En Primeur 2010

 

| Reservation Form | Releases | Recommendations | What is En-Primeur? | Terms and Conditions |

 

James Suckling :

First Imperssions From Bordeaux En Primeur 2016


24 March 2017

After tasting 400 wines in the last six days, I can confirm that 2016 is an exceptional vintage equal to the exquisite 2015. In some regions like St. Estephe and the Northern Medoc, the wines are even better. These young wines already show beautiful fruit, bright acidity and linear tannins. They offer much of the same potential quality as 2015 but in a different profile—energy is the word that comes to mind—with slightly lower alcohols and stronger acidities.

I tasted a wide majority of these wines blind at Chateau Senailhac, our home base for the duration of this month-long adventure, with five of my staff from JamesSuckling.com. We have already visited dozens of estates and spoken with numerous winemakers and merchants. It’s funny to think that the 2016 vintage is my 34th vintage tasted from barrel. I’ve tasted barrel samples for more years in Bordeaux than most of my staff have celebrated birthdays.

Tasting at Château Calon Ségur.

With 2016 being such a wonderful year, the vintage now makes it official: Bordeaux has a trilogy of outstanding vintages (2014, 2015, and 2016). We haven’t seen this since 1988, 1989 and 1990. Nor are the trilogies the same. Grape yields were almost double compared to the late 1980s. Also, I tasted those wines of the 1980s from barrel myself, and I can say that the Bordeaux today is so much better and more precise in just about every sense of the word. They have incredible strength yet so much more finesse and sophistication. Moreover, there’s a concerted effort to move away from the extracted and overblown styles we saw in the early 2000s. So many other things have evolved, too, and from their vineyards to their wineries, Bordeaux winemakers are now some most precise in the world. Maybe that’s why I’ve written “best ever” in so many tasting notes already. In estates big and small, winemakers are making their best wines to date.

“These 2016s are real Bordeaux!” exclaimed Christophe Salin, the general director of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) whose 2016 might be the wine of the vintage. “They are wines that can’t be duplicated anywhere in the world.”

The last three vintages are indeed very real. They show such richness and structure yet remain relatively low in alcohol (many top 2016s are less than 14 percent alcohol) and high in extract and acidity (pHs from 3.4 to 3.7). These sort of figures, particularly in reds, make for vivid, dynamic wines that are beautiful to taste when young and will offer greatness through time.

Between, 2015 and 2016, I’m not sure which vintage is better at this stage. But a few generalizations do seem apparent to me. Wines from Northern Medoc – from Pauillac farther north – seems superior in 2016. That’s why my most exciting wines so far hail from these appellations. Wines such as the Lafite-Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild, Lynch-Bages, and Calon-Segur are destined to be modern-day classics.

Another top wine from my tastings: La Conseillante.

I’m also impressed with the Margaux appellation after tasting monumental reds from Palmer and Malescot St Exupéry and as well as from less-revered names such as Brane-Cantenac, Giscours, and Durfort-Vivens. As for Château Margaux itself, it’s again great in 2016 but not on the same level as the sublime 2015, which was one of the greatest barrel samples I have ever tasted in my 35-year career as a critic.

The clay knoll of Pomerol looks to be a big winner – namely from La Conseillante and L’Evangile – producing fantastically deep, dense and structured reds that are impressively agile and stealthy. I’ll be tasting more Right Bank wines over the next 10 days in the region.

The unique weather pattern of the 2016 growing season certainly left its mark. There was lots of moisture before flowering. The weather turned dry and hot until mid-September. It was more like Napa Valley than Bordeaux. Winemakers I spoke to over the last three months were worried that they were in for unbalanced wines. Vines were stressed, and the growth cycle was blocked in some from the severity of the drought. But then the weather changed, the rains came in, and vineyards were refreshed.

Everyone likes to compare vintages, and people here seem to enjoy comparing 2016 to 2010.
I think 1990 or 1986 are more apt comparisons with 2016. This is all up for debate. What we know for sure is that 2016 is an outstanding vintage for Bordeaux for both whites and reds. Mathieu Chardonnier, head of the important Bordeaux negociant house of CVBG, put it best. “This is as good as Bordeaux gets.”


Tasting Notes

Château Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 2016


Score
100-100

This is a phenomenal, muscular red that shows incredible power and depth. Full-bodied and with great concentration of tannins but this remains agile and polished. The form to this is stupendous. Such precision and clarity. The new 1986 but better.




Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 2016


Score
100-100

Even stronger and more toned than the excellent 2015, this Lafite shows incredible power yet also finesse. Full-bodied, superfine and chewy wine. Muscular yet agile. Goes on for minutes. Stunning. Perhaps the greatest Lafite since the legendary 1959?




