Bordeaux 2019 in bottle: 95 top wines tasted and rated

This was the first chance to taste through a wide selection of top Bordeaux reds from the 2019 vintage in bottle. It was put on by the Union des Grands Crus, and included most of the top Châteaux (the first growths and a few other very ambitious producers decline to show their wines in this setting).

2019 is recognized as a very good vintage by most commentators. It’s perhaps not as praised as the very top years – 2010, 2015, 2016, 2018 – but it’s not far behind. Summer was a little slow to arrive, but when it did, it was hot. It’s a warmer, drier year than normal, and these wines are showing really nicely. Everywhere seems to have done quite well.

One note of caution: these 95 wines were tasted and rated in one morning. Normally, I’d like to spend a bit more time with each wine, but in this case it wasn’t possible. So bear this in mind when looking at the notes and scores.

I tried very hard to judge the wine, and not the reputation of the Château, and in my mind it is always possible for a lesser known Château to make a wine that’s better than one from a famous name. But tasting sighted (where the identity of the wine is known) means it’s hard to not let the name anchor the score in some way. But I did try.

Château de France 2019 Pessac-Léognan
This is savoury, dense and quite grippy with a core of sweet black fruits. Has some savoury, grainy quality and a touch of earthiness. 89/100

Château Haut-Bergey 2019 Pessac-Léognan
Structured but with some flesh on its bones. Sweet black fruits with nice density. Supple finish – this has drinkability. 89/100

Château Larrivet-Haut Brion 2019 Pessac-Léognan
Lovely balance here: nice flesh with sweet blackcurrant fruit and a touch of cherry, with nice freshness. There’s appealing gravelly structure providing balance. 92/100

Château Latour-Martillac 2019 Pessac-Léognan
Lovely concentration and freshness here. Incisive blackcurrant fruit with a touch of cherry and raspberry, supported by good structure. Finishes fresh: a lovely wine. 94/100

Château La Louvière 2019 Pessac-Léognan  
Superb balance. Fresh blackcurrant fruit with good structure. Nice flesh but also good weight and firm tannins with some gravelly grip. Lots of potential here. 93/100

Château Malartic-Lagravière 2019 Pessac-Léognan
This is ripe but really well balanced showing pure, textured blackcurrant fruit with a bit of grippy structure. Real finess here. Pretty and expressive, but also has the right structure. 93/100

Château Olivier 2019 Pessac-Léognan
This is a substantial wine showing lovely concentrated ripe fruit with great focus, and nicely integrated supporting oak. Really impressive: ripe and textured but also so fresh and layered. 95/100

Château Pape-Clément 2019 Pessac-Léognan
Ripe and layered with concentrated blackcurrant and black cherry. Has intensity but also quite a bit of ripeness and generosity. Hints of olive and tobacco under the sweet, almost lush fruit. 94/100

Château Picque Caillou 2019 Pessac-Léognan
This has a lovely core of ripe, sweet fruit showing a lushness to the red berries and even a touch of strawberry. Generous and liqueur-like. 92/100

Château Smith Haut Lafitte 2019 Pessac-Léognan
This is concentrated, ripe and generous, showing sweet blackcurrant and blackberry fruit with a lushness but also the structure to support it. Substantial in quite a ripe style. 94/100

Château Balestard La Tonnelle Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Generous, supple and well balanced with a core of sweet cherry and berry fruits, a lovely acid line and structure, and a sense of elegance. Really impressive. 93/100

Château Beau-Séjour Bécot 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Great concentration and balanc here with sweet black fruits, some red fruit freshness and lovely weight. Has plenty of structure, but stays elegant. 94/100

Château Berliquet 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Nicely aromatic with plenty of sweet red and black fruits. The palate is quite lush with some spicy structure and lovely fruit expression. Ripe but honest, with real appeal. 94/100

Château Canon 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Lovely berry fruit aromatics with a floral component. Good structure here, but also a polished sheen, with well integrated oak. Ripe, modern and assured with lots of appeal, but potential for development. 95/100

Château Canon-La-Gaffelière 2019 Saint Emilion Grand Cru
Sweet, ripe, slightly stewed edge to the nose. Lush, ripe and berryish on the palate. Ripeness pushed a touch too far. 89/100

Château Cap de Mourlin 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Sweet, lush and appealing with a spicy edge to the sweet berry fruits. Has lots of lush, ripe fruit and there’s plenty here to enjoy. 91/100

