The assemblage of the Pavillon Rouge 2019 is still dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon (76%). It has the same proportion of Merlot as the previous vintage (19%). Cabernet Franc (2%) and Petit Verdot (3%) complete the assemblage.
The grapes used to produce the Pavillon Rouge 2019 were carefully selected and represent only 27% of the harvest. The wine has body with a soft tannin structure and is remarkably balanced on the palate. It would probably have formed an integral part of the assemblage of our Grands Vins two decades ago. In our vineyards and cellars, we make the same painstaking effort to produce the batches used for the Pavillon Rouge as we do for our Grand Vin. Both wines undoubtedly have the same style, and some of the same aromas. One almost indefinable detail is sometimes missing, which means the batch is not included in the composition of the Grand Vin. (April 2020)
Globally, 2019 was the warmest year on record. In France, the average temperature was 13.7°C, 1.1°C to 1.2°C higher than usual.
In Margaux, the winter of 2019 was mild at 1 to 2 degrees above the 30-year averages, with limited rain (30 mm less than the 30-year averages) and only three days of frost. Under these conditions, the date of bud-break ranged from March 29th to April 4th.
Spring was mild and temperatures were near-normal for the season, with abundant rainfall at the end of April and again between June 5th and June 18th. Flowering occurred between the 1st and the 9th of June and went relatively well. Only some older parcels of Merlot showed some signs of coulure. The rain, which risked causing occasional outbreaks of mildew, had no sanitary impact and the vineyards remained in a very good state throughout the year.
The summer stood in sharp contrast to the rainy spring. Anticyclonic conditions prevailed and only 64 mm of rain fell between June 21st and September 21st. However, the summer of 2019 will be best remembered for two heatwaves at the end of June and then from July 22nd to 24th when the temperature reached 39.9°C in Margaux!
The red grape harvest began on September 18th in ideal conditions, and the Merlot grapes were perfectly ripe and concentrated when picked. A weather disturbance between September 22nd and the 29th did not affect the health of the grapes and allowed them to ripen more slowly under conditions that were less aggressive for the vines, better preserving the acidity levels, with ultimately not too high levels of alcohol. The grapes picked between the end of September and the beginning of October benefited from the concentration developed after veraison (August 5th to the 10th), without being significantly affected by low slight dilution from the rain.
The harvest ended on October the 10th.