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En Primeur
Bordeaux 2019

vintage report Bordeaux 2019

“Tout est Grand en 2019!”

These are the words of our dear friend, Denis Durantou, who passed away on the 14th of May this year. 2019 will be remembered by us as his last vintage in a spectacular career spanning four decades. Denis was always succinct because he had so much to do! Reviving the great L’Eglise Clinet, starting new projects, planting new vineyards, running a négociant business. He was a force of nature. It seems fitting to quote his analysis – it captures everything one needs to know using the absolute minimum number of characters… “There was water when it was needed from July to September, a rapid flowering, cool nights, colour change which varied according to the grape varieties but which was homogeneous overall, and a harvest in fine dry conditions. Everything is great in 2019!”

2019 Releases


02 July 2020 2019 Bordeaux Round Up

2019 is a remarkable vintage, released under extraordinary conditions. For years we’ve been told that sending cask samples was impossible, but when needs must it turns out barrel samples travel pretty well… We’ve tasted dozens of 2019s from our kitchens and gardens and we can confirm that this is a wonderful vintage, with beautiful, generous, stylish wines from top to bottom. There’s a balance, poise and energy that makes these striking, yet approachable and ever so moreish. Neal Martin shares our assessment, “there are instances where the 2019 vintage does surpass everything I have tasted at this unfinished stage”.

Col. Vint.
Wine / Producer Appellation / Region
Format Cs. Btls. Price Tax
Château Beychevelle
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £330.00 ep Buy
Château Brane-Cantenac
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £250.00 ep Buy
Château Cantemerle
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
12x75cl - - £213.60 ep Buy
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £169.00 ep Buy
Château Gloria
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £150.60 ep Buy
Château Grand Puy Lacoste
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £270.00 ep Buy
Château Haut Bailly
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £420.00 ep Buy
Château Laroque
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
12x75cl - - £210.00 ep Buy
Château Léoville Barton
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £324.00 ep Buy
Château Léoville Las Cases
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £873.00 ep Buy
Château Montlandrie
  2019
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Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £79.00 ep Buy
Château Phélan Ségur
  2019
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Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £186.50 ep Buy
Château Smith Haut Lafitte
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £406.00 ep Buy
Château Talbot
  2019
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Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £210.00 ep Buy
Domaine de Chevalier
  2019
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Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £247.50 ep Buy

24 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Tertre-Rôteboeuf, Château Roc de Cambes and Domaine de Cambes

Our first glimpse of the 2019 vintage was back in January with our dear friend, François Mitjavile. He had already explained that his 2019s were even more enigmatic than normal. Whilst the technical analysis told him they were profound, large-scale wines, his palate was telling him the contrary. Eventually, he shrugged and said “you’ll see for yourselves”… and we did. The wines that were presented to us possessed the most wonderful florality and detail, with all the sumptuous, expressive fruit we’ve come to expect from François’ creations, but there was an elegance and light-footedness, which made these ethereal and starry. We tasted the range again in the UK and the paradox was less evident; Tertre-Rôteboeuf (£790/6) was more introverted and structured, but with a little coaxing, one began to appreciate the kaleidoscopic flavour profile and the exquisite detail. Alas, production of this magical wine is as small as ever, so it will be on allocation. However, there is a silver lining of sorts: Roc de Cambes is back to its spectacular best and yields here were relatively abundant. At £260 per six, this is as close to Tertre-Rôteboeuf as you can get, at a fraction of the price.


23 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Vieux Château Certan, Château Canon and Château Rauzan Segla

You may well ask, how can you endorse three wines you’ve never tasted? This isn’t the J&B way, however, in the cases of VCC, Canon and Rauzan Segla, we don’t just have reasons to be confident, we expect these to be three of the most successful wines of the vintage.


22 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Pichon Comtesse, Château Smith Haut Lafitte and Château Troplong Mondot

When we tasted vat samples with Nicolas Glumineau back in January, we knew the 2019 Pichon Comtesse was going to be a bit special. It’s fair to say that the final blend is even greater than the sum of its parts. This is one very serious and highly detailed wine; the purity and precision of fruit are quite extraordinary. Flavour delineation is something we’ve come to expect from Nicolas’ wines, but this is even more exacting, a wine that flows with astonishing aromatics, gorgeously perfumed fruit and finishes with dazzlingly multifaceted tannins. Neal Martin is equally convinced of its brilliance, awarding the coveted 98-100 point score (one of only two wines in 2019 to achieve this feat). In short, if you can buy this, you must.


