The 2018 vintage is both very acclaimed but to degree also already somewhat notorious … one of the reasons why I don’t want to rate or comment the individual wines at this stage.
I do find the 2018s exciting and with quite some potential – yet it’s still very early in most domaines.
There is no doubt that 2018 is a relatively hot year, and controlling the ripeness and the vinification seem to have been a challenge for some vignerons.
Lets just say – 2018 was not a walk in the park for all estates!
Some of the issues in 2018 ..
While I have tasted many 2018s with very fine promise and a lovely balance – others seem somewhat more challenged at this stage.
One problem in 2018 were stops in the alcoholic fermentation – leaving quite a bit of residual sugar in the wines (9g residual sugar in some cases) demanding a restart of the fermentation – sometimes using added yeast. Sometimes this can be done easily, while in other situations fermenting a small amount of residual sugar can be somewhat of a challenge.
Of other problems are the high alcohol levels in some wines – 16% is seen in some wines – that is quite a lot to be honest.
Furthermore some wines have showed to be relatively “unstable” – with relatively high levels of volatile acidity and some with brettanomyces.
Again – we have to see the wines further onwards in the elevage – to see how the wines perform.
Time to wait and see
While some wines already show fine promise, I do think the right thing is to wait and let the wines develop in cask.
The vignerons are following the wines close, and while I remain optimistic, I think it would be problematic to taste the wines prematurely … this is a vintage that will take its time.