“Is 2018 a great vintage or an extraordinary one?”
Julia Harding’s Bordeaux 2018 report has been published via a series of articles on JancisRobinson.com.
Harding commented that “even if every châteaux owner, director or winemaker declared the vintage to be extraordinary, this was not true of every wine I tasted”.
She added that “the sheer mass of tannins in some wines became a block to their enjoyment”, but that “the greatest wines of all were those where the tannins seemed somehow to add freshness to the wine”.
When discussing power, Harding said that, “for me, the greatest Bordeaux are less obviously dense, with freshness and elegance. Power alone is not what I look for in Bordeaux. Fortunately, the best wines are not all about power and their creators have managed to take the ‘excess’ of the vintage, which they could not avoid, and turn it into a masterpiece”.
Harding’s top-scoring wine was Lafite Rothschild, which she awarded 19 points. In her tasting note she described the wine as having “amazing elegance […] there is a serenity to this wine, it has muscles but is not flexing them”. She added that it “could turn out to be my wine of the primeurs tastings. (It did.)”
In a recent survey, Liv-ex members also voted Lafite Rothschild their wine of the vintage, with 17% of respondents picking it as their number one wine of 2018.
Harding’s top-scoring red wines are shown in the table below. You can find her full report on JancisRobinson.com here.