22 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Leoville Las Cases, Haut Bailly, Pavie Macquin and Larcis Ducasse

Last Friday was a busy day on the Place with plenty of big-name releases. None larger than Leoville Las Cases (£873/6). Jean-Hubert Delon’s imperious ‘Super Second’ occupies a phenomenal terroir nestled right up to Latour. Recent vintages have produced a series of exquisite wines with ravishing detail and energy – it is often amongst our favourite wines from the Médoc. Alas, we haven’t been able to taste the 2019, however, critics are unanimous in their praise. Clos du Marquis (£205.50/6) and Potensac (£94.20/6) are also on the market and look like excellent value for fans of proper, classically styled claret.

Col. Vint.
Wine / Producer Appellation / Region
Format Cs. Btls. Price Tax
Château Haut Bailly
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £138.00 ep Buy
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £420.00 ep Buy
Château Haut Batailley
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £210.00 ep Buy
Château Larcis-Ducasse
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £279.50 ep Buy
Château L'Eglise Clinet
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - Sold Out ep
Château Léoville Las Cases
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £204.50 ep Buy
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £220.00 ep Buy
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £873.00 ep Buy
Château Nenin
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £264.00 ep Buy
Château Pavie Macquin
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £295.00 ep Buy
Château Potensac
  2019
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £94.20 ep Buy

18 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Brane Cantenac

Henri Lurton’s home chateau, Brane Cantenac is on tremendous form. We think it’s one of the most underrated wines from the Medoc, regularly rubbing shoulders with the likes of Rauzan Segla and Palmer at blind tastings, yet remaining modestly priced compared to its inherent quality.


18 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Ducru Beaucaillou

Bruno Borie has every reason to be delighted with his 2019s. The whole range is superb, but plaudits must go to his flagship Ducru Beaucaillou. There have been times when we’ve felt the grand vin has been a bit too technical or is trying too hard. This year’s incarnation is a real natural beauty, a fine boned, athletic, graceful Ducru, which doesn’t require any cosmetic enhancements. There’s a classicism to the fruit; it’s taut and dark with notes of tapenade, cedar and minerals. Sleek and refined, there’s almost a leafy quality to the cassis core, with hints of bergamot and delicate spices. We can’t ever recall tasting such an elegant or harmonious Ducru at this stage of development. It’s like a mythical combination of Ducru panache and Leoville Las Cases detail. This is a real treat! The Croix de Beaucaillou is also a spectacular and stylish second wine, although, we’re not allowed to call it that anymore…


17 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Léoville Barton

We have long been champions of the Barton wines. A more quintessentially British claret is hard to find in all of Bordeaux. But where this may have equated to a structured firmness in years gone by, recent vintages have seen a refinement of tannins, more plushness to the fruit, and greater overall polish. The firm core of St Julien fruit remains, the terroir has not changed after all, but the arrival of Lilian’s son Damien seems to be running concurrently with a Leoville Barton that brings a little 21st Century magic to its already hugely popular formula. The breath-taking 2016 seemed to mark the start of something special and the 2019 looks set to repeat the feat. And it’s not just the grand vin Leoville Barton that’s coming in for improvement, both Langoa and Mauvesin have made great strides in quality in recent years. With today’s prices of £324/6 for Leoville Barton, and £177/6 for Langoa Barton, these look like firm buys for followers of either estate. Mention should also be made of Mauvesin Barton, their hugely improved Moulis – at £67/6 this is dinner party magic in the making….


17 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Pichon Longueville

If there's one Château we consistently under-rate, it's Pichon Longueville. We regularly have to eat our words as in bottle tastings outperform our initial assessments. This year is probably going to be no different; we are again at odds with the major critics… It’s hard to think of another wine that improves as much during élevage. As such, we will reserve judgement until the finished article in our glass. Those who have more success at predicting the future are unanimous in their praise. Neal Martin describes it as “an outstanding Pauillac” and awards an impressive 96-98 points, and Lisa Perrotti-Brown goes even further, with 97-100 points.


