"The Miracle Vintage" - Bordeaux 2019 Round-Up

Well here we are, at the end of Bordeaux 2019 with some lovely weather to see off what has been a highly memorable campaign.  In previous years the wines are usually released over 7 weeks - this time it was just over 4 with the Bordelais keeping us all very much on our toes.

The campaign looked very promising from the get-go with the explosive release of the potential 100-point scoring Pontet Canet at a 30% price cut to last year. This led to something of a stampede with top estates wanting to get in on the action. And so, by the end of week two, most of the First Growths had already been released - compare that to almost any other En Primeur campaign which typically ends with the 1er grand crus!


With such a great vintage - a "miracle" as Lisa Perrotti-Brown describes it - we were very impressed by the Bordelais' decision to price the wines according to the market, rather than to the quality of the wine itself, and we bought as much 2019 as we could reasonably get our hands on.  That being said, demand for 2019 has also been exceptionally high, with collectors recognising that such a rare harmony between top-quality wines at very reasonable prices is a cosmic event in Bordeaux unlikely to happen again any time soon.

That means that 2019 is absolutely a vintage to buy into, whether you are an avid or lapsed collector, or even looking to start your own cellar. Most of us here at Honest Grapes enjoy collecting Bordeaux, with our Chairman Nathan Hill stating "in recent years, I’ve worried that I couldn’t afford the top wines, so it’s a relief to see these at second growth prices.  It’s even more of a relief to bag some of the great mid-tier names of Bordeaux from a five star vintage at prices that haven’t been seen for 6 years".

Sharing the sentiment, our head Wine Guru Tom highly recommends the 2019s and has "always maintained the key to buying well in Bordeaux is to go for 5* wines at 4* prices and 4* star wines at 3* prices - it's why our recommendations are more limited than other merchants (in 2013 we offered no wines, in 2014 - two!). 2019 is the unique example of offering a whole range of 5* wines (mid-high 90s scores) at 3* prices (20-30% below market).  If you are an investor it leaves more on the table than any vintage in the last decade, if you are a drinker it means you'll buy four cases for the price of three."

With such uniform quality across the board all the major wine critics were very impressed by the wines and there was no suggestion that this was a Left or Right Bank vintage. Many estates like Giscours and Phelan Segur have reportedly produced their best ever wines, and there is a sense that the 2019 has produced a crop which is more characteristically Bordeaux-like than it has been in previous years.

In his report, Neal Martin comments especially on the "elevated aromatics" in 2019s, with an attractive floral character present in many of the wines. He also notes a pleasant "creaminess", as well as "fine tannins" (despite tannic levels being high) making the wines more approachable in their youth. That being said, the wines seem destined for stardom, with great longevity looking highly likely at this early stage.

As collectors ourselves we're pleased to recommend the vintage wholeheartedly and it's easily one of the best of the last few decades, right up there with 2000, 2009 and 2016. Whilst we've sold through the majority of our allocation we still have a few gems left listed below and we will endeavour to update the list as often as possible. We're also still seeing Bordeaux requests from Club Members so we're keeping our eyes peeled for any more stock and if there is anything you're particularly interested in please let us know!

Batailley1x6 75cl£168.0095-96 JS 2
Echo de Lynch Bages1x6 75cl£142.5093 JS2
La Croix de Beaucaillou1x6 75cl£169.5094-96 NM2
Lascombes 1x6 75cl£288.0094-95 JS 2
Le Dome1x6 75cl£594.0096-98+ LPB2
Leoville Barton 1x6 75cl£324.0094-96 NM 1
Malartic Lagraviere 1x12 75cl£324.0095-96 JS 2
Mondotte 1x6 75cl£676.5097-99 LPB 2
Montrose 1x6 75cl£600.0098 JA 3
Phelan Segur 1x6 75cl£186.0096-97 JS 2
Pichon Baron 1x6 75cl£594.0098-100+ LPB 1
Talbot  1x6 75cl£211.5094-95 JS 2
Teyssier 1x12 75cl£138.0093-94 JS 2
Vieux Chateau Mazerat1x6 75cl£345.0096-98 JD5