Château La Couspaude 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Ripe and balanced with a core of cherry and blackberry fruit as well as some spicy structure. Plush, with a sweet finish. 92/100

Château Dassault 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Ripe and fresh at the same time with sweet cherry and berry fruits and a bit of grip. Has freshness as well as plenty of ripe fruit, with appropriate structure. 93/100

Château La Dominique 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Coffee, chocolate and spice on the nose from a generous oak regime. Ripe, seductive and lush on the palate with lots of sweet fruit. 91/100

Clos Fourtet 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Focused, fresh and bright with sweet berry fruits. Has sleek, ripe fruit and some oak, but it’s well integrated. A ripe, engaging style with approachability now even. 93/100

Château Franc Mayne 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Good concentration and structure here, as well as sweet fruit. Blackcurrants and cherries, with nice tannins. Lots of potential for development. 95/100

Château La Gaffelière 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
This is striking: ripe and showing lush black fruits, but also with a sense of freshness and good structure. Lively and appealing with some energy. 94/100

Château Grand Mayne 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Nice balance here between the ripeness and the structure. Sweet berry fruits supported by some spicy oak with a sense of harmony. Polished but very appealing. 93/100

Château Larcis Ducasse 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Concentrated but supple with fresh berry and cherry fruit and some nice depth. Sleek with nice density and well integrated oak. 92/100

Château Larmand 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Very fruity and aromatic with an ease and drinbkability to it. Approachable already with lush sweet fruit. 90/100

Château Pavie Macquin 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Sweetly fruited, ripe and concentrated. Lots of lush fruit here, but also shows a bit of structure and remains focused. Finishes brightly. 94/100

Château Soutard 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Very ripe and seductive with concentrated sweet cherry and blackberry fruit as well as some supporting structure. There’s a lot of intense fruit here. 94/100

Château La Tour Figeac 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Concentrated, ripe and sweet with smooth, creamy, liqueur-like fruit. A distinctive, ripe wine. 92/100

Château Troplong Mondot 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Lush and sweetly fruited. Concentrated, ripe and generous with lots of fruit, as well as a bit of structure. Polished.        93/100

Château TrotteVieille 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Sweet and berryish. Very ripe and full, with a textural softness. Pushing the ripeness boundary and just about getting away with it. 91/100

Château Valandraud 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Great concentration here. A real winemakers wine with powerful blackcurrant and cherry fruit supported by plenty of spicy oak and with appropriate structure. Finishes fresh and quite oaky. Impressive in its style. 94/100

Château Villemaurine 2019 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Sweet and berryish with some crunchy structure. Has a touch of creaminess as well as fresh acidity on the finish. 93/100

Château Beauregard 2019 Pomerol
Fresh, assertive nose with sweet berry fruits, leading to a palate that has a chalky edge to the fresh, sweet fruit. Shows drinkability and elegance. 93/100

Château Le Bon Pasteur 2019 Pomerol
Fresh, supple and quite elegant with nice texture to the silky cherry and plum fruit. Lovely balance here. 94/100

Château La Cabanne 2019 Pomerol
Bright and foused with supple, sweet cherry and plum fruit. Has nice volume and texture with some sweetness to the fruit. 92/100

Château Clinet 2019 Pomerol
Great concentration here with lovely chalky structure under the sweet, well balanced, slightly lush fruit. Has real poise and focus. Great structure. 96/100

Château La Croix de Gay 2019 Pomerol
Has some roast coffee on the nose, as well as some stony notes. Sweetly fruited palate finishes fresh. Nice brightness. Distinctive style. 92/100

Château Gazin 2019 Pomerol
Ripe, concentrated, but balanced. Showing some oak. Has a spicy undercurrent to the sweet fruit. 91/100

Château Petit-Village 2019 Pomerol
Fresh and correct with sweet, sleek modern fruit: ripe cherries and berries with a nice sweet profile and good concentration. 93/100

Château La Pointe 2019 Pomerol
Fresh, structured, quite fine with nice cherry and berry fruit. A ripe style but still in balance. 92/100

Château Rouget 2019 Pomerol
Good concentration and quite a bit of ripeness here. Creamy blackcurrant with a sappy edge and some chalky underpinnings. 92/100

Château Clarke 2019 Listrac-Médoc
Real freshness and brightness here, with lots of focused cherry and blackcurrant fruit, with good structure and acidity. Impressive, direct wine.            93/100

Château Fonréaud 2019 Listrac-Médoc
Roast coffee and blackcurrant nose leads to an oaky palate with fresh blackcurrant fruit. Lots iof winemaking, but could develop nicely. 91/100

