruit side of the style range, it is perfect for early drinking pleasure. 83 – 85 Pts

2018 Gironville – Medium-bodied, juicy, sweet black cherry and plum filled wine, in a forward, soft, round, open style, finishing with dark red fruits and cocoa in the finish. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Lamarque – Earthy, forest floor, tobacco and red fruits in a medium- bodied classic style. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Lanessan – Smoky, dark red fruits, tobacco and black currants on the nose and you also find the same on the medium-full/bodied palate as it hits the right notes. The wine is bright, crisp and fruity, with loads of juicy currants in the finish. The wine was made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Larose-Trintaudon – Forward, easy to like, and easy to drink, the wine focuses on its fresh, red fruit, earth and tobacco charms in an open style. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Maison-Blanche – Packed with ripe, round, earthy, spicy, dark berries, tobacco and forest, leaf, you have nice volume and loads of fruit, soft tannins and ample fruit in the finish. This is a solid Bordeaux value wine with great Medoc character deserving a look from savvy wine buyers, not looking for big names. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Malescasse – How did they make a wine this good here is what I asked myself. Inky in color, the wine is lush, rich, deep and fruity, The tannins are polished and the dark red berries, earthy tobacco and espresso carry through to the long plummy finish. This should be easy to drink on release or with just a year or two of age. Value seekers should take note of this wine. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Maucaillou – Ripe, round, forward, fresh and fun, the wine is soft, on the sweet side with licorice, earth, tobacco and spice to flesh things out. This is a solid example of a Bordeaux value wine from the Medoc. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Mauvesin Barton – Medium-bodied with a real juiciness to the red fruits. There is a fresh, crisp jolt of red pit fruits and spice in the finish. The wine was made from a blend of 54% Merlot, 39.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.5% Petit Vedot. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Paloumey – Medium bodied, you already find the tobacco and currant character, along with bright, crisp red fruits, earth, spice and olives in the finish. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Patache dAux – Medium bodied, forward, nice Left Bank character filled wine that delivers its soft cherry pipe tobacco profile for early drinking pleasure. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Peyrabon – Medium bodied, easy drinking, correct Medoc wine for early drinking, uncomplicated pleasure. 85 – 87 Pts

2018 Potensac – Tobacco, cedar and smoke are paired with ripe, red berries that have a roundness in them this year. The wine is full-bodied and continues with its classic spirit. But with the 2018, you find more generosity than normal. Still, I would wait at least a decade before opening a bottle. The wine was produced from blending 45% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Poujeaux – Opening up with black raspberries, espresso bean and tobacco leaf, the wine is full-bodied, round and ripe. The fruit is rich, juicy and deep, giving the wine structure and backbone, along with sweet, earthy fruits, bitter chocolate and anise in the finish. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Preuillac – The red fruits here, pair perfectly with the earth cigar box and leafy accents. Medium bodied, forward and with espresso and dark red fruits in the finish, you can enjoy this early, or give it a few years to develop. 88 – 87 Pts

2018 Reysson – Medium-bodied, fresh, ripe, juicy red fruits with a touch of stone on the palate, the wine will be easy to drink on release. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Rollan de By – Lush, round and forward, with ripe, dark red fruits, licorice, cocoa, espresso, vanilla and smoke, this is perfect for early drinking. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Senejac – The ripe dark fruit found in the 2018 vintage really shines here. The cedar, tobacco and dark berries comes through nicely on the nose and on the medium/full-bodied, round, soft palate. The finish offers upfront, forward and easy to like already. This is the first vintage for Jean-Michel Laporte who consults at the property. The wine was made from 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Sociando Mallet – Tobacco leaf, cigar wrapper, fresh herbs and black currant create the core of the wine. Full bodied, powerful, tannic and juicy, the fruit and tannins are ripe, there is a roundness to the texture coupled with density and flesh to the fruit that really shines this year. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Tour-Haut-Caussan – Medium-bodied, forward and fruity, with accents of tobacco leaf and bright, soft, polished, red fruits. This is a nice Bordeaux value wine from the Left Bank that savvy consumers on a budget should look out for. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Tour-du-Haut-Moulin – With a lean to the floral side on the nose, the wine is medium-bodied, fresh and offers ample juicy, bright, crisp red fruits. This will drink well young, with just a year or two of age. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 La Tour Carnet – The oak feels dialed back, which is a good thing as now, you can enjoy all the ripe, round, fresh, juicy, dark red berries, soft tannins and ripe, red berry, smoke, coffee bean and earthy finish. 91-93 Pts

2018 La-Tour-de-By – Medium bodied, round, forward, ripe and fruity, with an earthy, spicy, deep red berry finish. 88-90 Pts

The post 2018 Haut Medoc, Listrac, Moulis Guide with Tasting Notes and Ratings appeared first on The Wine Cellar Insider.

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If you want to read details on the 2018 Bordeaux vintage 2018 Harvest Report

2018 Pomerol continues the appellations streak of recent great vintages, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016 and now 2018. While each of those years offer incredible wines with characteristics you can only find in Pomerol, at their best, perhaps 2018 outclasses all those previous years.

2018 Pomerol might not be as consistent as other great vintages, meaning that all wines did not perform at an equal high-level. With 2018, you need to look at the rich clay soils on the plateau for the best of the best. But make no mistake, the top wines from the plateau are future Bordeaux legends!

In fact, as you will see in our tasting notes, the wine of the vintage in my view comes from Pomerol!

It is the style and character found in 2018 Pomerol that makes the vintage so good. At their best, they have incredible levels of depth. They are concentrated, rich and alcoholic. But the pH is low enough, making the acidity high enough to provide lift and energy on the palate.

At their best, the top wines offer a decadent tasting experience that drenches your palate with layers of decadently textured fruits that feels off the charts. These are exciting wines that fans of Pomerol will want in their cellar.

2018 Pomerol did not start out promising. The early part of the growing season found a region drenched from almost non-stop rains. To give you an idea of how much water fell in Pomerol, from January to July, close to 24″, (600 mm) drenched the region over 6 months!

The biggest issues came with the rains that fell in April and May. All that rain brought attacks of mildew, which had the potential to wreak havoc. Growers with the resources to act quickly were able to fight off most of the mildew. Crop losses were mild with 2018 Pomerol.

While the soils were saturated by July, the clay terroirs soaked up as much water as possible before expelling the rest. This proved to be part of the magic recipe needed to create 2018 Pomerol. Because the second half of the growing season turned out to be one of the hottest and driest vintages of the past 50 years!

For many soils, especially sandy terroirs, there was not enough water to allow the grapes to reach full desired levels of ripeness. But the plateau with its clay soils retained ample water to promote maturity in the vines. The harvest took place in picture-perfect conditions over an extended picking window. Conditions were so good, vignerons were able to pick at their chosen level of maturity.

With close to 600 wines tasted, you can expect more 2018 Bordeaux reports for every major appellation to be published daily. Tuesday, April 30, we’ll continue our look at The Right Bank with tasting notes and ratings for more than 150 of the best wines from St. Emilion.

The following wines were tasted between late March and early April 2019 in non-blind conditions. Several wines were tasted more than once, with consistent results.

2018 Beauregard – Deep, dark fruit with licorice, coffee bean and a touch of fig along with black plums on the nose and palate produce the juice — a wine that is round, plump and fruity. You will be able to drink this on the young side. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Bel-Air-Pomerol – Floral, forward, medium bodied with a licorice infused, red plum profile, there is not a lot of weight or complexity here but it will be pleasant in its youth. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 Bellegrave – A straight forward plum, chocolate and licorice-filled wine with round textures in an open, fresh style. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Bon Pasteur – Ripe black cherries, plums, flowers, licorice and chocolate permeate the aromatic character. Sensuous, silky, polished and concentrated with layers of fruit, licorice and cocoa, give this wine 5-7 years to develop even more of its intimate and sexy personality. The wine was made from blending 80% Merlot with 20% old vine Cabernet Franc. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Bonalgue – This medium-bodied wine showcases sweet black cherries, silky tannins, licorice and floral notes. The wine is forward, soft and polished and exposes ripe cherries in the finish. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Bourgneuf – Earthy red fruits and fennel come though quickly in this medium-bodied, bright, red berry-filled, soft, forward wine. I like the hit of cocoa in the finish. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Certan de May – Sensuous, silky, plush and graceful, this wine hits the spot — that is if you like velvet texture, dark red berries, chocolate, fresh espresso and truffle in your wine. 94 – 96 Pts

2018 Clinet – Sensual, luscious and sexy, this is bottled decadence. The wine takes pure plums drenches them in velvet and drizzles them with roses, dark chocolate, licorice, espresso and truffle. The wine is full bodied, concentrated, powerful and lush. Produced from blending 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and hitting 14.75% alcohol, the wine is aging in 75% new, French oak barrels. The harvest took place September 19 to October 5. 97 – 99 Pts

2018 Clos-de-la-Vieille-Eglise – Medium bodied, fruity and correct, you’ll find more ripeness, form and fruit than usual. The wine starts off well but finishes a bit short. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Le-Clos-du-Beau-Pere| – Nice depth of color, the toasty oak rounds out the fresh plums, cherry and licorice notes. Supple textures, fruity and juicy with a nice hit of chocolate in the finish, this is a delicious, early drinking Pomerol. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Clos du Clocher – Flowers, black raspberries and herbs combine on the nose. On the palate, the wine is elegant, soft and polished with silky tannins and sweet, ripe plums along with olive tapenade in the finish. Give this a few more years to allow it to soften. The wine blends 70% Merlot with 30% Cabernet Franc. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Clos LEglise – Powerful, plummy, silky, deep and fresh, this full-bodied wine is long and filled with dark, red pit fruits, chocolate, espresso and violets. Give this velvet textured beauty a decade to age and it is going to be superb! 94 – 96 Pts

