Bordeaux 2018 Cru Bourgeois at Three Years
Following on from my recent report on 40 Cru Bourgeois wines in the 2019 vintage, I continue here with my second report, looking at a similar number of wines from the 2018 vintage, the first in which the new five-year-three-tier Cru Bourgeois classification could be applied to the label. That’s the bit where I pause, preferably for some polite applause for what the Alliance de Crus Bourgeois du Médoc have achieved with the rebirth of this once-crippled classification, but if you would rather scream, whistle, whoop and cheer, that would also be fine.
My first serious look at the 2018 Cru Bourgeois wines was published in early 2021. With Covid-19 having forced the cancellation of the annual London tasting of the newly classified wines, the wines instead made the journey north, to my kitchen table in Scotland. The result was this extensive report on 150 newly classified wines, tasted over the course of nearly two weeks (to give each wine a chance to shine, I opened only a dozen each day). Perhaps unsurprisingly, in such a broad classification, there were some obvious stars, but the overall quality was variable.
Reflecting on that tasting now, I think my approach was firm but fair; many wines did not appear to have taken advantage of what the season had given them, and I marked them appropriately. Coming back to the wines almost a year later, however, I am struck by the greater degree of conviction now shown by many of the wines. For this reason I hope the annual Alliance de Crus Bourgeois du Médoc tasting continues with this split-vintage approach; it has been invaluable, after tasting and reporting on a selection of wines from the 2019 vintage, to be able to return to a selection from 2018.