2018 Bordeaux.

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Howard Cooper
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#51 Post by Howard Cooper » March 30th, 2019, 12:45 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 8:50 am
2018 has not yet been designated a VOTC yet, and I am not sure it will be. If one bank is felt to be weaker than the other, it won’t be. If there are too many underperforming wines it won’t be. Jury is still out.

Also it is only fair to go back to 2000, and then you have a fairer picture. Nobody would accuse 201-2004 to be VOTCs, so that brings down the percentage.
I think I have read people calling 2003 a vintage of the century. Don't agree, but I also would not agree on 2009 and 2010, at least.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#52 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 30th, 2019, 1:03 pm

We should have a poll on what vintage from 2000 forward is considered by the majority of Berserkers to be best.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#53 Post by Neal.Mollen » March 30th, 2019, 1:29 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 12:45 pm
Mark Golodetz wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 8:50 am
2018 has not yet been designated a VOTC yet, and I am not sure it will be. If one bank is felt to be weaker than the other, it won’t be. If there are too many underperforming wines it won’t be. Jury is still out.

Also it is only fair to go back to 2000, and then you have a fairer picture. Nobody would accuse 201-2004 to be VOTCs, so that brings down the percentage.
I think I have read people calling 2003 a vintage of the century. Don't agree, but I also would not agree on 2009 and 2010, at least.
I doubt very seriously anyone (anyone of any account that is) has ever called 2003 a vintage of the century except for those who like to make fun of the bordelais by saying (without evidence) that they call every year the vintage of the century. It seems to be a favorite parlor game of people who don't much care for bdx wines
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#54 Post by David Glasser » March 30th, 2019, 2:00 pm

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 12:00 pm
what do you mean when you say a new standard for Bordeaux?
2018 is more than any year before it.
One more than 2017.
Eighteen more than 2000.
Fifty-seven more than 1961.
A new standard.

Kidding aside, the century is young yet.
And there are differences in what characteristics people prefer.
I like Alfert's idea of a poll. Will go set one up...

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#55 Post by Jeff Leve » March 30th, 2019, 4:34 pm

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 12:00 pm
Jeff,

what do you mean when you say a new standard for Bordeaux?

Can a Bordeaux wine be better than a pristine 1961 Latour on the Left Bank and a pristine 1982 Lafleur on the Right Bank? .
Yes, the wines are better today. You might not agree and a few others here don’t see it that way. But the changes taking place in the vineyards and the cellars are for the better. You can taste and feel it in the wines.

As for 61 or 82 being the pinnacle, it was in its day. But it’s not the case today. Changes and improvements have taken place throughout history. 61 is better than 29. 82 was above 61. 00 topped 82. 09/10 took a step forward and it is clearly taking place in Bordeaux with 2018 and all over the world.

There are numerous reasons for this. Essentially it’s called progress which comes from knowledge and experience.

Keep in mind, this is all Bordeaux on a global basis. Some wines have their ups and downs, and for long periods of time, but overall, is my point.

It’s heading closer to 1am so I’m going to bed. I’ll catch up with the thread tomorrow night.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#56 Post by Mark Y » March 30th, 2019, 5:52 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 4:34 pm
Jürgen Steinke wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 12:00 pm
Jeff,

what do you mean when you say a new standard for Bordeaux?

Can a Bordeaux wine be better than a pristine 1961 Latour on the Left Bank and a pristine 1982 Lafleur on the Right Bank? .
Yes, the wines are better today. You might not agree and a few others here don’t see it that way. But the changes taking place in the vineyards and the cellars are for the better. You can taste and feel it in the wines.

As for 61 or 82 being the pinnacle, it was in its day. But it’s not the case today. Changes and improvements have taken place throughout history. 61 is better than 29. 82 was above 61. 00 topped 82. 09/10 took a step forward and it is clearly taking place in Bordeaux with 2018 and all over the world.

There are numerous reasons for this. Essentially it’s called progress which comes from knowledge and experience.

Keep in mind, this is all Bordeaux on a global basis. Some wines have their ups and downs, and for long periods of time, but overall, is my point.

It’s heading closer to 1am so I’m going to bed. I’ll catch up with the thread tomorrow night.
I agree technology, vineyard practice, vine management etc all are advancing..

i do have to ask.. is Rolland considered improvement? i think he's been a complete disaster for the region. In that case, a 2018 may be far worse than a 2000 for example.. if he started consulting in 2008 let's say.. (making up dates).
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#57 Post by Craig G » March 30th, 2019, 8:04 pm

2008? Rolland has been consulting in Bordeaux since the 70’s. And despite the hand-wringing of the Robert Alferts of the world, he hasn’t ruined it yet.

