Bordeaux En Primeur 2019

‘There is cautious optimism for an excellent vintage with serious quality in the bottle. From my tastings so far, I would say the wines are going to make it worth your while.’
Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine

Bordeaux 2019 is not a normal campaign and there’s no point pretending otherwise. By the middle of May in any other year, our team would have already been to taste the wines in Bordeaux. This year, we are receiving samples direct from the Châteaux so we can build a picture of the vintage and the wines over the next few weeks.

composite image showing en primeur bordeaux wines, barrels and a chateau with vineyards

The early rumours are of a very good vintage, as good as 2018, if not better – full ripe fruit, a weightless power balanced by beautiful freshness. Provided there is confidence in the wines, from both the market and our customers, alongside prices which reflect the difficult climate we’re in, there will undoubtedly be a place for many of these wines in the cellar. We’ll report on all Bordeaux 2019 en primeur releases, highlighting those we’ve had a chance to try, as well as how the pricing looks against comparable vintages. Though we may not get to try quite as many wines as normal, we’ll share our thoughts on the Châteaux profile and whether we feel it’s deserving of space in your wine collection.

If you’d like to discuss a strategy for the campaign, such as a budget, or particular Châteaux you’d like to focus on, or simply have questions about buying en primeur, please let us know – the Fine Wine team are on hand to help.

As for the vintage and what we know about the wines – we find the vintage reports by Gavin Quinney of Châteaux Bauduc, very useful and have linked to those here:

Bordeaux 2019 weather and harvest report (Nov 2019)

Bordeaux 2019 – a good crop at the top (end of Feb 2020)

For those after a slightly briefer version:

2019 Bordeaux En Primeur vintage summary

The Wines

  • A very good, classic vintage.
  • Freshness of 2010, structure of 2016 with fruit of 2018
  • Excellent quality in good quantity
  • Raised alcohol levels as with other recent vintages
  • Right bank: Plenty of plump berry fruits and plenty of tannins, though high alcohols. Good acidity means a more classic style than in 2018
  • Left bank: The 2019 berries were smaller than 2018 with at least as much sugar but more acid, more colour and more tannins. There is great aromatic intensity, and pips achieved better ripeness than in 2018, even if they took their time

The Season

  • Flowering in some areas affected by cooler weather and rain brought by the tail end of Hurricane Miguel in June
  • Has caused some coulure – where grapes don’t develop and millerandage – where grapes develop unevenly in size
  • Not a big issue for those who are careful at the sorting table
  • Intense heat and drought (it hit the 40s at the end of July)
  • Extreme heat fortunately mitigated by moderating weather later in the season
  • Risk of sunburn and hydric stress to grapes and vines – older vines and those on clay do best
  • Good weather all through harvest – no pressure and all picked at perfect ripeness with slightly longer (though once considered normal) ‘hangtime’ than recent years
  • As with 2018, attention to detail was crucial
  • Many Chateaux reporting wines of equal or better quality than 2018
  • Ripe yet elegant with superb freshness

Ultimately, as with every year, the success of the campaign will depend on the trust in the wines, trust in the pricing and the worth of for you making the additions to your cellar.

Please sign up at the bottom of this page if you would like to receive all En Primeur release emails, or email our Fine Wine team [email protected] with any requests or questions.

If you’re new to En Primeur you’ll find detailed information in our article ‘What is En Primeur?’