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Debut: The “King of the North” Meets Affordable Grand Cru Classé Under $68
June 16, 2020

What You Should Know About the 2019 En Primeur: The New Release from the “King of the North” and the Fabled Fifth Growth Delivers Affordable and Age-Worthy Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux for Under $68!

“Two thousand and nineteen is a great vintage…2019 Grand Puy Lacoste is classy and full of breeding - quintessential Pauillac.” — Neal Martin, Vinous

“Grand Puy Lacoste has become one of the most popular wines in Bordeaux…classic wine with the creme de cassis fruit that I often find in both Mouton Rothschild and Pontet-Canet.” — Robert Parker

How do you surpass yesterday’s prized releases of the 2019 Pape Clement (96-99JD/96-98NM), Figeac (98-100WA/97-99) and La Conseillante (97-99NM)? How about the new releases from the “King of the North” – Montrose, and the beloved Grand Puy Lacoste. We love Robert Parker’s quote on the fabled Fifth Growth, and after tasting the jaw-dropping 2019 Haut Bailly last evening and reading the extensive report published by the authoritative voice on Bordeaux, Neal Martin, we could not be more excited to share these must-buy recommendations. Neal Martin said it best, “Two thousand and nineteen is a great vintage. I know. Boring. But my job is to tell it as it is, and that is what it is. It is an excellent vintage… I believe that the 2019s are not only stylistically very different from the more powerful 2018s but generally display much more elegance and will probably become more renowned.” The 2019 vintage is now firmly positioned as the finest since 2016, and among the greats of the decade, surpassing 2015 and 2018. Most importantly, it is a vintage of approachability on the palate and in the pocket.

And for us, it all begins with Grand-Puy-Lacoste. Located down the road from its powerhouse neighbors, this overachieving American favorite challenges the Pauillac stable of top growth Bordeaux and does it at a fraction of the price! As one of the oldest properties in the Médoc, the château produces wines that epitomize the classic style of the Médoc with its purity of fruit, structure, and elegance, offering signature notes of red cherries, currant, cassis, crushed rock, cedar, and tobacco even in its youth. This is affordable Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux that can age 30 years beautifully, and it is brilliantly captured by the 2019 Grand-Puy-Lacoste (95-97NM/96De) at just $67.99. Neal Martin of Vinous called the wine “classy and full of breeding — quintessential Pauillac.” The “gentleman’s claret” from winemaker François-Xavier Borie surpasses its Grand Cru Classé classification once again. To put this value in perspective, the 2016 Grand Puy Lacoste already commands $123 on average.

For Grand Puy Lacoste, the 2019 release is among the greatest vintages from this château that has a vine-growing history that reaches back to the 1500s. In fact, alongside the likes of the 1949, 1982, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2016, the 2019 is among the highest reviewed releases ever produced from the estate and will gracefully mature past most Napa cults and Italian Super Tuscans that often command three to five times the price. For IWM, 2016 and 2019 are classic expressions from the humble château that consistently delivers reasonable value and sells out of all their wine with each vintage En Primeur.

Featured Selections: Fabled 5th Growth Delivers Pauillac’s Greatest Value (Click to Order)

Note: More sizes 1.5L, 3.0L, 6.0L available on request. Please note, for 2019 En Primeur selections, the wines will arrive by the end of 2022. As such, should tariffs exist at the time, the purchaser of the wines will be responsible for these additional tariffs at the time of importation. All wines subject to confirmation.

A decade ago, Sergio, the IWM team, and I made the decision to participate in the vaunted 2010 En Primeur Bordeaux campaign. We listened to the interests of our patrons, and we introduced select wines to an overwhelming response. Even at Italian Wine Merchants, it is difficult to ignore that Bordeaux belongs alongside the likes of our iconic Cabernet and Merlot blends of Sassicaia, Solaia, Ornellaia, and the Petrus of Tuscany, Masseto. Bordeaux was, as you know, a catalyst for the Super-Tuscan movement. The myth is that the late Mario Incisa della Rocchetta of Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia dreamed of emulating a fine red Bordeaux in Bolgheri, and in 1944, he planted Cabernet vines that were sourced from Château Lafite-Rothschild. Whether fact or fiction, the great Super-Tuscan patriarch was inspired by the wines of Bordeaux, and so are we. However, we would add that Bordeaux is not limited to First Growths and should not be stereotyped as expensive or cost prohibitive. The En Primeur campaign allows those who are willing to buy early and wait for the wines to arrive to obtain pricing and wines that can be agreeable to all levels of enthusiasts and collectors. Most of all, the En Primeur offerings represent some of the finest wines produced on the planet.

