/2018 Bordeaux En-Primeur Campaign

2018 Bordeaux En-Primeur Campaign

I would like to start this week by thanking all our guests who attended our Wine Festival sessions in Limerick and Dublin last week. Over 2,000 wine lovers enjoyed almost 300 wines from more than 65 of our top winemaker partners to make it the most successful Wine Festival yet.

But the world of wine moves on and the end of April saw the launch of the new Bordeaux En-Primeur campaign.  And with the 2018 vintage being as good as it was there is a huge amount of interest in wines that are receiving consistently high scores from the experts.

For those who haven’t previously bought (or even heard of) En-Primeur before it presents an opportunity to purchase wine whilst it is still in barrel, offering you the opportunity to invest in wines prior to their release. You will receive your wines in two years’ time when it is bottled and shipped (May 2021).

2018 Bordeaux En-Primeur Campaign

Payable now is the cost of the wine. In the spring of 2021 you will be invoiced for the shipping costs (€10 per 12 bottle case), Excise Duty and VAT associated with your purchase. These taxes will be charged at the rate set by revenue when the wines arrive in the country. For estimation purposes the current Excise Duty rates in Ireland are €3.19 per bottle (€38.28 per 12 bottle case) and 23% VAT. These charges must be paid within 6 months of the wines arriving in the country.

The advantage of buying wines En-Primeur is that you are likely getting the lowest price at which the wine is ever likely to sell. However, please note that this is not guaranteed and although wine prices have historically risen, they can also fall.

To be the first to hear about our latest En-Primeur offers please sign up  to  our  dedicated newsletter:

2018 Bordeaux En-Primeur Campaign


  1. In 2019:
  • Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to receive our latest En-Primeur offers.
  • Contact [email protected] with the name of the wine(s) in which you are interested. Please include a phone number on which you can be contacted.
  • The O’Briens Wine team will check availability of stocks with the Château.
  • When the stocks are confirmed we will contact our customers to take a deposit/payment to secure your order.

2. In 2021

  • In 2 years’ time the wine will have finished ageing in barrel and be bottled. It will be shipped direct from Bordeaux to the O’Briens Bonded Warehouse.
  • O’Briens will contact our customers for any outstanding payment, including the taxes listed above. You will have 6 months to make this payment.
  • When all payment is secured wines will be delivered to an address of your choice within the Republic of Ireland.

Any queries on this year’s En-Primeur campaign, please email [email protected].

2018 Vintage Report

The early part of the 2018 growing season was wet and there were problems with mildew, but a long hot dry summer ensured the grapes that reached the winery were in near-perfect condition- bright, healthy and aromatic. The vintage was consistently good across the Bordeaux regions with wines being characterised by good tannin and phenolic structure.

The 2018 Bordeaux vintage was near-universally praised by the critics:

At the very peak of quality, the 2018s are mind-blowingly incredible
– Lisa Perotti-Brown, The WIne Advocate

I can tell you that the 2018 is an exceptional year for Bordeaux wines
– James Suckling

Overall, 2018 is better than 2015 and 2016.
– James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

With this in mind, for our Bordeaux En-Primeur campaign we have selected Châteaux which we feel offer excellent quality and value in their pricing.

2018 Bordeaux En-Primeur Campaign

Château Kirwan owner, Yann Schÿler at his historic Margaux estate.

2018 Bordeaux En-Primeur Campaign

Château Langoa-Barton, Saint-Julien- €505/ Dozen

“The deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Langoa Barton is slightly shy at this nascent stage, revealing wonderfully pure, warm red and black currant scents with nuances of blueberry preserves, chocolate mint, smoked meat and a waft of bouquet garni. Full-bodied, rich and sporting a lot of vibrant, juicy fruit in the mouth, it has firm, rounded tannins and a lively backbone lifting the fruit to a good, long finish.”  

92 -94 points – Wine Advocate  

Château Hauts-Bages Libéral, Pauillac- €415/ Dozen

“A more unfussy than slick wine, less sumptuous than some as is often the case with this estate, but as you sit with it you start to realise there’s real quality here. It has a juiciness and integrity to the cassis and bilberry fruit, alongside brambles and hedgerows, with chewy tannins that build slowly through the palate providing a welcoming cushion of support. A good yield of 45hl/ha despite current conversions to biodynamics because Pauillac was hit later by mildew than the Villars-Lurton estates in Margaux. Certification expected in 2020. 40% new oak used.Drinking Window 2026 – 2040.”

92 points Decanter

Château Lynch-Moussas, Pauillac- €385/ Dozen

“This bold, dark wine comes from a greatly improved estate. It offers a rich black-plum flavor, with a solid texture that gives it power and fine aging potential.”

