The Wine Advocate and Liv-ex Member Survey ranks top Bordeaux 2018 wines

The Wine Advocate’s Bordeaux expert, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, is the second international critic of note, following James Suckling’s critique earlier in the month, to publish their analysis of the 2018 En Primeurs. In a report entitled “Extreme Vintage” she gives reference to the two-toned climatic nature of the year and the challenges presented to the region’s wine-growers.

In line with other critical views, she observes that there are a number of great wines but the vintage itself lacks the consistency of the superlative 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2016. Her top wines are set out in the table below but notably she points to a “rich and decadent” Ausone, a “powerful Latour … absolutely stacked with taut muscular cassis and savoury layers” and the Lafite 2018 sets a “benchmark” for the vintage.

Wine Advocate (LPB) Bordeaux 2018 top-scoring wines:

Bordeaux 2018 En Primeur wine: LPB score:
Ausone 98 – 100
Lafite Rothschild 98 – 100
La Mission Haut Brion 98 – 100
Latour 98 – 100
Leoville Las Cases 98 – 100
Petrus 98 – 100
Angelus 97 – 100
Cos d’Estournel 97 – 100
Lafleur 97 – 100
Margaux 97 – 100
Pavie 97 – 100
Vieux Chateau Certan 97 – 100

Source: Liv-ex.com / The Wine Advocate

Liv-ex also published the findings of its Member Survey of the Liv-ex 2018 En Priemurs this week which provides an indicator of the trade’s view. Overall the merchants opine that the vintage is not as “homogenous as press reports suggested”, some are concerned about alcohol levels, but many agreed that “it was a vintage where the best winemaking skills shone”. As usual, great emphasis was put on pricing and Members were asked to give a view on their expectations for the vintage release strategy. The survey found that the trade expects the 2018 wines to be released on average 15.61% higher than the 2017 release prices, but 4.86% lower than the 2016s. The key findings of the survey are:

  • Lafite Rothschild is the ‘trade’ voted wine of the vintage
  • The average vintage score overall is 95.5 – a touch lower than 2016’s 95.9 rating
  • 69% of merchants surveyed stated that they expect higher demand for 2018 wines than 2017, but this would be dependent on price

The Liv-ex Members top ten Bordeaux 2018 En Primeur wines were voted as:

1 Lafite Rothschild
2 Cheval Blanc
3 Vieux Chateau Certan
4 Petrus
5 Lafleur
6 Mouton Rothschild
7 Pichon Lalande
8 Calon Segur
9 Margaux
10 Ausone
  Haut Brion

Source: Liv-ex.com

Antonio Galloni’s scores on the vintage are due out this week and we will have to wait until later in the year for Neal Martin’s opinion. In the meantime the first release prices are giving mixed messages on the overall pricing strategy. We commented last week on Angelus’ brave decision to be the first off the blocks at a discount of 8.9% on its 2017 release price. Other early releases fail to provide clarity on an overall Bordelaises’ pricing strategy and none of the other investment-grade wines have issued their release price yet. The 2018 vintage will be particularly price sensitive as a result of Brexit and influences outside of Bordeaux’s control.

We will continue to monitor the market and advise our clients on any wines we believe present a sound investment opportunity. To register your interest in receiving information on 2018 En Primeur wines please call us on 0203 384 2262.