Wines news of France III !!

Ok so getting the hang of it and continuing with my wines series, something I love. I thank all those who have taken the time to read and to note my wine posts. Merci/Gracias.

Let’s get on the ball and tell you a bit about the primeurs or early wines, a tradition started long ago and still going on in my belle France.

One thing is very clear is that, for the success of this early campaign, Bordeaux must return to the fundamental principles (recently ignored): primeurs or early wines must reach consumers at prices lower than the vintages physically available in stores.  The situation linked to COVID-19 and to the ensuing economic crisis is to significantly lower their prices without losing face or damaging older vintages. The quality of the 2019 vintage is allegedly excellent and volumes are high, in addition, the unprecedented current context of the campaign as an early product linked to COVID-19 adds weight in favor of a considerable reduction in prices.

The coming out so far offer an average discount of 18% compared to the exit prices of 2018. Today, the best returns on the market concern castles which show a price reduction of around 30%, such as Pontet-Canet, Palmer, Cheval Blanc, Mouton Rothschild, and Branaire-Ducru; if the other castles follow this initiative, this campaign could well be memorable.

The 2019 vintage is in line with the recent great vintages – 2018, 2015, 2010 and 2009 – in terms of quality . Many producers echo this sentiment, highlighting the high quality of the wines in 2019, in particular their impressive balance. The best examples in 2019 have allegedly reached the Holy Grail: balance between the triumvirate of concentration of aromas, structure (tannin and alcohol) and acidity, thanks in part to balanced weather conditions throughout the growing season.

The winter of 2018-2019 was abnormally mild, causing a premature budding, between five days and two weeks too early. While this phenomenon generally results in a premature end of the season, including the harvest, the wine clock has recovered thanks to a cool spring. The heat and drought waves made 2019 a vintage for Cabernet Sauvignon; this grape takes on a slightly larger proportion than usual in the composition of many Grands Vins. In the same way, the cold brought freshness to the Merlot. the quality of Merlot through the various castles of the Rothschild group has been the best since 2010, and the quality of Cabernet Sauvignon is such that the high quality of the first will be very beneficial for the second wines. Mouton Rothschild is made up of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon in 2019, a higher proportion than usual.

Beyond the quality, 2019 was also spoiled in terms of production volume. While in 2018 the vineyards on both banks were forced to sort because of mildew, and their yields were lower because of the heat, 2019 a could escape these two plagues. Another factor contributing to good production volumes in many vineyards is the particularly healthy condition of the grapes during the harvest. The high quality of the 2019 Bordeaux wines seems to be positive for a world in containment. While the current market is considered unfavorable for the release of a vintage with such promising quality, releases began on May 28 2020 with Pontet-Canet as the first major release. The warning signs are that the people of Bordeaux are listening, and risk reducing prices given the global context of the health crisis. To all those attentive to the scoop purchase in the current context, this campaign is not to be missed.

For one, one of my favorite if not most favorite property, Mouton Rothschild raised the level of the campaign with a price 30% lower than in 2018 and lower than the price of other vintages In a complex economic context and with the recent difficulties in price performance in Bordeaux, this outing is a great opportunity. It is all the more so if I; also take into account the quality reported in 2019. Mouton Rothschild 2019 is a floral, elegant and majestic wine; with a high proportion of cabernet sauvignon (90%, against an average of 83%), I promise it a long and prosperous life.

The younger brother of Mouton Rothschild, released the same day, seems just as interesting but for different reasons. Regarding long-term price trends, the Petit Mouton is one of the best wines in Bordeaux. The 2019 enter the market at a price lower than that of recent vintages. The other 2019s in Mouton Rothschild’s stable – d’Armailhac, Clerc-Milon and Aile d´Argent , also came out on June 9, respectively for 34€, 57€, and 66.50€!.

Also, on the other fronts such as the second Carruades de Lafite 2019 opened the ball at a price of176€ per bottle making this wine the most accessible Carruades on the market. We have the feeling that Carruades reached a milestone in 2018 in terms of quality, and the 2019 vintage is part of this line. With that in mind, and knowing that the volumes put on the market have decreased by 50% this year, it is a safe purchase for anyone wishing to access the prestige of Lafite. The Grand Vin, Lafite 2019, came out at a price of 475€ per bottle , a discount of around 20% over the current market price of the 2018 vintage. While the exit price is relatively aligned with that of the last vintages, 2018 and 2016, the excellent quality guaranteed by the Lafite team for 2019 possibly justifies the latter. Duhart-Milon 2019 has also been unveiled, at a price of 58€ per bottle. The increase in average temperatures observed by Bordeaux during the last wine seasons (vintages 2018, 2016 and 2015) therefore only serve to improve the quality of Duhart-Milon, and 2019 has certainly received its share of warmth.

Exceptional vintage, sold cheaper than the previous ones, the 2019 awakens the world of wine! If only one word should describe the 2019 vintage, it would be “gluttony”. Already, the wines are tasted with disconcerting ease, they are cut for keeping and will be tasted just as well in their youth. What to satisfy the greatest number, especially as the first prices are down by 20 to 30% compared to 2018!.

