2019 has produced wines that combine richness with precision and balance, along the lines of 2016 or 2010. It promises to be an excellent vintage, especially where the pricing takes note of the current market situation. Eric Boissenot, who consults to most of the major Left Bank properties, says ‘the magic of this vintage is the play of delicacy and power with an impressive natural length’ while at Pichon Lalande they say it has ‘the opulence of 2009, combined to precision and tension of 2010’. The wines show superb depth of fruit combined with good freshness and ripe tannins, the product of a year that had heat but also rain at just the right time. They are full of life with a balance and elegance that is very appealing. It is a year where Cabernet Sauvignon again seems to be dominant, with Petit Verdot also very impressive, due to a long ripening season and a harvest which lasted into October after some beneficial rain in late September. The Right Bank has also been successful with proprietors pointing to the small berries leading to concentrated wines with good aromas and tannins.
The dry whites are promising good depth of flavour combined with freshness while Sauternes looks very exciting due to rain at the right time to promote botrytis.
A dry and warm winter was followed by an early bud break which led to a few problems with frost and millerandage on the Merlots in particular. Warm weather followed leading to a good fruit set and then heat spikes in early July and a little bit of stress on the vines. Fortunately, there was some rain in August which limited this and helped achieve a perfect balance for the vines. The warm weather continued into September with just a bit of rain in September which helped as water was needed but there was no dilution. Overall this was a year with a perfect weather balance which has led to an excellent balance in the wines.