Bordeaux En Primeur

Bordeaux 2018 en primeur tasting week runs from 31 March to 5 April.

Decanter’s Jane Anson has already begun trying barrel samples and we’ll be publishing her full report for Premium subscribers in April 2019, ahead of the en primeur buying campaign.

While you’re waiting, you can get ahead and look at summaries of recent years on our Bordeaux vintage guide page.

Most of the top wines from 2018, especially the reds, will not be bottled until at least the second half of 2020.

Preview: How the Bordeaux 2018 vintage is shaping up

Here are some snippets from Jane Anson’s in-depth preview prior to tasting en primeur wines.

1. There isn’t a clear advantage for Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, based on the available data, as there was in the Bordeaux 2016 and Bordeaux 2015 vintages respectively.

2. Overall harvest size was about average, show official figures, despite one of the worst mildew attacks for several years and hail in some areas.

3. It was a long harvest for red wine makers. ‘That is good news for quality potential, as most grapes will have had the time to get fully mature before picking. But it also means that you will see stylistic choices coming in to play,’ writes Anson.

4. Hot weather from August to October meant that alcohol levels presented a potential challenge in the cellar. But rain earlier in the season prevented vines from shutting down in the summer.

5. Acidity readings were relatively normal for dry whites.

6. Sauternes and Barsac saw a late, but fast, onset of botrytis. Expect concentrated, tropical fruit flavours in many wines.

See links to Jane Anson’s full preview articles below, plus archive articles from previous campaigns.

Video: How to taste Bordeaux en primeur wines – with Jane Anson