En Primeur Season 2018 took place last week in Bordeaux and, as ever, proved to be a fascinating and enjoyable event.
The oeuvre of Bordeaux remains intoxicating, there is a feeling of something magical in the air as you stroll through the ancient Chateau, and this is only compounded come En Primeur Season.
However, compared to other En Primeur campaigns of recent years, this year saw a somewhat more subdued market struggling to cope with a variety of elements conspiring to weaken the impact of the 2018 vintage.
The influence of Brexit and a troubled Chinese market meant the 2018 was a far from safe bet in terms of investment potential. Further, the complicated weather seems to have had a marked effect on the quality of the wine itself. An extremely wet spring resulted in a loss of a great many berries from the effects of mildew, whilst an uncommonly hot and dry summer led to some severe over ripening before the harvest.
This mix of uncertainties meant a very good vintage for some areas and a somewhat below par vintage for others. Several wines (Haut Brion, Leoville Las Cases, Cos d’Estournel) performed extremely well in tasting. But, for the time being, from a market standpoint buyers should focus on the 2015 and 2016 vintages. Both still readily available, and attractive for both their price and their quality.