Saint-Julien is another star in 2018. If Margaux is perhaps the most uneven Médoc appellation in 2018, then St Julien is undoubtedly the most consistent.
“Léoville Las Casesand Ducru-Beaucaillouare off the charts, but those properties have been on a roll of late, so that won’t come as a big surprise. Yes, both wines are incredibly dense and concentrated, and yet they carry their natural richness beautifully. As exceptional as the big guns are, the real surprises in Saint-Julien lie elsewhere. In her first vintage at the reins of her family’s property, Sara Lecomte Cuvelier made a positively stunning Léoville-Poyferré. Branaire-Ducruis another absolutely stellar 2018. Beychvelle, Léoville-Barton, Langoa Barton, Lagrangeand Talbotare all superb and well worth considering.” – Antonio Galloni
Generally, I agree with the above…but I’d add Gruaud Larose to the above list, as I really loved it. -Phil Bernstein
Here are some of my thoughts:
The 2018 Beychevelleis fantastic, and the ever-charming Philippe Blanc has been on a roll! Beautiful, sappy fruit and fine tannins…I’m not sure how you could not like this wine.
The 2018 Branaire-Ducru is always a favorite. An absolute bargain in this vintage as well. One of the more finessed wines I tasted from St. Julien this year, it almost has a Margaux like character. The fruit is very dark, and while it was “open for business” the day I tasted it, I suspect it will be a very long-lived wine
The 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillouis “packed and stacked”! My notes say “I wonder if this is what 1982’s tasted like from barrel”. Dense, robust with lots of Cabernet character.
The 2018 Lagrange is really making nice wines these days. This to me is a continuation of their terrific 2016, and it had a nice plush texture. I think this should be somewhat approachable in its youth
The 2018 Léoville Las Cases shows its pedigree. Their highest ever Abv (14.5) but it doesn’t taste “alcoholic”. This has everything you want from a young Bordeaux, and I have no doubt that it will be one of the top wines of 2018.
The 2018 Léoville-Poyferré gets your attention. Plenty of tannin and very dark fruited but doesn’t come across as “heavy”. I really liked this wine, and I think it shares some characteristics of it’s more expensive neighbor LLC. I’d love to drink them side by side in 25 years.
The 2018 Gruaud Larose was a standout. Medium weight and very classic in style. Nice plush texture with an earthy component that I didn’t get from very many other wines in 2018. Sadly yields were a bit down, so supply will be somewhat limited.
2018 Leoville Barton is exactly what you expect from young LB. Tannic, with lots of “stuffing” in a reserved, backwards style. Love it! Should be a bargain too if you buy early.