Château Fourcas Dupré 2019 Listrac-Médoc
I like the brightness here: this is focused with lovely blackcurrant and cherry fruit. Shows nice freshness and weight. 94/100

Château Fourcas Hosten 2019 Listrac-Médoc
Direct, fresh and really well balanced with blackcurrant and cherry fruit, no intrusive oak, and a lovely bright finish. 94/100

Château Chasse-Spleen 2019 Moulis-en-Médoc
Lovely freshness here: bright blackcurrant fruit with good structure and acidity. Very focused. 94/100

Château Maucaillou 2019 Moulis-en-Médoc
Notes of smoke, coffee and olive in the mix. Some sweet, slightly stewed berry fruits too. 88/100

Château Poujeaux 2019 Moulis-en-Médoc
Sweet and ripe with nice plush blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. Has an ease to it, and should be approachable soon. 91/100

Château Beaumont 2019 Haut-Médoc
There’s a slight olive-like savouriness to the lovely blackcurrant fruit here: very appealing showing great concentration and potential for good mid-term drinking. 94/100

Château Belgrave 2019 Haut-Médoc
Sweet, concentrated, fresh and supple with nice balance and lovely bright plum and blackcurrant fruit. Modern but not overly so. Stylish. 93/100

Château de Camensac 2019 Haut-Médoc
Nice green notes on the nose complement the concentrated blackcurrant fruit. Very fresh and supple with good intensity. Classic and delicious with lots of potential. 93/100

Château Cantemerle 2019 Haut-Médoc
Gravelly and showing some spicy oak as well as fresh, incisive blackcurrant fruit with a juicy quality, as well as a sense of sweetness. 92/100

Château Citran 2019 Haut-Médoc
Classic: bright, fresh and gravelly with lovely sweet cherry and plum fruit. Nice freshness and balance here. Very stylish. 94/100

Château Coufran 2019 Haut-Médoc
Nice bright blackcurrant fruit dominates, with good supporting structure. Classically structured with nice weight and intensity. Really good. 95/100

Château La Lagune 2019 Haut-Médoc
Ripe, sleek and nicely balanced with sweet black fruits and a chalky, textured structural underpinning. Quite elegant. 94/100

Château de Lamarque 2019 Haut-Médoc
Ripe, sweet and very berryish. Quite approachable now, Has a green bean edge. 88/100

Château La Tour Carnet 2019 Haut-Médoc
Some roast coffee oak notes as well as a savoury, woody edge to the sweet black fruits. Nicely weighted and quite stylish. 92/100

Château La Tour de By 2019 Médoc
Supple and sweet with fresh cherries and plums, a bit of greenness that adds freshness, and a gravelly edge. 91/100

Château Angludet 2019 Margaux
Sweetly aromatic and quite ripe with generous berry fruits. Plush style. 91/100

Château Brane-Cantenac 2019 Margaux
Lively with some brightness on the palate. Sweet generous cherry and berry fruits. Very forward and quite lush. 92/100

Château Cantenac Brown 2019 Margaux
Bright with some nice structure, and supple, midweight cherry and blackcurrant fruit. Has some freshness. 92/100

Château Dauzac 2019 Margaux
Some grip here: quite chunky with vivid blackcurrant fruit and good structure. Potential. 93/100

Château Desmirail 2019 Margaux
Roast coffee and cedar on the nose. Fresh black fruits with a juiciness. Quite oak driven at the moment. 90/100

Château Giscours 2019 Margaux
Great concentration and structure here with superb balance between the ripe sweet fruit and the structural elements. Really impressive. 95/100

Château Kirwan 2019 Margaux
Fresh and quite classic with bright, sweet but balanced blackcurrant fruit with nice poise and focus. 94/100

Château Lascombes 2019 Margaux
Midweight, ripe and very tasty with sweet black fruits and enough structure, finishing fresh. 92/100

Château Marquis de Terme 2019 Margaux
Fresh and vivid with lovely sleek blackcurrant fruit. Nice balance here with a sense of restraint to the ripe fruit. Such a fresh finish. 94/100

Château Monbrison 2019 Margaux
Ripe, plush and generous, but also has appropriate structure and the sweet fruit is well supported. Finishes fresh. 93/100

Château Prieuré-Lichine 2019 Margaux
Lovely sweet blackcurrant and cherry aromatics. Ripe, elegant and more-ish with lovely supple ripe fruit. Floral, even.  94/100

