Pauillac

During our April tastings the mood in Pauillac was nothing short of triumphant. There were plenty of confident comparisons with 2010 and 2016 flying around. The wines were certainly well structured and alcohol levels were quite high but fortunately the quality of the fruit was such that almost all the wines we tasted were fresh and well-balanced. Among the first growths Mouton won for pure pleasure and Latour for sheer grandeur. Lower down the scale, we were very impressed by Haut Bages Libéral, Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Clerc Milon, Lynch Bages, and both Pichons. Second wines did well too. The Réserve de la Comtesse was one of the best we've tasted en primeur.

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L&S Recommendations

L&S 'best buy' recommendations are marked with this symbol L&S.


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2018 CHÂTEAU LAFITE 1er Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU LAFITE 1er Cru Classé PauillacPRIMEUR FAVOURITES

Release date: 13/6/2019

91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot. If Mouton wins for pleasure, Lafite is the first growth of choice for sophistication in 2018. Immaculate dark fruit sits in effortless91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot. If Mouton wins for pleasure, Lafite is the first growth of choice for sophistication in 2018. Immaculate dark fruit sits in effortless suspension among perfectly ripe, creamy tannins. That signature streak of Lafite minerality provides definition and drive. The finish is astonishingly long and so pure it belongs on a lapidarist's table. There's no question this is a brilliant Lafite that will go on and on. Drinking range: 2030 - 2050L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

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2018 CARRUADES DE CHÂTEAU LAFITE Pauillac

2018 CARRUADES DE CHÂTEAU LAFITE Pauillac

Release date: 13/6/2019

Lafite have made quite a serious Carruades in 2018. It's dark and a little brooding, shrouded for now in its big tannic frame. There are other top Pauillac that are more immediately flattering butLafite have made quite a serious Carruades in 2018. It's dark and a little brooding, shrouded for now in its big tannic frame. There are other top Pauillac that are more immediately flattering but with time in the cellar this should knit together to make a very fine Carruades. You may just have to be patient. Drinking range: 2025 - 2045L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

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2018 CHÂTEAU MOUTON ROTHSCHILD 1er Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU MOUTON ROTHSCHILD 1er Cru Classé Pauillac

Release date: 12/6/2019

86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Quite possibly our 'wine of the vintage'. This left us searching for superlatives - as a first growth really should. It's pure pleasure from86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Quite possibly our 'wine of the vintage'. This left us searching for superlatives - as a first growth really should. It's pure pleasure from start to finish. The blackberry and dark cherry fruit is faultlessly pure and succulent. The tannins are immaculate. We can't remember tasting a wine with a more velvety mid-palate. The balance is perfect and there's astonishing travel on the palate. You'd go back to this and find new sensations to delight every time. It's a glorious, hedonistic Mouton that will sit among the greats. Drinking range: 2025 - 2050L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

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2018 PETIT MOUTON Pauillac Château Mouton Rothschild

2018 PETIT MOUTON Pauillac Château Mouton Rothschild

Release date: 12/6/2019

56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Like the Grand Vin this Petit Mouton possesses a sumptuous nose with slightly more red fruit in evidence. It's gorgeously creamy on the56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Like the Grand Vin this Petit Mouton possesses a sumptuous nose with slightly more red fruit in evidence. It's gorgeously creamy on the mid-palate and the tannins are very fine indeed. Perhaps not quite the energy and travel on the palate as the 2016 but there's certainly no shortage of easy appeal. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 3

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2018 CHÂTEAU PICHON LONGUEVILLE BARON 2ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU PICHON LONGUEVILLE BARON 2ème Cru Classé PauillacPRIMEUR FAVOURITES

Release date: 4/6/2019

78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot with 18 months in barriques, 80% new wood. Now this was a stunning Pichon Baron with a great depth and grandeur. It shows succulent cassis and blackberry fruit and78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot with 18 months in barriques, 80% new wood. Now this was a stunning Pichon Baron with a great depth and grandeur. It shows succulent cassis and blackberry fruit and there's a lovely cool flow across the palate. The wine wears it's substantial tannic frame lightly. It's all about purity, density and balance. This will be another timeless Pichon and it's a wine that shows just how close the rest of the field is to the first growths in 2018. Drinking range: 2030 - 2050L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

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2018 CHÂTEAU PICHON LALANDE 2ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU PICHON LALANDE 2ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Release date: 3/6/2019

71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. The mildew hit some of the organic plots quite badly here but they don't make up more than 20% of plantings so overall yield71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. The mildew hit some of the organic plots quite badly here but they don't make up more than 20% of plantings so overall yield was still around 35hl/ha. Pichon Lalande's elegance is written all over this pitch-perfect 2018. The dark fruit has richness and depth but there is so much purity and freshness too. The flow and finesse on the palate is remarkable. It just has such lovely lines and gentle power. This all comes from a very light touch in the winery. The team here were so careful not to over-extract, preferring to run the maceration at 25C not the usual 28C in order to preserve that Lalande elegance. They think this is better than 2016 and you could certainly make a strong case based on our tasting. Another wine touching first growth quality. Drinking range: 2030 - 2050L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

