Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur: Wines of Substance and Style

Vincent Millet from Ch. Calon-Ségur praised the freshness of the 2016s during our tasting yesterday and this theme of freshness and harmony continued during our second day on the Right Bank tasting in St Emilion and Pomerol.

Francois Mitjavile at Tertre Routebouef explained that freshness can be Miss-used as a descriptor of fine wines. His view is that it should be a descriptor for the opulence of beautiful fruit flavours and shouldn't be confused with the inclusion of abundant green fruit into the blend. This makes complete sense to us and where wines have been successful this vintage, which seems to be very wide across the board, they have real focus, concentrated ripe fruit, generosity on the finish and perfect balance alongside this wonderful freshness.

Restraint is often a key component to a very good vintage in Bordeaux and those who best understand the quality of their terroir, their vines and their juice often have the most success from imparting little intervention. 

Where wines have been slightly less successful this year, the fruit appears to have been over worked and slightly over extracted - a direct contrast to the above. Thankfully, these wines do seem to be in the minority however. 

We spent the morning at the St Emilion UGC tasting to develop our understanding of the complete commune and Ch. Troplong Mondot and Ch. Canon-La-Gaffeliere were the notable highlights. There is a softness to the fruit in the best wines, good concentration and a lovely coating mouthfeel followed up by grippy, silky tannins and of course, the cooling and sometimes minerally freshness.

Vieux Château Certan was one of our highlights today, along with many others on the Right Bank in fact. Notable mentions go to wines which put really big smiles on our faces at L'Evangile, L'Eglise Clinet, Cheval Blanc and Tertre Routebouef - all wines that we will certainly be recommending, assuming that the price is right. L'Evangile is a strong contender for our wine of the day, but Lafleur, which we enjoyed at the end of the day, really impressed.

Lafleur has an ethereal character which sets it apart. It is so precise in 2016, shows wonderful aromatics and delicacy. Grand Village was another highlight, and winemaker Omri Ram suggests it is the best vintage ever. 

Check back tomorrow for our team’s next report.

Jon White, Head of Marketing

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