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2018 Bordeaux - En Primeur
A quartet of very good value and high scoring Châteaux, Left Bank v Right Bank
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Dear <<First Name>>,

Whist there is a pause in proceedings from Bordeaux today, we continue our 2018 Bordeaux EP offers with yet another quartet of top quality wines scoring well, including Chateau Sociando-Mallet and Chateau La Vieille Cure offering what has to be some of the best value of the campaign.

It is rather fitting that Château Sociando-Mallet is offering their 50th vintage which is probably one of their best ever showings and the Gautreau family is commemorating this fine achievement with a special label. Every supplied critical review predicted a score of 92+ pts for the 2018 vintage.

Château Langoa Barton is a 3rd Growth from the stable of excellent St-Julien wines, including the legendary Chateau Leoville-Barton.

Château Faugeres is another Saint-Emilion Grand Cru with one of the finest terroirs in the appellation and is also a UNESCO world heritage site, offering excellent value!
 

Château La Vieille Cure is a wine that most will not have come across from Fronsac, a small appellation North-West of St-Emilion on the right bank and as a result offers tremendous value.
The Bordeaux 2018 En Primeur begins ... Quickly !

The 2018 vintage will be a mixed bag with a very good spread of excellent wines but as always, only time will truly tell.

The weather for some vintners played a crucial part as April came around, with some experiencing hail in amongst the heavy rains and the potential after affects of mildew was not welcome. The summer was long and warm helping with well formed concentrated berries and healthy yields.

There are a plethora of excellent wines from the right bank, particularly from 
Saint-Émilion and Pomerol.
On the Left bank great wines can be found in most of the appellations, however, St Estephe and Paulliac in particular appear to have made the most consistent and best wines. Our advice would be to carefully select wines that will be predominately for drinking and not necessarily for investment.


A few critics (James Suckling, James Molesworth and Jane Anson) have been quick to analyse and produce some interesting initial reports, perhaps not always agreeing on the levels of quality! For the first time in many years Neal Martin (now at Vinous Media) will not be reviewing Bordeaux EP until later in the year.

Chateau Angelus (JS - 99/100 pts) was very quick off the blocks to become the 1st top flight wine to hit the inboxes last week, opening at £255 per bottle which is down on last year and broadly the same as 2015. This gives a good indication of the pricing levels we can expect in the coming weeks.
James Suckling
"
2018 is an exceptional year for Bordeaux wines... and can be compared in quality to recent excellent years such as 2016 and 2015. I think it could turn out to be an all-time great, similar to 2010, 2009 and 1989 or even such classics as 1982 or 1959."

Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Medoc)

Jean Gautreau discovered Sociando-Mallet in the village of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne in 1969 when looking for a wine estate to buy on behalf of a Belgian client. It was love at first sight, despite the fact that the property was in a sorry state. However, the terroir was excellent and the domain afforded a magnificent view overlooking the Gironde Estuary. With help and advice from Gérard Cler, a previous employee at the château, Jean Gautreau made an acceptable first vintage and a superb second one. He was helped by the fact that Sociando-Mallet's extraordinary terroir, consisting of Günz gravel with clay subsoil, is propitious to growing excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and producing wines with wonderful freshness. Jean Gautreau expanded the vineyard year after year by buying vines from his neighbours. Seeking the best possible quality, he also renovated the estate’s buildings, built a barrel cellar, and gradually improved the choice of grape varieties, matching the appropriate ones to each vineyard plot. Today, the property is comprised of 83 hectares producing nearly 450,000 bottles a year of Château Sociando-Mallet and the second wine, Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet. Jean Gautreau sold his négociant business in 2000 and now focuses entirely on managing his wine estate.



 

2018 Château Sociando-Mallet

66% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc

Château Sociando-Mallet produces full-bodied wines with a deep, dark colour. Their complex bouquet is usually dominated by black fruit aromas with a touch of minerality and well-integrated, elegant oak. Often somewhat "virile" when young, the wines gain in balance and complexity with age. They are fresh, straightforward, and have a wonderful length.
Château Sociando-Mallet has always been a wine with great ageing potential. A wine to be enjoyed even after 30 years in great vintages.