Château Palmer Margaux 2016


Score
99-100

I wrote that the 2015 was incredible, and this 2016 is again. It’s equally structured and powerful as the 2015, yet there’s an underlying intellectual serenity to this wine. You taste it, and you want to know and experience it even more. Full and tannic yet ever so polished and beautiful. Mesmerizing. Made from biodynamically grown grapes.




Château La Conseillante Pomerol 2016


Score
99-100

This is the greatest Conseillante in modern times. Full body and incredible tannins that are polished and velvety. The texture lasts for minutes. I am speechless. What a young and awe-inspiring wine!




Château Malescot-St.-Exupery Margaux 2016


Score
98-99

This is a superb wine. I didn’t think it could be better than the 2015 but indeed it is. Full, layered and sexy. It goes on for minutes with dense fruit, yet it’s also vivid and showcases sublime tannins and acidity balance. Great finish.




Château Léoville Las Cases St.-Julien 2016


Score
98-99

A unique Las Cases that harkens back to some of the great classics such as 1985 or 1986 with its solid backbone of tannins and a walnut, licorice and blackcurrant character. Full and powerful, characterized throughout by a steeliness that shows its strength and energy. Better than the 2015. Ultra-classic.




Château Lynch Bages Pauillac 2016


Score
98-99

This is really back-ended thanks to a powerful and almost endless finish. Full-bodied, dense and powerful with incredible concentration and length. Round and polished tannins. Layered. This unravels bit by bit. Energetic acidity gives it such superb freshness. This is at the 2010/2009 level.




Château Latour Pauillac 2016


Score
98-99

A muscular Latour with a vibrant depth of fruit and power. Superb length and polish. Full-bodied, tight and closed. Fine-grained tannins and bright acidity. Steely and edgy. Strong, regal wine.




Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillac 2016


Score
98-99

I have been waiting for this for a long time. It’s a remake of the legendary 1990 Pichon Baron. Full body, ultra-polished yet powerful tannins and a glorious finish. The will evolve beautifully. The core of fruit and tannins are great. A truly great Pichon Baron.




Château Margaux Margaux 2016


Score
98-99

A purity of fruit marks this Margaux with lots of currant and berry character. Full body, bright acidity and round tannins. It’s a larger and more expanded style of Margaux. A wine with a heart and body. Strong.




Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac 2016


Score
98-99

Vivid and full of energy with blackberry, currant and salt. Full body, intense and long. Harmony. Purpose. Classicism. The mineral and currant character is all year. A seamless tannin texture. Great wine. You want to drink it now!




Château Calon-Ségur St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
98-99

Wow. This is the Calon we have been waiting for! Intensity and power. Chewy and polished tannins. Full body, great depth. It goes on for minutes. Shows a classic, historical character that really excites me. The essence of this estate and St.-Estèphe. Best ever?




Château L'Evangile Pomerol 2016


Score
98-99

This is a remake of the great 2015 but it’s much finer and more sophisticated. Such great quality and very sexy. Full body and ultra-polished and clean tannins. Salty, dark fruit. Superb length. Want to drink it!




Château Rieussec Sauternes 2016


Score
98-99

Lots of botrytis here in addition to dried mushrooms and dried fruit such as pineapple and peaches. Medium to full body. Medium sweet. Very long and intense. A triumph.




Château Montrose St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
97-98

A solid and tight Montrose with a linear structure of ripe tannins that gives wonderful length and energy. Full-bodied, yet reserved and toned. Stone and mineral character underneath is impressive. Beautiful center palate. The class and focus are marvelous. Better than 2015. This is what Montrose is all about.




Château Cos-d'Estournel St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
97-98

The finish is something else here. This is a wine that’s so powerful and tannic yet at the same time so polished and superb on the finish. Full-bodied, beautifully crafted and precise. This is a wine that really grabs your attention. The agility and power are more than impressive. Wow is the word.




Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St.-Julien 2016


Score
97-98

Very focused and reserved with a mineral, blackberry, licorice and blackcurrant character. Full and refined. Walking a tightrope between steely tannins and and dark fruit. This is highly intellectual and unique. Great finish. Remake of the extraordinary 2014? Stronger than the 2015, for sure.




Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux Bordeaux Blanc 2016


Score
97-98

This is really exciting with a vivid and energetic acidity and brightness. Lemon rind, pear and mineral character. Full-bodied, tight and long. A winner. Great finish.




Château Pape Clément Pessac-Léognan 2016


Score
97-98

This is phenomenal with a density and finesse that are hard to remember for this wine. Full-bodied, tight and polished. Seamless texture and salty undertones. Goes on for minutes. Truly great. What a barrel sample.




Château Péby-Faugères St.-Emilion 2016


Score
97-98

This has an incredible finish to it and shows such energy and intensity. Full-bodied yet vivid and energetic. Chewy tannins. Goes on for minutes. Merlot magic.




Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac 2016


Score
96-97

This is all about the finish with a sweet-tobacco, berry and light milk-chocolate character. Full body, very fine tannins and a juicy finish. Love the intensity and finesse at the end. Lots of energy. Could better the exquisite 2014.




Château Giscours Margaux 2016


Score
96-97

This is extremely long and linear with a powerful and refined texture of superfine tannins. Full-bodied, yet so tight and polished. The finish is very, very impressive. Snaps at the end. Better than the 2015?




Château Cos-d'Estournel Bordeaux Blanc 2016


Score
96-97

A layered and deep white with beautiful fruit giving mango, sliced-lemon and green-pineapple character. Full-bodied and so flavorful. Love the phenolic balance. One of the best dry whites of the vintage.




Château Pichon Longueville Lalande Pauillac 2016


Score
96-97

Linear and racy with ultra-fine tannins and a gorgeous center palate. Full-bodied, tight and so polished. The classicism and beauty are exceptional. Love the texture. Better than 2015?




Château Les Carmes-Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2016


Score
96-97

Extremely long and erudite with crushed stones, blackberries and blueberries. Hints of fresh herbs. Full-bodied, tight and polished. The balance and beauty are amazing. Salty and minerally. More polished than the 2015. Wait and see. From biodynamic grapes.




Château d'Issan Margaux 2016


Score
96-97

This is so energetic for a young d’Issan with lots of white pepper, crushed stones and blackberries. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and great length. One of the greatest ever. Superb depth and intensity to this real Bordeaux. Wow.




Château Rauzan-Ségla Margaux 2016


Score
96-97

A solid red with currant and blackberry character. Full body, soft tannins and a flavorful finish. Shows richness and excitement. Juicy and sexy undertone to this.




Château Canon St.-Emilion 2016


Score
96-97

Very intense aromas already of pure berry, mineral and spice. Full body yet refined and tight with gorgeous linear and refined character. Beautiful and classic beauty.




Château Troplong Mondot St.-Emilion 2016


Score
96-97

Tar and blackberries here on the palate with very polished tannins and dense, beautiful fruit. Tight and centered. Wow. Can it be better than the 2015? We will see.




Château Palmer Margaux Alter Ego 2016


Score
95-96

This is very concentrated yet soft and fresh in texture. Full-bodied and round and mouth-filling. So impressive how it fills your mouth yet remains fresh. It’s so framed.




Château Branaire-Ducru St.-Julien 2016


Score
95-96

This is clearly the best wine I have tasted from Branaire-Ducru. Exquisite depth and richness are on offer, yet this is always framed and focused. Layers of fruit and tannins. So deep and long. Incredible quality.




Château Nenin Pomerol 2016


Score
95-96

A linear and dense wine that sneaks up on you with fantastic depth of fruit and structure. Full and racy. Shows finesse and muscle. Better than 2015?




Château d'Armailhac Pauillac 2016


Score
95-96

This is really tannic and muscular for d’Armailhac. Perhaps the most powerful ever. Full and chewy yet balanced and polished. Very, very impressive. Greatest ever?




Le Petit Mouton de Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 2016


Score
95-96

This is a very powerful Petit Mouton with so much rich fruit and power. Full-bodied, tannic yet polished and long. Muscular for the second wine of Mouton.




Blanc de Lynch-Bages Bordeaux Blanc 2016


Score
95

This is really excellent with sliced apples, lemon rind, minerals and stones. Medium to full body, vivid and energetic acidity and a long and powerful, almost minerally finish. Wow.




Château Suduiraut Sauternes 2016


Score
95-96

This has so much botrytis/spice character. Dried-mushroom powder as well. Full yet round and gorgeous. Exuberant softness. Very sweet and complex. Complete Sauternes.




Château Léoville Poyferré St.-Julien 2016


Score
95-96

The buildup on the palate is impressive with blackberry and blueberry character. Plenty of currants, too. Full-bodied, linear and tight. Racy tannins and a long finish. Shows tension, depth, real raciness and pure finesse. A combination of the best from both 2009 and 2010.




Château Brane-Cantenac Margaux 2016


Score
95-96

This is really strong from Brane-Cantenac this year with toned muscles and beautiful fruit. Full-bodied, chewy and polished. Shows wonderful intensity and density yet remains reserved and very tight. Very impressive from here. Grabs you. One of the best ever from here.




Château Durfort-Vivens Margaux 2016


Score
95-96

This is really superb with beautiful density and ripe tannin texture. Full body and a round and polished texture. Rich and impressive but all in class. Made from biodynamic grapes. Almost all cabernet sauvignon.




Château Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan 2016


Score
95-96

This is so linear and refined with compacted fruit and superb tannin texture. The length and beauty to this grab you immediately and make you pay attention. Wait and see.




Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan 2016


Score
95-96

A dense and tight DC with minerals, crushed stones, cement and blackcurrants. Full, tight and racy. Gorgeous. Leaf and tobacco undertones. Complex.




