A few 2018 bdx blind (Branaire-Ducru, DDC, Rauzan-Segla)

I recently picked up my 2018 en primeur orders and decided to do a mini tasting last night from some of my 375s. I always find blind tastings fun and educational, this was no exception.

Overall, the wines were good and had poise, despite each being 14.5% and showing some characteristics of the hot vintage, but the wines are all made in a way to dial back from excess rather than lean into it. None came across as over-extracted or sex-bomb like. The DDC was the clear winner - a delicious red-fruited combo of tasty and elegant that I think most would be hard-pressed to identify as 2018.

Wine 1:
C: Dark purple, quite opaque, with a touch of murk.
N: black fruit, rocky minerals, roasted coffee.
P: Silken on the entry, lovely texture, with taut acid, good balance, more black fruit, gravelly soil, a slight twinge of green herbs. Tannins are a bit chunkier than the other two, but not overwhelming. Alcohol seems well under control.

92++. Lots of qualities, but needs a bit of time. Based on the rusticity of the tannins, I guess Branaire-Ducru. **(92 pts.)
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  • 2018 Domaine de Chevalier - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (11/28/2021)
    Mini 2018 bdx vertical from 375, tasted single blind.

Wine 2:
C: Lovely crystalline ruby-tinged garnet in the glass.
N: Effusive floral aromatics, seductive and you can smell it from across the room.
P: Wow this is nice, very juicy acid with high-toned red fruit, a touch of cedar, and although it has youthful exuberance, the core is ethereal and light, so supple and charming, I let out an “ahhhhhhhh!”. Back of the palate shows blonde tobacco and red pepper, with a finish of tar, flowers, and ultra-fine but sneakily potent tannins. A hint of heat. All of this reminds me of Barbaresco.

95+. Based on the aromatics and finesse, I guess Rauzan-Segla.
(bottled under diam 30) **(95 pts.)
**

Wine 3:
C: Dark purple, quite opaque, but a bit more clarity than wine 1.
N: Black cherry fruit and lots of wet stone.
P: The most “serious” of the three. OK acid, showing blackcurrant and slightly roasted black fruit, #2 pencil, sweet tobacco, gravel and iron. A bit plush at PnP, but starts to shed the fat to reveal a dense, sinewy core of minerals. A hint of heat at the end.

93+. I don’t love the roasted fruit notes, but they’re not overwhelming, and there’s many enticing qualities. I guess DDC, mainly because the other two seemed like good fits for Branaire and Rauzan. (93 pts.)

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