You can pick out individual wines whose style has changed and it may be for the worse according to a given person’s taste, but the overall influence of the consultants has been pretty positive.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#58 Post by crickey » March 30th, 2019, 8:20 pm

FWIW, James Molesworth from WS went high at the top end; scores look higher than he gave for 2016.

https://www.liv-ex.com/2019/03/bordeaux ... ring-reds/
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#59 Post by NoahR » March 30th, 2019, 8:46 pm

crickey wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 8:20 pm
FWIW, James Molesworth from WS went high at the top end; scores look higher than he gave for 2016.

https://www.liv-ex.com/2019/03/bordeaux ... ring-reds/
No offense to Molesworth, but:

A) suggesting these are “blind tastings” is frankly silly. Single-blind only. He’s not tasting Bordeaux superieur or Lalande-de-Pomerol here. There’s hype, there’s knowing what wines you’re going to be tasting, and there’s expectation. It’s all part of the self-serving Bordelaise machinery.

B) Does Molesworth really sell wines? Hell, does Neal Martin even sell wines, as he seems to be the closest thing to Parker’s heir apparent. Obviously, I think that Suckling’s got enough of a reputation for inflation that no one here trusts him. I know I don’t always agree with Jeff Leve, but I trust his impressions more than anyone else basically.

Critics and the Bordelaise scratch each other’s backs, which annoys a lot of us because it keeps the prices inflated for products that have no scarcity at all. Many critics have come out public ally and suggested a correction in en primeur pricing which hasn’t happened, but as long as they give every classified or name-check wine 95-100 points, who are they kidding? They perpetuate it. Of course, we buy it, so it’s on us.

Or maybe on the Negociants. But I have no clue how much clout they have, how they manage to get rid of 2013 and 2017 and 2007. They certainly don’t get together and demand lower prices from the wineries in any manner that’s effective.

Also, I don’t have the experience that many of you have, but I get that today’s wines are made more consistently, in better conditions and with more knowledge than in the past. But also styles have softened, extractions are different and tannin management is quite more nuanced than it may have been in the past. I agree with Jeff on that to be sure. But does it justify the widespread point inflation of the last 20 years? As someone who speaks nationally on research study design, ceiling effects in an outcome measure are awful to deal with and really make saying anything useful difficult. Having a 100pt scale where most wines sit in the range from 89-98 and the difference between a 98 and a 100 is fairly minimal is the definition of ceiling effect.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#60 Post by Mark Golodetz » March 30th, 2019, 9:29 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 4:34 pm
Jürgen Steinke wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 12:00 pm
Jeff,

what do you mean when you say a new standard for Bordeaux?

Can a Bordeaux wine be better than a pristine 1961 Latour on the Left Bank and a pristine 1982 Lafleur on the Right Bank? .
Yes, the wines are better today. You might not agree and a few others here don’t see it that way. But the changes taking place in the vineyards and the cellars are for the better. You can taste and feel it in the wines.

As for 61 or 82 being the pinnacle, it was in its day. But it’s not the case today. Changes and improvements have taken place throughout history. 61 is better than 29. 82 was above 61. 00 topped 82. 09/10 took a step forward and it is clearly taking place in Bordeaux with 2018 and all over the world.

There are numerous reasons for this. Essentially it’s called progress which comes from knowledge and experience.

Keep in mind, this is all Bordeaux on a global basis. Some wines have their ups and downs, and for long periods of time, but overall, is my point.

It’s heading closer to 1am so I’m going to bed. I’ll catch up with the thread tomorrow night.
While I will concede that there were many poor wines made in the past, I am always a little surprised when I open a 1961, from even the most humble such as Potensac, Chasse Spleen etc, that the quality is so high. Few disappointments and then, they tend to be more storage related than wine related.

Winemaking obviously has to deal with current challenges, and the current challenges today are all about dealing with the effects of global warming. A nineteenth century First Growth averaged around 10% alcohol and was routinely chaptalized to 12-13%. Now the problem is getting the grapes ripe and keeping alcohol levels down. My arbitrary number before wines lose typicity is somewhere between 14 and 15%, but even below that figure, the wines being made today are very different to those made in those great vintages 1945 and 1961. Jeff likes these today’s wines more than those of yesteryear, I prefer those great vintages and would drink them any time over today’s bigger wines.

Lots of generalizations here, for which I apologize, but I think the overall gist is correct.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#61 Post by Julian Marshall » March 31st, 2019, 1:10 am

I suppose it depends on one's concept of progress. Winemaking technique has certainly improved, but whether or not that has resulted in better wines is subjective. At lower levels, I think it certainly has, as shown by the increase of quality of Crus Bourgeois in general, but I'm not so sure about the top tier or even about the top Crus Bourgeois. As for St.Emilion...well, each to their own, but to say they have all improved is really very subjective. As you say, Mark, more than any other region in France, Bordeaux is on a learning curve, having to cope with climate change at the same time as digesting all the new ideas. So they have to decide when less (oak, maturity, concentration, extraction, etc) can actually produce better wines. I would agree that tannins are probably better managed now than in the past, but that's not the only factor in making a great wine.

Cooler, or "classic" vintages are unquestionably better than before, because they benefit from the new techniques.

