A few words from La Mission Haut-Brion on the 2019 vintage:
The Growing season:
The mild and dry 2018-2019 winter period led to a
rather precocious budbreak, on March 1st.
Then, in spring, with the cool temperatures, the
vine grew slowly. The flowering was beautiful, with
neither shatter nor millerandage. The vine growth was
supported by consistent, steady rainfall in June, with
the vine developing a very beautiful, uniform surface.
From the end of June, the year 2019 was marked
by several heatwaves. The month of July, which was
particularly hot, ranks as the third-hottest July on
record, after July 2006 and 2013, registering a record breaking
42°C (107.6°F) on July 23rd.
A warm and dry summer:
In August, the temperature variation between cool
nights and hot days favored the development of
anthocyanins (which color the grapes and tannins).
These periods of intense heat resulted in relatively
slow ripening, on the cabernet francs and sauvignons
in particular, but did not stunt the vine.
Ripening progressed smoothly across all of the white
varieties - which were ready in time for harvesting
season - as well as on the earliest merlots.
In September, the long-awaited rain arrived on the
9th of the month, returning from the 21st to the 25th,
without any consequence on the grape clusters.
In between these two rainy episodes, the dry, hot
continental air accelerated the final ripening stage for
all the red grape varieties.
The harvesting of the reds began a little later after the white, on
The harvesting conditions for the Merlots were
particularly beautiful and warm. The perfectly
ripe, sugar-rich grapes yielded wines that are rich,
structured and generous on the palate.
For their part, the Cabernet Francs were picked
after a period of rainfall that did them good. This
grape variety is surprising for its level of aromatic
and gustatory maturity, as well as for the silken
quality of its tannic matter.
September rains also proved particularly beneficial
to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety, allowing
it to attain perfect maturity.
The red yields were also generous, with a high
quality for all three red grape varieties, on par with
the 2009 vintage. Grapes were harvested from September 11th to October 2nd
The blending for the 2019
vintage is 53% merlot
, 7.5% cabernet franc
, 39.5% cabernet sauvignon
The 2019 Vintage
The wine is a beautiful deep purple-red.
The nose is intense, with hints of raspberry and blackberry.
What is striking as it swirls in the glass is its ripe fruitiness.
The vanilla and delicately spicy, woody notes marry perfectly
without dominating. The first expression is round, full and
ample, leading into a dense and flavorful mid-palate. Black
fruit and licorice notes dominate the taste, followed by a
juicy and velvety tannic structure.
Since the start of the barrel aging process, this incredibly
charming wine has gone from strength to strength and
immediately reminds us of the outstanding 2000 vintage,
but with more density. A 2000+!
Read the full report: Bordeaux 2019 A Vintage Preview