16 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Montrose and Château Grand Puy Lacoste

Today we have two wines which on the face of it couldn’t be much more different. But oh how we love them both! Xavier Borie is the epitome of the Bordelais gentleman. He’s a member of the establishment, a propriétaire who lives in his elegant chateau surrounded by his vines. It’s a family affair, producing classical, aristocratic wines. By contrast the Bouygues family are relative newcomers to Bordeaux. The telecom giants bought Château Montrose in 2006, and have since made everything about this great second growth, state of the art. Their single goal is to produce wines of First Growth quality or better – and in our view, they are succeeding. A statement of intent was made early on with the signings of Hervé Berland (formally of Mouton Rothschild) and Jean-Bernard Delmas, the long-standing winemaker at Haut Brion. We have marvelled at recent vintages, most notably 2016 and 2018, both in our view superior to the 100 point 2009 and 2010. Hervé is clearly delighted with the 2019. He believes it is “a bit less exceptional than 2018, but probably equal to our 2016… The wine has a wonderful fruity touch, with seductive tannins. Able to be appreciated before 10 years, but with the capacity to age for a long time. Just what we like today!” When you consider the current quality of Montrose, Pichon Comtesse and Leoville Las Cases, and their relative prices compared to the First Growths, there is a compelling reason to buy these elite ‘Super Seconds’.


15 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Talbot

Chateau Talbot has always had a reputation for producing good, honest St Julien. Since the arrival of our friend, Jean-Michel Laporte (formally of La Conseillante), there appears to be more polish and ambition in the wines. We know that this terroir is capable of great things; remember the heydays of the 1980s. The 2019 is a concentrated, powerful effort. There’s a real classicism to the gravelly dark fruit core, but there’s also a veneer of plush fruit and a wonderful freshness that gives this zip and energy. Gone are any rustic tannins of yesteryear – this is all very smooth and refined, finishing with pure cassis, blueberries and notes of mocha. At £210 per six, this is the cheapest case of Talbot on the market today (24% less than last year’s release), and we’d argue it’s also one of the smartest.


11 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Haut Brion and Château La Mission Haut Brion

NB: Haut Brion and Mission Haut Brion are only available tied 1:1 with other wines. Please see details below.


10 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: The Peloton

The pace is relentless. If we continue at this speed, we’ll reach the finishing line well before the end of June. After a morning dominated by Lynch Bages, we have had another cluster of releases. First up is the mighty Chateau Pavie (£1495/6). Gerard Perse’s flagship St Emilion has been awarded a potentially perfect score from The Wine Advocate (97-100). Lisa Perrotti-Brown describes it as, “Quaking with latent power and shimmering with a kaleidoscope of electric flavors”.


10 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Lynch-Bages

We’re not sure whether Jean-Charles is referring to the 1963 song by Bobby Vinton or the film written and directed by the aptly named David Lynch (no relation). In either case, it’s a rather evocative description of this splendid Lynch Bages. We’ve marvelled at recent vintages, especially the introverted, cerebral, darkly mineral 2018. 2019 is every bit as good. In fact, we prefer the style: less earnest, more exuberant and ultimately more indulgent. Sure, it’s still a big, serious wine with a deeply wound core of classic black, gravelly fruit. However, there’s a voluptuousness to the fruit – that velvety texture to which Jean-Charles alludes – as well as these striking tannins, which delight the palate and leave the mouth refreshed and yearning for more. We were utterly absorbed. It’s a wine you’ll just want to keep revisiting. Hidden under that voluptuous veneer is so much fine detail, and those epic tannins just keep revealing a kaleidoscopic array of subtle, nuanced flavours. At £395/6, this is an utterly compelling Pauillac; tuck a few cases away in the cellar and reap the rewards in a decade.


