Sommelier World Champion 1998 and Master of Wine Markus Del Monego describes the 2018 vintage in Bordeaux as follows:
"The best vintage of my life" says Christian Moueix from Ets. Jean-Pierre Moueix in Libourne. In fact, 2018 is a vintage with wonderfully ripe tannins that taste almost sweet and characterize a wine with excellent structure. But this vintage was anything but easy. In the first six months of the year, the total annual precipitation for the Bordeaux region fell, over 800 mm. Powdery mildew affected the grapes which meant a reduction in volume, but as the leaves were not affected the ripening process continued and the lower yields produced concentrated grapes. Another problem was hailstorms, which brought further damage. Some châteaux like Château Guiraud have lost the entire harvest. "We came from hell to heaven," says Véronique Sanders from Château Haut-Bailly in Pessac-Léognan, summarizing the vintage. After the deluge of the first half of 2018, there was a dramatic change for the second half, bringing great dry weather with lots of sun. The sometimes high daytime temperatures alternated with lower night-time temperatures and created excitement for aromatic wines.
Getting the right level of extraction and maceration was critical and some winemakers have changed their maceration methods, producing great wines with plenty of freshness. These winemakers are among the winners of the vintage. The future may show whether 2018 will be one of the greatest vintages in Bordeaux for the overall production. But there are already a number of châteaux that are well above the 2010 or 2016 vintages. In any case, this vintage is easy to taste. The wines already seem to have matured perfectly. This is a new experience in Primeur week.