Last week saw the first major tasting of the 2019 vintage with the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux showing more than 100 wines to the UK press and wine trade in London. You can read our Chairman’s blog on the tasting, and the vintage HERE.
We have rated 2019s from the start - a vintage of clear quality released at very good prices. Now that we have tasted many of the wines from bottle we can confirm that 2019 is the real deal, an exceptional vintage that will be compared with the greats. More approachable than the brilliant 2016s and 2010s, fresher and more lifted than the 2009s, those in the trade with long memories are comparing the wines to the 1982s.
An example of all that is great about the vintage is 2019 Cantemerle. This is the best Cantemerle that we have tasted since the outstanding 1989 and, moreover, is available at its opening price of £215 per dozen in bond. It is a standout bargain in what is clearly a fantastic vintage.
|Bordeaux||2019||Cantemerle Recommended||BT||55 \ 6||666||215.00||12||666||23.888888||93.00||91.00||Cantemerle||0.75||10|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
The 2019 Cantemerle has a ripe and sensual bouquet with ample black cherry and blueberry scents that burst from the glass, flecks of dark chocolate and clove emerging with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannins that impart a fleshier mouthfeel compared to previous vintages. It works well because there is still ample structure underneath and cunningly disguised. Smooth as silk on the finish, this is simply a delicious Cantemerle. 2024 - 2050
Crushed berries and walnuts with red-chili and mushroom notes. It’s medium-to full-bodied and soft. Juicy at the end. Ripe tannins and good balance.
The 2019 Cantemerle is fabulous. Deep, inky and super expressive, Cantemerle is a real standout in 2019. Dark red and purplish berry fruit, grilled herbs, rose petal, spice, sweet pipe tobacco and mint are some of the many notes that develop here with a bit of coaxing. More than anything else, it is the wine's extraordinary balance and sense of harmony that stand out here. Don't miss this!
The blend in 2019 is very similar to the overall plantings: 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Bright ruby purple colour. Fine and fresh on the nose with light cedar, camphor and cool black fruit. There is an underlying ripeness that gives real intensity and enticement to the nose. The palate is compact and well-measured, driven by fine layers of succulent black and red fruit. The spice is gentle and well integrated together with sandy but ripe tannins. This is classic Claret with added oomph, displaying very fine balance and good length with a light dusting of spice and sweetness. Undoubtedly one of the best Cantemerles we have ever tasted. Very good value for money.
The blend in 2019 is very similar to the overall plantings: 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. There is a new pumpover system in use here, called "Airpulse" which is seen as a major change in the winemaking and removes the use of pumps. This should add a layer of refinement to the structure of the wine. The yields are 55hl/ha, and the wine will be aged in 40% new French oak for 12 months. Bright ruby in the glass, the nose is sweet and plummy with just a hint of sandalwood and cedar. The palate is fleshy in fruit but tamed by chalky tannins. This is superbly proportioned and harmonious, offering freshness despite the plump fruit at the core. Vibrant with fruit yet with a savoury edge on the finish.
Enticing aromatics, clear cassis fruits, astringency on the tannins which bodes well for the ageing as they also have good pliability. Not quite up with their very best vintages but we are getting close here, with tension to the core of the wine, well-judged berry fruit extraction, and clear structure overall. Great Médoc signature. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drinking Window 2027 - 2042
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot. Barrel sample.
Really quite graceful in a Margaux sort of way. Fresh, zesty nose with cassis and graphite notes. Juicy and long with plenty of delicately etched tannins offering refinement to the palate. Sufficient fruit weight. Clean, persistent finish with no excess. (JL)
Drink 2026 – 2034