And a very fine Angludet
Bordeaux en primeur campaigns often get off to a faltering start, then gather momentum as they go. But with the shadow of COVID-19 falling across the globe, the launch of the 2019 campaign seems even more uncertain than usual. My most selfish regret of the start of the epidemic was missing our trip to Bordeaux to taste the vintage en primeur. There has been much speculation about how and when the 2019 en primeur campaign will be able to unfold, but what now looks most likely is that most of the wines will be offered next month. The Bordelais won't be coming to see us, and we won't be going to see them, but we'll be having a wide range of samples couriered to us.
So how was Bordeaux 2019? Overall, the vintage is a resounding success. A hot spell in February kicked things off early; then it turned cold and damp again, slowing everything back down. A slow growing season often characterises the greatest vintages, with the grapes having more time to develop phenolic ripeness and flavour complexity. April was very cold; chateau owners spent nail-biting nights on frost watch. It wasn't till the very end of June that the weather turned and the heat wave arrived. A few fortuitous rain showers alleviated potential water stress, and the region turned in a very fine harvest. The vintage is characterised by great fruit concentration, firm, fine tannins, and a little more freshness than in 2018.
Angludet is the chateau that usually kicks off our Bordeaux en primeur campaign, and this year is no exception. It's a real success; with firm but silky tannins, fine acidity, cassis, mint, graphite and a certain stony minerality sitting in the background, this is a great Angludet. For the first time ever here the aging regime will combine barrel and amphorae, the aim being to improve purity of fruit, elegance and structure. /NT
Offered subject to confirmation; for shipment 2022