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2018 Bordeaux - En Primeur
A trio of very good value and decent scoring Châteaux, all from the Left Bank
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Dear <<First Name>>,

After a long weekend celebrating the May Day Bank holiday here in the UK, there were numerous offers to wade through as the En Primeur campaign gathers pace. Here we have a trio of wines that appear to typify this vintage and at respectable prices.

Château Ormes de Pez is from the illustrious Jean-Michel Cazes winemaking team and owner of Lynch-Bages. Whilst not sharing the same hallowed terroir it is a consistently well made wine for a fraction of the price.

Château Siran is a stella wine from Margaux and revered for its silkiness and finesse, rather than raw power.
 

Château Cantemerle is personal favourite classified 5th growth wine that rewards after a few years in the cellar, offering 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, 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 Ormes de Pez (Saint-Estèphe)

Although Lynch-Bages is without a doubt the flagship of the Domaines Jean-Michel Cazes, it was not the first domaine to belong to the Cazes family. This title goes to Ormes de Pez which was purchased by Jean-Charles Cazes in the wake of the Second World War. 
As with the renovation of Bages village in Pauillac, near to Cordeillan-Bages, the Cazes family have developed their sense of welcome by transforming this elegant residence into a charming guest house. At the time of the French Revolution, the current property was called the Domaine de Pez (meaning ''peace'' in the local dialect). As for the elms (''ormes'') that have appeared on the bottle labels since 2003, they grew on the grounds of the domaine until this mythical variety of tree ceased to grow in Europe in the 1950's. The Cazes family From the XIX century onwards, the château had numerous owners (Southard and Pieck, Berthé, Carrère, Alibert, Meiners and Allemand, Eschenauer, Johnson, Miaihle), before becoming a part of the Cazes family. In around 1880, Marie Cazes married Jean Guillou, the Ormes de Pez Cellar Master. He was sadly killed at the very beginning of the Great War and so Marie, a woman of great character, subsequently took over the business. Her brother Jean-Charles Cazes purchased Ormes de Pez in 1940. Jean-Michel Cazes later redeveloped and modernised the traditional XVIII century buildings in the early 80's.



 

2018 Château Ormes de Pez

50% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot

The wines from Ormes de Pez are powerful yet characterised by their harmonious structure. They are indulgent, pleasurable and combine a smooth, fleshy texture with the distinctive elegance of a Saint-Estèphe.
Made using the traditional grape varieties, these wines are rich, full-bodied and generous. They are made of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and complemented by a significant amount of Merlot for a combination of longevity and smoothness. The resulting wines are rich and fruity with a rather imposing tannic backbone. They are seductive in their youth and develop their finesse after a few years of bottle age.

 

£129.00 per 6 x 750ml (IB)

(Decanter 93 pts, Wine Spectator 90-93 pts and James Suckling 93-94 pts)

"This has the luxurious kick of the Lynch Bages stable and is brilliant value for this level of quality. It seems to manage this every vintage and is just such a brilliant drinking wine. 2018 is another excellent year here, with deep fruitfulness of brambled hedgerow alongside liquorice and woodsmoke. It has a polyphenol index of 84IPT, so this is full of tannins but they don't feel overpowering. Tasted several times and always striking. " (Dec)

2018 Château Siran (Haut-Medoc)

45% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc

Produced from soils made up of a deep layer of gravel, the wines of Siran are typical of the great Margaux growths. Both powerful and delicate, they express the perfect balance between tannin, fruit and acidity.
They are long-ageing wines, which over time develop sweetness on the palate, giving a characteristic silky and velvety mouth-feel.
Made from a subtle blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, Château Siran generally expresses finesse, femininity and silkiness rather than the raw power and virility of some Médoc wines. The high percentage of Petit Verdot, which can be as much as 15% of the final blend in some years, brings a spicy finish which enhances the unique character of the wines of Château Siran.
Château Siran displays charm when young but is also a wine of very long ageing potential. Wine enthusiasts particularly appreciate the complexity of its aromas that it develops over time.

 

£123.00 per 6 x 750ml (IB)

(Decanter 93 pts, Wine Spectator 92-95 pts and Wine Enthusiast 93-95 pts)

"Another impressive Margaux in this vintage. It's a big wine with real structure and ageing ability, but it isn't too tight and is not too obviously pushing its agenda. This is a lovely Siran packed full of tannins, fruit and acidity - the triumvirate. It has excellent mouthfilling blackberry and pepper notes, with a pretty high kick of acidity on the finish, marked by its Petit Verdot. Harvest ran from 20 September to 13 October, with a yield of 45hl/ha. It is planned to age the 2018 in 35% new oak for 12 months." (Decanter)




2018 Château Cantemerle (5th Growth)

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

Cantemerle's vineyard is situated on fine and deep gravel in the Macau and Ludon villages of the Haut-Médoc appellation. A rich variety of factors produce complex, balanced, and refined wines which reflect the exceptional nature of Cantemerle's terroir.
Cantemerle soil is a mixture of silica and gravel. The gravels, which appeared as a result of thousand-year-old erosion of the Pyrenees by the river Garonne, form one of the fundamental elements of a quality vineyard.
Average age of vines : 30 years

 

£123.00 per 6 x 750ml (IB)

(Decanter 92 pts, James Suckling 94-95 pts and Wine Enthusiast 92-94 pts)

 

"There's an enjoyable texture and plush fruit in this elegant, well balanced wine. It has precise aromatics of black pepper, liquorice and freshly cut herbs. It's good but a touch more restrained than most of its peers. 33hl/ha. Aged in 40% new oak. 6% Petit Verdot makes up the blend." (Decanter)

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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