2019 Haut Medoc wines can be a bargain hunters paradise, if you know where to look. And that is not an easy task as the appellation is huge, at close to 4,200 hectares in size! Because it is massive, you find various levels of terroirs and wines.
In part, much of the variance is due to each individual vineyard and its ability to handle to dry, summer conditions. But you also need to consider the financial abilities of each owner. Some estates can afford to spare no expense to produce the best wine possible, while other chateau do not have the same financial capabilities.
Normally when I am in Bordeaux, I taste about 650 wines during the premiers. Out of habit, coupled with a lack of time, I often taste the same producers each year. With the 2019 Bordeaux vintage, I agreed to taste at least 100 wines from all over the Medoc that I have not tasted in the past.
It was a fun exercise. I discovered several vineyards that are producing very good wine, that sell for a song. The best of these wines I will be adding to my tastings in future vintages.
A bit about the 2019 Haut Medoc samples and the process of how they were received and tasted. The majority of 2019 Haut-Medoc wines were shipped overnight. Most of the 2019 Bordeaux arrived in 2-3 days’ time. Although a few producers managed to ship true overnight, arriving the next day! Almost every wine was cool to the touch on arrival.
When the wines arrived here, they were quickly placed in a wine cellar overnight to relax and cool to cellar temperatures. The following day, the bottles were opened and poured into glasses roughly 15 minutes prior to tasting. All the wines were tasted in the same size Riedel glasses. Wines were served in flights of 3-4 wines from the same appellation.
2019 Agassac – Blackberry, cassis, smoke, espresso and licorice notes on the nose combine well with the round, lush, soft, forward, ripe expressive, sweet fruits on the palate. This will be good close to release and will improve with a few years of age. 90-92 Pts
2019 Arnauld – The bright, red currant and tobacco aromas stand out before you reach the medium-bodied, sharp, fruity, sweet and tart, zesty red berry finish. 88-90 Pts
2019 Belgrave – Dark in color, you find all the tobacco, cigar box, wet earth, cedar and peppery scents needed to create the nose. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, round and fresh, delivering a boatload of ripe, juicy blackberries and cassis. This is a supple-styled Belgrave that one should age for at least 5-7 years and enjoy over the next 15-20 years with ease. 91-93 Pts
2019 Belle-Vue – One of the few Bordeaux produced using 5 allowable grape varieties, the wine is medium-bodied, floral and fresh, with a fruity character, soft tannins and a tangy, sweet and tart, red fruit with a citrus-overtone finish. 89-91 Pts
2019 Bernadotte – Medium-bodied, juicy, fruity, tobacco-tinged and bright, with a crisp, lifted, earthy finish. Give it a few years in the cellar. 86-88 Pts
2019 Bibian – Dark red fruit, fleshy, rich and leathery, with chewy tannins, a full-bodied sensation and a round, dense, fruity finish with an end note of dark chocolate. 90-92 Pts
2019 Branas-Grand-Poujeaux – Luxuriously textured, ripe, fresh, sweet, juicy fruit with character is what you will find here. The finish, with its round, polished tannins and deep red fruits hits the mark in this vintage. 91-93 Pts
2019 Cambon La Pelouse – Smoky with vanilla bean, espresso, chocolate and red fruits on the nose, the wine is round, fruit-filled and lushly-textured. Plus, it will drink well young and it sells for a song! 90-92 Pts
2019 Cantemerle – Fresh picked flowers, oak, wet earth, cassis and blackberry aromas start off the wine. Medium-bodied, with silky, soft, elegant textures, sweet, ripe, delicate fruits and a refined, fruit-filled finish. 92-94 Pts
2019 Caroline – Bright, red fruits with a strong herbal component lead into the medium-bodied, tart, herbaceous finish. 84-86 Pts
2019 Caronne Ste. Gemme – Cigar wrapper and red fruits combine on nose and palate with a good blast of tobacco infused red fruits in the medium-bodied finish. 86-88 Pts
2019 Cartillon – Medium/full-bodied, bright and fresh with a big juicy gulp of chocolate-covered blackberry and cherry. Richly textured, round and with dusty tannins in the finish, give this just a few years in the cellar to fill out a bit more. 90-92 Pts
2019 Charmail – Medium/full-bodied, soft, round, polished red fruits, spice and herbs are easy to find on the nose and palate. The freshness, elegant styling and sweetness in the fruits is really strong here in this vintage. 90-92 Pts
2019 Chasse Spleen – Herbs, tobacco, red berries and cedar in the nose bring you to a medium-bodied, fresh, bright, lifted, sweet and tart, floral red plum and cassis-packed finish. 89-91 Pts
2019 Chemin Royal – Soft, round, medium-bodied and polished, the fruits are sweet, bright and lifted with lots of juicy characteristics in the finish. This will be enjoyable on release and should be a top, Bordeaux value wine for those seeking uncomplicated drinking pleasure at a price anyone can afford. 89-91 Pts
2019 Cissac – Medium-bodied, with a nose of tobacco leaf, cedar and earthy red fruits. The wine is fruity, with a cedar, herbaceous, red berry, classic old-school finish. 86-88 Pts
2019 Clement Pichon – Medium-bodied, with dark earthy red fruits, cedar and tobacco leaf on the front end. Forward, and easy to like due to its soft tannins and ripe fruits, give this a few years in the cellar before pulling a cork. 88-90 Pts
2019 Dutruch Grand Poujeaux – Smoke, tobacco, licorice, cassis, cherries and spice create the perfume. Medium-bodied, soft, polished, elegant and fresh, with a nice spice and sweetness to the red fruits on the palate. The finish delivers sweet and tart red berries. This is my first time tasting this well-priced gem. 89-91 Pts
2019 D’Hanteillan – Round, lush, fat and juicy with ripe, dark red fruits, earth and cocoa accents, give this just a few years of holding time and enjoy it over the next decade. 89-91 Pts
2019 Gironville – Deeply-colored, with dark red fruits, licorice, tobacco, earth and herbs on the nose, the wine is lush, round, soft and fruity with a hint of cocoa and licorice to accompany the juicy berries in the finish. 91-93 Pts
2019 Lamothe Bergeron – Medium-bodied, forward, easy-drinking wine, with fresh red fruits, soft textures and a forward approach. One can and should enjoy this young. 86-88 Pts
2019 Larrivaux – Medium-bodied, soft, silky, and fresh, with length, round tannins and a nice purity to the cigar wrapper and red fruits at its core. You should be able to enjoy this well-priced Haut-Medoc on release, or with just a few years in the cellar. 89-91 Pts
2019 La Tour Carnet – Full-bodied with layers of blackberries, espresso, smoke and tobacco leaf on the nose and palate. The chocolate-covered blackberry and cassis in the endnote keeps on going, which is a good thing. The wine was made from a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. 91-93 Pts
2019 Lamarque – More body, depth and ripeness than usual, this wine offers freshness and fruit, along with a big, crisp juicy gulp of cassis, tobacco, cedar and earth. Full-bodied, with loads of volume and fruit, this is a perfect example of a Left Bank value wine. 90-92 Pts
2019 Lanessan – With a dark hue, the wine combines wet earth, forest leaf, cocoa, dark red fruits and tobacco to create the nose. On the palate, the wine is round, full-bodied and loaded with sweet, dark red fruits and freshness. This should age quite nicely. 90-92 Pts
2019 Larose-Trintaudon – Easy drinking, medium-bodied, forward, fruity, correct wine with a round textured, sweet, red berry finish. This is fine for early, uncomplicated drinking pleasure. 86-88 Pts
2019 Lalaudey – Flowery in nature, with licorice, espresso and smoke that assists the fresh, bright, light red fruits on the nose, palate and finish. 85-87 Pts
2019 Lestage-Darquier – Medium-bodied, forward, bright, fresh and fruity, earthy wine with tobacco, cedar and herbal nuances. 88-90 Pts
2019 Lestage-Simon – It takes no effort to find all the juicy, ripe, cranberry, cassis and blackberries that are going on here. Full-bodied, rich, balanced and fresh, the tannins are soft and there is ample volume and length in the finish. 91-93 Pts
2019 Moulin à Vent – Fresh, juicy, medium-bodied and fruity, with loads of crisp, fresh, ripe red berries, cassis earth, cedar and cranberry make for an outstanding, early-drinking Left Bank Bordeaux. 90-92 Pts
2019 Madame de Beaucaillou – A new wine from Bruno Borie that is a hommage to his mother, Madame Borie. Flowers, black raspberries and a bit of spice with rounding things out in the nose. The wine is medium-bodied, forward, round and fruity, with a fresh, sweet, crème de cassis-filled finish. Give it just a year or two in the cellar and it should show even better. The wine is produced from blending 68% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. 89-91 Pts
