Wine Words & Video Tape

Wine, Words and Videotape

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Bordeaux 2018: Primeurs Day 2

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

First stop last Saturday was to Château Pavie Macquin in St Emilion. The winegrowing judgement here of Nicolas Thienpont, Cyrille Thienpont and David Suire is second to none. There aren’t any state secrets. Here gentle extraction of wonderfully ripe fruit, the result of meticulous work in the vineyards from beautiful terroir, always yields some of Bordeaux’s most appealing wine. In 2018 Château Pavie Macquin, Château Larcis Ducasse and Château Beauséjour [HdL] are exceptional. Larcis has typically satin-y, caressing fruit, and fabulous length. Pavie-Macquin has great depth with remarkable power under the hood while Château Beauséjour displays some of the most exceptionally pure, beautiful fruit I’ve come across. All are stunning. The real steals I imagine, will be the Thienpont’s own wines from the Côtes de Francs – Château Puygueraud and Château La Prade are lovely.

I dipped in and out of the Grand Cercle’s big press tasting at Château La Dauphine in Fronsac. This is always a super well-organized event. The Côtes de Bordeaux and Fronsac served blind looked really promising. There was lots of forward, ripe fruit on offer, but not too much jam or wine with over-extracted qualities. A few were a little short on acidity, but almost all had an attractive crowd-pleasing quality. Overall Fronsac and Castillon stood out as particularly successful. While the reputation [and price] of each Bordeaux vintage is set by the big guns, it is in these less fashionable districts, that great value can be found. Blind tasting Pomerol and Lalande de Pomerol there are evidently a number of impressive wines, adorned with wonderfully ripe plum and black cherry fruits. While 2018 is a beautiful vintage here, it doesn’t quite have the balancing acidity of 2015 or 2016 perhaps. Yet what it lacks in vivaciousness, it makes up for in the joyful, sexy beauty of its fruit. I will write in more detail about all the wines tasted here in a future post.

Last but certainly not least was a trip to the cellars of Jean-Luc Thunevin in St Emilion’s cobbled back streets. Here I spent an afternoon steadily working my way through a room full of exceptional wine – Jean-Luc and Murielle Andraud’s own production and those properties that Jean-Luc consults for. Again I’ll post in much more detail about all these delights shortly. I just wanted to finish with a word or two on Château Valandraud itself, the biggest star in Jean-Luc’s firmament. It is truly exceptional in 2018. The depth is profound, the fruit limitlessly layered, somehow even more so than usual here – not that you can really say there is ever anything particularly ‘usual’ about this wine or anything Jean-Luc gets his hands on. Best ever Valandraud? The best I’ve tasted certainly. Simply remarkable stuff….

All you need is a shed…at least to start with

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