But sunnier vintages are now perhaps the more difficult and I certainly miss the effortless sense of balance of older vintages. I had a bottle of Grand-Puy Lacoste 1985 recently which bore this out - not the best ever GPL by any means, but it had that perfect combination of ripe fruit and balance.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#62 Post by Jürgen Steinke » March 31st, 2019, 3:00 am

Jeff,

as you may know I supported and support the idea that we have a wider range of top Bordeaux today because even many Crus Bourgeoise produce Grand Cru quality pretty regularly such as Sociando Mallet, Phelan Segur, Meyney etc. and most of the Chateaux of the 1855 Classification are up to their game. But the 1961 Latour i.e. was and is a benchmark wine. I had it twice from perfect bottles and I don't think 2000, 2009 or 2018 are better or can be better than that wine. Maybe different in style but not better. Therefore I find your statement 2018 being "a new era or testament for Bordeaux" overblown.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#63 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 31st, 2019, 3:24 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 1:10 am
I suppose it depends on one's concept of progress. Winemaking technique has certainly improved, but whether or not that has resulted in better wines is subjective. At lower levels, I think it certainly has, as shown by the increase of quality of Crus Bourgeois in general, but I'm not so sure about the top tier or even about the top Crus Bourgeois. As for St.Emilion...well, each to their own, but to say they have all improved is really very subjective. As you say, Mark, more than any other region in France, Bordeaux is on a learning curve, having to cope with climate change at the same time as digesting all the new ideas. So they have to decide when less (oak, maturity, concentration, extraction, etc) can actually produce better wines. I would agree that tannins are probably better managed now than in the past, but that's not the only factor in making a great wine.

Cooler, or "classic" vintages are unquestionably better than before, because they benefit from the new techniques.

But sunnier vintages are now perhaps the more difficult and I certainly miss the effortless sense of balance of older vintages. I had a bottle of Grand-Puy Lacoste 1985 recently which bore this out - not the best ever GPL by any means, but it had that perfect combination of ripe fruit and balance.
Well said, Julian.

More does not mean better. Bigger does not mean better. More consistent does not mean better. Progress does not mean better. It only means, for now, that Bordeaux has progressed to making bigger, more consistent wine, perhaps. But not unequivocally better wines. Perhaps we learn that in 20-25 years. By then I’m in my 70s so will likely appreciate the higher octane.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#64 Post by Howard Cooper » March 31st, 2019, 4:51 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 1:29 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 12:45 pm
Mark Golodetz wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 8:50 am
2018 has not yet been designated a VOTC yet, and I am not sure it will be. If one bank is felt to be weaker than the other, it won’t be. If there are too many underperforming wines it won’t be. Jury is still out.

Also it is only fair to go back to 2000, and then you have a fairer picture. Nobody would accuse 201-2004 to be VOTCs, so that brings down the percentage.
I think I have read people calling 2003 a vintage of the century. Don't agree, but I also would not agree on 2009 and 2010, at least.
I doubt very seriously anyone (anyone of any account that is) has ever called 2003 a vintage of the century except for those who like to make fun of the bordelais by saying (without evidence) that they call every year the vintage of the century. It seems to be a favorite parlor game of people who don't much care for bdx wines
Well, at least one critic (see if you have heard of him) has a vintage chart rating 2003 the same as 2005 (95 points) in most of the Medoc. https://www.robertparker.com/resources/vintage-chart
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#65 Post by Neal.Mollen » March 31st, 2019, 7:32 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 4:51 am
Neal.Mollen wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 1:29 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 12:45 pm


I think I have read people calling 2003 a vintage of the century. Don't agree, but I also would not agree on 2009 and 2010, at least.
I doubt very seriously anyone (anyone of any account that is) has ever called 2003 a vintage of the century except for those who like to make fun of the bordelais by saying (without evidence) that they call every year the vintage of the century. It seems to be a favorite parlor game of people who don't much care for bdx wines
Well, at least one critic (see if you have heard of him) has a vintage chart rating 2003 the same as 2005 (95 points) in most of the Medoc. https://www.robertparker.com/resources/vintage-chart
In the appellation he liked best, it was bested by one year and equaled by 2 others. So by definition, not the vintage of the century. He gave pomerol an 84, graves and margaux were 88. Does that sound like Vintage of the Century to you? Really?

As I suspect you know, but for some reason don't want to acknowledge, Parker has explicitly said that 2003 was not the (or a) vintage of the century or anything like it. His view was that there were some monumental wines on the left bank but the weather made the vintage wildly inconsistent. There were a lot of defective wines made, so much so that I am surprised that some of the most illustrious producers actually released their wines. He also liked wines like Perse's Pavie, which made for a lot of sport at the time.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#66 Post by Julian Marshall » March 31st, 2019, 8:22 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 3:24 am
Julian Marshall wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 1:10 am
I suppose it depends on one's concept of progress. Winemaking technique has certainly improved, but whether or not that has resulted in better wines is subjective. At lower levels, I think it certainly has, as shown by the increase of quality of Crus Bourgeois in general, but I'm not so sure about the top tier or even about the top Crus Bourgeois. As for St.Emilion...well, each to their own, but to say they have all improved is really very subjective. As you say, Mark, more than any other region in France, Bordeaux is on a learning curve, having to cope with climate change at the same time as digesting all the new ideas. So they have to decide when less (oak, maturity, concentration, extraction, etc) can actually produce better wines. I would agree that tannins are probably better managed now than in the past, but that's not the only factor in making a great wine.