Clos Fourtet St.-Emilion 2016


Score
95-96

This is a solid and structured 2016 with fabulous density and freshness. Full-bodied yet vibrant and exciting. Wow. We will see.




Le Dôme St.-Emilion 2016


Score
95-96

Plenty of fruit density and richness with plum and blueberry character. Medium to full body, juicy finish. Very attractive already. Layered and so fine. Beautiful polish. Love it already. Very long finish.




Château Léoville Barton St.-Julien 2016


Score
95-96

Tight and chewy with a solid tannin structure and depth of fruit. Full body and lots of depth and texture. A Barton with lots happening already. Develops beautifully on the palate. Should be better than the 2015.




Château Gruaud-Larose St.-Julien 2016


Score
95-96

Full-bodied, layered and juicy young wine. Very tannic yet ripe and intense. Powerful finish. This will be excellent. Better than the 2015.




Château Lagrange St.-Julien 2016


Score
95-96

Powerful red with a rich and tannic center palate. Full body, lots of depth and a long and chewy finish. Indeed, this shows potential. Much better than the 2015.




Château Haut-Bages-Libéral Pauillac 2016


Score
94-95

Very chewy and long already with ripe tannins and plenty of fruit suggesting tobacco and blackcurrant character. Long finish. From biodynamic grapes.




Château du Tertre Margaux 2016


Score
94-95

A dense and tight red with currants, blueberries and hints of walnuts. Changes from pure fruit and then back to wet earth. The purity in the cabernet, the linear tannins and the drive with acidity behind it makes it one of the best Tertres ever. Better than 2015?




Clos du Marquis St.-Julien 2016


Score
94-95

The clarity and beauty of this young red are brilliant with blackberry, blueberry and mineral undertones. Full and racy. Long and wonderfully polished. Racy. Better than the 2015.




Château Clerc Milon Pauillac 2016


Score
94-95

Refined and ultra-fine with a linear and polished character. Full-bodied, yet tight and racy. A classy and sophisticated young wine.




Château Phélan Ségur St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
94-95

A super fragrant red with blackberry and blueberry aromas plus hints of blackcurrants. Full-bodied, powerful and structured. Tannic. Very long finish. A muscular and intense wine.




Les Forts de Latour Pauillac 2016


Score
94-95

This builds slowly on the palate, but it’s worth it. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and lots of currants, berries and minerals on the finish. On and on. Better than the 2015?




Les Tourelles de Longueville Pauillac 2016


Score
94-95

The density and beauty to this second wine are superb with a rich palate and round and velvety tannins. Lots of blackberries and blackcurrants. Wow.




Château Petit-Village Pomerol 2016


Score
94-95

Layered and intense with a fantastic depth of fruit and finesse. Full body, very fine yet chewy tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Close to the excellent 2015.




Croix de Beaucaillou St.-Julien 2016


Score
94-95

This is very tight and focused with blackberries, blackcurrants and licorice. Lots of crushed stones, too. Full-bodied, tightly wound and pretty. Exciting second wine from Ducru.




Château Vieux-Maillet Pomerol 2016


Score
94-95

This is fantastic with superb density and energy on the palate. Full, juicy and tannic. Will improve beautifully in barrel. Wait and see. Exciting achievement this vintage.




Clos L'Église Pomerol 2016


Score
94-95

A linear yet full-bodied young red with berries, firm tannins and lots of flavor and intensity. Fun and dynamic sample. Potentially better than 2015.




Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux Margaux 2016


Score
94-95

Very concentrated and tannic Pavillon Rouge. Muscular. Full body and lots of intense fruit. Four-square.




Château Rouget Pomerol 2016


Score
94-95

A red with a full body, round and juicy tannins and plenty of fruit. It’s got plenty ahead for its transformation in barrel. Excited with this one. Better than the 2015.




Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc 2016


Score
94-95

Dense and chewy already with plenty of ripe tannins and bright fruit. Vivid acidity. Full body, a firm and silky texture and a flavorful finish. Lots going on. Excellent follow-up to the great 2015!




Château Boyd-Cantenac Margaux 2016


Score
94-95

Extremely dense, fruity and full-bodied, yet it’s also tight and very refined with silky tannins and a flavorful finish. This is something in the making. Best in years.




Château Labégorce Margaux 2016


Score
94-95

This may be the best Labégorce ever. Full-bodied and dense yet vivid and energetic. Greatness in the making.




Château St.-Pierre St.-Julien 2016


Score
94-95

Blueberry, blackberry and fresh currant-leaf character. Full-bodied, refined, beautiful, dense and tight. Great depth. Best ever.




Château Beychevelle St.-Julien 2016


Score
94-95

The softness and finesse to this are indeed impressive with blackberry and blackcurrant character. Full-bodied, dense and polished. Lovely texture and length. It builds on the palate. Clearly better in 2015. This is the first year in from the new cellar.




Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Bordeaux 2016


Score
94-95

A dense and beautiful white with so much sliced-apple and pear character as well as hints of vanilla. Full-bodied, layered and very rich. Yet always vivid and beautiful.




Château Pédesclaux Pauillac 2016


Score
94-95

This is very tight and focused with a precise, almost percing depth. Full body, ultra-refined and a long finish. Fantastic length. Great elegance here with power.




Château Duhart-Milon Rothschild Pauillac 2016


Score
94-95

A firm and silky young red with a medium to full body and lovely chocolate, cedar and currant character. Flavorful finish. One of the best in a very long time.




Carruades de Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 2016


Score
94-95

The most tannic and textured Carruades ever. Full-bodied, big and powerful. Very, very long. New style?




Les Angelots de Gracia St.-Emilion 2016


Score
94-95

This shows amazing density and excitement. Full and tight with fabulous tannins. Goes on for minutes. Same as 2015 or better. Tiny production. 150 cases.




Château Tour Saint Christophe St.-Emilion 2016


Score
94-95

This is a wine with linear definition that gives it a precision that grabs your attention. Full body, fine tannins and a long finish. All here.




Château Bellefont-Belcier St.-Emilion 2016


Score
94-95

Wow. This really excelled in 2016 with so much intensity and focus. Dark berry and floral character. Full and tight. Superfine tannins. Excellent.




Château Villemaurine St.-Emilion 2016


Score
94-95

A solid Villemaurine with powerful structure and intensity. Full body, chewy tannins and a blackberry, walnut and wet-earth character. All there.




Château Sansonnet St.-Emilion 2016


Score
94-95

Dense and velvety-textured red with extremely attractive blackberry and stone character. Mineral and floral. This shows less extraction than in the past and delivers.




Château Fleur Cardinale St.-Emilion 2016


Score
94-95

A dense and layered red with blackberry and blueberry character. Hints of stones and minerals. Full body and chewy tannins. Serious potential.




Château Faugères St.-Emilion 2016


Score
94-95

A solid core of fruit to this young wine really seduces you with blackberry, chocolate and and walnut character. Full-bodied, velvety and intense. Citrusy undertones. All here. Better than 2015?




Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Blanc 2016


Score
94-95

A white with sliced-apple, pear and lemon character. Medium-to full-bodied, layered and so long. Tight and exciting. So salty and minerally. What a white!




Château Pape Clement Pessac-Leognan Blanc 2016


Score
94-95

A solid and four-square white with lemon-rind and dried-apple character. Pears, too. Full and dense with layers of fruit and phenolic character. Red wine texture in a white. One for aging.




Château Feytit-Clinet Pomerol 2016


Score
94-95

This is layered and beautiful with blackberries, spices and hints of cedar. Full body, polished tannins and a gorgeous finish. Sexy. Better than 2015. Best ever?




Enclos Tourmaline Pomerol 2016


Score
94-95

Fantastic blackberries, licorice and spices. Full-bodied, tight and focused. Tight and chewy. Toned and exciting. We will see.




Château Clinet Pomerol 2016


Score
94-95

The linear character to this is so impressive with beautiful blackberries and blueberries. Crushed stones and minerals. Medium to full body. Very pretty.




Château Carbonnieux Pessac-Léognan 2016


Score
94-95

Big and juicy red with lots of fruit and tannins yet it’s not overdone. Full-bodied, chewy and intense. Lots of potential here. Better than the 2015?




Château Langoa Barton St.-Julien 2016


Score
94-95

This is really structured with great depth and power. Full body, chewy tannins, lots of fruit and a tangy, fresh finish. Solid.




Château Pibran Pauillac 2016


Score
93-94

This is the best Pibran ever with fantastic depth of fruit and velvety tannins. Gorgeous fruit and richness. Layered and excellent. Dynamite.




Château Potensac Médoc 2016


Score
93-94

What a racy and focused Potensac with wonderful density and finesse as well as a firm and polished tannins that hold the whole thing together. A beautiful, reasoned young red. One of best Potensacs in a long time.




Le Petite Lion St.-Julien 2016


Score
93-94

Linear and tight with firm yet silky tannins. It’s very tight and structured, offering classic Bordeaux strength and personality. Full-bodied yet reserved. Second wine of Las Cases.




Aile d'Argent Bordeaux Blanc 2016


Score
93-94

A fresh and fruity white with sliced-pear and apple character. Undertones of pineapple. Full-bodied, savory and round-textured wine. Delicious.




Les Pagodes de Cos St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
93-94

The brightness and focus to this second wine of Cos are certainly impressive. You can see the quality. Full body, a tight and focused palate and beautiful fruit and density. Ultra-fine tannins. Gorgeous. Sophisticated.




