Here are some of the bottles we’ve welcomed into our fixed-price cellar recently, with a particular focus on the classic regions and the 2018 vintage.
When it comes to Bordeaux, we can’t neglect to mention the timeless classics, and it isn’t only at auction that you have access to the biggest names. Some of the prestigious bottles ready to make their way to your cellar come from châteaux including Angélus, Figeac, Lynch Bages, Léoville Poyferré, les Carmes Haut-Brion, and Lafite Rothschild. Aside from these we have arrivals from Château Sociando-Mallet, an estate that doesn’t fit into a particular classification but comes from what is undoubtedly one of the finest terroirs in the region. This has been stated time and again by top critics, so don’t just take our word for it! Also worth a try are the 4th grand cru classé from Château Branaire Ducru, a fine estate in the Saint-Julien appellation. And if it’s a white you’d like to try, we recommend the Lune d’Argent cuvée from Clos des Lunes in its 2019 vintage, a beautiful dry white crafted in the Sauternes region by the owner of Domaine de Chevalier.
From Burgundy, some of the newer Gevrey-Chambertin vintages come from Domaine Rossignol-Trapet, Domaine Lignier-Michelot, and Domaine des Tilleuls. From the superb Vosne-Romanée appellation, there are the 2019 cuvées crafted by Gros Frère et Soeur. As for the Côte de Beaune, we recommend Domaine Michel Bouzereau & Fils’ range of Meursault, Beaune, and Volnay premier cru, as well as the floral and lively 2016 Beaune premier cru Clos des Mouches from Domaine du Pavillon.
Heading to the Rhône now, we’ve restocked some excellent bottles from Les Vignobles Levet, a beautiful domain in the Côte-Rôtie. You’ll find the 2018 Améthyste cuvée in bottle and magnum size, a harmonious and tannic wine capable of considerable cellaring, as well as the elegant 2019 Condrieu. New vintages are also available from Domaines Graillot (2017 La Guiraude), Duclaux (wonderful bottles from 2018), and Elodie Balme (2019 Champs Libres).
The 2018 vintage
In Bordeaux, the 2018 vintage produced reds marked by a certain strength, with excellent maturity for the Cabernet Sauvignons and a bit of extra character for the Médoc grands crus. In Burgundy, this was a good vintage on the whole. Its reds are quite powerful and heavy on the tannins due to the heat, with plenty of top signatures ripe for cellaring (especially the grands crus). The Chardonnays are a little less taut than in other years, more balanced in the case of Mâcon and Chablis. The Rhône Valley’s northern cuvées are more than satisfactory, both in terms of quality and quantity, with nicely matured cellaring reds. The south of the region had issues with mildew in 2018, but the reds are nonetheless very pleasant, with a fruity character that makes them good to drink young.
This was a high-quality vintage for the Alsace region, especially for the Pinot Gris grapes and the domains that avoided diluting their produce with a large harvest. Like many naturally ‘cooler’ regions, the Jura and the Savoie produced some lovely wines in 2018, particularly in red. The whites can sometimes lack a bit of acidity. In the Loire, the 2018 vintage varied as much as the region is vast. Some of the reds are very southern in style with dark juice and full body, whilst those of Saumur and Saumur-Champigny have retained more freshness. The whites are very well made overall.