2018 Clos Rene – The most concentrated wine in the history of Clos Rene, this is on the deep plum side with licorice, dark chocolate and tension in the mouth. The fruit makes its presence known –something that has been missing from this estate for a while. Much of that credit goes to their new consultant Thomas Duclos. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 La Conseillante – Sexy, fresh, rich, opulent and refined, this is Pomerol at its most seductive. The fruits are drenched in chocolate and you’ll quickly find truffle, smoke, licorice, flowers and dark, black cherries. With velvety tannins, concentration and depth of flavor, this wine delivers a long attention grabbing finish. And this is a good thing as this is a wine you don’t want to lose sight of. Made from blending 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc and reaching 14% alcohol, the harvest took place September 19 to October 4. Yields were lower than usual at 32 hectoliters per hectare. You need to know that on my initial taste I loved the wine and thought it was the equal of the brilliant 2016 but I went back three times and each subsequent tasting was better than the last. This could top the 2016! Time will tell. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 Domaine-de-LEglise – Medium-bodied, elegant and fresh, you’ll find plum, vanilla and floral notes on the nose. This wine is focused on its silky, soft textures and sweetness in the ripe earthy plums. The wine was made from 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Enclos Tourmaline – Deep in color, this wine is coaxing you to find flowers, plums, licorice and perfectly ripe cherries in its aroma. This is a hedonistic, erotic wine delivering a velvet drenched, plummy mouthful. Produced from 100% Merlot and reaching 14.7% alcohol, it’s aging in 100% new, French oak. This will be quite difficult to find as only 275 cases were produced. 95 – 97 Pts

2018 LEvangile – Clearly the most concentrated vintage ever produced here. The wine is incredibly dense. You can tell just by looking at your glass. But the blackened color is only an introduction to the story, as the tale is told you’ll find orange blossom, bitter chocolate, plum liqueur, flowers, truffle and black cherries. With concentration to match the intensity, volume to pair with length, purity and velvet tannins, the wine delivers even more complexity in the finish with a mix of stony, salty minerality and decadent plum. The finish builds and expands on your palate. If the wine softens and develops more silk on the palate, this could score much higher. The wine is made from 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, which is the same as the vineyard plantings. The harvest took place September 19 to October 2. The wine reached 14.5% alcohol and is aging in 75% new, French oak. The Grand Vin was produced from 50% of the harvest. The wine was made from incredibly low yields of only 20 hectoliters per hectare. 97 – 99 Pts

2018 Blason de L’Evangile – The approachable black cherry and truffle profile with its glossy, sexy character is so good it is hard to believe this is a second wine. This is a Pomerol with personality that you can drink in its youth while waiting for the Grand Vin to mature. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Fayat – Forward, soft, medium-bodied with a ready to go personality of red plums, licorice, smoke and espresso, finishing with a nice layer of ripe cherries and thyme. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Feytit-Clinet – The truffle, dark cocoa, black cherry and plum core comes alive easily. The wine is pure silk and sexiness on the palate with opulent textures and sweet, earthy plums in the finish. The wine is made from a blend of 94% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc. 94 – 96 Pts

2018 Gazin – Already offering its earthy truffle side, the fruits are soft, floral, polished, sweet, and plummy. Elegant and rich, this is a fine example of Gazin delivering a serious dose of cocoa dusted kirsch in a graceful finish. The wine is made from blending 93% Merlot with 7% Cabernet Franc. 94 – 96 Pts

2018 Gombaude Guillot – Medium bodied, ripe, round and forward with dark chocolate covered red berries, this wine is fresh and easy to drink. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Guillot Clauzel – The debut vintage for Chateau Guillot Clauzel with Guillaume Thienpont at the helm is a strong first effort. The wine is medium bodied and plummy with licorice, truffle, espresso and ripe black cherry. Round, juicy and polished with freshness in the sweet red fruits and a hint of leafy herbs in the finish, the texture in the end note is smooth, soft and silky. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Hosanna – Truffle, chocolate, plum, smoke and earthy notes come through easily. Rich, full bodied, silky, concentrated and loaded with polished, velvety, chocolate-drenched plum and truffle, this is exquisite. Give it 7-9 years before pulling a cork and this will be a cellar treasure. 96 – 98 Pts

2018 La Cabanne – Richly colored, the wine pops from the nose with flowers, cocoa, thyme and red fruits. Soft, polished, fruity and silky, this is a solid wine from La Cabanne. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 La Clemence – Medium bodied, round and loaded with espresso and cherry notes, the red fruit is ripe but the oak at the moment is the dominant character. 85 – 87 Pts

2018 Croix du Casse – Medium-bodied, floral and plummy, you’ll find a soft, silky mid-palate and a red cherry, licorice and plum finish. The wine blends 93% Merlot with 7% Cabernet Franc. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 La Croix St. Georges – Flowers, truffle and fresh green herbs along with ripe cherries and vanilla produce the perfume. Round, supple, forward and lush, the wine serves up a perky cherry and plum finish. Give this five years or so before opening a bottle. The wine was produced from blending 94% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc, reaching 13.9% alcohol. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 La Fleur de Gay – No effort is needed to detect the flowers, plum and licorice packed perfume. Dark in color with lush, silky, textured fruit, the finish with its chocolate covered black raspberry and dark cherry hits all the right notes. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 La-FleurPetrus – Black cherry, boysenberry, roses, lilacs, truffle and spice are at work here. On the palate, the wine is pure lavish velvet. Elegance and power are in balance with layers of decadently textured chocolate liqueur soaked plums that linger til dawn. In a decade this will be off the hook! 97 – 99 Pts

2018 La Grave Pomerol – Medium bodied, silky, forward and soft, this wine has refined charm and sophistication packed with earthy, ripe plums and chocolate. This is a solid example of Pomerol that’s not going to break the bank. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 La Patache – Fresh and forward, soft and plummy, this floral pour is round and fruity and will be easy to drink on release. The wine was made from blending 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 La Pointe – With cherry blossoms and a touch of oak in the nose, the wine is medium bodied, forward and fresh. Most likely enjoyable on release, this wine is made from blending 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Lafleur – Let’s get this out of the way from the start: No risk, no fun. Right? This is the wine of the vintage! There, I said it. Now, let me explain why… On the palate, you encounter serious levels of weight and density. However, before you get there you’re greeted with scintillating truffle, licorice, plum, cherry liqueur, smoke and earthy aromatics. Clearly the wine is powerful, fresh and exotic with its mélange of incredibly ripe, red and black cherry fruits. Voluptuous and mouth-filling, the wine covers your palate with fleshy plums that remain a presence for close to 60 seconds. The purity in the fruit is crazy good. There is no doubt this is one of the great vintages of Lafleur. Could it be the best ever? Time will tell — lots of time as it will take at least 15 years before you should even consider popping a cork. Lafleur is never a wine to drink young; it takes time to show its essence. This very special wine was produced from a blend of 54% Cabernet Franc, 46% Merlot, reaching 14.5% with a pH of 3.65. The Merlot was harvested From September 12 to October 4. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 Pensees de Lafleur – The strikingly pure kirsch stands out here. It’s sweet, ripe and earthy with a hit of dark cocoa on top. In texture, the wine is fresh, sumptuous and polished. Give this few years to age allowing the wine to expand and soften and enjoy it for 10-12 years after that. Made from a blend of 54% Merlot picked September 21 and 46% Cabernet Franc harvested October 4. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Lafleur-Gazin – Black cherry, licorice, wet earth and a touch of smoke on the nose opens the perfume. The wine is medium bodied, elegant, soft and fresh with a plummy, cocoa and coffee bean sensation in the finish. This is one of the best vintages I’ve tasted of La Fleur Gazin. Give it a few years in the bottle before pulling a cork. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Lagrange-Pomerol – A forward, medium-bodied, early-drinking Pomerol with a core of flowers, cocoa, plum and cherry. Soft, bright and spicy, this will be best in its first decade of life. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 LatourPomerol – Elegant, silky, opulent, polished and sensuous, this is Pomerol! The concentrated plum and black cherry fruits are refined, fresh and velvety with the right amount of chocolate, espresso and truffle to boot. This is the best Latour Pomerol since the sublime 1970! 94 – 96 Pts

2018 Le Gay – Full-bodied, concentrated and abundant in depth, this wine balances its power, grace, elegance with ribbons of ripe, dark, red pit fruits from start to finish. The fruit comes in gradations, building and expanding on your palate — and it just doesn’t quit. The plummy finish rocks! Give this 7-9 years, allowing the wine to soften, flesh out and encourage the truffles, flowers and chocolate to unfold. The wine is made from blending 90% Merlot with 10% Cabernet Franc and is 100% vinified in barrels. The harvest took place September 19-October 3. Less than 1,500 cases are produced so if you want the wine you need to buy it early. 96 – 98 Pts

2018 Manoir de Gay – Forward, medium-bodied, earthy, this wine swings to the licorice/black cherry side of the style range with just a hint of cocoa. Drink this young while waiting for its big brother to evolve. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Le Moulin – With its citrus and floral character, you also find ripe, dark red fruits and espresso bean on the front and the back end. Medium bodied and soft in texture, you can drink this early in life. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Le Pin – Flowers, dried, red pit fruit and a touch of citrus open the nose. The wine is sensuous, even exotic in its texture. Medium-full bodied, there is a touch of chocolate making a cameo and the finish brings in spice and citrus tints to the opulent red fruits. The wine was produced from 100% Merlot reaching 14.5% alcohol. Due to the higher level of alcohol this year cultivated yeasts were used in the fermentation process for the very first time. 96 – 98 Pts