Château Les Ormes-de-Pez St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
93-94

Powerful and structured with lots of blueberry, blackberry and currant character. Full-bodied, tight and tannic yet polished and beautiful. Fantastic. Juicy.




Echo de Lynch-Bages Pauillac 2016


Score
93-94

The second wine of Lynch is linear and tight with beautiful blackberry and currant character. Medium to full body, firm tannins and an energetic finish. Super concentrated on the center palate.




Château de Pez St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
93-94

This is the best wine ever from here with dark berries, nutmeg and other spices. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a polished texture. Lasts very long.




Réserve de la Comtesse Pauillac 2016


Score
93-94

A dense and powerful second wine from PL with layers of fruit and ripe, silky tannins. Shows tension and verve as well as polish. Excellent.




Blason d'Issan Margaux 2016


Score
93-94

This is a fantastic Blason with gorgeous fruit and velvety tannins. Full-bodied and dense with soft and velvety tannins. Lovely acidity at the end. Best ever second wine from here.




Château Bel-Orme-Tronquoy-de-Lalande Haut-Médoc 2016


Score
93-94

Very dense and rich with a solid core of ripe tannins and beautiful fruit. Full-bodied, tight and muscular. Impressive. Best in a long time from now.




Château La Fleur Morange St.-Emilion Avalone 2016


Score
93-94

This is powerful and deep for the appellation with blackberry, earth and spice character. Full-bodied, tight and focused. Shows pretty potential. A new wine from old vines that are over 100 years old.




Château Lestage-Simon Haut-Médoc 2016


Score
93-94

Tar and berry character with blackberry and licorice character. Full body and chewy tannins. Rich and layered. Excellent effort.




Château Arnauld Haut-Médoc 2016


Score
93-94

Fantastic wine from this estate with gorgeous ripe fruit and dense tannins that give this wine a soft and velvety texture. Long and flavorful. A wonderful follow-up to the 2015.




Château Barde-Haut St.-Emilion 2016


Score
93-94

Lots of blueberry and blackberry character here. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a savory finish. Should develop beautifully. Exciting young wine.




Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc 2016


Score
93-94

Tight and chewy yet polished and beautiful. Medium to full body, a pretty core of fruit within the center palate and a flavorful finish. Better than 2015 and on the same level as the excellent 2014.




Château du Cartillon Haut-Médoc 2016


Score
93-94

Dense, rich and powerful with lots of ripe fruit and spices. Hints of dried flowers. Full and flavorful. Really well done this year. Best ever?




Château La Gurgue Margaux 2016


Score
93-94

Tight and chewy with currant and blueberry character. Medium body, a lovely center palate and a subtle finish. Pretty continuation to the 2015.




Château Ferrière Margaux 2016


Score
93-94

Tangy and fruity with spice and berry character. Full body, chewy tannins and a tight finish. This will fill out nicely in barrel. From biodynamic grapes.




Le Petit by Belle-Vue Vin de France 2016


Score
93-94

A red with gorgeous density and dried-berry, spice and blueberry character. Full and polished. Lovely texture. This is 100% petit verdot. Exceptional quality. First ever wine from here.




Château Prieuré-Lichine Margaux 2016


Score
93-94

Layered and rich with plenty of ripe fruit and ripe tannins. Full body, round and chewy tannins and a citrusy finish. Excellent like the 2015.




Château Marquis de Terme Margaux 2016


Score
93-94

Full, dense and chewy yet with a subtle minerally character, plenty of elegant dark fruit and a savory finish. Long.




Château Marojallia Margaux 2016


Score
93-94

Dense and solid red with blueberry, stone and blackberry character. Full and layered. Very pretty texture. Excited to watch this develop in barrel.




Château Lascombes Margaux 2016


Score
93-94

Full, focused and precise with dark berries, intensely fine tannins and a fresh finish. Medium to full body and a persistent finish. More refined than in the past, yet it remains very well structured.




Château Marsau Francs Côtes de Bordeaux 2016


Score
93-94

This is a rich and dense Marsau and probably the best ever. Full body and a wonderful depth of fruit and chocolate. Love the texture and intensity. Shows sophistication.




Château Lafon-Rochet St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
93-94

Plenty of fruit and concentration to this wine, and it’s buttressed by the tannins. Muscular and intense. Full-bodied yet reserved and tight. Excellent.




Château Lilian Ladouys St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
93-94

Firm and silky with a lovely depth of fruit and polished tannins. Some cedar and berry. Full and dense. Excellent length. Energetic acidity at end. Yes. Better than the super 2014. Best ever




Château Lespault-Martillac Pessac-Leognan Blanc 2016


Score
93-94

Dense and layered with dried-apple, pear and honey character. Hints of stones and pie crust. Full and impressive. A little oily. Wait and see.




Château Haut-Brisson St.-Emilion 2016


Score
93-94

Dense and precise with a pretty focus and silky tannins. Tight and polished. Medium body. Fine. Wait and see. But this shows intensity.




Château La Dominique St.-Emilion 2016


Score
93-94

Layered and juicy with lots of ripe fruit and soft tannins. Decadent and generous. Lots going on here.




Château Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan Blanc 2016


Score
93-94

A dense and layered white with lots of cooked-pear and apple character. Full and intense. Lots going on here. Wait and see.




Clos St.-Julien St.-Emilion 2016


Score
93-94

Very tight and intense with lots of dark fruit and minerals. Full body, polished and chewy tannins and a long finish. Shows mineral and salty character. We will see.




Château Gracia St.-Emilion 2016


Score
93-94

Great young wine with crushed-berry and stone character. Full body and polished tannins. Deep and beautiful. Exciting.




Château Beau-Séjour Bécot St.-Emilion 2016


Score
93-94

This is really beautiful in 2016 showing blackberry, blueberry and walnut character. Full-bodied, tight and focussed with fantastic length. Serious. Best ever modern vintage?




Château La Patache Pomerol 2016


Score
93-94

Velvety and rich with lots of blackberry and blueberry character plus hints of walnuts. Full and velvety. Long and intense. Same as 2015!




Les Astéries St.-Emilion 2016


Score
93-94

A tight and firm wine with an attractive density of fruit and tannins. Full body, yet in reserve. The fruit intensity grows on your palate. Love the quality of the tannins.




Le Carré St.-Emilion 2016


Score
93-94

Tight and juicy with lots of blueberry and chocolate character. Full and savory. Lovely wine. Exciting to taste.




Vieux Château Mazerat St.-Emilion 2016


Score
93-94

A layered and rich red with lots of berry, chocolate and hints of toasted oak. Full body. Lovely texture. Big finish. Really impressive. Better than 2015.




Château Latour-Martillac Pessac-Léognan 2016


Score
93-94

Dense and chewy young wine with stone, blackberry and blueberry character. Full and chewy. Shows potential. Another 2015?




Château Larrivet-Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2016


Score
93-94

Solid red with a lovely core of ripe fruit and hot-stone character. Full body and soft and juicy tannins. Pretty young wine. May be the same level as the 2015.




Château Ramafort Medoc 2016


Score
93-94

A tight and solid young wine with blackcurrant, sweet-tobacco and mushroom character. Lots of character already. Full body and chewy tannins. Fantastic effort.




Château Gloria St.-Julien 2016


Score
93-94

Dense and layered red with berry and tobacco character, a full body and a savory finish. Got it all here.




Château Talbot St.-Julien 2016


Score
93-94

A full-bodied red that stays in check with a firm and lightly chewy tannin backbone. Full body and an intense finish. Shows excellent potential.




La Sirène de Giscours Margaux 2016


Score
92-93

Bright and vivid second wine of Giscours shows such resounding energy with lots of blueberry and currant character. Shows its majority of merlot here. Fine and polished. Remake of the 2015?




Château Giscours Vin de France 2016


Score
92-93

A juicy and fruity white with plenty of sliced lemons, pears and hints of cream. Full-bodied, round and flavorful. A blend of chardonnay, viognier and gros manseng.




Croix Canon St.-Emilion 2016


Score
92-93

A dense and rich red with chocolate, plum and berry character. Medium to full body and round and juicy tannins. Very pretty. Second wine of Canon.




Ségla Margaux 2016


Score
92-93

A vivid and bright wine with firm, silky and fine tannins. Bright acidity freshens a medium body, which leads into a fresh finish. Straight-shooting Margaux red here.




Fugue de Nenin Pomerol 2016


Score
92-93

A full and juicy red with plums and dark berries plus hints of stones and minerals. Round and generous. Second wine of Nenin... and even better than the 2015!




Château de Reignac Bordeaux Supérieur 2016


Score
92-93

A solid red with dense fruit, yet one that’s tight and compacted. Firm and silky tannins. Bright acidity. Shows excellent potential.




Balthus Bordeaux Supérieur 2016


Score
92-93

Serious barrel sample with crushed stones, cement and dark berries. Full and tannic. Solid line of acidity, too. Look forward to seeing this evolve.




La Petite Marquise du Clos du Marquis St.-Julien 2016


Score
92-93

A firm and silky young wine with wet-earth and blackberry character. Hints of bramble berries. It’s so rich on the finish. Second wine of Clos du Marquis.




Château Tronquoy-Lalande St.-Estephe 2016


Score
92-93

A dense and rich red with blueberry, blackberry and licorice character. Full to medium body, tight yet velvety tannins and a long and linear finish. Shows focus.




Château Carignan Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux Prima 2016


Score
92-93

Lots of berry and chocolate character here with plums and spices. Medium to full body, round tannins and a generous finish. Complex already.




