Bordeaux grower and winemaker, Gavin Quinney has just released his Bordeaux 2018 report, following a number of vintage updates published prior to the start of the campaign. In Quinney’s July harvest report, he refered to the vintage as “a game of two halves” – a phrase that has since been adopted by merchants and critics alike.
According to Quinney, “2018 is an excellent vintage for red Bordeaux, with powerful, rich and opulent wines across most appellations”. However, he notes that “it was far from plain sailing […] and there’s a fine line in 2018 between getting the balance just right in such a ripe vintage, with its naturally high alcohol and forceful tannins, and stepping a little too far towards the dark side”.
Like a number of other critics, Quinney believes that “2018 is not as consistently excellent a year as 2016”. He nonetheless positions it “alongside 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2016 for quality – and, for Margaux and Saint Emilion, 2015”.
Quinney also returns to the problem of mildew, which he discussed in more detail in his report Bordeaux 2018 yields – a devilish year. In his opinion, “2018 is unique among the top vintages this century for having such a huge variation of yields among the top châteaux”, which is mostly down to the impact of mildew.
He adds that the vintage really tested those growers with an organic (‘bio’ in French) or biodynamic approach – some were forced to question whether “to bio or not to bio” as a result of the “humid climate” during the 2018 growing season.
The table below shows his top-scoring wines from the vintage. Lafleur is in the top spot as the only potential 100-point wine at this stage.
Bordeaux 2018 – What other critics say:
- Jane Anson
- Matthew Jukes
- James Suckling
- Jean-Marc Quarin
- Roger Voss
- James Molesworth
- Rod Smith
- Jeff Leve
- Lisa Perrotti-Brown
- Chris Kissack
- Julia Harding