We have posted online our general comments on this 2018 vintage in Bordeaux, the third great vintage (with 2015 and 2016) in 4 years, the fifth (plus 2009 and 2010) in 10 years, attesting that global warming is well underway.
The winegrowers, with an increasingly hot and dry climate, have a succession of great vintages and (for the moment) enjoy it while it lasts.
We are currently bringing the wines of the (great) 2016 vintage back into our cellars as they are bottled in the Châteaux.
If you have booked 2016 Futures, we will send you a letter in the next few days (before 15th February) specifying the availability date of your wines and the balance outstanding (20% VAT + shipping costs if applicable).
This letter is accompanied by a Delivery Coupon that you will simply have to return to us with your delivery instructions.
We remind you that Maison DUBECQ provides free custody of the 2016 Futures until December 31st, 2019, allowing you to organize yourself and choose the shipping period at your best convenience.
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.