Wine Words & Video Tape

Wine, Words and Videotape

Fine Wine Review site

Bordeaux 2018: Côtes de Bordeaux

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

If you want a great introduction to the hedonistic pleasures of the Bordeaux 2018 vintage, then look no further than the Côtes de Bordeaux. Wonderful wines have been made in Castillon, Francs, Blaye and Cadillac. For me Francs and Castillon lead the pack with some fantastically plump, rich reds that retain harmony and balance. If occasionally some wines lack a little zip, the colours are deep, the fruit is beautiful and the tannic profiles are supple and not overly extractive. This is a vintage that really reminds me of 2009 at its finest. Yet there are less of the late-picked qualities of that year, nor the more evident extractive cellar chicanery of that winemaking period. Outstanding wines have been made in 2018 at Château Alcée, Château d’Aiguilhe, Château Côtes Montpezat, Château de Laussac [Cuveé Sacha] in Castillon at the top end. In Francs, Thienpont’s Château La Prade and Château Puygueraud are brilliant. Château Reynon is also seriously impressive in Cadillac.

The following wines were tasted in April at the Grand Cercle Tasting at Château de La Dauphine in Fronsac as well as with Nicolas and Cyrille Thienpont at Château Pavie-Macquin.

Château Alceé, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux

Deep and dark; lovely colour; dense but looks fresh at the edge; colour tight to the edge; ripe; ripe black cherry; some jam but works; some schisty notes; lovely sweet fruit on the entry; purity but also fleet of foot; this works very well indeed; round and harmonious on the palate; full; not extracted; nicely balanced; not over-extracted or too bold; but this has length and finesse on the finish. Freshness and length at the back. [96% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2022-2028. 91-93+

Château Ampélia, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux

Deeper core; earthy purple; quite glossy; inky and unctuous on the nose; worked more; evident new oak but nicely integrated; black fruits and liqourice; crowd pleaser; intense entry; black fruits; some oak that that gives a little hardness but should round out; almost absorbed the oak; lends a little dryness to the palate; little lose at the back end but will fill out I expect. Drink 2022-2018. 88-89

Château d’Aiguilhe, Castillon, Côtes de Bordeaux

Deep and saturated look; glossy; ripe plums, spices; some lift; fruitcake spices; very lush d’Aiguilhe; wonderful fruit and plenty of it; there is freshness here too; excellent depth and length. Brilliant wine. [80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2023-2032. 91-93+

Château Cap de Faugères, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux

Bold colour; even more so on the jam here; raisin, strawberry jam notes; full and very ripe certainly; sweet entry at first; quite worked; ripe fruit; some of the gloss absorbed by the oak [dryness]; quite supple tannins; ripe fruit and will fill out. Drink 2023-2028. 89-91+

Château Côtes Montpezat, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux

Good colour; tight to the rim; purple; legs; attractive ripe fruit; bold and pure; promising aromatics; suggest plenty of fruit beneath; opens up nicely; sweet entry; like this; another crowd pleasing wine; ripe and sweet fruit; flamboyant; soft tannins but plenty of fruit; nicely judged. Satin quality on the finish. Drink 2022-2028. 90-92

Château Haut-Bertinerie, Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux

Deepish; not as tight to rim as some; lifted; more strawberry and worked black fruit notes but attractive; unctuously styled as Parker might have said; sweet entry; glossy; creamy; supple on the palate; modern; lacks a bit of acidity but supple and appealing. Drink 2022-2028. 88-90

Château de Haut-Coulon, Cadillac – Côtes de Bordeaux

Arterial; quite tight to the rim; ambitious looking; smoky and savoury [oak?]; liquorice and black fruits beneath; suggests it will be quite thick on the palate; Cabernet Franc influence? Quite intense; nice fruit; earthier certainly; but I like the texture; the most savoury so far; quite a bit of tannin at the end with some chew but adds punctuated. Some length. Drink 2022-2028. 89-91+