Cooler, or "classic" vintages are unquestionably better than before, because they benefit from the new techniques.

But sunnier vintages are now perhaps the more difficult and I certainly miss the effortless sense of balance of older vintages. I had a bottle of Grand-Puy Lacoste 1985 recently which bore this out - not the best ever GPL by any means, but it had that perfect combination of ripe fruit and balance.
Well said, Julian.

More does not mean better. Bigger does not mean better. More consistent does not mean better. Progress does not mean better. It only means, for now, that Bordeaux has progressed to making bigger, more consistent wine, perhaps. But not unequivocally better wines. Perhaps we learn that in 20-25 years. By then I’m in my 70s so will likely appreciate the higher octane.
Cheers Robert - yes, the higher octane is the difference with before. I've been enjoying the 2010 Crus Bourgeois a lot over the last few years and I'm sure they will improve further, but none of them have given me the same pleasure as the best from 82, 85 or 90, even if they are technically superior. Luckily, there are producers who are going against the grain and looking for more freshness and subtlety. As for St.Emilion...I gave up years ago. I had a L'Arrosée 2004 recently which reminded me why - perfectly drinkable, but full of oak, slightly sweet berry fruit and chocolate flavours - winemaking by numbers. Totally nondescript.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#67 Post by Jürgen Steinke » March 31st, 2019, 9:29 am

It is really funny. About 10 years ago I had an interesting discussion with a very well known Chateaux owner and Bordeaux Oenologue about modern Bordeaux. He said to me that he is quite often confronted with complaints like 70th and 80th Bordeaux had been more interesting and somewhat better than the modern wines. I felt that he didn't understand those claims. Because yields are lower today he explained, old and dirty wood can't be found in the cellars any more, the vineyards are worked with much more care, the fruit selection is better, way more second wines do exist and so forth. At the end he added ironically "maybe we should add some brett, water and faults to the final juice so people remember the good old days of Bordeaux". He really seemed to be frustrated. And I could understand him. People seem to remember some fantastic wines that were produced in the older days but forgot the many horrible and defective ones from mediocre vintages and Chateaux. The Judgement of Paris (Steven Spurrier) brought to light that the image of Bordeaux was not in line with the actual quality.

I was myself part of a tasting panel called Grand Jury Europeen when top Napa Wines were tasted blind versus the best Bordeaux in 2005. Both were from vintage 1995. And again: Most of the tasters preferred the Napa wines such as Shafer Hillside Select, Araujo and others. Latour and La Mission Haut Brion for instance did well too but without getting the high scores the best Napa Wines achieved. I was told that the Paris Tasting had been a shock to the entire Bordeaux community. And after a while many Chateaux and Domains got the message and admitted that they weren't as quality driven as necessary to defend the title as best wine producing country in the world. The US were the new standard. And its somewhat funny. I have the feeling that many US citizens love Bordeaux and Burgundy while people in Europe admire wines like Shafer Hillside and the best Chardonnay and Pinots from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Last but not least: Bordeaux is not homogenous today as often claimed. Some Chateaux favor classic wine making while others tend more to the modern techniques. There is something for everyone. And cooler vintages such as 2008, 2012 and 2014 are an option too.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#68 Post by Jürgen Steinke » April 2nd, 2019, 6:02 am

Here is an update to Napa vs. Bordeaux. All wines vintage 2015. Same price range. 100 wine geeks tasted blind. The result.

1. Platz: 2015 Bulgheroni Lithology Cabernet Sauvignon. Gesamtpunkte: 9439.
2. Platz: 2015 Brand Napa Valley Brio. Gesamtpunkte: 9406.
3. Platz: 2015 Sinegal Estate Winery Estate. Gesamtpunkte: 9404.
4. Platz: 2015 Barbour St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon. Gesamtpunkte: 9383.
5. Platz: 2015 Château Pichon-Baron-Longueville, Pauillac. Gesamtpunkte: 9367.
6. & 7. Platz: 2015 Arkenstone Wines Estate Red Wine. / Kelly Fleming Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Beide Gesamtpunkte: 9345.
8. Platz: 2015 Château Pichon-Comtesse-de-Lalande. Gesamtpunkte: 9332.
9. Platz: 2015 Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac. Gesamtpunkte: 9290.
10. Platz: 2015 Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac. Gesamtpunkte: 9252.
11. Platz: 2015 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac. Gesamtpunkte: 9230.
12. Platz: 2015 Château Clerc-Milon, Pauillac. Gesamtpunkte: 9155.

