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Vintage 2018 / Hélène Genin

Hélène Genin
Technical Director, Chateau Latour,
Pauillac, France

The 2018 wine season will long remain in our minds in due to two characteristics : a. an accumulation of thermal weather that accelerated in summer to reach some of the highest temperatures known, just behind those of 2003, b. a very uncommon pressure from mildew, a consequence of a very rainy spring and a prevailingly humid summer that lasted despite the absence of rain in July and August. The harvest could have been marked aromatically by a sunny character, but that was not the case. The wines are certainly extremely concentrated due to the heat at the end of the season, to the small size of the grapes and to lowered yield because of the mildew. They are naturally very coated and sweet and they have an aromatic complexity but also have a certain freshness that we will attempt to strengthen by ageing in adapted barrels. The climatic conditions of 2017 were not less chaotic than those of 2018 with a freezing episode in spring that will remain engraved in memories, a water deficit all along the growing season and the rain at the end of the harvest. These conditions led to the elaboration of a wine with a more classic profile, less extreme than 2018. At this stage, the wines of 2017 are less luxuriant than the 2018 vintage, but present a fine balance, freshness and sweet notes, in a style close to 2014 but without the small austerity that can sometimes characterise this vintage.