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Bordeaux 2018: Barton releases but at what (La)coste?

Léoville Barton and Grand-Puy-Lacoste led this morning’s 2018 releases, two of the more notable labels to appear post-Vinexpo.

St Julien second growth Léoville Barton was out at €61.80 per bottle ex-négoce, up 17% on the 2017 opener and giving it a case price of £758 per dozen.

With Antonio Galloni, James Suckling and Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW all having given the wine an upper range of 96 points in their scores, this is apparently an effort that rivals the 2016.

The property is on something of a run since 2014 and several of those back vintages, particularly the 2014 and 2017 are available at a considerable discount to today’s release but this is a respected and widely followed label and will no doubt see some interest.

Pauillac cru classé, Grand-Puy-Lacoste meanwhile has continued its new, higher pricing strategy.

Released at €55 p/b, a 4.1% increase on last year it has a case price of £672. Its scores and notes are solid; a wine of “precision, energy and nuance” according to Galloni who gave it 93-96.

Perrotti-Brown, despite calling it “rich, plush and generous”, was more in the 92-94 point spread while Suckling gave it 94-95.

The 2014, 2015 and 2016 all have a 95-point score from Neal Martin so depending on whose palate you tend to follow most the 2018 may be the equal of those vintages and worth a punt but the 2014 and 2015 are below £500 and £600 a case respectively if you know where to find them.

Latour-Martillac, Kirwan and Chasse-Spleen are also out.

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