This morning Neal Martin’s 2019 En Primeur report has been released, where he states unequivocally ‘Two thousand and nineteen is a great vintage…It is an excellent vintage…It is a style of wine that I personally adore.’ He concludes that ‘It is neither a Right nor Left Bank vintage; one does not have supremacy over the other’ going on to say that ‘,I do not feel that there is a huge gap between the First Growths and “the rest.”…Basically, if your vineyard was located on prime terroir, then you could potentially make an outstanding 2019.’ The fact that the campaign is being carried out – for the most part – at a 30% discount to 2018 makes it exceptional.
Enter Grand Puy Lacoste, which serendipitously had planned their release for this morning. Indeed, it receives one of the most exciting scores of the campaign with 95-97 points, a wine Martin says is ‘Classy and full of breeding – quintessential Pauillac.’ This score puts it on par and perhaps better than the 2010 and at the very least equal to the 2016 and 2009, outstripping the 2018. It has been released at a £132 discount to the 2018, a 20% discount. Grand Puy Lacoste is one of the wines of the vintage in 2019 within this price range and a stunning example of Pauillac. It is also potentially its finest ever vintage. The other great vintages 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2018 have an average price of £644, so today’s price of £540 per case of 12 or £270 per case of six, offers a potential short-term upside of 19%. At £45 a bottle and with a Price Over Points score (POP) of 34, this is an exceptional purchase.
The vineyard, once shared with Grand Puy Ducasse, is roughly 36 hectares (90 acres) found on deep gravel top soil with a limestone base. Fermentation occurs in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and the wines see 50% new oak ageing for 18 months. The estate stayed in the same family from the 16th Century to 1920 before connecting with the Borie family; currently under the management of Francois-Xavier Borie. Interestingly Grand Puy Lacoste is known as the Crocodile Wine in China due to it sharing the same name as the well-known French sports brand Lacoste.