2018 LEgliseClinet – Dark in color, the wine is full bodied, fleshy, concentrated, opulent and tannic. The truffle, violets, black cherry and cocoa are captivating and when it flows over the palate this wine is beautifully empowered by a thick garland of flamboyant ripe berries. Made from blending 90% Merlot and 10% ( you left out the grape), the wine reached 14.5% alcohol and is aging in 70% new, French oak. The harvest took place September 18 to September 28. 96 – 98 Pts

2018 La Petite Eglise – Flowers, black cherry, cocoa and juicy plums are served with ease in this medium bodied, silky, refined, soft, elegantly earthy charmer. The wine is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 LEnclos – Forward, soft and vinified for early approachability, here you’ll find red plums, espresso, spice box and floral scents. Medium-bodied and elegantly styled, enjoy this in its youth for the purity of the silky, sweet, red fruits. The wine was made from a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14% alcohol. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Maillet – Plummy with overtones of vanilla, flowers, black raspberries and truffle, the wine is well-dressed, melodious, medium-bodied and serves up a respectable core of ripe, red fruits in the supple textured finish. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Mazeyres – Medium bodied, fruity, slightly overripe and plummy, this forward wine is an early drinker. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Montviel – Plummy and floral, the wine is sophistication and freshness. Medium-bodied and jam-packed with sweet black raspberries and licorice accents, the ripe, earthy plum and cherry fruits transport silkiness to the palate and into the finish. The wine is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. This is a serious value for the Pomerol region in 2018. Savvy shoppers should be all over this. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Nenin – Fresh, juicy, bright and pure with lingering tannins and ripe, red pit fruits, licorice, spice and floral notes, this wine is pleasingly polished, refined and erudite. The sweetness in the fruits on the mid-palate really stands out this vintage. The wine is made from 63% Merlot and 37% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.6% alcohol and is aging in 45% new French oak. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Petit Village – Wild cherries, cocoa and licorice with wet, earthy nuances come to the surface with ease. Soft, round, and silky in the finish, the blend of 72% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Franc leaves with a bright, fresh, spicy red berry, thyme and floral end note. Give it 4-5 years of age and it will be a much better wine. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Petrus – The color of the ancient and priceless Sunrise Ruby replete with ornate reflections of royal purple, this wine moves you. Its perfume begins with a lightning bolt of flowers, cocoa, truffle, licorice, black cherry and even blacker plums. On the palate, the wine is extraordinarily concentrated. The fruit tastes and feels darker than usual with more command, opulence, depth and length. The flavors are expansive, moving from plummy mid-palate to a spicy, licorice, dark chocolate, mint and kirschwasser finish that remains with you for well over 60 seconds! The wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The harvest took place September 13-27 and the wine is aging in 50% new, French oak barrels. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 Plince – Medium bodied and round with a solid blast of bright, juicy plum, earth, thyme and cocoa. There is length but not a lot of finesse. Still, it is quite charming. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Rouget – Black cherry and plums galore with espresso, licorice and spice box aromas that fuse well with the medium-bodied, soft, ripe berry palate. Give this 3-5 years for the oak to integrate and for the wine to gain in complexity. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Sacre Coeur – Forward with lots of ripe, round fruits with freshness, herbs and peppery spice, this should be ready to drink shortly after release. The wine is produced from 100% Merlot. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Saint-Pierre-Pomerol – Floral, earthy, medium-bodied and on the red plum side of the style range, the wine is soft and mildly showy with a mineral infused, red berry, classic..

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While its neighbors in the Medoc in the north enjoyed more homogeneous conditions with 2018 Bordeaux, that is not the case with 2018 Margaux. Here, in part, because of the vast array of different terroirs, and the choices of the estates, you have a wider spread of quality from vineyard to vineyard.

It is interesting to note that the top wines are located primarily on the top peak of the Cantenac plateau. The soils there were more able to cope with the extremely wet, winter months.

More importantly, from tastings it appears that those vineyards were able to retain enough moisture to survive the warm, sunny and parched summer months.

The date of the harvest was one of the crucial factors with 2018 Margaux. Some estates began picking their young vines as early as September 12. Harvesting finished as late as October 15. This long window of picking allowed many properties to obtain the desired level of ripeness they were looking for. If you want to read details on the 2018 Bordeaux vintage 2018 Harvest Report

Another factor with 2018 Margaux were the mildew, which struck the grape skins and leaves. Properties that were able to spray quickly, avoided losing large portions of their harvest. But as you will see with the tasting notes, that was not the case with everyone. Several properties lost from 20% to almost 75% of their harvest.

While not at the level of the recently released, stupendous 2015 vintages, several estates produced very good wine, and a few properties made wines that will be viewed as future legends from their vineyards in the years and decades to come!

But with 2018 Margaux, you do not need to solely focus on the top 1855 Classified Growths. Several smaller wines are also beautiful this year. As you can see from my ratings, there are numerous Cru Bourgeois wines that are delicious. Plus, many of the second wines from 2018 Margaux deserve a look as well.

Styles and characteristics in the Margaux appellation are usually reflective of the desire of the winery, and with 2018 Margaux, that holds true. With this vintage, all the wines are deeply colored. You will find wines ranging from opulent and sensual, to powerful, full bodied wines to light, fresh, crisp wines. If the vineyards were able to cope with the dry summer, chances are strong that the producer made good wine.

With close to 600 wines tasted, you can expect more 2018 Bordeaux reports for every major appellation to be published daily. Tuesday, April 23, we’ll finish our look at the Left Bank with a complete report on the red and white Bordeaux of Pessac Leognan.

The following wines were tasted between late March and early April 2019 in non-blind conditions. Several wines were tasted more than once, with consistent results.

2018 Boyd Cantenac – Earth and forest aromatics coincide with a medium-body, soft palate and a tobacco leaf, herb and red fruit finish. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Brane Cantenac – Deep garnet in color, this wine exudes a dark, black cherry core of fruits. Next, the perfume reveals hints of smoke, flowers, thyme and cigar wrapper. On the palate, the wine is focused on silky tannins, elegant textures and depth of flavor. Fans of Brane Cantenac should know that even with this depth of fruit the wine is still dances lightly over the palate. I am not ready to pick a favorite from the 2015, 2016 and 2018 trio but it is going to be fun tasting and comparing those vintages over the next few decades! From a blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13% alcohol with a pH of 3.76. It represents 60% of the harvest, which took place from September 14 to October 10. The higher than usual percentage of the Grand Vin is due to the frost, which hit the areas of the vineyard customarily reserved for the second wine. 95 – 97 Pts

2018 Le Baron de Brane – Ruby in color, the wine is spicy, fruity, floral, forward, medium-bodied and already showing off its sweet cherry charms. Enjoy this while awaiting the sublime 2018 to develop. 89 – 92 Pts

2018 Cantenac Brown – Flowers, Maraschino cherries, smoke, espresso and thyme on the nose piques your interest. On the palate, however, it is the silky, polished, vital, spicy red fruits that hit the spot. Part of this allure comes from the higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in this year’s blend. This wine is going to need at least 6-8 years of aging before it even begins to ready itself for drinking. Produced from blending 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, the wine reached 13.6% alcohol and the harvest took place September 18 to October 2. 94 – 96 Pts

2018 Desmirail – Medium-bodied, strict, firm, lean, this old school-styled wine provides bright, red cranberry and dried pit fruit notes. Consumers that long for the days of 70’s styled, classic Bordeaux will appreciate this much more than I did. 85 – 87 Pts

2018 Deyrem Valentin – Espresso, dark chocolate, black plums and dark cherry notes come together here. The palate is soft, supple and as elegant as it is charming. The wine is made from blending 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. This is a solid value from the Margaux appellation. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Giscours – Floral in nature, this wine shows a bouquet of ripe, dark red fruits with background notes of cocoa, mint and wet earth. On the palate, which is where this really shines, the wine is rich, full-bodied, elegant, fruity, luscious and lively. I like the spicy, fresh cherry ending with its sprig of mint. The wine was produced blending 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.9% alcohol with a pH of 3.79. The picking took place from September 12 to October 12. Due to issues with mildew, the production was down close to 30%. 94 – 96 Pts

2018 La Sirene de Giscours – Elegant and forward in style, the wine is ripe, sweet and even a bit spicy in its medium-bodied, red berry character. This is going to be quite nice on release. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 dIssan – Cherry blossoms, smoke, forest floor, licorice and blackberry aromas open the wine. The wine is full-bodied, round, sweet, juicy and just a little bit spicy. You can feel the vitality in the ripe, red plums and black currants which accent the finish. From a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, the wine reached 13.97% alcohol. The Grand Vin was produced using 53% of the harvest. The picking took place September 24 to October 11. 94 – 96 Pts

2018 Blason d’Issan – This approachable, medium-bodied, earthy, cherry-filled, soft, floral and tobacco accented charmer is perfect to enjoy while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Labegorce – With flowers, smoke, licorice, crème de cassis, thyme and earth, this wine has freshness, definition and fabulous character with ripe, silky tannins and a generous finish. A blend of 50% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 14% alcohol. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Lascombes – Round, forward, ripe and lush with real fatness to the fruits, this wine is concentrated, and full-bodied with plenty of smoke, licorice and espresso to accompany all that black fruit. It is going to take time for the oak to integrate therefore you will need to be either oak tolerant or very patient with this one. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 La Tour de Mons – Ripe, fresh and floral, with loads of juicy cassis, wet earth and dark cherries on the nose and palate. Round, and a blast of cocoa and red fruits in the finish, give this a few years before popping a cork. 90-92 Pts