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2018 RÉSERVE DE LA COMTESSE Pauillac

2018 RÉSERVE DE LA COMTESSE PauillacPRIMEUR FAVOURITES

Release date: 3/6/2019

53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc. This is a stunning Réserve de la Comtesse. It has a beautiful fragrant nose of blackberry and dark cherry fruit with a lovely53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc. This is a stunning Réserve de la Comtesse. It has a beautiful fragrant nose of blackberry and dark cherry fruit with a lovely violet accent. There is real purity and brightness to the fruit, as well as a lovely satin texture. The wine flows effortlessly across the palate. You just want to gorge on it and fortunately it will be drinking relatively soon. This is a sensational second wine from Pichon Comtesse that could well be one of the top buys of the campaign. Drinking range: 2023 - 2030L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 12

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2018 CHÂTEAU LYNCH BAGES 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU LYNCH BAGES 5ème Cru Classé PauillacPRIMEUR FAVOURITES

Release date: 29/5/2019

72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. We thought the Echo was serious and structured but this Lynch Bages is another level of volume and intensity. You only get a72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. We thought the Echo was serious and structured but this Lynch Bages is another level of volume and intensity. You only get a brief moment with the crunchy blackberry fruit before it's swept under a huge blanket of finely textured tannin (the IPT was as high as 95). It's incredibly concentrated and dense but not at all drying. This is a monumental Lynch-Bages and followers of this great fifth growth will be in awe. Drinking range: 2030 - 2050L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

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2018 ECHO de Lynch Bages Pauillac Château Lynch Bages

2018 ECHO de Lynch Bages Pauillac Château Lynch Bages

Release date: 29/5/2019

62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. The 2018 Echo has an enticing nose of ripe blackcurrent and green pepper. The palate has quite a four-square framework of serious chalky tannin.62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. The 2018 Echo has an enticing nose of ripe blackcurrent and green pepper. The palate has quite a four-square framework of serious chalky tannin. There's plenty of concentrated fruit but for now it's a touch hidden behind the structure. We're confident this will knit together but you will have to wait five years or more as this is a second wine built in the image of the grand vin. Drinking range: 2027 - 2040L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 12

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2018 CHÂTEAU PONTET CANET 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU PONTET CANET 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Release date: 24/5/2019

The mildew was a real issue at the organically farmed Pontet-Canet. Volumes were badly affected once the rot set in during July. The resulting wine has a slightly curious nose of sweet blueberry,The mildew was a real issue at the organically farmed Pontet-Canet. Volumes were badly affected once the rot set in during July. The resulting wine has a slightly curious nose of sweet blueberry, black cherry and plum. It's very fruit-focused on the palate with a very 'natural' feel. The tannins are nicely polished and lend some balance to all that ripe fruit. This is a fascinating Pontet-Canet but it's not the most quintessential Pauillac. Drinking range: 2030 - 2050L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

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2018 CHÂTEAU PEDESCLAUX 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU PEDESCLAUX 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Release date: 23/5/2019

56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Showing quite closed when we tasted at the estate but there was good purity to the fruit and quite a soft, suave feel on the56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Showing quite closed when we tasted at the estate but there was good purity to the fruit and quite a soft, suave feel on the palate. It's a wine with nothing out of place so we're sure it will develop into a very fine Pauillac but it didn't quite light up the room on the day. We just found it a bit correct - more German engineering than French artistic flair - but we're being very picky! Drinking range: 2025 - 2040L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

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2018 CHÂTEAU GRAND PUY LACOSTE 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU GRAND PUY LACOSTE 5ème Cru Classé PauillacPRIMEUR FAVOURITES

Release date: 22/5/2019

61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet berries here were much smaller than usual and the juice more concentrated as a result. This will just touch 14% but it's missing61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet berries here were much smaller than usual and the juice more concentrated as a result. This will just touch 14% but it's missing none of that GPL class and restraint. The palate is full of beautiful, fresh dark fruit. It's a marvel how concentrated this is without ever feeling heavy. The lines are just so clean. It's yet another perfectly executed Pauillac from François-Xavier Borie and the team. Drinking range: 2025 - 2045L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

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2018 LACOSTE BORIE du Château Grand Puy Lacoste Pauillac

2018 LACOSTE BORIE du Château Grand Puy Lacoste PauillacPRIMEUR FAVOURITES

Release date: 22/5/2019

If you want a good dinner party Pauillac that will be delicious in five year's time then this is it. The dark fruit is just so juicy and moreish. It flows effortlessly all the way onto a finishIf you want a good dinner party Pauillac that will be delicious in five year's time then this is it. The dark fruit is just so juicy and moreish. It flows effortlessly all the way onto a finish cloaked in signature Pauillac structure. There's not a hint of excess. This is very sophisticated claret and one of the many fabulous second wines from the top Left Bank estates. Drinking range: 2023 - 2030L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 12

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2018 CHÂTEAU DUHART MILON ROTHSCHILD 4ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU DUHART MILON ROTHSCHILD 4ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Release date: 10/5/2019

This is a very grand Duhart. There's a great deal of tannic structure but the dense blackcurrent and blackberry fruit stands up to it. You sense that signature mineral coolness but there's also anThis is a very grand Duhart. There's a great deal of tannic structure but the dense blackcurrent and blackberry fruit stands up to it. You sense that signature mineral coolness but there's also an attractive gloss to the fruit. This is a big wine and it will need a lot of time but it shows great potential. Drinking range: 2026 - 2045L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

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2018 CHÂTEAU CLERC MILON 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU CLERC MILON 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Release date: 10/5/2019

One sniff of this and we were smitten. There is gorgeous, fragrant blackcurrent and blackberry fruit interwoven with spice, menthol and violet. The billowy tannins are perfectly integrated and thereOne sniff of this and we were smitten. There is gorgeous, fragrant blackcurrent and blackberry fruit interwoven with spice, menthol and violet. The billowy tannins are perfectly integrated and there is a lovely succulence and density to the mid-palate. This is Pauillac in a decadent style but it's all perfectly in balance. One of the top wines we tasted from this famous village and punching well above its fifth growth status. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 12

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2018 CHÂTEAU D'ARMAILHAC 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU D'ARMAILHAC 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Release date: 9/5/2019

Much less dense and decadent than the Clerc Milon. There is a cool crunch to the blackberry fruit and an attractive herbal character on the nose. The tannins are certainly more obvious on the finishMuch less dense and decadent than the Clerc Milon. There is a cool crunch to the blackberry fruit and an attractive herbal character on the nose. The tannins are certainly more obvious on the finish but there is good definition and lovely flow. It's certainly not as grand as the Clerc but arguably it has more classic claret character. Another excellent 2018 from the Mouton stable. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

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2018 CHÂTEAU HAUT BATAILLEY 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU HAUT BATAILLEY 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Release date: 7/5/2019

The first full vintage of this wine under the ownership of the Cazes family (Lynch Bages). This is a dramatic Haut Batailley. It showed quite closed on the nose but there is massive depth of fruitThe first full vintage of this wine under the ownership of the Cazes family (Lynch Bages). This is a dramatic Haut Batailley. It showed quite closed on the nose but there is massive depth of fruit and serious tannic structure on the palate. We were impressed by the sheer density on show here but it's not one for the faint hearted and it's definitely for the long haul. Drinking range: 2028 - 2045L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 6

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2018 CHÂTEAU LYNCH MOUSSAS 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU LYNCH MOUSSAS 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Release date: 6/5/2019

72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot. Quite an open nose of nicely polished dark fruit. Not the fullest on the palate but still nicely formed and with a pleasing pinch of salinity. The tannins are a a72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot. Quite an open nose of nicely polished dark fruit. Not the fullest on the palate but still nicely formed and with a pleasing pinch of salinity. The tannins are a a touch dusty but this is a very good Pauillac for those that prefer precision to absolute power. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 12

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2018 CHÂTEAU HAUT BAGES LIBÉRAL 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU HAUT BAGES LIBÉRAL 5ème Cru Classé PauillacPRIMEUR FAVOURITES

Release date: 30/4/2019

79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot. From biodynamically grown grapes but not yet fully certified. This is one of the best Haut Bages Libéral we can remember tasting en primeur. There's a deep core of79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot. From biodynamically grown grapes but not yet fully certified. This is one of the best Haut Bages Libéral we can remember tasting en primeur. There's a deep core of very pure bramble and blackcurrent fruit. The tannins are supremely fine and beautifully integrated and there is a line of mineral freshness running through it that hints at this estate's illustrious southerly neighbour. A really superb Pauillac from Claire Villars Lurton and the team. Chapeau! Drinking range: 2025 - 2045L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 12

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2018 CHÂTEAU BATAILLEY 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU BATAILLEY 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Release date: 30/4/2019

A perennial favourite among claret lovers, this 2018 Batailley will offer plenty of pleasure from 2024 onwards. The dark berry fruit is soft and easy. The tannins don't overpower and there is justA perennial favourite among claret lovers, this 2018 Batailley will offer plenty of pleasure from 2024 onwards. The dark berry fruit is soft and easy. The tannins don't overpower and there is just enough freshness to give it all energy. This isn't the most concentrated or refined Pauillac from 2018 but it will probably drink earlier than many of its peers and is very unlikely to disappoint. Drinking range: 2024 - 2030L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 12

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2018 CHÂTEAU PIBRAN Cru Bourgeois Pauillac

2018 CHÂTEAU PIBRAN Cru Bourgeois Pauillac

Release date: 30/4/2019

54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot with 18 months in wood, 50% new. There's lovely crunch to the fresh black fruit in this excellent Pibran. It's not shy either, there is plenty of well-judged tannin54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot with 18 months in wood, 50% new. There's lovely crunch to the fresh black fruit in this excellent Pibran. It's not shy either, there is plenty of well-judged tannin to get your teeth into. This should give a great deal of pleasure after five or more years in the cellar. A beautifully made Pibran by the team at Pichon Baron. Drinking range: 2024 - 2035L&S(Apr 2019)

75cl bottles, wood case of 12

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