Château Rauzan-Gassies 2019 Margaux
Fresh and expressive showing ripe blackcurrant and cherry fruit. Very stylish and elegant, as well as being ripe. 93/100

Château Rauzan-Ségla 2019 Margaux
Structured and well balanced, although showing a hint of coffee and cedar oak. Has nice direct ripe blackcurrant fruit. Quite serious. 94/100

Château Siran 2019 Margaux
Good concentration and focus here with seductuve blackcurrant and cherry fruit. Impressive in a ripe style. 94/100

Château du Tertre 2019 Margaux
Has a slight greenness as well as very ripe berry and black fruits. Supple and digestible. 92/100

Château Beychevelle 2019 Saint-Julien
Lovely concentration and balance here: this is ripe with appealing blackcurrant fruit as well as good structure. Lots of fruit. 94/100

Château Branaire-Ducru 2019 Saint-Julien
Dense and grippy with fresh blackcurrant fruit and nice weight in the mouth. Stylish and a little backward. 93/100

Château Gloria 2019 Saint-Julien
Sweet and lush with bold black fruits and some cherry aromatics. 93/100

Château Lagrange 2019 Saint-Julien
Great concentration of sweet berry and blackcurrant fruit with a sweetness, but also enough structure. Really impressive.       95/100

Château Langoa Barton 2019 Saint-Julien
Fabulous concentration and freshness. It’s ripe and sweetly fruited but also has some stuffing. Very polished. 94/100

Château Léoville Barton 2019 Saint-Julien
Concentrated but still approachable: ripeness and balance hand in hand with sweet black fruits and a hint of olive and gravel. Very fine. 96/100

Château Léoville Poyferré 2019 Saint-Julien
Lively aromatics here with fresh blackcurrant and a sweetly fruited palate, frames by some picy oak with approapriate structure. Impressive. 95/100

Château Saint-Pierre 2019 Saint-Julien
Very aromatic and sweetly fruited with nice weight. Approachable, showing delicious fruit. 93/100

Château Talbot 2019 Saint-Julien
Has a nice green edge to the fruit with some sweetness and a bit of grip. Nicely weighted showing good balance and nice ripe fruit drives everything.      94/100

Château d’Armailhac  2019 Pauillac
Grippy and gravelly with nice direct blackcurrant fruit and good structure. Nice finesse here. 94/100

Château Batailley 2019 Pauillac
Nice sweet fruit here with a spicy framing. Seductive and quite vibrant. 93/100

Château Clerc Milon 2019 Pauillac
Nice supple fresh blackcurrant fruit with some generosity and nice palate weight. Juicy finish. 93/100

Château Croizet-Bages 2019 Pauillac
Concentrated and ripe with an olive edge to the fruit. Sweet and plush. 92/100

Château Grand-Puy Ducasse 2019 Pauillac
Vivid and bright with supple midweight blackcurrant fruit. Well balanced and has an ease about it. 92/100

Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2019 Pauillac
Good structure here under the correct blackcurrant fruit with great purity and balance. Very fine. 96/100

Château Lynch-Bages 2019 Pauillac
Concentrated, intense, beautifully constructed with blackcurrant fruit and cherry notes, and firm but integrated tannins. 97/100

Château Lynch-Moussas 2019 Pauillac
Great structure under the bright blackcurrant fruit. Quite firm, in a nice way. 94/100

Château Pichon Baron 2019 Pauillac
Hints of roast coffee and olive in the background. Lovely intensity of fruit here with superb balance. Very fine but let the oak settle. 95/100

Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2019 Pauillac
Lovely blackcurrant fruit core with plushness but also freshness, and superbly structured on the palate. Very fine. 95/100

Château Cos Labory 2019 Saint-Estèphe
Real freshness here to the blackcurrant fruit with a bit of grip. Very expressive. 93/100

Château Lafon-Rochet 2019 Saint-Estèphe
Ripe supple black fruits with good structure. Midweight and appealing. 92/100

Château Ormes De Pez 2019 Saint-Estèphe
Berryish, bright and juicy with nice weight and focus. Midweight and compact. 91/100

Château de Pez 2019 Saint-Estèphe
Nice concentration of sweet fruit here together with some oak. Supple and bright. 93/100

Château Phélan Ségur 2019 Saint-Estèphe
Quite a bit of oak but also lovely concentrated blackcurrant fruit here. 93/100

See also: Bordeaux 2017 in bottle