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.
The last 15 years have yielded some of the best Bordeaux wines in recent history. In particular, five of those years—2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2016—treated critics, collectors, and enthusiasts to early tastings that revealed exceptional quality and suggested these wines would age well for decades. These extraordinary years tend to be compared with one another, too. For example, debate continues over which year wins out when you compare the 2009 and 2010 Bordeaux vintages. And there is still some question regarding how these two vintages stack up against the 2005.
If you’ve been collecting fine wine for any period of time, you know that choosing the perfect wines to add to your portfolio isn’t the hard part of collecting—it’s figuring out the right time to open (or sell) those wines.
The 2009 and 2010 vintages are just two examples of great Bordeaux from a region that has had several excellent years recently. However, this pair of years specifically is known for winning high marks with critics and tantalizing the palates of even the most discerning wine enthusiasts. In the years that immediately followed their production, some predicted that there would be debate for decades over which was the best vintage of the two. That made comparing 2009 vs. 2010 Bordeaux a difficult task at best.
Over the course of more than 100 years, Vega Sicilia has established itself as Spain’s most respected and luxurious winery, and that sterling reputation holds to this day. Many of the world’s leading wine connoisseurs praise the estate’s celebrated flagship wine, Único, including Spanish wine expert Luis Gutiérrez of Wine Advocate. He says this historic Ribera del Duero estate is “one of the greatest in the world” because of its unique terroir and its winemakers’ passion for crafting elegant, multilayered wines.
Though the youngest of all the estates ranked in the Bordeaux classification of 1855, Château Montrose quickly gained fame as an estate capable of producing incomparable wine. Since most years are good years for this estate, choosing from among the best vintages of Château Montrose is no easy task. Whether you intend to hold a bottle as an investment or just long enough to savor a glass at its peak, this guide will help—but buying multiple vintages certainly won’t hurt, either.
Wines produced in the Margaux appellation in Bordeaux are often as complex and spirited as the histories of the estates that bear their names. The best vintages of Château Palmer are no exception. Often delicate, precise, and profoundly pleasing to the palate, the first taste of almost any of this estate’s Bordeaux leaves you wanting more—an exceptional achievement for a wine that was long ago, and perhaps unjustly, classified as a third growth.
The 2019 Bordeaux harvest is complete, the last of the grapes have been plucked from the vine, and winemakers and professional critics are very optimistic about the quality of 2019 Bordeaux. Although it’s still very early, they’re seeing firm tannins, rich coloration, and high sugar content balanced by high acidity. The fruit is also strongly aromatic (much like it was during the successful 2018 Bordeaux harvest). In other words, this vintage will be powerful and concentrated—a vintage worth laying down. In this guide to the 2019 Bordeaux harvest, we’ll discuss which grape varieties and areas of Bordeaux had the most success this year so that you can prepare your investments when en primeur season rolls around.
The best vintages of Château Latour are among the longest-lived wines in the world. While certain wines like fine port and Tokaji are known to age for 100 years or more, it’s rare to find a red Bordeaux blend with the same aging potential. Château Latour is one of these extraordinary wines. For instance, the 1961 vintage—considered one of the greatest in the estate’s history—continues to develop in complexity even to this day. When Master of Wine Jancis Robinson tried the 1961 vintage a few years ago, she said, “I can hardly believe the drinking dates I am suggesting for this wine! Drink through 2040.”
The iconic Château Margaux estate is nicknamed the “Versailles of the Médoc.” From its stunning neo-Palladian architecture to its rows of carefully-planted vines, it’s a picturesque estate that’s fit for royalty. The wines themselves are equally alluring. President Thomas Jefferson famously adored these wines, saying, “There couldn’t be a better Bordeaux bottle.” The moody dark berry flavors and heady violet aroma generally present in the grand vin have earned this estate a reputation as one of the world’s greatest wine producers.
While it’s still too early to judge the 2018 Burgundy vintage with any certainty, winemakers across the region are thrilled with how these wines developing so far. Louis Fabrice Latour, president of Maison Louis Latour, told The Drinks Business, “We are very pleased to have two big crops in a row of very good quality.” Some Burgundians, like négociant Philippe Pacalet, have even compared the 2018 vintage to 1947–one of the top Burgundy vintages in history.
Whether you’re a seasoned Bordeaux collector or you want to start a collection from scratch, the 2018 vintage makes an excellent addition to a cellar. These wines are rich, concentrated, finessed, and elegant. While it’s still a very young vintage that has a long way to go, it’s already showing great promise. In this guide, we’ll offer you tips on which 2018 wines we think are worth collecting and provide you with some useful market projections that you can use to make investment decisions.