So beside a few people the majority seem to favor Napa Cabs and this rather powerful wine style. And this with some regularity.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#69 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 2nd, 2019, 6:11 am

Juergen, try this tasting when the 2015 Bordeaux are not closing down and the wines have been cellared for fifteen years. Then I might be impressed, but I would still like to know more about 100 random “wine geeks.”
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#70 Post by David_K » April 2nd, 2019, 6:58 am

Wine-Searcher article today on Bordeaux's "make or break" moment. Is it just me, or do I read this article every year?

https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2019/04 ... eak-moment
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#71 Post by Jürgen Steinke » April 2nd, 2019, 7:24 am

Mark,

is this the usual explanation – too young – when the result is not as expected? At least its an often heard argument. When we had the Judgement of Sauternes (1995 top Napa vs. 1995 top Bordeaux) only very experienced wine drinkers and pro critics were present and the wines had been 10 years old. The result was the same. Napa triumphed.

The tasting in question was organized by René Gabriel (Swiss wine critic) and a Swiss merchant (Phillip Schwander) with people who buy regularly fine wine. So its the wine loving population with some money. The target group for wine producers.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#72 Post by Craig G » April 2nd, 2019, 7:30 am

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 7:24 am
Mark,

is this the usual explanation – too young – when the result is not as expected? At least its an often heard argument. When we had the Judgement of Sauternes (1995 top Napa vs. 1995 top Bordeaux) only very experienced wine drinkers and pro critics were present and the wines had been 10 years old. The result was the same. Napa triumphed.
LOL, was there ever a worse thing to taste than 10 year old 1995 Bordeaux?
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#73 Post by Jürgen Steinke » April 2nd, 2019, 8:03 am

Craig,

do you think the 1995 Bordeaux taste better today? That is not my experience. Latour and La Mission Haut Brion were my highest rated Bordeaux of the tasting (94 and 95 points). Both are known for being long agers. Their quality was obvious anyway. I even thought Latour is Napa.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#74 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 2nd, 2019, 8:20 am

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 7:24 am
Mark,

is this the usual explanation – too young – when the result is not as expected? At least its an often heard argument. When we had the Judgement of Sauternes (1995 top Napa vs. 1995 top Bordeaux) only very experienced wine drinkers and pro critics were present and the wines had been 10 years old. The result was the same. Napa triumphed.

The tasting in question was organized by René Gabriel (Swiss wine critic) and a Swiss merchant (Phillip Schwander) with people who buy regularly fine wine. So its the wine loving population with some money. The target group for wine producers.
This tasting proves almost nothing, and strikes me as a complete waste of time and money. The reason it's the "usual explanation" is quite simply that it happens to be true, Bordeaux shuts down a few months after delivery. So I can't understand the point of the tasting unless there is some hidden commercial agenda.

As for "wine loving population with some money" describes perfectly some people I know, whose palate, shall we say would not have me running off to a store to buy based on their recommendation. Sorry, the tasting however pure the intention, was set up in such a way, that it was always going to have very dubious results.

As for 1995; it is a vintage I never particularly liked. En Primeur, the wines were an improvement on the previous four vintages, which isn't saying much, but I tasted the wines late in barrel in June, and concluded as did the other tasters, an MW, and the then head of the UGC, that it was nothing special. Certainly less interesting than left bank 1996 and right bank 1998.

My feeling generally with a blind tasting is to set it up carefully with appropriate wines, so that the tasting makes sense, rather than leave you scratching your head, as your 2015 one does.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#75 Post by Craig G » April 2nd, 2019, 8:38 am

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 8:03 am
Craig,

do you think the 1995 Bordeaux taste better today? That is not my experience. Latour and La Mission Haut Brion were my highest rated Bordeaux of the tasting (94 and 95 points). Both are known for being long agers. Their quality was obvious anyway. I even thought Latour is Napa.
I haven’t tasted many of the very top wines but in general 1995 has pretty hard tannins. I remember around 2011, Margaux and Ducru were very impressive but seemed many years from maturity. Even some right bank wines like La Conseillante and VCC have seemed atypically firm. For my taste, 10 years is a difficult time to drink Bordeaux from tannic vintages.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#76 Post by Jürgen Steinke » April 2nd, 2019, 8:39 am

Producer do not make wine for you and me but for the most buyers possible. And the majority prefer Napa when tasted blind most of the time. If the wines are younger or older. That is the experience at my own table too. Here on this board are many people who like Burgundy and traditional Bordeaux (me too btw.). But this board is not representative for the wine loving and buying community. We are in the minority.

Not long ago dinner at my house. 6 people present. For the reds we had 1990 Marquis de Terme, 1989 Pichon Lalande and 1997 Beringer. The latter bottle was emptied first and very quick which is a statement. Not that the other wines were shabby.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#77 Post by Howard Cooper » April 2nd, 2019, 8:57 am

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 8:39 am
Producer do not make wine for you and me but for the most buyers possible. And the majority prefer Napa when tasted blind most of the time. If the wines are younger or older. That is the experience at my own table too. Here on this board are many people who like Burgundy and traditional Bordeaux (me too btw.). But this board is not representative for the wine loving and buying community. We are in the minority.

