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15 unmissable wines
25 June 2019

This fascinating and at times frustrating campaign is reaching its conclusion. We loved tasting these wines in April and there has been strong demand from clients, however, at times it has been impossible to fulfil orders due to smaller yields and consequently smaller releases from the chateaux. That said, 2018 still represents the third largest primeurs sales in J&B history, after the 2009 and 2010 vintages. And with Neal Martin’s scores to look forward to in a few months’ time, it may only be a brief hiatus out of the spotlight. Before we wrap things up, we have highlighted some of our favourite wines of the vintage below (all still available at the opening prices).

For the entry level we have a quartet of quite brilliant wines made by some of the most respected wine-making teams in Bordeaux. Where better to start than the exceptional Grand Village (£67.50/6), the sister property to the mighty Chateau Lafleur. Julie, Baptiste and team have upped the ante again with this astounding 2018. Next, we have the surprise package of Chateau Laroque (£211.20/12) with 95-97 points from The Wine Advocate. We tasted this at the Moueix tasting in London and had to agree, it’s a stunner! Back to more recognisable territory, and the sensational Capbern (£190/12). Laurent Duffau and co have surpassed themselves again – this is Calon Segur winemaking and precision at a fraction of the price. Our final value selection is the handywork of Pierre-Olivier Clouet of Cheval Blanc fame. Quinault L’Enclos (£145/6) has shown a steady improvement over the last decade. 2018 is certainly the pinnacle – this is a proper, grown up, serious and very seductive St Emilion. Although it hails from the suburbs of Libourne and has a very different terroir, there is a Cheval Blanc finesse and elegance that really impressed us. At £145 per six, it is an absolute bargain.

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