Rod Smith MW releases Bordeaux 2018 En Primeur scores

For the second year in a row, Tim Atkin MW is publishing Rod Smith’s Bordeaux En Primeur scores. The full vintage report will be available to download on timatkin.com later this week.

Rod Smith, who has been tasting En Primeur every year since 2013, says “2018 is undoubtedly an exceptional vintage […] but not necessarily for entirely the right reasons”. He argues that it “has certainly posed vignerons a huge challenge to produce balanced wines in what can fairly be described as a very unbalanced vintage”.

Smith further explains that 2018 “is not a consistent vintage in the way that 2016 can be described as consistently great, and 2015 as consistently warm”. This was partially because of the weather – “a game of two halves”, the mildew, the treatments of the vines and the handling of the fruit. As Smith puts it: “This truly vignerons’ vintage needed careful handling of fruit, very careful sorting, lower than usual fermentation temperatures and very deft use of any maceration techniques”.

Smith’s top-scoring wines can be found in the table below. He did not award any 100 points at this early stage, but instead gave 97 points to his favourites – Ausone, Lafite Rothschild and Latour.

In his report, Smith also noted that “there is an absurdly small amount of Palmer, Durfort-Vivens and Pontet-Canet, but the wines are among the best these estates have ever produced”.

Up next: Jeff Leve (The Wine Cellar Insider) and Lisa-Perrotti Brown MW’s (Wine Advocate) Bordeaux 2018 scores will be published later today.

Bordeaux 2018 – What other critics say: