After reading the authoritative and exhausting report on 2018 En Primeur by Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW...
For the 30th consecutive year, I failed to attend En Primeur week in Bordeaux. My unparalleled consistency is, I believe, a major factor in my unquestioned objectivity when it comes to each vintage in Bordeaux. Too many other critics enjoy the wines of Bordeaux, and especially enjoy the sycophantic bacchanal that is En Primeur week. This must necessarily color their scores and opinions. Alone among my colleagues, I review each vintage without the handicap of actual attendance. Indeed, I believe that an honest and impartial judgment demands staying home and not letting those weasels influence my powerful opinion.
2018: The Vintage
What am I, the Weather Channel? I’m going to say what is always said every year by winemakers in Bordeaux. It was a challenging vintage. Because God knows it’s really, really hard to grow Cabernet Sauvignon!
Early in the year, it rained. It rained a lot. It rained so hard that all the cigarette butts in the vineyards decomposed. Wow. This doesn’t happen much in France, but it may explain the presence of tobacco leaf in the aromas of many of the 2018 wines. I’m just hoping not that many smoked menthol. I hate that in wine.
Then it got really hot because it’s summer. This was a common theme among the winemakers with whom I talked via Skype. “Summer is often hot in Bordeaux,” one told me, “hotter than winter and spring. I don’t throw my butts in the vineyards then.” There wasn’t any expectation of rain reaching even into October, so it was hot and dry. This affects the grapes, but no one knows why. You can taste that uncertainty in the wines. It tastes like that weird metallic thing you taste after taking opioids. It may be the signature of the 2018 vintage—the bitter aftertaste of opioid abuse.
Bullet Points About the 2018 Bordeaux
- The vintage is not as consistent as other vintages like 2009, 2016, and 1855. It is as inconsistent as other inconsistent vintages, and, thus is consistently inconsistent in keeping with all the other inconsistent vintages that we consistently avoid.
- At its best, the wines will be worth buying in ten years when the prices plummet.
- Hail in July wreaked havoc on a few producers. A quick shower in August would have benefited an awful lot of the winemakers, I thought. Luckily, and this is something of a surprise, nearly everyone escaped the huge potential damage of September’s sharknado.
- Many of the wines are approachable early, while others will perhaps reach their peak in fifty years, and still others are weak and lame as scrofulous wine writers on deadline. Still, they’ll all be overpriced.
- Organic and biodynamic vineyards, as well as other vineyards that you should pretty much just ignore because they’re not very evolved and don’t give a shit about the state of our beautiful, lost, utterly doomed world, had some mildew problems. Turns out Lysol is fine with Demeter.
- Really, you’d think somebody would make a goddam Rosé.
|Can you spot the hole?|
Conclusions and Recommendations
I don’t know anyone who buys Bordeaux anymore. OK, maybe in England they do, but with Brexit, that’s going to pretty much condemn them to bending over and kissing their Ausoneholes goodbye. I wonder who is going to buy all the 2018 Bordeaux primeurs. The Chinese? Hell, good luck with that. You’d be better off just selling them very expensive labels at a big profit to cut out the middleman on the fake wines. So I’d expect primeur prices to be rather stupidly high because it doesn’t make any damn difference what they want for their precious red wine, so they’ll try to make it seem like they’re still in big demand when they’re not. Sort of like tickets to see Celine Dion.
I’d recommend not giving a second thought to the 2018 Bordeaux. Others might disagree, but, remember, they want to go to En Primeur again next year and get their Ausoneholes kissed, so they’re really just shills for the whole shebang.
Next, my assessment of not attending VinItaly. Which I believe was held in Italy this year.