Not long ago dinner at my house. 6 people present. For the reds we had 1990 Marquis de Terme, 1989 Pichon Lalande and 1997 Beringer. The latter bottle was emptied first and very quick which is a statement. Not that the other wines were shabby.
Should I be buying wines made for me or those for the general wine buying public? For example, over the last couple of years, I have been to vertical tastings of Montrose and Leoville Poyferre. I enjoyed the Montrose wines much better. Does it really matter to me if 80% of the people at the tasting liked the Leoville Poyferre better (I have no idea what the others at the tastings thought other than a couple of people).

In fact, I was recently at a Burgundy tasting at my country club and a number of people liked the cheaper wines better. Why, the more expensive wines were too harsh. In other words, they were more closed and tannic. Does this make the cheaper wines better - because the most people possible liked them better?
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#78 Post by NoahR » April 2nd, 2019, 8:58 am

Would love to see a tasting of 1991 Napa vs 1990 Bordeaux. Or 1996 Napa vs 1996 Bordeaux. Those would be fair and eye-opening comparisons.

I think that most of us would drink young Napa over young Bordeaux blind, especially at the higher end of the spectrum. That’s not remarking on taste as much as the sheer unpleasantness and inaccessibility of young Bordeaux in most vintages.

As someone whose palate gets somewhere between obliterated and exterminated by young and tannic wine, the 2015 tasted sounds like my idea of a crappy-and-expensive evening of drinking for science.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#79 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 2nd, 2019, 9:01 am

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 8:39 am
Producer do not make wine for you and me but for the most buyers possible. And the majority prefer Napa when tasted blind most of the time.
The Big Mac theory of winemaking.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#80 Post by Jürgen Steinke » April 2nd, 2019, 12:06 pm

Noah,

most people do not taste and drink for science but for pleasure. That's reality.

Mark,

producing wine is a business. Having a large fan club is beneficial when you try to sell a big number of cases/bottles. Burgundy is different due to a minuscule production.

There is a reason why many Bordeaux Chateaux tend to modern wine making techniques. They want to meet the taste of the majority. And that is high ripeness, higher alc. than 12,5 and toasted oak. 80 to 90% of people would prefer a 1990 Bordeaux to a 1988.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#81 Post by NoahR » April 2nd, 2019, 12:20 pm

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 12:06 pm
Noah,

most people do not taste and drink for science but for pleasure. That's reality.
Well, that’s a glib way of putting it.

Frankly, a tasting of high end 2015 Bordeaux is an unpleasant exercise. Similar to barrel tasting, these wines are not ready to be drunk nor meant to be drunk. Most of them are bought and sold and traded like the blue chips they are for 10-15 years before folks begin to open them. That’s not to say some masochists don’t enjoy this sort of thing, but I certainly don’t think most buyers of 2015 Bordeaux classified growths want to drink it at its most shut down and inaccessible point.

These wines are valued (often based on scores) based on their anticipated ability to age. I’m not sure if post-Parker Napa is the same.

As a buyer of both high end Bordeaux and high end Napa wine, I know that I can open a 2015 Maybach Materium and find it rich, beautiful and compelling right now, full of enough extract to last a good while, but pleasant enough and balanced enough between the rich fruit, oak and grape tannin and alcohol to achieve a balance. I don’t think many of us expect that drinkability from a PLL or LLC or Lynch Bages by any means.

At the same time, I am pretty much assured that 2015 Bordeaux will age well for decades, but I have no clue about post-2000 Napa.

If you drink for pleasure, Jurgen, why would you drink high end 2015 Bordeaux right now? Your tasting sounds like a science experiment to me.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#82 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 2nd, 2019, 1:31 pm

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 12:06 pm
Noah,

most people do not taste and drink for science but for pleasure. That's reality.

Mark,

producing wine is a business. Having a large fan club is beneficial when you try to sell a big number of cases/bottles. Burgundy is different due to a minuscule production.

There is a reason why many Bordeaux Chateaux tend to modern wine making techniques. They want to meet the taste of the majority. And that is high ripeness, higher alc. than 12,5 and toasted oak. 80 to 90% of people would prefer a 1990 Bordeaux to a 1988.

I take issue with the generalization, but if I had 15,000 cases to sell I would make a more friendly wine than if I had 500.

That being said, we were discussing the tasting and whether one can learn anything from tasting a group of Bordeaux still in diapers. Even the most approachable will not show well under those conditions, and I did not think it made any sense doing the tasting and more importantly writing up the results, as if it demonstrated anything worthwhile.

Did any of the “100 wine geeks” say anything? They should have if they knew anything about Bordeaux.