2018 LAura de Cambon – Ripe, juicy, round and forward this concentrated, lush-textured wine has polish, freshness and a core of soft dark cherries, licorice, wet earth and espresso. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Malescot St. Exupery – Dark, almost inky in color, the wine offers intensity, richness, velvet textures and purity of fruit. The array of black, deep red and nearly blue fruit with smoke, flowers, earth, espresso and licorice leaves a marked impression on the nose, on the palate and in the long, silky, polished finish. 95 – 97 Pts

2018 Chateau Margaux – Deep in color with an intense, dark ruby hue, the nose offers violets, lilacs, espresso, wet earth and cigar wrapper along with ripe, deep red fruits. There is freshness and soft, silky vibrant tannins. The wine feels quite powerful in the moment and its classic design reminds me of 2005. This is not going to be fun to taste young but with Chateau Margaux patience is always a virtue. Made from a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 14% alcohol. The Grand Vin was produced using only 36% of the harvest. Picking commenced September 17, finishing October 13. 97 – 99 Pts

2018 Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux – Medium-bodied and elegantly styled, the wine is composed of ripe red berries, flowers and cherry pipe tobacco nuances. Silky, refined and lifted, there is more volume, density and tannins than usual here with a gorgeous purity to the fruit. This is going to need 3-4 years of aging before it is ready to drink. The wine was made from blending 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, and 9% Cabernet Franc. It is hard to believe this is a second wine, as it is better than any vintage of Margaux from the 60s and 70s and with some exceptions — the 80s! 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux – Honeysuckle, green apple, orange rind and pomelo scents are available with no effort. The wine is sweet, bright, fresh and juicy, displaying a combination of yellow tropical fruits and citron on the palate and in the finish. 94 Pts

2018 Marojallia – Deep, rich, full-bodied and lush in texture, you’ll find floral, black cherry, licorice and espresso notes in the bouquet. Round and polished, concentrated and forward, this is a modern style Margaux . The wine was produced from a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Clos Margalaine – Medium bodied, soft, round, plush and quite oaky, the fruits are ripe, forward and easy to like, finishing with a blend of espresso and cherries. 86-89 Pts

2018 Marquis dAlesme – With a touch of smoke, earth, red fruits, violets and espresso, this wine is rich, polished and loaded with ripe, juicy, sweet vibrant fruits. The wine was made from blending 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol. Talk about a home run, this is one of the most improved estates in the Margaux appellation and it still sells for a song! 94 – 96 Pts

2018 Marquis de Terme – Flowers and black raspberry permeate the nose, while soft, silky, polished, ripe, red fruits do their work on your palate. The wine is refined, elegant and very Margaux. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Monbrison – Medium-bodied, leafy, peppery and with plenty of cedar, tobacco leaf and earth, the finish focuses on bright red fruits with a crisp red berry finish. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Palmer – The color of a dark, almost opaque ruby gemstone, this is the densest vintage Palmer has ever produced. However, the wine is not heavy, it is light on its feet. Opulently styled, this is velvet instead of silk. There is more darkness in the fruit than you usually encounter here, along with a chalky minerality in the finish. The end note with its ocean of boysenberry, dark cocoa and black plum liqueur, vibrantly coats your mouth, palate, teeth and gums and stays there for over 60 seconds! The wine was made from 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. The harvest took place September 13 to October 15 and the wine reached 14.3% with a pH 3.83. Due to severe attacks of downy mildew in 2018, the yields were shockingly low at only 11 hectoliters per hectare — conceding only one cluster per vine –the exact same yield Palmer experienced in 1961! No Alter Ego was produced in 2018. If you have the disposable income, this is one of the great vintages of Chateau Palmer. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 Paveil de Luze – Floral in nature, the earthy fruits and tobacco come along quickly. Medium-bodied with a nice sweetness to the fruit and softness in the texture, this has a lot of charm. Give it 3-5 years before popping a cork. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Pouget – Medium-bodied, bright, crisp. fresh and a bit firm, the finish focuses on the earthy, red fruits in the finish. 87-89 Pts

2018 Prieure-Lichine – Inky in color, the wine is dark with a purple edge. Black fruit, espresso, flowers and licorice in the nose come on strong. Full-bodied, rich, long and deep on the palate, the long finish ends with ripe, silky fruits and cocoa. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Rauzan-Gassies – Medium-bodied with leafy red fruits, herbs, flowers and soft textures on the palate, this wine only requests a few years in the cellar before it is ready to be enjoyed. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Rauzan Segla – Inky garnet with purple accents in the hue, the depth of color reveals only part of the story. The perfume, with its violets, espresso, smoke, tobacco leaf and a sea of stand out ripe, dark red fruits ranging from blackberry to plum. On the palate, the wine is plush, dense and full-bodied yet it glides. Already expressive in the nose and mouth, the finish matches perfectly with its outstanding level of purity, extract and freshness. Is this better than the majestic 2015 or the strong 2016? Perhaps it is! I’m waiting for a blind tasting. Give it ten years or just a bit longer and this beauty will shine for decades after that. The wine was produced from blending 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.0% alcohol with a pH of 3.8. The harvest took place September 12 to October 11. The Grand Vin was made from 45% of the harvest. 97 – 99 Pts

2018 Segla – Perfect for early drinking pleasure, the wine is soft, round, forward, fruity and fresh with a sweet, soft plummy finish. This is a perfect wine to order off a restaurant list. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Siran – With considerable color and silky tannins, this wine is rich, polished, lush and round. The fruit is ripe, sweet, fresh and long with a spicy, dark cherry and mocha finish. Made from blending 45% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the harvest took place from September 20 to October 13, reaching 14% alcohol. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 du Tertre – The wine is bright, focused and fresh. The fruits are succulent, polished and vibrant. The finish is all about the juiciness in the red fruits and silk in the tannins. From a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 14% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.8% alcohol. Due to issues with excessive rains and mildew du Tertre lost close to 40% of their crop. The harvest took place September 17 to October 12. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 du Tertre Blanc – The nose is all about the white peach, flowers, cantaloupe, vanilla and citrus peel. The wine is unctuous and lively, with a blast of yellow citrus and peach in the finish. The unique blend is made from 30% Viognier, 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Chardonnay and 20% Gros Manseng. The wine was vinified in stainless steel and barrel and aged in 100% new, French oak barrels. 91 Pts

The post 2018 Margaux Tasting Notes, Ratings, Vintage Info, Guide to Best Wines appeared first on The Wine Cellar Insider.

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2018 Pessac Leognan and Graves are complicated wines. There are numerous producers from these appellations that made what can be called the best wines they have ever produced! Other vineyards were not as successful.

The growing season was difficult and choices needed to be made. As you probably know by the now, the 2018 Pessac Leognan vintage started out underwater. There was hail and what seemed like nonstop rain for months. Making things worse was rapid and strong attacks of mildew, especially in organically farmed vineyards. Although the mildew was more concentrated to the south in the Graves appellation.

Once the summer was in full-bloom, conditions changed rapidly. The vineyards dried out and vignerons were faced with a hot, dry summer. Young vines in several vineyards were decimated. Other vineyards began suffering from hydric stress, as there was so little moisture remaining in the soils. But much needed light rains at the end of the summer saved the day.

While 2018 Bordeaux is the hottest summer since 2003, the nights were cool, which explains part of the reason the wines show so much freshness.

July, August, September and October remained hot, dry and sunny. Conditions were perfect for the red wine grapes, but a bit too hot for the dry white Bordeaux wine grapes. Picking commenced early for the white wine grapes began in August, allowing the fruit to retain as much freshness as possible.

The red wine grape harvest began as early as September 13 at some estates. While that’s a little early, the ability to continue picking until the middle of October, allowing estates to produce the wine of their choice. The berries were small, thick-skinned and intensely flavored. If you want to read details on the 2018 Bordeaux vintage 2018 Harvest Report

At their best, 2018 Pessac Leognan are deep in color. The wines are quite concentrated, opulently textured and aromatic. They are alcoholic, but also feel lifted, due to their natural levels of acidity. With 2018 Pessac Leognan, think of a new and improved version of 2009, as a matter of style. And yes, as the wines age, you are going to find all the smoky, earthy, tobacco driven essences and elegance the appellation is famous for.

With close to 600 wines tasted, you can expect more 2018 Bordeaux reports for every major appellation to be published on an almost daily basis. Thursday, April 25, we are going to delve into the Right Bank with our report on Pomerol.

The following wines were tasted between late March and early April 2019 in non-blind conditions. Several wines were tasted more than once, with consistent results.

