“The Miracle Vintage”: Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW on Bordeaux 2019

Following a series of flash reviews, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW’s 2019 En Primeur report (part I) got published on The Wine Advocate last week.

If every Bordeaux vintage could be summarised in three buzz words repeated over and over again by the winemakers, in 2019 they were “Easy, Energy and Miracle”, according to Perrotti-Brown.

She reveals that the 2019 was easy in the sense that the growers were not faced with the “same scale of natural disasters” as in the 2017 (spring frosts) and 2018 (mildew), however, she argues that “no matter how effortless winemakers may try to paint the vintage, the best results are clear in the wines from those growers who knew when to act and when to do nothing”.

“Energy” came up in Perrotti-Brown’s tasting note of Haut Bailly 2019, with the technical director Veronique Saunders saying that “The energy is something we found in the wine—but also, the vintage required a lot of energy from us.”

Perrotti-Brown refuses to use the word “miracle” that she was hearing again and again but notes that the timing of September rain that the “Cabernet Sauvignon vines, really, really needed […] was impeccable”.

Overall, Perroti-Brown found that “2019 is an outstanding vintage”. She continues: “I have been pleasantly surprised by the consistency in quality, from top to bottom, especially for such a warm, dangerously dry vintage. It appears it was within the realms of even the châteaux of more modest means to produce a good, if not very good, wine in 2019, especially considering the relatively new, growing use of this judicious approach to extraction”.

Nonetheless, for Perrotti-Brown, 2019 “certainly wasn’t a vintage that you could blindly stick the highest scores on the châteaux with the highest classification ranking/reputation […] with the playing field levelled somewhat by the growing season’s weather, to really excel in 2019, growers had to go those extra lengths in the vineyard and especially during harvest to achieve potential perfection. Arrogance and complacency are the enemies of greatness”.

Her top-scoring Bordeaux 2019 wines can now be found in the table below.

To read her thoughts on the vintage in full, click here.

Looking for more?

Our Bordeaux 2019 pages contain everything you need to know about this year’s En Primeur campaign; analysis tools, critic scores, reports and more.