Although we have not tried many due to the lockdown, 2019 appears to be a terrific vintage with many very good to excellent wines made. There will be some buying opportunities where pricing offers fair value.
About the vintage:
• Ideal growing season – Generally there were fewer problems in the vineyards than in the previous 3 years, with far less damage from spring frost, mildew or hail. There were some dry spells but the vines mainly had good health and mineral balance. September showers helped to kick-start the ripening process. "2019 will be remembered as a made to measure vintage for Grand Cru producers who were able to choose the ideal time to begin the harvest." Ronan Laborde (President of the UGC and owner of Ch. Clinet).
• The release prices range from 15% to 30% below the 2018s. They need to be to sell successfully in these hard times, despite the high scores. There must be an incentive in buying en primeur again.
• James Suckling reports that "The wines are outstanding quality, from simple Bordeaux to cru classé."
• Decanter’s Jane Anson describes the "Left Bank in 2019 seems fairly classic in style. The wines may not be as exuberant as 2009, 2015 or 2018, but more elegant, with concentration levels that are clear. That puts them towards 2016 or 2010 in terms of depth of colour and extraction potential." Several other critics agree. Every vintage is unique but these comparisons are positive. The right bank Saint Emilion, Pomerol and their satellite regions, also seem firmer with more acidity than in 2018. Along with their balance of alcohol, depth of fruit and tannin structure, many are built to age gracefully.