Some of my recommendations as to know a wine is to know its winemaker, never go wrong with the all time good ones. If you can buy any of these, you will be glad you read me. En vino veritas!

Graves white: Château Latour-Martillac: Strong flavor, very aromatic, both ripe and acidic for a nice balance. Lingering finish on tension

Graves red:  Château Olilvier: Intense nose, of liquorice, round mouth, soft, supple, warm, on very fine, elegant tannins. Smoky notes, great energy.

Château Pape Clément: First mellow, caressing, the wine is suave, delicate, refined, with immense freshness, fantastic tannins, suave as desired

Château Carbonnieux: Creamy texture in attack, incredible delicacy on the palate, fresh, mellow, on beautiful tannins which emerge in a powerful, suave, fruity, long finish.

Château Haut-Bailly: “Energy” is the key word for this pure, balanced wine, which promises a very bright future. Progressive power, dense, silky tannins, infinite length. Breathtaking !

Margaux:

Château du Tertre: Easy to access, precise, with finesse, on the juicy fruit, freshness, smooth in the mid-palate, complex on the finish, soft tannins.

Château Cantenac Brown: Let yourself be carried away in a whirlwind of freshness and ripe fruit. Spicy, powerful mouth, dense tannic structure.

Château d’Arsac:  Exceptional bourgeois growth: Tannins of good density, seductive, wrapped in roundness, the generosity of notes of black fruit (blackberry, blackcurrant).

St Estéphe:

Château Meyney:  Flexible and easy to access, it unfolds with roundness, generosity, spicy notes. Power and dense tannic structure.

Les Ormez de Pez Fleshy, full-bodied, harmonious, full-bodied, dense tannins and nice gourmet evocation, abundantly fruity on the finish.

Saint Julien:

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou:  A masterful wine with a very aromatic, floral nose. Bewitching, distinguished, lively, dense, powerful, sappy, with lamb’s lettuce, tight, racy tannins.

Château Talbot:  Suave, the attack precedes the mouth, round, velvety, unctuous, generous. Attractive finish thanks to the fruit which displays joyfully.

Château Leoville Barton:  A concentrated, silky, complex, dense vintage, with mash, tight tannins that generate this distinguished power.

Château Beychevelle:  And already a nice harmony between the fruit, alcohol, acidity and tannins that overlap and complement each other to provide incredible pleasure.

Pauillac:

Château Mouton-Rothschild:  Fleshy, mellow, bewitching, immense, with dense, satiny, racy tannins that occupy the whole palate without taking away the finish, chiseled like lace, saline.

Château Clerc-Milon:  Roundness, smoothness, elegance, notes of violet, ripe fruit and caressing tannin grain which allows to stretch the finish indefinitely, salivating, fresh (minty), chocolate.

Château Pichon Baron:  Unlimited pleasure on the attack and in the mouth, powerful, precise, intense, with tender tannins.

Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande: We love this supple vintage embroidered with silky tannins, endowed with a formidable aromatic complexity.

Haut Médoc:

Château La Tour Carnet:  Elegant and voluminous palate, with woody, roasted notes and intense, juicy red fruits.

Château Cantemerle:  Easy, lively, cheerful, with a refreshing acidity which gives this beautiful feeling of drinkability.

Château d’Agassac: The gourmet acidity melts into an elegant, fleshy, unctuous matter, well integrated tannins, a nice freshness.

Château Malescasse:  The dense tannins interfere with the air in the smoothness of the alcohol, the beautiful acidity, the roasted aromas, of liquorice and black fruits.

Château Clement-Pichon: The freshness is already expressed on the nose, then the palate takes over, fruity, tart, crunchy, of an absolute gluttony. Quicksilver

Listrac Médoc:

Château Fourcas-Hosten:  Coated in a soft cocoon of small black fruits, the harmonious mouth, of good depth, displays energy, freshness and tender tannins.

Moulis en Médoc:

Château Chasse-Spleen: Finesse, elegance and beautiful tannic structure for this wine nuanced with fruity red (cherry) and chocolate notes.

Also, Château Fonplegade: A nice wine marked by freshness, tannins, liveliness, notes of red fruit, cherry

Château Ferrand:  Powerful, mellow, rich mouth, good acidity, a slight bitterness due to youth, silky tannins

Château Franc-Mayne:  Round, mellow, ample, opulent and generous on the palate, with very tight tannins. Salivating finish, full of juice.

Voilà, I made my tri for primeurs values from 2019. Of course, the field is much larger and there are many properties, the above are a basket, a starting point on some of my favorite properties over the years. Hope you enjoy the world of primeurs, and of course wines, and bien sûr Bordeaux, one word one reference from which the world follows, tries to copy and even tell you stories. Bordeaux is king. Hope you enjoy the post. Salut

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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