2018 Brown – Wet earth, smoke, thyme, mint and red pit fruits create the nose. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied, fresh, silky and loaded with sweet, dark cherries. This is going to be even better with 3-5 years of age. 91 – 92 Pts

2018 Brown Blanc – Juicy, bright, crisp lemons, grapefruit, vanilla and florals are here from start to finish. Medium-bodied and ready to go, drink this over the first few years of life for the maximum amount of fruit and freshness. – 90 Pts

2018 Cantelys – The wine is ripe and fruity. On the mid palate, the black cherries, licorice and creamy, dark chocolate sensations are singing. You can enjoy this wine on release for its showy, sweet fruits or age it a few years for more pleasure. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Cantelys Blanc – With a sweet, fresh, lemon and white peach character and enough pep to get the wine going, this will be ready for prime time drinking on release. – 90 Pts

2018 Carbonnieux – It is easy to dig into the smoky black cherries wafting in the perfume but there is more than aromatics going on here. This medium-bodied affair has a plush palate, supple textures and a long, round, polished, elegant finish. The wine was made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Carbonnieux Blanc – The nose works well with its blend of green apples, Meyer lemon and a touch of floral and there is vibrancy in the fruit as well but this is not a long term drinker. So, enjoy it early in life for all that delicious fruit. – 91 Pts

2018 Les Carmes Haut Brion – Caliginous in hue, the wine exudes tobacco, smoke, blackberry, pepper, flowers, and spearmint. On the palate, you’ll find density with lift, intensity with complexity, sweetness with verve. The fruit shows a sublime sense of purity, similar to picking grapes off the vine during harvest and eating them right there. The finish matches power with elegance and length. The deep, opulent, mellifluous, mineral accented fruits just don’t want to quit and they remain with you for at least 60 seconds. From a blend of 37% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot and reaching 13.75% alcohol with a pH of 3.61, the wine was made using 55% whole bunches during fermentation. Currently aging in 75% new, French oak barrels, 15% in foudre and 10% in amphora for 18-24 months before bottling. The harvest took place September 13 to September 28. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 Le C des CarmesHaut Brion – Dark in color, this wine offers its oceanic, plum, blackberry, floral and deep black perfume right off the bat. Medium-bodied, round, silky and polished, the wine is fruity with silky, plums, black cherries, cocoa and licorice. Using 25% whole bunches in the vinification, the wine was made from 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.55. 91 – 92 Pts

2018 Chantegrive – Medium bodied, elegant and light on its feet, the wine is soft, elegant and easy to understand, as the ripe, red fruits with their earthy, smoky accents comes with an early drinking charm. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Chantegrive Blanc – Leaning to the tropical side, you also find vanilla, lemon peel, pineapple and tangerine with a hint of honeysuckle on the nose and palate. This will be best enjoyed in its youth for maximum freshness. – 88 Pts

2018 Domaine de Chevalier – Close to opaque in color, the wine is opulent, concentrated, juicy and intense. The fruit comes in layers expanding as it builds in your mouth. Once the juicy blackberry and cherry begins to fade, you’ll find licorice, dark cocoa and sweet, salty plums. The finish is everlasting. Olivier Bernard calls this the best vintage of Domaine de Chevalier he has ever produced and he is right! The wine is made from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot reaching 13.5% alcohol. 96 – 98 Pts

2018 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc – With a blast of crisp, zesty pomelo, floral scents and a full body loaded with crushed rocks, Mandarin oranges, mango and a background of pineapple, this is tasty now — I could not stop drinking it. I can only imagine how good this is going to be with a decade or two of aging! – 96 Pts

2018 Clos Marsalette – Smoky dark red, pit fruits, cedar and wet earth open the nose. On the palate, the wine is medium/full bodied, round, juicy and fruity with a smoked, dark, red berry finish. The wine was made from a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Clos Marsalette Blanc – Vanilla, white peach, honeysuckle and pomelo are front and center and in the finish as well. Drink this young for its sweet, pure fruity character. – 90 Pts

2018 Couhins Lurton – More than just the cherry pipe tobacco nose, you’ll also find supple polished, ripe red fruits, soft tannins and a spicy, red fruit-filled finish. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Couhins-Lurton Blanc – The just squeezed yellow citrus pops with lift, allowing the sweetness to shine through in this forward, medium-bodied, early-drinking wine. – 90 Pts

2018 Ferran – Medium bodied, elegant, ripe, round and forward, the fruit is soft, earthy and polished. Already open and easy to drink, this should be delicious on release. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Ferran Blanc – Floral and citrus dominate the wine. There is sweetness and juicy lemons but they fade quickly so drink this on the young side. – 87 Pts

2018 deFrance – Medium-bodied, fruity and showing an earthy, leafy, citrus accent, this wine is forward with a delicious, plum and tobacco finish. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 deFrance Blanc – Bright, yellow citrus and white peach are found here from start to finish in this early drinking white Bordeaux charmer. – 88 Pts

2018 Gazin-Rocquencourt – Dark in color, this wine pops with a blackberry, boysenberry, smoke, licorice and espresso nose. Produced by blending 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot, the full-bodied, juicy, vibrant finish is long, plush and polished. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Gazin-Rocquencourt Blanc – Bright, juicy and fresh, the florals, mint, yellow citrus and vanilla stand out. On the palate, the wine refreshes with lemon zest, tangerine, vanilla and a drop of honey. – 91 Pts

2018 Haut Bailly – With a gorgeous, deep ruby hue, the wine pops from the glass with floral, tobacco and a mélange of fresh fruits. The wine is full bodied, concentrated, powerful and refined but what’s more important here is the elegance in the mouth, the sweetness in the fruit and the balanced levels of acidity, giving you simultaneous weight, lift, length and purity in a classic, restrained style. The wine was made from 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.4% alcohol with a pH of 3.87. The Grand Vin was produced from 50% of the harvest, which took place from September 17 to October 9. 2018 was produced from some of the lowest yields in the history of the estate at 21 hectoliters per hectare. 96 – 98 Pts

2018 Haut Bailly II – Medium bodied, floral, forward, fresh, fruity and juicy with a dark kirsch essence in the finish, you can drink this young while waiting for the Grand Vin to mature. 2018 marks the debut vintage for the newly renamed second wine from Chateau Haut Bailly. 89 – 91 Pts

2018 Haut Bergey – Wet earth, vanilla, espresso, tobacco leaf and ripe, juicy black cherries are all over the place. Lusciously textured with sweet plum and cherry notes, the finish blends Maraschino cherries and espresso bean. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Haut Bergey Blanc – Honeysuckle, vanilla, bright yellow tropical fruit and citrus notes are in the nose and on the palate. This is going to best if consumed in its first few years of life for all that sweet, ripe, bright citrus. – 90 Pts

2018 Haut Brion – It’s rare to find the combination of elegance and power that you’ll find in this year’s Haut Brion. It’s incredibly difficult to produce a wine with this much volume, harmony, balance, complexity and refinement. Once the wine hits your palate, it’s impossible not to take another sip just to make sure it wasn’t just a dream. The purity in the fruit, the silk in the tannins, the seemingly endless finish paired with the ability to age for decades is all here in spades. A blend of 56% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.5% Cabernet Franc with the harvest taking place September 19-October 13. The wine reached 14.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.8 and 50.6% of the harvest was placed into the Grand Vin. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 Haut Brion Blanc – Floral with a strong note of pomelo, Meyer lemon and wax, the wine is sweet, juicy and even a bit honeyed. The large percentage of Sauvignon in the blend offers the pop you need. Made from a blend of 80.6% Sauvignon Blanc and 19.4% Semillon, this is the highest percentage of Sauvignon Blanc in the blend for Haut Brion Blanc. – 98 Pts

2018 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion – It is not often that a second wine truly resembles its big brother or sister but here it does. Delivering all the tobacco leaf, cigar box, red berries and smoke you’re looking for in a Pessac Leognan, this is a seriously good wine. The wine was blended from 51.3% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.1% Cabernet Franc and 2.6% Petit Verdot. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Le Clarte de Haut Brion Blanc – Floral, fresh and fruity with zesty lemons, pomelo and a drizzle of orange honey, this will drink well on release. – 92 Pts

2018 Haut Nouchet – With vineyards very close to Smith, Haut Nouchet has created a medium-bodied wine with a licorice, smoke, tobacco leaf and fruit-filled profile. This should be just about ready to enjoy on release. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Haut-Vigneau – Spicy, fresh and leafy, this wine is elegant, fresh, open and charming with soft, refined, red fruits at its core. You can drink this on release with pleasure. 86 – 88 Pts

2018 La Garde – Medium bodied, smoky with a touch of licorice, espresso and red fruits, the wine is round juicy and spicy with an olive tint on the palate and in the finish. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 La Garde Blanc – Honeysuckle and pomelo with lemon chiffon on the palate will be perfect with fresh, grilled seafood this summer. – 88 Pts

2018 Liber Pater – The first thing you notice is the distinctive floral character, before you move to the smoke, herb and wet forest aromatics. Medium bodied, fresh, elegant, long and refined, the cocoa dusted, dried red pit fruit character is truly a unique expression of Bordeaux and the vineyard. The wine was produced from a unique blending of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, 11% Castet, 2% Tarnay Coulant and 2% Saint Macaire. The blend represents what you could have found in Bordeaux at the time of the 1855 Classification. The wine is made from some of the lowest yields in Bordeaux at 15 hectoliters per hectare. The wine reached 13.5% alcohol. The wine is not aged in barrel. 100% of the wine is aged in clay amphora for about 30 months before bottling. The purpose for not using oak is to allow for a pure expression of the soil, according to the owner, Loic Pasquet. All of this makes for a truly unique wine tasting experience. The only issue is finding a bottle, as perhaps as little as 1,000 bottles are produced this year. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 La Louviere – Cigar lovers are going to like this wine with all its tobacco essence but so are wine lovers! The darkest vintage ever from La Louviere, the wine is gorgeous. Rich, opulent, soft and vibrant, the fruit is ripe, sweet and spicy. The volume, depth and length here is something I have never seen here before. I’m loving it! 92 – 94 Pts

2018 La Louviere Blanc – Light in color and fruit, the ripe, sweet, yellow citrus is quite juicy but it lacks the length and freshness found in the best vintages. – 89 Pts