Sorry to keep harping on about it, but I felt from your tone, you felt something was proven that day.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#83 Post by Jürgen Steinke » April 2nd, 2019, 2:08 pm

Sorry Mark,

but you don't know how knowledgable the tasters are. I don't know either because I was not there but I would never go as far as you.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#84 Post by William Gladstone » April 2nd, 2019, 3:36 pm

Mont Stern wrote:
March 28th, 2019, 4:53 pm
Buy Burgundy instead. [winner.gif]
https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/burg ... 47-404473/

We were in Burgundy this fall and whether it rivals 1947 remains to be seen but after a number of difficult vintages there were a lot of happy winemakers that we spoke with. I let their exuberance rub off and bought a barrel in the Hospice de Beaune auction after we came home. [cheers.gif]
that sounds so exciting, which barrell did you purchase? if you do not mind sharing?
and who will be your vigneron?
terribly exciting is it all for your drinking? or sharing with friends?
Just curious... I'm not probing for business..

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#85 Post by Jim F » April 2nd, 2019, 5:19 pm

NoahR wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 12:20 pm
Jürgen Steinke wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 12:06 pm
Noah,

most people do not taste and drink for science but for pleasure. That's reality.
Well, that’s a glib way of putting it.

Frankly, a tasting of high end 2015 Bordeaux is an unpleasant exercise. Similar to barrel tasting, these wines are not ready to be drunk nor meant to be drunk. Most of them are bought and sold and traded like the blue chips they are for 10-15 years before folks begin to open them. That’s not to say some masochists don’t enjoy this sort of thing, but I certainly don’t think most buyers of 2015 Bordeaux classified growths want to drink it at its most shut down and inaccessible point.

These wines are valued (often based on scores) based on their anticipated ability to age. I’m not sure if post-Parker Napa is the same.

As a buyer of both high end Bordeaux and high end Napa wine, I know that I can open a 2015 Maybach Materium and find it rich, beautiful and compelling right now, full of enough extract to last a good while, but pleasant enough and balanced enough between the rich fruit, oak and grape tannin and alcohol to achieve a balance. I don’t think many of us expect that drinkability from a PLL or LLC or Lynch Bages by any means.

At the same time, I am pretty much assured that 2015 Bordeaux will age well for decades, but I have no clue about post-2000 Napa.

If you drink for pleasure, Jurgen, why would you drink high end 2015 Bordeaux right now? Your tasting sounds like a science experiment to me.
Noah, have you tasted the 2015’s? Which ones? My last taste through was the UGC tour a year ago, and it was not unpleasant at all. Now, they could have closed down....hence my question.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#86 Post by NoahR » April 2nd, 2019, 5:31 pm

Jim F wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 5:19 pm
NoahR wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 12:20 pm
Jürgen Steinke wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 12:06 pm
Noah,

most people do not taste and drink for science but for pleasure. That's reality.
Well, that’s a glib way of putting it.

Frankly, a tasting of high end 2015 Bordeaux is an unpleasant exercise. Similar to barrel tasting, these wines are not ready to be drunk nor meant to be drunk. Most of them are bought and sold and traded like the blue chips they are for 10-15 years before folks begin to open them. That’s not to say some masochists don’t enjoy this sort of thing, but I certainly don’t think most buyers of 2015 Bordeaux classified growths want to drink it at its most shut down and inaccessible point.

These wines are valued (often based on scores) based on their anticipated ability to age. I’m not sure if post-Parker Napa is the same.

As a buyer of both high end Bordeaux and high end Napa wine, I know that I can open a 2015 Maybach Materium and find it rich, beautiful and compelling right now, full of enough extract to last a good while, but pleasant enough and balanced enough between the rich fruit, oak and grape tannin and alcohol to achieve a balance. I don’t think many of us expect that drinkability from a PLL or LLC or Lynch Bages by any means.

At the same time, I am pretty much assured that 2015 Bordeaux will age well for decades, but I have no clue about post-2000 Napa.

If you drink for pleasure, Jurgen, why would you drink high end 2015 Bordeaux right now? Your tasting sounds like a science experiment to me.
Noah, have you tasted the 2015’s? Which ones? My last taste through was the UGC tour a year ago, and it was not unpleasant at all. Now, they could have closed down....hence my question.
Not too many: Malescot-St Ex, Giscours, Rauzan Segla, Lynch Bages, Lanessan, a few others. Just a sampling - my own purchases. As I said above, I don’t go to big barrel or bottle tastings of Bordeaux. They are informative to drink next to each other and to compare to other recent vintages, but they are not at all pleasant to me. Last time I had a chance to taste a large number of recently bottled Bordeaux was the 2011 vintage. Fu€kin brutal.

I am always curious to try young Bordeaux, which is why i wasted a few bottles of my own ( and I do mean wasted), but these are not wines I want to drink young. Sure, they have tons of stuffing, are certainly not absent of fruit, and are not unpleasant in that they are bitter. They are unpleasant in that the tannins and oak are largely overwhelming, tongue drying and obscuring of depth. Kudos to the folks out there that can tolerate tasting 50 of these in a night. I ain’t one of them. It’s pure science for me, intellectual enjoyment and curiosity, but it’s not -enjoyable-.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#87 Post by Jürgen Steinke » April 3rd, 2019, 6:01 am

By the way: I just stumbled across a vote from the famous Henry Jayer.
"A good wine is always a good wine. It doest need excuses". (Like too young etc.)
I thought this fits into our recent discussion.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#88 Post by NoahR » April 3rd, 2019, 6:10 am

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
April 3rd, 2019, 6:01 am
By the way: I just stumbled across a vote from the famous Henry Jayer.
"A good wine is always a good wine. It doest need excuses". (Like too young etc.)
I thought this fits into our recent discussion.
Would you have cracked a bottle of his 2001 Cros Parantoux in 2004? For enjoyment? Do you think it would show well?