92-94 points Wine Enthusiast

2018 Bordeaux En-Primeur Campaign

Owner Jean-Charles Cazes at the Iconic Lynch Bages

Château Mauvesin-Barton, Moulis Médoc- €150/ Dozen

“Shows gentle charm, with a kirsch and tobacco core framed by light dust and balsam hints.”

88-91 points- Wine Spectator

Château Tour Carnet, Haut-Médoc- €290/ Dozen

“This is an elegant wine that displays attractive black currant and berry flavors. The fruit tones are sustained by the firm tannins and bright acidity, giving the wine fine aging potential.”

91-93 points- Wine Enthusiast

Les Ormes de Pez, Saint Estèphe- €295/ Dozen

“This has the luxurious kick of the Lynch Bages stable and is brilliant value for this level of quality. It seems to manage this every vintage and is just such a brilliant drinking wine. 2018 is another excellent year here, with deep fruitfulness of brambled hedgerow alongside liquorice and woodsmoke. It has a polyphenol index of 84IPT, so this is full of tannins but they don’t feel overpowering. Tasted several times and always striking. 45% new oak. 3.57pH.Drinking Window 2024 – 2036.”

93 points Decanter

Château Lilian Ladouys, Saint-Estèphe- €210/ Dozen

“Very pretty blueberries and light wet earth with minerals and lavender. Medium to full body and firm tannins. Lots of of stone character. This has almost 60 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend now (50 per cent more), which gives it real line and length. Racy.”

93-94 points- James Suckling

Château Fieuzal, Pessac-Léognan- €415 / Dozen

“Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 de Fieuzal rocks up with gregarious scents of baked plums, stewed cherries and dried mulberries plus suggestions of Chinese five spice, unsmoked cigars and sautéed herbs. The rich, full-bodied palate has loads of exotic spice and raisin cake layers with a firm, chewy frame, finishing just a little hard.”

91-93 points James Suckling

Château Fleur Cardinale, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru- €400/ Dozen

“Offers lovely fruit, with exotic plum and boysenberry notes gliding along, carried by a very velvety structure. The long finish has a nice flow, showing a latent anise echo. Seems to be holding back a bit, but there’s some serious depth of fruit here.”

93-96 points- Wine Spectator

Château Palmer, Margaux- €3,385/ Dozen

“The level of glycerine sets this apart, giving the cascade of plum, currant, blackberry and black cherry fruit extra oomph, while seeming to heighten the purity at the same time. Beautiful violet, incense and juniper notes flash in the background. This is packed with iron-laced grip, but remains seamless and extremely long. I suspect this will be one of the most talked about wines of the vintage.”

97-100 points- Wine Spectator

Château Dauzac, Margaux €420/ Dozen

Wine Spectator- 92-94 points

James Suckling 93-95 points

Château Haut-Betailley, Pauillac- €625/ Dozen

“Fresh and driven, opening with a piercing iron note that is quickly met by a core of racy cassis and damson plum flavors. Everything extends nicely through the pure finish.”

Wine Spectator- 92-95

Château Duhart-Milon, Pauillac- €775/ Dozen

“A wine that is often austere during En Primeur but is here showing its seductive side with a generous texture lending a wonderful richness through the palate giving it the feel of a 2009, although clearly loaded with tannins, but of a softer style than 2010 or 2016.It has a juiciness rippling with bramble fruit on the attack, then the herb, slate and liquorice root come in through the mid-palate adding complexity and gravitas. Harvest took place between 17 September and 4 October.”

Decanter- 95 points

Château Beychevelle, Saint Julien- €845/ Dozen

“Ripe and concentrated, but very sleek, with a remarkably pure beam of cassis and plum reduction flavors. Sweet spice, violet and apple wood notes are thoroughly embedded throughout.
Polished and very long.”

Wine Spectator- 94-96 points

Château Gloria, Saint Julien- €405/ Dozen

“The 2018 Gloria is deep garnet-purple colored and gives up expressive notions of warm red and black currants, black cherries and boysenberries with hints of spice cake, cedar chest, pencil lead and menthol. Full-bodied with a firm texture of ripe, grainy tannins, it has a lively line cutting through the dense, savory layers, finishing on a lingering spicy note. The blend is currently 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Anticipated aging is for 14 months in oak barriques, 40% new.”

Wine Advocate- 92-94 points

La Croix de Beaucaillou, Saint Julien €470/ Dozen

Wine Spectator- 90-93 points

Decanter- 93 points

Wine Enthusiast- 94-96 points

Wine Advocate- 91-93 points

James Suckling- 94-95 points

Please note: All prices quoted are for 12 bottle cases delivered to our bonded warehouse in Dublin. A balance payment will be required within 6 months of stocks landing to cover excise duty, VAT and shipping costs before the wines will be released.