As a reminder, 2017 was an "atlantic" vintage, with a rather cool and moderately sunny summer, followed by good autumn conditions giving fresh, fruity wines, with tender and velvety textures, and a fairly fast peak.
On the contrary, 2018 had a "Mediterranean" summer, that is to say a continuously sunny and dry summer, after a very rainy spring (and a very intense mildew, complicating the task of the vineyards conducted in organic farming with 20% to 80% losses).
More than the weekly or monthly records, it was the persistence of this permanently hot and dry weather that was striking, with temperatures more than one degree above the thirty-year average every day from May 10 to October 20, 160 days in a row, while the rainfall deficit was permanent.
The management of water stress by the vine is one of the keys to the vintage. A priori, the limestone (Saint-Émilion, Saint-Estèphe, Côtes de Castillon...) or clayey (Pomerol...) subsoils have been favoured and we expect great success in the Cabernets francs and Sauvignon on both sides. For Merlot, everything depends on the water retention capacity of the soil.
The danger of a vintage from a very hot and dry summer is to produce wines with too high alcoholic degrees (we speak of Merlot at 16° or Cabernets and Petit Verdot at 15°), structured by tannins that are too dry.
We bet that, with the progress of oenology helping, the lessons of previous comparable vintages (2003, 1995, 1983...) and above all consumer demand for more refined and elegant wines will have enabled cultural leaders to know not to harvest too late and cellar masters to gently extract the best of the 2018 vintage.
Under these conditions, the 2018 Bordeaux reds have the potential to be great. It will not be as universally successful a vintage as 2016, but it will certainly be one of the finest Bordeaux vintages of the last 20 years.
All that remains is to taste them and know their price: see you next spring.
The new "Autumn-Winter 2018/2019" collection has just been launched, with a host of new features such as the introduction of the wonderful 2016 vintage for red Bordeaux wines.
This selection will remain valid until April 15th, within the limits of our stocks.
All the Bordeaux wines have now offered their wines of the 2017 vintage en primeur.
Quality, quantity (following frost), prices, we tell you everything by clicking below.