The 2019 Bordeaux futures campaign is one for the history books. In the wake of a global pandemic, en primeur week was significantly delayed, as were some futures releases. However, what’s incredible about the 2019 Bordeaux vintage is that, despite these hurdles, the quality of the wine is still capturing the attention and imagination of the world’s most knowledgeable wine enthusiasts. Some top critics have had barrel samples delivered directly to them, and early reviews suggest that this is a vintage worthy of your attention. Many of these wines are pure, elegant, and have fine tannins. Just as enticing are their release prices, which are, on average, 30 percent lower than wines of the equally high-quality 2018 vintage.
Offering top quality at incredible value to collectors, 2019 Bordeaux futures make excellent investments. This vintage guide will help you make a decision on what to secure first. You’ll also learn why top critics and producers are so excited about the 2019 release, which wines are showing the most aging potential, and how to invest in en primeur Bordeaux this year.
2019 Is Yet Another Excellent Vintage for Bordeaux
With rare exceptions, wine from Bordeaux has been consistently high in quality over the past decade. In Graves, for example, the 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2016 vintages all received an average score of 96 or more points from Wine Advocate and are considered truly exceptional vintages. The 2019 vintage certainly follows in the footsteps of these past vintages, as it is high in quality from region to region and producer to producer. There’s a reason why producers are eager to get these wines in front of critics and collectors. They have a lot to be proud of this year.
What made the 2019 vintage so high in quality was its favorable growing season. In fact, the growing season was even more favorable than it was in 2018 (a vintage which experienced some mildew problems). Throughout the summer of 2019, warm weather and occasional intense heat waves gave the fruit a very ripe, plush character. However, harvest rains prevented the fruit from becoming overly concentrated. As a result, there is a perfect balance of acidity and sweet concentration in these wines. The 2019 vintage has excellent structure and will likely age very well over the decades.
Not all wines from this vintage are approachable right now. Château Calon-Ségur produced wines with chewy tannins that will benefit from at least a decade of rest.
This vintage is also compelling because so many of these wines are already drinking well right now. Even while they’re still in the barrel, many of these wines have fine tannins that are soft enough to blend into the background. Based on early tasting notes, Château Haut-Brion wines from this vintage should have this quality. These wines will still age well, but will also be fascinating to drink in their youth. On the other hand, not all wines from this vintage are as approachable right now. Château Calon-Ségur, for example, produced wines with chewy tannins that will benefit from at least a decade of rest.
This is why it’s important to consider which 2019 Bordeaux futures you want to invest in this year. You may want a few versatile wines you can drink young or old, or you may be looking for investment wines to lay down for the next decade or two. Either way, your plans will make a difference in the way you invest in 2019 Bordeaux.
Which 2019 Wines Show the Most Promise?
Because en primeur week was postponed this year, there aren’t as many detailed reviews for the 2019 vintage in the barrel as usual. However, some critics were able to order barrel samples from producers and have shared their initial thoughts. Here are some notable wines that critics have been especially excited to discuss:
|2019 Château Angélus||“Silky. Very subtle. Bright blue fruit, black fruit and stones. Supple and minerally.” – James Suckling||98-99 points|
|2019 Château Calon-Ségur||“Dripping with lush brambled fruit, from ripe damsons to sleek blackberries and touches of hedgerow that add an unforced juiciness through what is a powerful and concentrated wine..” – Jane Anson||95-97 points|
|2019 Château Clinet||“This is a stunning Clinet, the best that I have encountered in barrel over 20 years of tasting. That creamy texture takes your breath away.” – Jeb Dunnuck||97-99 points|
|2019 Château La Conseillante||“This is definitely one of the purest La Conseillante wines that I have encountered from barrel. It delivers a subtle spiciness towards the finish with hints of tobacco and clove on the persistent aftertaste.” – Neal Martin||97-99 points|
|2019 Château Cos d’Estournel||“It’s full and layered, but not overpowering in terms of fruit. It’s more about the abundant, very fine tannins. It’s a classic wine with historical grip and power.” – James Suckling||99 points|
|2019 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou||“It’s another magical wine in the making from this château. Give bottles a decade in the cellar if you can (it’s going to be incredibly enjoyable in its youth as well), and it will evolve for 40-50 years or more.” – Jeb Dunnuck||97-100 points|
|2019 Château Haut-Bailly||“Dark purple color with violet hue and black core. Sophisticated and energetic wine with great aromatic depth and excellent structure.” – Markus Del Monego MW||98 points|
|2019 Château Haut-Brion||“This is one of the most finely structured, tightly knit wines of the vintage. Given time, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it goes atomic and eventually takes top place for the vintage.” – Lisa Perrotti-Brown||97-99 points|
