Grapes matured ``gently'' during the 2018 harvest at Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere in Pessac-Leognan, with the favorable ripening conditions producing ``magnificent'' berries, according to Jean-Jacques Bonnie, whose runs the estate owned by his family.
Bottle of Chateau Malartic Lagraviere 2005 Pessac Leognan. Photo: Guy Collins
``The weather was superb,'' Bonnie said at an Oct. 16 tasting of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage organized in London by the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux. ``It was perfect.''
He said he'd ``rarely tasted'' Merlot like that from the 2018 harvest, while saying the Cabernet Sauvignon was marked by ``silky tannins.'' The harvest was completed at the estate on Oct. 12.
Asked if the wet spring weather prior to the dry summer had caused any problems, he said ``we didn't lose much to mildew.'' The vineyard is planted at a density of 10,000 vines per hectare.
Over at Chateau Haut Bailly, a relatively close neighbor in the appellation, mildew did reduce yield although the quality of the grapes harvested was ``very good,'' according to the estate's Pia Lombard. She said the harvest started September 17 and ended October 9, describing it as ``quite relaxed.''
``We even stopped for five days to let the Cabernet Sauvignon mature,'' she said.