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100-points for Lafleur 2019 in Martin re-tasting

  • Neal Martin has scored Château Lafleur 2019 100-points.
  • Château Margaux was the highest-rated First Growth.
  • He said it was a vintage with ‘verve and panache’.

Neal Martin’s full in-bottle report on the Bordeaux 2019 vintage has been published on Vinous. He said that the tasting confirmed his feeling that the 2019s had ‘just a little more verve and panache’ than the 2018s – but he wasn’t sure they quite surpassed the 2016s.

The chief criticism was the lack of consistency at the lower end of the spectrum, where Martin found some wines ‘compromised by over-maturity due to late picking and, ironically, under-maturity in cases where dry conditions forced vines to shut down’.

At that higher end of the Bordeaux hierarchy, however, Martin did not stint on either his praise or his scores. He also made a comment on the campaign in which these wines were sold. ‘Those who bought 2019s were rewarded with high-quality, well-priced wines that have increased in market value,’ he said.

The price performance of his top-scoring wines in the table above makes the last point quite plain.

100-points for Lafleur

One of the few wines Martin did not taste en primeur in 2020, Château Lafleur 2019 has ended up topping the vintage as the only wine rated 100.

He said it was an ‘awe-inspiring Pomerol’, crafted with the ‘finest chisel’ in the owner’s tool box and one that ranks alongside the 1982 and 2000.

‘I must forewarn,’ he added, ‘that you will need a cool, dark cellar and an enormous amount of patience for it to reach its zenith’.

The wine has a current Market Price of £12,800 (12×75).

Other top-scorers

Château Ausone, Margaux, Pichon Comtesse and Trotanoy were all confirmed on 99-points. The ‘absolutely divine’ Margaux (£5,712) is the highest-rated of the First Growths among Martin’s scores – though Latour was not tasted.

Many of the top-scorers, including the ‘multi-dimensional’ Pichon Comtesse (£2,088), have been among the best-performing wines from the vintage since release.

Lafite, Haut-Brion and Mouton Rothschild were all rated 98-points alongside estates such as Figeac, Cheval Blanc and Ducru-Beaucaillou (£1,681), as well as the soon-to-be-released Yquem.

One noticeable downgrade from the original barrel scores was La Mission Haut-Brion. First rated 98-100 two years ago, Martin ultimately concluded that while ‘audacious’ it did not quite rank at the top of the estate’s potential. He scored it 97-points.

Montrose (£1,245), meanwhile, another wine not rated en primeur was scored 97-points as well, while its 2020 vintage has been given a bracket of 98-100.

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Liv-ex analysis is drawn from the world’s most comprehensive database of fine wine prices. The data reflects the real time activity of Liv-ex’s 560+ merchant members from across the globe. Together they represent the largest pool of liquidity in the world – currently £100m of bids and offers across 16,000 wines. Independent data, direct from the market.