2019 Malescasse – Smoky, with touches of espresso, licorice, spice and red fruits, the wine is round, soft, polished and with loads of sweet, juicy fruits. When the oak is fully integrated, this will be a much better wine. 90-92 Pts
2019 Mallert – Medium-bodied, fresh, soft and juicy, with hints of earth and cocoa, round textures and a fruity, charming finish that will be delicious on release and over the next 10-12 or 15 years after that. 89-91 Pts
2019 Magnol – Medium-bodied, soft, ripe, juicy red fruits, round tannins and a fruity, fresh, fun finish are what you will find here. 87-89 Pts
2019 Maucamps – Fruity, with earthy forest accents, fresh red berries and tobacco, the wine is medium-bodied, soft, forward and quite easy to drink. Enjoy it over on release and over the following 7-9 years. 88-89 Pts
2019 Maucaillou – Medium-bodied, four-square, correct, easy drinking, fresh, bright, red berry filled wine that will deliver pleasure on release. 88-89 Pts
2019 Maurac – Earthy, with tobacco, cedar and peppery nuances, the wine is round, ripe, sweet, medium-bodied and fruity, with more of those sweet, dark red fruits in the finish. This should drink well shortly after release. 87-89 Pts
2019 Mayne Lalande – Juicy, bright, fresh red fruits, earth, tobacco leaf and coffee bean aromas on the nose, coupled with sharp, bright red fruits and green olives in the soft, medium-bodied finish are what you will find here. 87-89 Pts
2019 Moulin – Medium-bodied, fresh, bright and a bit tart, the wine is lifted, juicy and fresh with a red pit fruit and cranberry finish. 85-87 Pts
2019 Moulin Rouge – Round, juicy, soft, dark red fruits on the nose and palate with an accessible, approach and a nice fruity, medium-bodied finish. 85-87 Pts
2019 Paloumey – Earthy, dark red fruits, licorice, smoke and a hint of mint garner your attention on the nose. The palate shines with its round, lush, sweet, dark fruits, espresso and bitter chocolate along with blackberries. Give it a few years in the cellar and it will be even better. This is probably the best wine Paloumey has ever produced. 90-92 Pts
2019 Peyrabon – Medium-bodied and already showing off its tobacco, cherry and cassis core, the wine is soft, bright and crisp with a focus on the lift and freshness in the red berry finish. 86-88 Pts
2019 Peyrat-Fourthon – Floral and spicy, sweet and fresh, this medium-bodied, easy-drinking charmer leaves you with lifted red fruits in a soft, juicy red berry finish. 88-90 Pts
2019 Peyredon Lagravette Haut-Médoc – Round, lush, forward, fruity wine with soft textures and a juicy, sweet, fruity finish. This should drink well early and for at least 10-12 years after release. 89-91 Pts
2019 Poujeaux – Fresh and already showing loads of flowers, dark cocoa, black cherry and wet earth on the nose. Round, soft and approachable, you can enjoy all the ripe, sweet, lush fruits with just a few years of aging. And even better, you can keep it for up to 2 decades. The wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.1% alcohol. 92-94 Pts
2019 Retout – Medium-bodied, round, fresh and juicy, with ripe dark fruits on the nose and palate. Give it just a year or two and enjoy it over the next decade or longer. I was surprised the wine was 14.5 % alcohol because there was no sensation of heat or jam. 87-89 Pts
2019 Saint Ahon – Earthy, spicy, cedar-filled red fruits with a medium-body and soft, sweet, bright red fruits in the finish. One can enjoy this on release. 86-88 Pts
2019 Saint-Paul – With good color, dark red fruits, round, polished tannins and a juicy, forward, fruity, fresh, lifted character along with a touch of espresso and licorice, this will be just great on release. 88-90 Pts
2019 Saransot-Dupre – Medium-bodied, soft, round, juicy, fresh, crisp wine focusing on the nice bite of ripe, bright red fruits on the palate and in the finish. This was a new wine for me to taste and frankly, for a wine of this quality that sells for so little money, it is a wine to purchase by the case for bargain hunters. 90-92 Pts
On Monday, we will publish our notes and scores for the best 2019 Pessac Leognan wines. The report is fairly detailed as we tasted 70 red and white wines from the appellation!