Château Lafitte, Cadillac – Côtes de Bordeaux

Deep; red purple at edge; very ripe; strawberry; some jam creeping in; will work; confiture; nice entry; fruit very ripe; lots of fruit and quite precise in the palate; some wood influence in the palate [not accented, more the mouthfeel]. Extract. Some chew on the finish. Little short on the end but should work out well. Drink 2022-2026. 87-89

Château de Laussac, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux

Mid depth and colour looser to the rim; fresher styled; attractive; Bordeaux; ripe but elegant – not as immediately ambitious perhaps but pleasing; ripe fruit; plums; less extracted and worked; but more compact. Will be a satisfying glass of Bordeaux however – fills the mouth and some acidity here to balance. Drink 2022-2026. 88-90

Château de Laussac, Cuveé Sasha, Castillion – Côtes de Bordeaux

Mid depth; red purple rim; little more liquorice; plums and strawberry notes; nicely lifted; sweet ripe fruit again; some black and red; supple again; good middle; seemingly a little more matter in the mid palate; will work well; has nice texture and depth. Excellent effort overall. Good length. Drink 2023-2030. 91-93+

Château La Prade, Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux

Deep and saturated look; tight to the rim; lovely colour; beautiful fruit; lovely perfumed fruit again; fresh but real purity; wonderful purity; lovely texture; accent on the fruit and the purity; some schist notes; lovely balance; you could drink this now…some chocolate; nice supple tannins and some freshness on the finish. Appetizing again. [88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2023-2032. 91-93+

Château Puygueraud, Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux

Bold colour; earthy red; tight to edge; attractive and pretty; really perfumed sample; joyous; ripe and clean; lush fruit; really sweet and ripe; nicely textured; has life; spice and is a nice mouthful; appetizing. Supple and soft tannins. Chocolate on the finish. Lovely fruit. Very attractive. Best I’ve had from here. [85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec]. Drink 2022-2028. 90-92+

Château Réaut, Cadillac – Côtes de Bordeaux

Mid depth; heathy; legs; ripe satisfying aromatics; full; quite plump; little wet rock; nicely ripe; well defined; ripe without being exaggerated; Bordeaux; nice fruit; elegant entry; nicely done; mid weight; judged well; falls away a little on the finish but good Côtes de Bordeaux. Drink 2022-2027. 87-89

Château Reynon, Cadillac – Côtes de Bordeaux

Deeper still; deep core; sweet and ripe; some oak; also black cherry quite pronounced with a little eau de vie; full; entry sweet with emphasis on the fruit and purity of it; quite schisty; this will work well; pure and nicely handled. Has nice bite on the finish and good length. Like the purity. Drink 2022-2028. 90-92

Château Veyry, Castillion – Côtes de Bordeaux

Deep colour; legs; colour red purple at edge; full and solid; plenty of fruit on the nose; purity; good; nice sweet entry; full but nicely judged; soft and supple tannins though there is plenty of extract; lacks a bit of definition but pleasing. Some dark chocolate on the finish. Drink 2022-2028. 88-90

Clos Puy Arnaud, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux

Deep; bold colour; vibrant purple red at edge; legs; nutty note; evidently ripe, inky, savoury style; creamy tannins; supple on the finish. Drink 2023-2028. 88-90


Château Puygueraud, Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux

Silver gold: pear drop; candy; lees; lovely white; could easily drink this now; citrus and grapefruit more on the palate; very fresh and saline; bone dry but wonderfully appetising. Really zesty palate; lees influenced. Super zing! Where are the oysters! [90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Sauvignon Gris, no oak]. Drink 2019-2023. 90-92+

Château Charmes Godard, Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux

More saline; fresh and appetising; less critus notes more lees and wax; Sémillon influence on the palate but has the same refreshing quality nevertheless. Nicely mouth filling. Appetising. With a long, waxy finish. Fresh. [63% Sémillon, 21% Sauvignon Blanc, 16% Sauvignon Gris. Fermented in 500 litre barrels]. Drink 2020-2024. 91-93+

The wines lined up at Château de La Dauphine

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Follow Us