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I have just returned from three days enjoying a deep wallow in the finest wines of one of the best Bordeaux vintages I have ever tasted.  

This year the Southwold Group put 2019 under the microscope.  Having blind-tasted about 280 of the top wines, I am confident that 2019 pips 2016 to the top spot – these are the greatest young red Bordeaux I have tasted in my career.

The foundation of 2019’s greatness, in my opinion, is that the average bar of quality is so high.  Everyone has stepped it up a couple of notches.  From modest Cru Bourgeois to the most famous 1st growth properties there are some extraordinarily special wines.

A full report will follow, and will be posted to our Journal.  In the meantime, hot from the tasting bench, here’s a trio of the vintage’s superstars offered from our stock:

  • With 98/100, Montrose was my joint winner of the tasting; equal 1st with Le Pin (but slightly less expensive).
  • Along with Montrose, Lynch Bages was one of the top-performing Medoc winesoutside of the 1st growths.  Unmistakeable for its purity of Cabernet and piling tannins, I rated this 95/100.
  • VCC was absolutely beautiful.  97/100 for me and #2 only to Le Pin on the right bank – coming in ahead of Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Petrus, etc.

These cases are immediately available from our LCB account.  Please let me know if you’d like to grab a few whilst stocks remain.  If you’re flabbergasted by this year’s Burgundy offers, Bordeaux is now offering pretty compelling value!

Please note that the Vinous reviews quoted below are not from this week’s tasting although Neal Martin should publish his scores in due course and there will also be reports from Jancis Robinson MW and Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (The Wine Independent).

Chateau Lynch Bages 2019
25 cases (1×6) OWC available @ £580 per case IB
Deep colour.  Very succulent, juicy fruit on nose.  Black and glossy with classic Pauillac notes of blackcurrant, cassis and spice.  Polished and taut on the palate, powerfully-structured with a mineral aspect to the firm and chalky tannin.
95/100 – Matthew Hemming MWThe 2019 Lynch Bages is every bit as magnificent from bottle as it was from barrel, if not moreso. What a wine! Towering and vertical in its bearing, the 2019 is a total stunner. There is plenty of Lynch Bages charm, but what distinguishes the 2019 most is its spine of tannin and energy. Time in the glass brings out sweet red cherry, plum, blood orange and pomegranate and mint. The 2019 is a great, great, great Lynch Bages. It reminds me of the epic 1989, but with the youthful grip of this vintage. A towering Pauillac, the 2019 Lynch Bages will make a great addition to any cellar.
99/100 – Antonio Galloni / vinous.comChateau Montrose 2019
10 cases (1×6) OWC available @ £780 per case IB
Explodes on the palate.  Just phenomenol acceleration and thrust.  Driving, mineral tannins and layers of sleek fruit.  Huge structure but in pitch-perfect balance.  Totally stunning.
98/100 – Matthew Hemming MW
The 2019 Montrose is very clearly one of the wines of the vintage. Rich, inky and towering in concentration, the 2019 possesses off the charts intensity and tons of structure to back it up. Succulent black cherry, plum, tobacco, gravel and licorice infuse the 2019 with striking depth. The 2019 is not quite as opulent as some recent vintages, and that’s a good thing. Readers will find a regal wine that marries elegance with power. Unforgettable. Tasted two times.
100/100 – Antonio Galloni /

Vieux Chateau Certan 2019
7 cases (1×6) OWC available @ £1,500 per case IB 
Powerful, energetic and intense.  Massive spice and drive here.  Bright, blackberry fruit and has great freshness and vibrancy to its definition.  Vivid, pure and long with a mineral finish.
97/100 – Matthew Hemming MW

The 2019 Vieux Château Certan is even better from bottle than it was from barrel. It is very clearly one of the highlights on the Right Bank. Soaring aromatics are immediately captivating. There is an exoticism in the 2019 that I saw from barrel that is evident in the bottled wine, but today, I see more balance and harmony. Crème de cassis, licorice, lavender, spice and rose petal blend into a core of red/purplish berry fruit. All the elements are so well balanced. The Grand Vin is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, but the blend also includes one lot of young vine Cabernet Sauvignon that was added for its aromatic presence. That decision paid off in spades, as the 2019 is truly magical.
98+/100 – Antonio Galloni /

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