With that said, we are pleased to present the 2019 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign. As in 2015 and 2018, the 2019 vintage is another blockbuster year filled with explosive and ripe expressions. Thanks to our relationships with Bordeaux, we were among the first in the country to taste barrel samples in this unprecedented and difficult time. We were simply stunned by the fruit purity of the 2019 Ducru Beaucaillou; the wine begins where the jaw-dropping 2016 and 2018 left off. But the wines are striking well beyond the signature Super Second of Saint-Julien, and one place to begin is with my two of my favorite, overachieving, value picks from Château Laroque and Tour Saint Christophe in Saint-Émilion.

Additional Notes and Reviews:

95-97 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: “The 2019 Grand Puy Lacoste is deep purple in colour. Initially the bouquet is tight and so I left my sample for 15-20 minutes to open. It rewards patience with a beguiling mélange of pure blackberry, raspberry, crushed violet and pencil shavings, very focused and mineral-driven. The palate is medium-bodied with finely chiseled tannins. Compared to the robust, tannic GPL's of old, this is much more lithe and approachable, yet it still bears the DNA of this Pauillac estate. It might not possess the flair of other 2019 Left Banks, but that it is not what I seek from this estate. Classy and full of breeding - quintessential Pauillac.”

98 Points, Jane Anson, Decanter: Oh this is good, it steals up on you with real depth of flavour, stately and concentrated in a way that reminds me of a 1996 or a 2016. Extremely measured, very clear that this is going to age effortlessly, it is extremely discreet and yet packed with persistent flavours. A masterclass in the flavours and aromatics that you expect in a great Médoc wine - slate, crushed stones, savoury blackcurrant, liquorice, hints of smoke and cold ash. After five minutes in the glass the sweeter berry fruit comes out, and the whole thing is sappy and mouthwatering, and makes you smile. 12% press wine, 3.77oH. A yield of 47hl/ha. 60% new oak. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend.”

95-97 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: “The 2019 Pape-Clément was picked from 17 September to 10 October, underwent a 30 day maceration. Matured in 90% oak barrels and 10% wooden foudres for 18 months. It has a very perfumed bouquet with luscious black cherries and boysenberry fruit, touches of raspberry preserve and crème de cassis. The palate is full-bodied and quite muscular, exerting a firm grip and displaying plenty of tobacco-tinged black fruit that dovetails into a more saline, marine influenced finish. This is a very serious Pape-Clément that will require longer ageing than its peers, but will surely be rewarding for those with patience. Tasted on five occasions - hopefully there is some wine left back at the château.”

(98-100 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate) 97-99 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: The 2019 Figeac was picked from 13 September to 7 October, a total of 4 weeks picking. There is a little more emphasis on the Cabernet Franc this year - 36% of the blend. It is quintessential Figeac on the nose, that is to say that the enticing mélange of Merlot and Cabernet together creates more than a sum of their parts. Here the blackberry, crushed stone and graphite elements are seamlessly enmeshed with the more ravishing red fruit aspects delivered by the ripe Merlot. It is exquisitely defined. The palate is medium-bodied. First impressions are of a Figeac that leans more to the Cabernet/Left Bank side of its personality, quite structured with black fruit dominating, saline and marine-influenced. The Merlot really comes through towards the close delivering that almost clinical mineral-driven finish. Winemaker Frédéric Faye and his team have conjured a deeply impressive, intellectual Figeac this years, amongst the canon of greats that stretch back to the 1940s.”

97-99 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: “The 2019 La Conseillante was picked 17-20 September for the Merlot and 30 September and 7 October for the Cabernet Franc. Yields were low at just 34hl/ha. The Grand Vin is aged in 70% new French oak, 27% one-year old barrels and 3% in clay amphora. Limpid purple in colour, this has an exquisite bouquet with pixelated blackberry and raspberry scents, laced with pressed iris and a touch of graphite. It reminds me of a less powerful version of the 2010 when I tasted that from barrel. The palate is very smooth with ebullient red and black fruit on the entry, then it tapers in a little, towards a very cohesive, satin-textured middle. This is definitely one of the purest La Conseillante wines that I have encountered from barrel. It delivers a subtle spiciness towards the finish with hints of tobacco and clove on the persistent aftertaste. Winemaker Marielle Cazaux and her team have conjured a magnificent Pomerol here.”

This is an email ONLY offer. Should you have any questions on these exciting wines, or would like to take advantage of this offer while supplies last, we are asking that you email orders back to me at, connect with your portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation.

All my best,