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Bordeaux 2018: Haut-Medoc MW Institute Tasting

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

The MW Institute had three Haut-Médoc wines on offer at their tasting. Château Belgrave delivers a lot of pleasure at a reasonable price. The 2018 seemed to have retreated a bit into its shell and needed a bit of coaxing in the glass. My experience with this wine is that it does age well in the medium term, so I’d give this another two or three years to settle, and it will improve over the next ten years. Château de Camensac has been another good buy for the past decade. This wine has experienced a renaissance over the past fifteen or so years and is worth seeking out, especially in riper vintages. This is a fresh and attractive 2018. Château Cantemerle, a little like Belgrave, has retreated somewhat. Again, Cantemerle offers good value and this 2018 has plenty of extract but currently lacks complexity. It may have opened up since it was tasted [these notes were taken at the end of 2022]. Elsewhere I’ve enjoyed other 2018 Haut-Medocs in the past year, including Château Beaumont and Château Sénéjac from my own purchases. I’ve not taken formal notes but Château Beaumont has lots of bright, juicy fruit tones and Château Sénéjac lots of flesh and texture in 2018.

The following wines were tasted at the MW Institute tasting in November 2022.

Château Belgrave, Haut-Médoc, 2018

Deep and dark; little reductive to start with but unfurls to reveal sturdy blackcurrant fruit with a savoury and smoked meat note; less flesh in the middle currently showing and more structured. Has freshness and some elegance. Needs a few years. Not overdone. [13.5% alc, 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2025-2035. Tasted Nov ’22. 89+

Château Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc, 2018

Mid depth; black fruits, resin, extract and spice; lush fruit on the palate but currently lacks a bit of complexity; freshness on the finish. Maybe needs a year or two and has retreated a little in bottle. [13.5% alc, 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2026-2040. Tasted Nov ’22. 89+

Château de Camensac, Haut-Médoc, 2018

Mid depth; bright in the glass; spices and herbal/menthol notes; blackcurrants; attractive; blackcurrant fruit on the palate; attractive texture to the palate with good balancing acidity. This is a fresh, enjoyable and nicely textured ’18! [14% alc, 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot]. Drink now – 2038. Tasted Nov ’22. 91

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