And, correspondingly, if you read hundreds of tasting notes from Allan Meadows and other Burgundy writers at the barrel or early bottle tasting timepoints, you will find that most Grand Cru notes sound fairly unpleasant, focusing on stuffing and tannin and length, noting that aromas are often muted, absent or characterized by reduction.

A cute quote from Jayer perhaps, and maybe you can always note the inherent goodness of a well made wine, but I don’t think it changes anything. Perhaps long time winemakers can take unfinished wines and extrapolate their development. I can’t. And tasting unfinished or relatively inaccessible and shut down wines is still for intellectual curiosity more than enjoyment for me.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#89 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 3rd, 2019, 6:46 am

Talked to a couple of merchant friends tasting in Bordeaux. They like the vintage, and one whose palate I like, feels Molesworth at the Spectator got it right.

Pricing noises suggest same level as 2016.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#90 Post by Rainer Guntermann » April 3rd, 2019, 7:00 am

The tasting was in Zurich at the Napa Grill organised by Napa Wine ( www.napawine.ch ) for 175 sfr per head and advertised by Rene Gabriel,
swiss wine critic, known for his good Bordeaux knowledge and Bordeaux primeur reports ( til 2015 I believe ) and Sebastian Schwander ( www.mybestwine.ch ) known for his Website and organising tastings, esp. very good Napa Tastings. Participants could opt in via the www. on a first to come, first to serve basis. An hour to taste and rate the wines, results an addition of the ratings of the 100 participants.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#91 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 3rd, 2019, 7:04 am

Thanks Rainer. Sponsored by Napa wines means the tasting makes a lot more sense.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#92 Post by Jürgen Steinke » April 3rd, 2019, 7:18 am

Noah,

what makes you so sure that all the Bordeaux wines were shut down at the moment of tasting? And what makes you sure that the tasters couldn't see the inner quality of a wine even if its a little closed? You said you can't do that. That doesn't mean nobody can.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#93 Post by Jürgen Steinke » April 3rd, 2019, 7:20 am

Mark,

where is the conspiracy? I don't see it. 2015 Napa vs Bordeaux of the same price range. I think that's fair.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#94 Post by crickey » April 3rd, 2019, 7:37 am

More scores on 2018. He refers to the vintage overall as "heterogeneous." That appears to be the word of choice to describe the vintage.

https://www.liv-ex.com/2019/04/jean-mar ... ur-scores/
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#95 Post by Neal.Mollen » April 3rd, 2019, 7:43 am

Mark Golodetz wrote:
April 3rd, 2019, 6:46 am
Talked to a couple of merchant friends tasting in Bordeaux. They like the vintage, and one whose palate I like, feels Molesworth at the Spectator got it right.

Pricing noises suggest same level as 2016.
So what did he say?
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#96 Post by Greg K » April 3rd, 2019, 8:31 am

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
April 3rd, 2019, 7:20 am
Mark,

where is the conspiracy? I don't see it. 2015 Napa vs Bordeaux of the same price range. I think that's fair.
Napa, by design, almost universally makes wines that are easier to drink young. Why would a tasting of the same vintages of Bordeaux and Napa be "fair"?

If your conclusion is that young Napa wines are better to drink TODAY than young Bordeaux wines, sure. But that's not a question anyone was really asking.
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#97 Post by Greg K » April 3rd, 2019, 8:34 am

NoahR wrote:
April 3rd, 2019, 6:10 am
Perhaps long time winemakers can take unfinished wines and extrapolate their development. I can’t. And tasting unfinished or relatively inaccessible and shut down wines is still for intellectual curiosity more than enjoyment for me.
I still remember the first time I tasted out of a barrel (Mouton's 2005 vintage!) and thought to myself "ugh, this is terrible!". To this day, I'm impressed people can extrapolate as much as they can from barrel tastings. Or claim they can, at least! [snort.gif]

P.S. You are still with PM. neener
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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#98 Post by Jürgen Steinke » April 3rd, 2019, 8:43 am

My last comment to the issue:

The famous Paris Tasting of Steven Spurrier was repeated years later when the Bordeaux had time in bottle. The results were the same. Napa won again.

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#99 Post by Jeff Leve » April 3rd, 2019, 9:42 am

Too many posts to read to get caught up. Can someone explain what you’re all arguing about?

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Re: 2018 Bordeaux.

#100 Post by Neal.Mollen » April 3rd, 2019, 9:46 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
April 3rd, 2019, 9:42 am
Too many posts to read to get caught up. Can someone explain what you’re all arguing about?
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