 

£150.00 per 6 x 750ml (IB)

(Decanter 94 pts and James Suckling 94-95 pts)

"A beautiful rich damson colour, this is powerful, intense, classic Sociando - and for me it's even better than the 2016. It has good tannins, and lots of them, with a core of plum, damson and cassis with a side of fresh herbs, liquorice and subtle spice. It shows great persistency. A wine to look out for." (Dec)

2018 Château Langoa Barton (3rd Growth St-Julien)

63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc

At the time of the 1855 classification Langoa Barton, 3rd Grand Cru in Saint-Julien, were already owned by the Barton family. They share with only Mouton-Rothschild’s owners, the privilege of a long family continuity.
The 17 hectares of Langoa, planted in gravelly soil with a clay sub-soil, include large proportions of old vines in order to obtain the best possible quality. The grape varieties for Langoa Barton’s terroir is shared as follows 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc.
The wines are typical of the Saint-Julien area, well balanced wines with subtle bouquets and flavours; the emphasis being on elegance and finesse rather than on power and extraction.

 

£216.00 per 6 x 750ml (IB)

(Wine Spectator 93-96 pts and Wine Advocate 92-94 pts)

"The deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Langoa Barton is slightly shy at this nascent stage, revealing wonderfully pure, warm red and black currant scents with nuances of blueberry preserves, chocolate mint, smoked meat and a waft of bouquet garni. Full-bodied, rich and sporting a lot of vibrant, juicy fruit in the mouth, it has firm, rounded tannins and a lively backbone lifting the fruit to a good, long finish." (WA)

2018 Château Faugeres (St-Emilion)

85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon

Château Faugères occupies 37 hectares of homogeneous land which encompasses some of the finest terroirs in Saint-Emilion. The vines are situated on a limestone plateau of asteria limestone subsoil, dating back to the lower Oligocene, and clay and limestone slopes facing south-southeast in a circular formation, with limestone soil on clay and limestone molasse from the upper Eocene and Oligocene. 
This terroir is cultivated by means of natural sustainable viticulture, involving integrated cultivation and meticulous care on the part of the proprietors. The monumental winery designed by Mario Botta is situated at the top of the plateau overlooking Château Faugères, built in the 18th-century chartreuse style. It is a harmonious addition to the countryside, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

£157.00 per 6 x 750ml (IB)

(James Suckling 95-96 pts and Wine Advocate 91-93 pts)

"The 2018 Faugères, which was harvested beginning September 25, is composed of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple colored, it slips sensuously from the glass with notions of blackberry compote, wild blueberries and redcurrant jelly with hints of cardamom, cigar box and dusty soil plus a waft of star anise. Full-bodied and built like a brick house, it has a firm backbone of rounded tannins with bold freshness and loads of black fruit preserves layers, finishing long and spicy." (WA)

2018 Château La Vieille Cure (Fronsac)

87% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc & 3% Cabernet Sauvignon

A plateau of limestone; bordering slopes with chalk and clay soils.
The wines produced at Château la Vieille Cure are, by tradition, fine wines for conoisseurs and for aging. While some vintages benefit from waiting 10 or more years, most are best appreciated between 4 and 6 years. With a perfect balance of fruit, aromas and tannins, they are ideal accompaniments to a meal, including spiced and spicy dishes, but can be enjoyed at any time.

£105.00 per 6 x 750ml (IB)

(Wine Advocate 92-94 pts and Decanter 94 pts)

"This is intense with tons of tar and cloves against the well-defined cassis fruits and lovely vibrant violet edging. The silky texture and legs indicate generous alcohol, but this is balanced, if on the larger side. It takes its time in the glass, at first a little overpowering, but it settles into itself and has been well handled offering good ageing potential. There were new owners as of harvest 2018, as French entrepreneur Jérôme Pignard took over from American co-owners; the Gant, Ferenbach and Sachs families." (Dec)

All prices are 'In Bond' and exclude, duty, VAT & delivery and subject to availabilty and confirmation
The wines above are subject to strict allocation on a first come first serve basis, confirmation and remaining unsold.
Different formats are available for most wines (375ml to 15L) at an additional cost.
Delivery is expected to commence in spring 2021.
 +44 207 536 2359
 wines@finewinesforall.com
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