|2019 Château Lafite Rothschild Carruades de Lafite||“The purity of fruit is so enticing here with strawberries, flowers, lavender and currants. Black earth, too. Some stone and cement. It’s full-bodied with firm, fine tannins.” – James Suckling||95-96 points|
|2019 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc||“Notes of orange rind, melon and white peaches dovetail into a more resinous, textural finish that fans out gloriously. This is outstanding, but one worth cellaring as it will repay bottle age.” – Neal Martin||98 points|
|2019 Château Léoville Barton||“The palate is exquisite in terms of balance, laden with intense black fruit laced with orange zest, that citrus element counterbalancing the tannic grip and structure.” – Neal Martin||95-98 points|
|2019 Château Léoville-Poyferré||“The palate is medium-bodied with lavish, luxuriant black fruit and a creamy texture that is instantly seductive.” – Neal Martin||96-98 points|
|2019 Château L’Évangile||“One of the very few wines in 2019 that I can say without question approaches a perfect score. I don’t give 100s at En Primeur but this is off the scale delicious, and I already can’t wait to taste it in bottle.” – Jane Anson||98-100 points|
|2019 Château Lynch-Bages||“This takes hold from the first moment and powers along, delivering a ton of black brambly fruit, licorice, grilled cedar and Pauillac confidence.” – Jane Anson||97 points|
|2019 Château Margaux||“Reminding me of the 2016, yet with even more density, it’s a quintessential Château Margaux that will benefit from a decade of cellaring and keep for 50 years or more.” – Jeb Dunnuck||97-100 points|
|2019 Château La Mondotte||“Liquified rocks, gravel, blackberry jam, smoke, licorice and dried flowers are some of the many aromas and flavors that infuse La Mondotte with tremendous character.” – Antonio Galloni||94-96 points|
|2019 Château Montrose||“A masterclass in the flavours and aromatics that you expect in a great Médoc wine – slate, crushed stones, savoury blackcurrant, liquorice, hints of smoke and cold ash.” – Jane Anson||98 points|
|2019 Château Mouton Rothschild||“The tannins are incredibly polished, which will give this plenty of early appeal, yet it’s still going to evolve for 40-50 years or more.” – Jeb Dunnuck||97-99 points|
|2019 Château Palmer||“The Palmer signature of energy and precision is here in spades, and altogether the wine is both measured and elegant, with textbook floral Margaux character.” – Jane Anson||98 points|
|2019 Château Pavie||“Quaking with latent power and shimmering with a kaleidoscope of electric flavors, this could only be Pavie.” – Lisa Perrotti-Brown||97 points|
|2019 Château Pichon Baron||“Certainly this is a rich Pichon-Baron, though it retains all the classicism you could ask for. Very fine salinity comes through on the finish with a persistent spice after taste that beckons you back for more.” – Neal Martin||96-98 points|
|2019 Château Valandraud||“Extremely polished and refined red with structure. It’s full-bodied, yet ever so refined and balanced.” – James Suckling||97 points|
As you can see, this vintage boasts a number of standout wines that are already receiving top scores from critics. Even at this early stage, 2019 is shaping up to be one of the best vintages in Bordeaux’s history. That’s why serious collectors should strongly consider investing in 2019 Bordeaux futures while prices are at their lowest.
Tips for Buying 2019 Bordeaux Futures
Now is the best time to buy 2019 Bordeaux futures. Part of what makes this vintage unique is that it is exceptionally high in quality but costs a fraction of what it theoretically should due to the economic uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. Véronique Sanders, director of Château Haut-Bailly, tells Wine Enthusiast, “Our prices will go down, which means it is going to be a great bargain for such a fine wine.” For example, 2019 Château Haut-Brion, which some critics consider the top wine of the vintage, is currently selling for about 30 percent less per case than the 2018 vintage. Investing early should mean major savings for collectors this year.
Try seeking out blends with a larger percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon as well as producers who harvested late.
Of course, not every 2019 Bordeaux wine has the same flavor profile or level of quality. There were essentially two different harvests in Bordeaux in 2019: one early in the season, when the weather was still hot, and the other late in the season during the rains. Merlot-heavy blends are generally more concentrated and less balanced because most Merlot grapes were picked early in the season. Blends with more Cabernet Sauvignon are generally fresher and finer, as Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were harvested later. Try seeking out blends with a larger percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon as well as producers who harvested late. Many winemakers in Médoc, Pessac-Léognan, and Saint-Émilion waited to harvest and you can find some incredible wines from these regions.
Nothing is typical about 2019 Bordeaux. From the complicated en primeur rollout to the unusually high quality of the wines to the excellent value, this is a vintage to remember. In fact, buying this historical vintage could be one of the best choices you’ll make this year.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.