09 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Mouton Magic

We are delighted to release the wines from Baron Philippe de Rothschild. Exactly a week ago, we were tasting samples in the serene and rather surreal surroundings of Waddesdon Manor. It was a stately setting for a grandiose range. Philippe Dhalluin was clearly delighted with the 2019s. “It was a vintage characterised by very hot weather in June and July, interspersed with some welcome rain at the right moments”. As one would expect from a great vintage of Mouton Rothschild, this is a prodigious wine. It’s tightly wound and introspective, but with some coaxing, it begins to reveal its potential. Imposing and profound, this is clearly blue-blooded with its dense core of refined fruit and distinguished tannins – it has the makings of a legend. Impressive as this is, we expect it to grow in stature during élevage and reveal its full nobility when in bottle.


08 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Cheval Blanc

Cheval Blanc has released its 2019 with a staggering 30% price decrease. At £2250/6, this is the most attractively priced new Cheval Blanc on the market in many years.


08 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Brilliant Beychevelle

Alas, we have not been able to taste the 2019 Château Beychevelle, but given recent form, it’s almost a cert that we’d like it. Romain Ducolomb and Philippe Blanc have developed into quite a winemaking team. Their state-of-the-art winery is a new feature at the gates of St Julien, and it is becoming responsible for some of the commune’s most silky and elegant wines. As usual, there is a high proportion (49%) of Merlot in the final blend, which is atypical in this part of the Medoc; however, Beychevelle continues to produce striking and technically accomplished wines. This rich vein of form, coupled with the brand’s global appeal, has made Beychevelle one of the most sought after wines we offer en primeur. With a modest price decrease of 8%, (£330/6) we expect this release to be as popular as ever.


05 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Lafite Rothschild, Duhart Milon and L’Evangile

If we thought the stars had aligned for the new team at Lafite with their exceptional 2018, this year it feels like they’ve crafted something from the very cosmos itself. We’re going out on a limb here, but it might just be the best young Lafite we’ve ever tasted. In his second year at the helm, Jean-Guillaume Prats has overseen the creation of a Grand Vin that should go down in history - and not just because of the events surrounding its release.


04 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Batailley and Domaine de Chevalier

The Castéja family’s Château Batailley has always been a byword for good, honest, well-priced claret. Since the 2015 vintage, the team here has upped the ante with the introduction of a second wine, and there have been all the usual benefits of selection: greater precision, superior concentration and more refined tannins. It has propelled Batailley into a new category, once occupied by the likes of Grand Puy Lacoste and Lynch Bages, yet the prices have remained resolutely sensible.


04 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: The Guinaudeau wines: Lafleur, Pensées, Les Perrieres, Champs Libres and Grand Villages

We are delighted to announce the release of the entire 2019 portfolio from the Guinaudeau family. In this year’s vintage report, Jacques Guinaudeau remarked: “Just a few years ago, we would have presented the climate conditions of 2019 as atypical. Today it is becoming clear that these conditions are the new normal! The climatic conditions of the past four years are quite similar, with important recurring factors: the absence of a “real” winter, a very early spring, a hot and very dry summer. We are strongly aware of this important climatic evolution. Healthy common sense and vigneron intuition help us to adapt and refine, together with our team, our viticultural practices”. Omri Ram added, "Initially it looked like a solaire vintage, resembling 2015 or 2017 with its easy, voluptuous texture, but the more we taste, the more it moves towards 2016 and 2018. At the centre, there is something deeply mineral and complex; it’s serious: the aromatics, the freshness and the tannic spine all speak of a great, long-term Lafleur”.


03 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: “A vinous masterpiece in the making”

Dominique Arangoïts and his team have found a winning formula at Cos d’Estournel. Since 2016, the new expression of Cos has been dialled down, focussing on precision and purity. Critics, merchants and collectors have reacted positively to this new style, with strong demand and a run of impressive scores.


02 June 2020 Bordeaux 2019: Château Palmer

Following the runaway success of Pontet Canet last week, the other major exponent of biodynamic farming in the Medoc, Chateau Palmer, has decided to join the early running. And like their contemporaries in Pauillac, they too have reduced their release price by 30%.


28 May 2020 Château Pontet Canet, 5ème Cru Classé, Pauillac, 2019

The first major release of the 2019 en primeur campaign took everyone by surprise this morning. Popular 5th Growth Pauillac, Pontet Canet, released at £366 per six bottles in bond.

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Bordeaux 2019 at Justerini & Brooks