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Pessac-Léognan & Graves 2018: Panel tasting results

Sadly lacking the biggest-hitting names, this tasting revealed consistent scores and notably differing styles between the Left Bank sister sub-regions.

Gareth Birchley, Arthur Coggill and Melody Wong tasted 66 wines, with 31 Highly recommended.

Pessac-Léognan & Graves 2018: Panel tasting scores

66 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 0

Highly recommended 31

Recommended 32

Commended 3

Fair 0

Poor 0

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their 2018 vintage of any Pessac-Léognan or Graves designated red wine, including cru classé

By late April 2018, London was already melting, and there was wall-to-wall sunshine well into October. Bordeaux had a different spring. Record March rainfall led to humidity in the vineyards and a real concern of rot before the buds had even burst.

Unusual as it was, it was July before our cousins in Aquitaine felt the benefits of any kind of heatwave. From then on, by contrast, the stage was set and Bordeaux experienced one of the hottest periods in half a century.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores from the Pessac-Léognan & Graves 2018 panel tasting

Pessac-Léognan & Graves 2018 panel tasting scores

Wines were tasted blind

The judges

Gareth Birchley is buying director at London-based Burns & German Vintners. After arriving in London in 2006, he worked in sales and senior buying roles at Bordeaux Index and Berry Bros & Rudd, before joining Burns & German in 2019.

Arthur Coggill is head of business development at London-based merchant Hatton & Edwards. Having joined Goedhuis & Co in a fine wine sales role in 2013, he ran its investment fund Vintage Capital for eight years before moving solely to buying in 2021, joining Hatton & Edwards in 2024.

Melody Wong is director of wine at The Peninsula, London. An experienced sommelier and wine buyer, she has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants and top hotels across the UK. In 2022, she was nominated in the GQ Food & Drink Awards Best Sommelier category.

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