2018 La-Mission-Haut-Brion – Take all the power La Mission Haut Brion is capable of harnessing, add the elegance, freshness, purity and layers of complexity that come at you in waves and you have an idea of what to expect in your glass. There is purity of the fruit with a natural smoke, tobacco leaf and burning ember profile in every sip. And the finish, it kept going long after the wine left my glass. Made from 57.5% Merlot and 42.5% and reaching 14.4% alcohol with a pH of 3.76, the harvest took place September 19-October 14. The Grand Vin represents 53% of the harvest. 97-99 Pts

2018 La Mission Haut Brion Blanc – With a strong lemon essence, the crushed rock, oceanic nuances, tropical yellow fruit, honeysuckle and spice cut through. Medium-bodied and lacking the power and freshness found in the best vintages, this wine will be an early drinking vintage for La Mission Haut Brion Blanc. Made from a blend of 57.4% Sauvignon Blanc and 42.6% Semillon. This is only the second time that the blend featured more Sauvignon Blanc than Semillon. – 97 Pts

2018 La Chapelle de La Mission Haut Brion – The smoke, barbecue, flowers, black cherry and tobacco on the nose is just great. On the palate, the wine is rich, fresh, and loaded with tobacco leaf and sweet, dark red fruits and spice. One of the best vintages for La Chapelle de La Mission Haut Brion. It is difficult to believe that this is a second wine! The blend is 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36.5% Merlot and 21.5% Cabernet Franc. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 La-Tour-Martillac – Boysenberry, licorice, smoke, black cherry and floral essences open the wine. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied, fresh, bright, sweet and lively, allowing the red fruits and silky tannins to come through easily. Give this at least seven years or so of aging and enjoy it over the following two decades. The wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot. The harvest took place from September 17-October 10. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 La-Tour-Martillac Blanc – Citrus, flowers and a background note of pineapple show up in the nose. On the palate, this is bright, crisp, forward and juicy. The wine was made blending 54% Sauvignon Blanc and 46% Semillon. – 91 Pts

2018 Lafont Menaut – Soft, elegant, forward and ready to go, this early-drinking charmer from Philibert Perrin of Chateau Carbonnieux is refined and easy to enjoy on release. 87 – 89 Pts

2018 Larrivet Haut Brion – From the initial sniff and sip, this wine is richly textured with sweetness in the fruit. Fresh, silky, medium bodied and energetic, the purity in the tobacco leaf tinged red fruits is just right in the nose, on the palate and throughout the finish. I am sure this is the finest vintage for Larrivet Haut Brion I have ever tasted! This should offer two decades of pleasure with ease. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Larrivet Haut Brion Blanc – With a nice aromatic profile of grapefruit and lemon, this wine is medium bodied and while it shows good sweetness and some tension, this is not a wine for long term aging. So enjoy it in its youth for all that juicy, yellow citrus fruit. – 91 Pts

2018 Lespault-Martillac – Dark ruby in hue, the wine shows much more lush qualities than usual. Round, supple, deep and fresh, the fruit is dark, silky and pure with an elegance and zip in the fruity finish. This is going to be great on release! 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Lespault-Martillac Blanc – Juicy just squeezed lemon, lime and green apple have a real pop on the palate and in the finish. – 92 Pts

2018 Malartic Lagraviere – Almost opaque in color with violet, purple hues around the rim, the wine is intensely concentrated. Opulent, silky, sexy and dense, the necessary addition of acidity keeps this focused in the right direction. The fruit offers a spectrum of black and red berries, smoky licorice and espresso infused plums. The velvet textured finish comes with lift, energy and length. This is a very polished, seductive expression of the vineyard. Produced from a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13.8% alcohol. Aging will take place in 70% new, French oak barrels for 18-22 months. The harvest took place from September 26 to October 12 and 55% of the harvest was placed into the Grand Vin. 94 – 96 Pts

2018 Malartic Lagraviere Blanc – Crisp, stony, yellow citrus, lemon curd, vanilla and green apple are on the nose and in the palate. The wine has cut, definition and a mineral essence. You’ll find juice, sweetness and refreshment with a core of ripe citrus in the finish. The wine is made from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon, reaching 13.5% alcohol and will be aged in 55% new, French oak barrels. – 93 Pts

2018 Malartic Lagraviere Reserve de Malartic – Easy to like, and even easier to drink, as it’s soft, round, forward, medium-bodied, ripe, smoky and filled with sweet, ripe, red berries. 89-91 Pts

2018 Mejean – Medium-bodied with a nice smoky essence on top of the ripe, red berries, the wine is fresh, earthy and forward. 89-91 Pts

2018 ChateauOlivier – Elegant, medium-bodied and refined, the wine focuses on its tobacco leaf, crème de cassis and floral profile and the silky, fresh textural experience. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 ChateauOlivier Blanc – Juicy, ripe, sweet, fresh, slightly honeyed yellow citrus and bright pineapple with vanilla pop right away on the nose and mouth. – 91 Pts

2018 Le-Pape – Flowery with deep, dark red fruits, what you really notice here is the silky texture. Medium bodied with an elegant, refined character, the cherries show their sweetness, the soft, slightly dusty tannins are polished and the finish is fresh and juicy with just a hint of cocoa in the end note. 2018 marks their 7th vintage here, and things are really coming together now. The wine was produced from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Pape Clement – Opaque in color with shiny purple accents, the wine is loaded with smoke, tobacco leaf, cigar box and dark red fruits. The wine has depth and concentration but never feels heavy. There is enough acidity here to keep the wine lifted. The velvet tannins in the luxurious finish never feels over-blown this year. This is going to require at least a decade or more and will be worth the wait. The wine was made from blending 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. The oak has been dialed back a bit and 5% of the harvest was aged in oak foudres, which helps aid in the freshness. 96 – 98 Pts

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Simply put, 2018 St. Estephe wines offer everything you could want in your glass. They are stylish, bold, powerful, concentrated and opulent. They are deep in color, ripe, fleshy and in many cases alcoholic. But they wear it well.

Even with wines reaching over 14.5% alcohol, there was no touch of heat, sensation of jam or over ripe flavors. Due to the equally high levels of acidity, the wines remain energetic! That’s a difficult combination to achieve for most Bordeaux wine.

Great wines are not about the numbers. They are about style, personality and balance, which is what you find here from top to bottom. It’s not just the stars of the appellation. The Cru Bourgeois and even lesser wines in some cases made the best wines in the history of the estate!

2018 was made for Saint Estephe. Following the torrential rains of the winter, spring and early summer, the vineyards dried out. From there, the summer was perfect with its hot, dry, sunny conditions.

The vineyards with gravel and clay terroirs placed within sight of the Gironde estuary produced wines of prodigious quality! If you want to read details on the 2018 Bordeaux vintage 2018 Harvest Report

With close to 600 wines tasted, you can expect more 2018 Bordeaux reports for every major appellation to be published daily. Monday, April 22, we’ll finish our look at the Left Bank with a complete report on the Margaux appellation followed by the red and white Bordeaux of Pessac Leognan.

The following wines were tasted between late March and early April 2019 in non-blind conditions. Several wines were tasted more than once, with consistent results.

2018 Beau-Site – Forward, fresh, fruity with an early-drinking charm, enjoy this wine for its round, open, earthy character. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Bernard Magrez – This is the debut vintage for the newly re-named estate. Forward, rich, fruity and already easy to drink, this wine offers an accessible blast of sweet, chewy, dark red fruits. You can drink this on release or with a few years of age. 88 – 90 Pts

2018 Calon Segur – Dark, inky with deep purple accents, the wine is dense, concentrated, full bodied, fleshy and powerful. The fruit shows lift, sweetness and purity. Even though the wine is quite high in alcohol, you never sense it. There is no heat or jammy aromatics. Instead your palate is ensconced in waves of ripe, intensely pure, spicy, red pit fruits. The wine was produced from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.9% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. The harvest took place September 19-October 8. The Grand Vin was made from 40% of the harvest. 97 – 99 Pts

2018 Le Marquis de Calon Segur – With a spicy, leafy, ripe, juicy, fresh, medium-bodied character, this blend of 53% Merlot and 47% Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious, early drinking, cherry-filled gem of a wine. Drink this young, while waiting for its big brother to develop. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Capbern – Ripe, medium-bodied, juicy, forward and already delicious, this is a fabulous vintage for Capbern that will be easy to drink on release. You’ll find a nice depth of fruit and flavor here on the palate and in the finish. The wine was made from 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Cos dEstournel – With its telltale Asian spice perfume, the color is impossible to see through. Full-bodied, dense, rich and fleshy, the wine coats your palate with a display of red and black fruits, spice, smoke, earth and licorice. The tannins are polished. The fruit, even with this much weight and flesh, remains fresh and balanced. The finish keeps on going long after the wine has left its glass and gone to where it was intended to go. I timed it, and it surpassed the 60 second mark! This is positively stunning and if you’re a lover of COS, as this is one of the best vintages produced in the long history of the estate, this belongs in your cellar. The wine was made from blending 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The harvest took place September 19 to October 6. The Grand Vin was made from only 65% of the harvest. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 Les Pagodes de Cos – With its powerful display of ripe, dark fruits, the wine is packed with sweet, lush, juicy blackberry, espresso, oak and spice-box notes. The texture, complexity and length is there as well. This is one of the top second wines in Bordeaux today. Drink this young while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Cos d’Estournel Blanc – Youthful and crisp, with little effort, the spark of honeysuckle, orange, grapefruit, vanilla and lemon hits the perfume. On the palate this wine is drenched in brightness, yellow citrus and a hint of honey, providing a fresh, refreshing, invigorating experience. 94 Pts

