Bordeaux 2018: Perrotti-Brown seeks ‘perfection’ in extremis

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW has released her scores and concluding remarks for the Bordeaux 2018 vintage for the Wine Advocate, the last of the major in-bottle reports.

As with her peer critics, Perrotti-Brown’s opening comments focused on the “extreme” nature of the vintage and its effect on the resulting wines. It was, she said, “a vintage that took vines and winemakers to the very limits of what they could produce”.

But nonetheless, she continued, “some legendary wines were made this year, some that I firmly believe avid Bordeaux collectors will not want to miss, even if the prices are daunting”.

In total she awarded six wines 100-points; Ausone and Petrus from the Right Bank and First Growths Margaux, Haut-Brion, Lafite and Latour on the Left.

All were wines which had been given a bracket encompassing 100 in her initial tasting en primeur, except for Haut-Brion which originally was rated 97-99+.

There were a further six wines rated 99, evenly split between Left and Right Bank properties. Palmer, however, which has become something of a talking point and picked up two 100-point scores from Neal Martin and Antonio Galloni at Vinous, was not among them.

It was given 98 by Perrotti-Brown who called it a “beautiful beast” and “one for hedonists”.

It was not the only wine Perrotti-Brown described as both “beautiful” and “monstrous”. She conceded there were many wines that were “rich, fuller-bodied” in style but added she had found, “some surprisingly elegant, perfumed, moderate-alcohol wines”.

Overall she thought the wines could be, “extreme, but not as extreme as I had initially feared”. At their very best, the 2018s are, “mind-blowingly incredible” and will have long lives and drinking windows.

As for the negatives, she noted it was not as consistent a vintage as 2016, 2010, 2009 or 2005 and there was, “a good-sized lake of less successful to mediocre wines” which had not been able to handle the ripeness and ended up flabby and hot as well as with chewy tannins and fruit profiles that were simple.

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