Bordeaux 2019 en primeur: Lafite, Duhart-Milon and L’Évangile enter release market

Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases today (5 June) include: 

  • Château Lafite Rothschild, rated 98 points by Jane Anson, at €396 per bottle ex-Bordeaux and down 16% on the 2018 release price
  • Carruades de Lafite, rated 93 points by Jane Anson, at €145 per bottle ex-Bordeaux and down 19% on the 2018 release price
  • Château Duhart-Milon, rated 94 points by Jane Anson, at €48 per bottle ex-Bordeaux and down 12.7% on the 2018 release price
  • Château L’Évangile, rated 99 (98-100) points by Jane Anson, at €135 per bottle ex-Bordeaux and down 25% on the 2018 release price

Château Lafite Rothschild has become the first of the first growth estates to release the 2019 vintage with a recommended UK onward selling price of £426, a decrease of 15% on the 2018 entry price, making a 12 x 75cl bottle case £5,112.

As volumes are reported to be around 50% lower than last year, the estate is thought to be breaking usual procedure and releasing one single tranche only, revealed in a note this morning by analyst group Wine Lister.

Decanter’s Jane Anson said Lafite 2019 is a ‘brilliant wine, one that could be up-scored from this [98 points] when in bottle.’

The estate’s second wine Carruades de Lafite was also released, though prior to that of the Grand Vin, at a recommended UK onward selling price of £158, 16% lower than in 2018.

Anson said the 2019 ‘has the drinkability that Lafite prides itself on’ and is ‘a little more straight-laced than the 2018, but one that you would be more than happy to own and to share.’

Commenting on the release, Wine Lister said: ‘The first 2019 release from the Lafite stable this morning sets a hopeful tone as the campaign shifts up a gear, as the least expensive Carruades on the market. It feels representative of the increasing quality of a wine bearing the Lafite name, while also acknowledging the current economic climate.’

According to a Berry Bros. & Rudd sales email sent this morning these wines are ‘among the most anticipated of the entire en primeur campaign’ but due to low volumes the merchant ‘may not be in a position’ to offer purchasing ability today.

‘A tiny amount of stock may be visible in the market, but allocations to merchants are not yet being widely released’ the email said.

Lafite’s fifth growth Pauillac property, Château Duhart-Milon however has also been released today, at €48 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down 12.7% on 2018 and offered by the trade at £624 per case of 12 x 75cl bottles.

Rating the 2019 wine 94 points, Anson said: ‘This one might sneak up on you, confirming the rise of this wine in recent years’ and commented that ‘overall this is an excellent Duhart’.

Another high-scoring wine, and potential for 100 points, to enter the market today was Pomerol’s Château L’Évangile which was being offered at €135 per bottle ex-Bordeaux. A case of 12 x 75cl bottles is being offered at £1,752, a decrease of 22,1% from 2018, according to Liv-ex.

Anson awarded the wine 99 points writing in the tasting note: ‘Have I tasted a better l’Évangile? Certainly not at this stage, and one of the very few wines in 2019 that I can say without question approaches a perfect score.’

‘I don’t give 100s at En Primeur but this is off the scale delicious, and I already can’t wait to taste it in bottle.’

Regarding L’Evangile 2019 Berry Bros. & Rudd said ‘Priced alongside the 2015 vintage but below the past three releases, the increasing status of this estate makes the release price an attractive one.’


Coming soon: Jane Anson’s full scores and report on the Bordeaux 2019 vintage.


Published 04/06/2020. Written by Chris Mercer.

Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases today (4 June) include: 

  • Domaine de Chevalier 2019 red, rated 95 points by Jane Anson, at €39.6 per bottle ex-Bordeaux and down by 25% on the 2018 release price.
  • Lafleur 2019, rated 99 points by Anson, was being offered at the equivalent of £5,800 per 12-bottle case in bond.
  • Château Batailley 2019, rated 94 points by Anson, was on sale at Berry Bros & Rudd and Justerini & Brooks for £168 per six bottles in bond.

A series of Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases have punctuated this week, starting with Palmer and then Cos d’Estournel and followed-up with a flurry of launches, including Guiraud in Sauternes, Lafleur in Pomerol, Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Léognan and Batailley in Pauillac.

There has been an early trend for release prices to drop by between 20% and 30% versus the ex-Bordeaux release price of the 2018 vintage a year ago, in euros.

Rather than a statement on vintage quality, this appears to be recognition of the uncertain economic climate, from 25% US tariffs to the widespread impact of the coronavirus crisis.

However, every estate’s release strategy depends on several factors, including the availability of back-vintages on the market or relative success in a particular year.

Lafleur 2019 was released by UK merchants today at the equivalent of £5,800 per 12-bottle case, which is equal to the 2018 release price, according to Liv-ex.

Decanter’s Jane Anson said that Lafleur 2019 has the potential to get a perfect 100-point score.