2018 Cos Labory – Medium-bodied, round, forward and with a nice level of ripeness to the fruit and accompanied by spice and tobacco leaf, the wine really works well with this vintage. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 Haut Marbuzet – Dark in color, the wine shows espresso, smoke, earth, thyme, smoke and black cherry with leafy aromatic qualities. This is a super vintage for Haut Marbuzet. The wine is medium bodied with round, juicy, sweet, deep red fruits and a forward style. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Le Boscq St. Estephe – Deep in color, the tobacco, cigar box, dark red fruit, vanilla and licorice aromas tell the story. With ample levels of ripe, lush, soft, polished textures and a juicy finish, this is a top vintage for Chateau Le Boscq and will age quite nicely. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Le Crock – Earthy black cherries, clay, smoke and licorice sensations for the aromatic character. On the palate the wine is round, soft, sweet and juicy. The fruit is easy to like, due to its perfect ripeness. In the finish, spice, licorice and blackberry kick in and stay there. Give this just a year or two and enjoy it over the next 12-15 years. The wine was produced from 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Value seekers should be all over this one. 91 – 93 Pts

2018 Lilian Ladouys – Definitely the best vintage of Lilian Ladouys to date. The wine is loaded with licorice, black fruits, smoke and wet earth. Medium/full-bodied with a round, juicy, lush-mouth feel, there is a nice spicy character in the finish due to the increase of Cabernet Sauvignon in the vineyard and the blend. The wine was produced using 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.4% alcohol. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Meyney – Clearly a contender for the best vintage of Meyney ever produced, this wine has a fabulous depth of flavor, concentration, silky soft tannins, perfectly ripe dark, spicy, fresh fruits, length and an expansive finish. The wine was made from blending 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 18% Petit Verdot. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Montrose – When you taste a barrel sample and the first thought that comes to mind is ‘I want this in my cellar’ you know you’re tasting a rock star! The color of a pitch-black night, this beauty is completely opaque. The wine is powerful, concentrated and palate staining. The fruits vary from black to dark red. The tannins are incredibly soft and sweet plus there is a polish that feels fantastic in your mouth. As the wine coats your palate, teeth and gums, you experience a beautiful purity of fruit, intensity and volume with lift and a finish that crosses the 60 second mark. Like all the top vintages of Montrose, you will need to allow it time in the cellar, at least 10 to 15 years or if you’re have patience 20. It is hard to fathom that Montrose has been able to put together an unequaled run of vintages at this high-level of quality. A vertical of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 is going to be fascinating to experience. The wine was made from blending 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.8% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The Grand Vin was made from 52% of the harvest, which took place September 17 to October 5. The yields were quite low here due to issues with mildew, so the estate only realized 26 hectoliters per hectare. 98 – 100 Pts

2018 La-Dame-deMontrose – Classified Growth in quality, it is hard to believe this is a second wine. Full-bodied, juicy and ripe, this is a serious mouthful of sweet Cabernet Sauvignon with pop, length and complexity. Give this 4-5 years in the cellar. The wine was produced from blending 52% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Les-Ormes-de-Pez – Spicy blackberries, gravel, tree-leaf and cedar are on the nose. From there, just one sip and you know this is the finest Ormes de Pez ever produced. There is volume, sweetness to the fruits, persistence and energy in the fruity finish. The wine was made from 50% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.6% alcohol. 92-94 Pts

2018 Petit-Bocq – Deep in color, this wine is equally dark in fruit. With round textures, a medium/full-body, there is espresso, black cherry, licorice and herbs from start to finish. 90 – 92 Pts

2018 de Pez – The darkest color ever seen at de Pez! From there it takes just a single sip to know this is a special wine. The fruits are just as dark as the hue which produces a generous, fleshy, ripe, full-bodied wine. The black cherries come in sprays before the spice, cocoa, espresso, licorice and vibrancy kicks in. Energy and elegance is here in spades. The wine blends 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. 92 – 94 Pts

2018 Phelan Segur – The tobacco, spice, cigar box, smoke and cedar aromas along with a basket filled with fresh berries lets you know this is a loveliness in a glass. The wine is round, soft, polished, ripe, clean and juicy, leaving you with a bolt of black currant, licorice and espresso in the finish. 93 – 95 Pts

2018 Tronquoy Lalande – With a gorgeous nose of dark cocoa, blackberry, bitter chocolate, thyme and ripe, red fruits, this is a stunner. The wine has body, depth and freshness with a dark roast espresso and blackberry pop in the finish. This is the strongest vintage for Tronquoy Lalande produced yet! Blended from 51% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the harvest took place September 18 to October 4. 92 – 94 Pts

The post 2018 Saint Estephe Report, Wine Tasting Notes, Ratings, Buying Tips appeared first on The Wine Cellar Insider.

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2018 Pauillac wines range from good to very good and at their best, they are extraordinary! The wines offer uniformly dark colors. They feature incredible levels of depth. They provide opulence, elegant, silky tannins, mouth filling levels of concentrated, perfectly ripe fruits and length that approaches 60 seconds!

To get an idea about what to expect, imagine a better version of 2009, with all its best attributes, except with more freshness, silkier tannins and a bit more concentration. Of course not all 2018 Pauillac wines were created equal.

The best wines were able to handle the water stress from the dry, summer months. The vineyards with old vines, access to water, deep gravel soils that allowed from the roots to reach water, or vineyards with more clay in the soil performed best. If you want to read details on the 2018 Bordeaux vintage 2018 Harvest Report

2018 Pauillac wines are not perfect. At least not all of them. But there are wines from this appellation in this vintage that grab you and keep you enthralled. Great wine is about character and a uniqueness of style, which is what you find in 2018 Pauillac.

With close to 600 wines tasted, you can expect more 2018 Bordeaux reports for every major appellation to be published on a daily basis. 2018 St. Julien will be published Thursday, April 18.

The following wines were tasted between late March and early April 2019 in non-blind conditions. Several wines were tasted more than once, with consistent results.

2018 Pauillac Tasting Notes, Reviews, Scores, Ratings

2018 dArmailhac – Richly textured, this is the darkest d’Armailhac I have ever seen and the fruits are equally dark. The blackberries display a floral charm along with a touch of smoke black currant. On the palate, the wine is medium-full bodied, with good concentration of its dark, crème de cassis, a touch of cocoa and tobacco. The tannins are soft add the perfect backdrop to all the round juicy, deep fruits. The wine is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The harvest took place from September 12 to September 3. 92-94 Pts

2018 Batailley – The crème de cassis is strong here and it’s the perfect match for the full-bodied, ripe, round, dark, fresh, spicy red berry palate. The tannins are powerful, yet refined, which is perfect for all that juicy, peppery fruit in the finish. If you can wait and give this wine 7-9 years or more before popping a cork, you will experience all of its true Pauillac character. The wine was made from blending 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.5% alcohol. 92-94 Pts

2018 Clerc Milon – A beautiful dark, inky cranberry color with purple edges, the wine is silky and deep with licorice, crushed rock, flowers and perfectly ripe crème de cassis. The wine is supple, structured and fresh, representing the sophisticated, refined side of Pauillac. The wine was made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% old vine Carmenere, reaching 14.15% alcohol. The harvest took place September 17 to October 10. 60% of the harvest was placed into the Grand Vin. There is so much going on with the 2018, you will want to age this wine for at least 8 years before popping a cork. Clearly, this is the best vintage ever produced at Clerc Milon! 94-96 Pts

2018 Pastourelle de Clerc Milon – Medium-bodied with a black raspberry, floral edge to the elegant, fresh, soft textured style, you can drink this charmer on release with pleasure. 89-91 Pts

2018 Duhart-Milon – With a nice depth of color, the wine is medium-bodied, elegant, black currant filled wine with a touch of olive, tobacco and plum. Refined, forward, fresh and clean and already showing purity, silky textures and spicy, red pit fruits from start to finish, this is a solid wine, with real character, made from blending 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. The harvest took place September 17 to October 4. 94-96 Pts

2018 Duhart-Milon Moulin de Duhart – A medium-bodied, forward, easy drinking expression of Pauillac with a soft textures and fresh red fruits. 87-89 Pts

2018 Fonbadet – Full-bodied and loaded with dark, red berries, wet earth, forest leaf and crème de cassis, this wine has body, Pauillac character, freshness and a round finish exploding with juicy, peppery, sweet red fruits. 91-93 Pts

2018 Grand Puy Ducasse – Dark in color the wine is concentrated and loaded with ripe black currants. The palate feel is full, lush and round, leaving you with dark red fruits, soft tannins and loads of red berries, licorice, tobacco, smoke, cedar and cocoa in the finish. This is a wine to lay down for at least 7-8 years to insure an even better experience. The wine is made from blending 52% Cabernet Sauvignon with 48% Merlot. 92-94 Pts

2018 Grand Puy Lacoste – Showing a beautiful depth in the color, the array of flowers, tobacco leaf, cedar, spice, cigar box and crème de cassis hits the right spot. Full-bodied, dense, tannic, and piquant, this is a perfect amount of crunch and firmness complimenting the juicy Cabernet from start to finish. This is quite classic and firm in style, so be prepared to allow this gem at least 10-12 years or more before opening. The wine is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot and the harvest took place September 21 to October 5. 93-95 Pts

2018 Haut Batailley – Dark garnet and almost opaque in color, from the initial sniff and sip, you know this is not your grandfather’s Haut Batailley. The wine is deep, titillating and fresh. There is density, weight and lift with soft, luxurious, almost cultured tannins. The full-bodied finish combines olives, tobacco leaf and earthy, dark red fruits. The wine was made from blending 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot, reaching 14.3% alcohol. 93-95 Pts

2018 Lacoste Borie – With a floral edge to the red berries, the wine is medium-bodied, edgy, juicy and bright with a focus on all the sweet, crisp, ripe cassis. Enjoy this while waiting for its big brother to develop. 87-89 Pts

2018 Lafite Rothschild – The color matches a long obscured ruby jewel. The initial sip shows its sophistication, grace and refinement and there is an extraordinary purity in the fruit. Before taking a second sip for confirmation, you’ll find tobacco, lead pencil, cedar, flowers, cherry pipe tobacco and if you dig really deep, you’ll discover a subtle essence of orange in the background. On the palate, the wine is supple, silky, long and focused. Precision is an often misunderstood term used by wine writers. 2018 Lafite Rothschild is the poster child for precision in a wine. Never the most powerful of the First Growths, instead here, you find a wine of perfect balance, elegance and harmony with a unified, seemingly endless finish. Produced from a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and .5% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.73. The Grand Vin represents 40% of the harvest, which took place September 17 to September October 4. 98-100 Pts

2018 Carruades de Lafite – A medium-bodied, elegant, black currant-filled wine that is refined, forward, fresh and clean. Silky textures and spicy, red pit fruits in the finish, the wine was made from blending 56.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 5.5% Cabernet Franc. 92-94 Pts

2018 Latour – Inky in color, one look at this wine begins the love story. The level of intensity is almost off the hook. The wine is rich, powerful, mouth-filling, dense and electric. The wine coats your palate with layers of perfectly ripe, dark red fruits, a slab of rocks, salt and firm, polished tannins. The finish clocks in at over 60 seconds! This is a vintage that will age for decades. Clearly, this is a future legend in the making. The wine was made from a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot, reaching 14.3% alcohol. The harvest took place September 17 to October 11. The Grand Vin was made from 37% of the harvest. Across the board, the yields were low at Latour at 24 hectoliters per hectare. 98-100 Pts

2018 Les Forts de Latour – With depth of color, this wine is loaded with layers of sweet, ripe, lush, intense, pure black currants and just a hint of citrus and cocoa. You’ll also find tobacco and fresh, red pit fruits. The wine offers intensity, length and purity with a dark chocolate tone that pairs perfectly with the wave of rich fruits. If a reclassification ever took place, this would be clearly be included. The wine was produced from blending 65.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and .04% Petit Verdot. 93-95 Pts

2018 Pauillac de Latour – Dark in color, it takes no effort to find the cassis, black raspberry, spice, tobacco and earthy notes. In the mouth, you’ll find soft but stern, fine tannins, clean, sweet, ripe fruits and polish in the finish. The wine was produced from blending 56.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30.8% Merlot, 12.3% Petit Verdot. 91-93 Pts

2018 Batailley Lions de – A medium-bodied, ripe, round, forward, soft, early drinker with ripe cassis, cherries and a bit of firmness in the finish. 87-89 Pts

2018 Lynch Bages – Blue-black with purple accents, the pure crème de cassis aromas stand out easily. This wine combines power with layers of ready, succulent, dark penetrating fruits. Even though this is probably the densest Lynch Bages I recall tasting, the unique vintage character keeps the wine light on its feet. All this strength and purity is wrapped up nicely with ripe tannins and a long finish. Clearly, 2018 is a contender for the best vintage of Lynch Bages ever produced — and with their string of hits, that’s a real statement! Produced from 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 14.1% alcohol. The picking took place September 18 to October 9 and 65% of the harvest was used to produce the Grand Vin. 96-98 Pts

2018 Blanc de Lynch Bages – Just picked honeysuckle, orange rind, Granny Smith apples and vanilla are a treat to smell. Packed with citrus on the palate, the lemon chiffon finish is perfect for current drinking. The wine is a blend of 59% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Semillon, and 20% Muscadelle. 93 Pts

2018 Lynch-Moussas – The juicy, black currant, herb and tobacco leaf character really comes through this year. The wine is medium/full-bodied with ripe tannins and ample freshness to the blackberry and cassis palate. This should be easy to drink within five years of release. The wine blends 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot. 91-93 Pts

2018 Mouton Rothschild – Opaque in color, the purple black hue is gorgeous. The perfume with its sea salt, lead pencil, blackberry liqueur, black currants, tobacco, spice and smoke is a knockout! That will keep you busy enough but it is on the palate where you’ll really experience the wine as it hits and coats every nook and cranny in your mouth. The wine is lavish, dense, concentrated and showy. The naturally flamboyant nature of Mouton Rothschild comes though loud and clear. Even with all this voluptuousness, the wine is energetic and intense. The finish remains with you for well over 60 seconds. Clearly, the 2018 is going to be one of the great vintages of Mouton ever produced. The blend comes from 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc and reached 13.8% alcohol. The harvest took place from September 10 to October 3, the Grand Vin representing 66% of the harvest with very low yields of only 28 hectoliters per hectare. 98-100 Pts

2018 Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild – Put your nose into a basket of freshly picked black and red berries and you’ll get the idea of the perfume here. Dark in color, the perfectly ripe, sweet fruit is vibrant, juicy and polished. The wine is supple and disarmingly easy to taste but don’t that let fool you, there is depth of flavor and the ability to age for at least two decades. The wine was fashioned from 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14% alcool. This is so good it is hard to fathom that this only a second wine. With the exception of 1982 and 1986, this is better than any vintage of Mouton produced between 1962 and 1996! 94-96 Pts

2018 Mouton Rothschild Aile D’Argent Blanc – Honeysuckle, orange peel, pineapple, pears and vanilla shine with little effort. The balance between the yellow citrus, hints of tropical fruits and freshness on the palate brings it all together. The wine will be perfect when paired with all types of fresh seafood dishes. The wine was made from a blend of 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Semillon. 94 Pts

2018 Chateau Pauillac – With a ready, Pauillac character, you’ll find density, richness and flesh. The wine shows polish and concentration with a big blast of creamy cassis in the finish. 92-94 Pts

2018 Pedesclaux – Mint, tobacco, cassis, cocoa, currants and blackberries kick off the aromatics. From there it’s the concentrated, fresh, lively, round, firm, spicy character on the palate and in the finish that matters. The wine blends 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.96% alcohol. Slowly but surely they continue upping their game at Pedesclaux. 92-94 Pts

2018 Pibran – Flowers, spice and red fruits form the nose. The wine is medium bodied, forward, fresh and juicy with a hint of cocoa along with the fresh fruits. With less rusticity and more elegance than usual, this is a charming, well-priced Pauillac. 89-91 Pts

2018 Pichon Baron – The color is pure purple and on the nose the level of fruit is enormous. Blackberry, boysenberry, dark cherry, smoke, espresso, black currant and cigar wrappers are the first thing you’ll notice. Powerful yet regal, rich, concentrated and multi-layered, the fruit comes at you with non-stop waves of flavor. But more importantly, the fruit is fresh, pure and quite dense. Although quite tannic, the ripe berries coat your palate, teeth and gums and stay with you. The tannins do not intrude. There is no touch of heat, jam or overripe sensations even though the wine reached 14.1% alcohol. This stunner will age and develop into one of the great vintages for Pichon Baron. To enjoy this at its best, you’ll need to have some patience, at least 10-12 years are needed before popping a cork. The wine will age and evolve for 3-4 decades after that. The wine was made from blending 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot. The Grand Vin was made from 50% of the harvest with the picking taking place September 24-25 for the Merlot and October 3-10 for the Cabernet Sauvignon. 97-99 Pts

2018 Les Griffons dePichon Baron – With a strong floral character, the wine needs a bit of coaxing to bring out its deep, dark red fruits. Graceful, agile and fresh with the tannic bite of the Cabernet Sauvignon and the roundness from the sweet Merlot, this wine was made from blending 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 48% Merlot and will age in 60% new, French oak barrels. 92-94 Pts

2018 Les Tourelles de Longueville – Juicy, sweet and fresh, the wine is medium bodied, rich, supple, forward and already easy to drink with its blackberry and dark plum profile. The wine was made using 66% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. 90-92 Pts

2018 Pichon Lalande – Full-bodied, rich, powerful, dense, opulent and frankly, incredibly sexy, as well as structured, stylistically it feels like a blend of 2009 and 2016 with the best attributes of each vintage. This wine is sensual with firm tannins, vitality, length, complexity and vibrancy in the finish. Yes, the wine is high in alcohol. But there is no heat, jam or lack of freshness. Everything here is in balance. Lay this down for a decade and pour sensuality right into your glass. The wine will age effortlessly for decades. Is it better than the perfect 100 Pt. 2016? Maybe, maybe not. But I cannot wait to taste those two vintages side by side in a blind tasting. The wine combines 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot reaching 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.85. The picking took place September 13-October 11 and 50% of the crop was placed into the Grand Vin. The yields were low here this year at only 35 hectoliters per hectare. 98-100 Pts

2018 Reserve de la Comtesse – Classified Growth in quality with layers of ripe, sweet, lush fruits, Pauillac character, espresso, spice and green olives along with the backbone to age. Buy this beauty and drink it while waiting for the Grand Vin to mature. 90-92 Pts

2018 Pontet Canet – A dusky magenta, the wine explodes from the glass with black fruit, tar, wet forest floor, currants and licorice. Full-bodied, intense and powerful, this wine is also graceful on your palate. There is an impressive amount of weight and yet the wine feels light. The fruit coats your mouth, teeth and gums for over 60 seconds, which is a good thing as you will not want this wine to end. Not much of this gem is going to be available due to climatic conditions keeping the yields under ten hectoliters per hectare and making it much harder to find than usual. 97-99 Pts

The post 2018 Pauillac Tasting Notes, Reviews, Scores, Ratings, Vintage Information appeared first on The Wine Cellar Insider.

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