She rated the en primeur sample at 99 points. ‘I don’t give 100 during en primeur, but this is as close as it gets, and is a reflection of just how impressively the Pomerol plateau has performed in the 2019 vintage,’ she said, adding that she also gave 93 points to ‘Les Pensées de Lafleur’ 2019, also released today along with the wider portfolio.

Only small quantities of Lafleur are produced from estate’s 4.58-hectare vineyard, and UK merchant Justerini & Brooks was selling three-bottle cases of the Lafleur 2019 on a ‘strict allocation only’ basis.

Lafleur has seen prices rise steeply following the release of some recent vintages, as noted in an article in Decanter magazine’s 2020 Bordeaux Guide.

While the 2019 price does not represent a discount on last year’s release, analysis group Wine Lister said today, ‘The 2019 comes onto the market well below current prices of the last four vintages.’

Domaine de Chevalier 2019 red was also released today, down by 25% on the 2018 ex-Bordeaux release price.

UK merchants were offering the 2019 wine at £495 per 12-bottle case in bond.

‘A lovely Chevalier,’ said Anson, who said it was ‘similar in style to warm, well-built years like 2000’, although it lacked the power of the 2016 vintage. She gave it 95 points.

Despite the price cut, and the popularity of recent Domaine de Chevalier vintages, some analysts expressed caution. ‘There are many vintages of Domaine Chevalier rouge below the price of the newest release,’ said Liv-ex.

The wine is cheaper than the 2018 or 2016 vintages, but was around level with 2015, which has also been highly praised, said analysis by Wine Lister.

Domaine de Chevalier’s 2019 white wine, rated 93 points by Anson, was released at €57.6 per bottle ex-Bordeaux. Liv-ex said it was down by nearly 18% on the 2018 release.

Château Batailley 2019 also made a debut this morning. Several UK merchants had not released offers at the time of writing, but Berry Bros & Rudd and Justerini & Brooks were selling six bottles for £168 in bond. Anson gave the wine 94 points.

Château de Fieuzal 2019 has also been released, at €21.6 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, which represents a 28% price drop versus 2018, according to Liv-ex.


See also: 

3rd June 2020: Château Cos d’Estournel released en primeur

2nd June 2020: Château Palmer 2019 released, rated 98 points by Jane Anson


Pontet-Canet 2019 released to begin en primeur campaign

Published 28/05/2020. Written by Georgie Hindle. 

The Pauillac fifth growth has effectively fired the starting gun on this year’s Bordeaux en primeur campaign after releasing its 2019 wine today (28 May).

Château Pontet-Canet 2019 was released at £61 / €58 a bottle ex-Bordeaux this morning (28 May), a 31% drop versus the 2018 release.

Liv-ex data showed that it is one of the lowest priced vintages of Pontet-Canet on the market, and the lowest ex-Bordeaux release price since 2008. The 2019 barrel sample received a score of 96 points from Decanter’s Jane Anson.

A case of six bottles of Pontet-Canet 2019 is being sold by several UK merchants for £366 / €408 and a case of three magnums £370 / €413, although it has been offered via email for as low as £345 per six-bottle case.

Analyst group Wine Lister said in a note this morning, ‘This is in the region of what the trade has been calling for in the context of the current global crisis, and so should be well-received.’ However, it also pointed out that the 2015 vintage was available in-bottle for ‘just a fraction more’.

Pontet-Canet is known for offering its wine early in the campaign, but its move this week has effectively kick-started the season for Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases – which has faced disruption due to the coronavirus crisis.

In an email to Decanter.com, Pontet-Canet co-owner Justine Tesseron said, ‘Our 2019 is definitely one of our best vintages. We released this morning with a very good price to make people happy in this crazy world. It’s [been] a real success.’

The release comes ahead of the general publishing of critics’ scores; some critics have received samples in the post, but many have been unable to taste directly due to widespread travel restrictions.

Bordeaux-based Jane Anson visited the estate last week to taste the 2019 vintage.

Alongside her 96-point rating, she said the wine has a ‘clear Pauillac character in terms of its tannic structure, overlaid with the Pontet signature of recent vintages that translates into spirals of peony and iris alongside brambled hedgerow’.

She continued, ‘As it settles, coffee bean and tobacco adds a charred character alongside blackberry and cassis puree. It opens extremely slowly, with so many subtle nuances that gather in confidence.’

Anson also noted that the use of amphorae made the tannins feel ‘less silky than they do in many of the appellation’s biggest wines, but still with swagger’.

She added, ‘This score is two points under the 2016, because it doesn’t have the concentration of that exceptional vintage, but it’s an excellent Pontet, full of vigour.’

Read the full Château Pontet-Canet 2019 tasting note here.


See also: 

Pontet Canet director Jean-Michel Comme to leave


Coming soon: Jane Anson’s full Bordeaux 2019 tasting report and scores


The post Bordeaux 2019 en primeur: Lafite, Duhart-Milon and L’Évangile enter release market appeared first on Decanter.

Source: Georgina Hindle