Pauillac de Château Latour Pauillac 2016


Score
92-93

This is really a fantastic third wine of Latour with currant, mineral, spice and stone character. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a prolonged finish. Impressive. Best since 2010.




Château Haut-Beausejour St.-Estephe 2016


Score
92-93

A generous and round-textured red here. Full to medium body. Juicy and fruity. Pretty young wine — the best from here in a long time.




Château de la Dauphine Fronsac 2016


Score
92-93

This is extremely structured and dense yet agile and energetic at the same time. Medium to full body, flanked by a linear backbone of tannins. Down on this.




Les Griffons de Pichon Baron Moulis-en-Médoc 2016


Score
92-93

This is a very strong and linear red with blackcurrants, blueberries and minerals. Some mint, too. Full-bodied, tight and polished. Very long.




Château Vieux Chaigneau Lalande-de-Pomerol 2016


Score
92-93

This is a young wine that is going to deliver a lot when it finally reaches the bottle. Full body, firm and chewy tannins and a long finish. One to watch.




S de Suduiraut Bordeaux Blanc 2016


Score
92-93

This shows such density and complexity with sliced apples, hints of pineapple and minerals. Some toast, too. Medium body and lovely fruit. Gorgeous dry white.




Château Le Crock St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
92-93

This is very tight and structured with excellent tannins and density. Cool and racy. Best ever!




Château l'Ancien Lalande-de-Pomerol 2016


Score
92-93

This shows depth and richness for the appellation with a pretty combination of ripe fruit and rich tannins. Should develop beautifully in barrel.




Pavillon de Léoville Poyferré St.-Julien 2016


Score
92-93

Beautiful softness and ripe tannins envelop a lovely center palate of ripe fruit. Medium to full body and an intense finish. Serious second wine from here.




Château Lalande-Borie St.-Julien 2016


Score
92-93

This is very linear and refined with tight-grained tannins and blackberry and blackcurrant character. Shows such finesse and beauty. One of best from here in a long time.




Château L'Enclos Pomerol 2016


Score
92-93

Full-bodied, dense and juicy. Round and chewy tannins and a medium finish. Shows potential and density. From biodynamic grapes.




Le Baron de Brane Margaux 2016


Score
92-93

Love the fruit on the center palate here with its brightness and vivid acidity. Citrus undertones and a fresh finish. Well done here, and it’s a second wine!




Château La Croix St.-Georges Pomerol 2016


Score
92-93

Tangy and minerally on the palate with lots of crushed-stone and berry character. Full and chewy. Looking forward to seeing its evolution in barrel.




Château Guillot-Clauzel Pomerol 2016


Score
92-93

Tangy and vivid with an energetic combination of fruit, tannins and acidity. Fresh finish.




Clos Beauregard Pomerol 2016


Score
92-93

Tight and linear sample with blueberry and blackberry character. Medium body and firm and silky tannins. Chewy. Solid young wine.




Château Vray Croix de Gay Pomerol 2016


Score
92-93

A tangy and minerally red with a salty, chalky character under the blue fruits. Medium to full body and a chewy finish.




Château Faizeau Montagne-St.-Emilion Sélection Vieilles Vignes 2016


Score
92-93

Very salty and chewy with lots of tannins and wet-earth, berry character. A little rustic but this muscular red has character.




Château Lyonnat Lussac-St.-Emilion Emotion 2016


Score
92-93

Shows some class with blueberry, blackberry and walnut character. Medium body, tight and polished tannins and a juicy finish. Balanced and sophisticated texture.




Château Sénéjac Haut-Médoc 2016


Score
92-93

Dense and layered with blueberry and chocolate character. Medium body, fine tannins and a flavorful finish. Racy and refined already.




Château Bonneau Haut-Médoc 2016


Score
92-93

Tight and linear with a beautiful center palate of dark fruit as well as lemon undertones. Medium to full body, silky tannins and a fresh finish. Serious effort here.




Château de Camensac Haut-Médoc 2016


Score
92-93

A tangy and dense red with plum, chocolate and berry character. Full body, chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Shows excellent upside. Nice follow-up to the excellent 2015.




Château Lanessan Haut-Medoc 2016


Score
92-93

A structured young red with currant and berry character. Medium body, velvety tannins and a savory finish.




Château Soudars Haut-Médoc 2016


Score
92-93

A full-bodied red with chewy tannins and ripe fruit. Round and intense. Show lots of character at this stage and should develop nicely in barrel. Better than the 2015.




Château d’Hanteillan Haut-Médoc 2016


Score
92-93

Tight and solid with blueberry and mineral character. Full and tight. Bright yet chewy. Muscular for the appellation. Better than the 2015, which was already excellent.




Château Larose-Trintaudon Haut-Benauge 2016


Score
92-93

A dense and beautiful red with plums and berries as well as chocolate and walnuts. Full body, soft and silky tannins and a focused finish. Well done from this producer.




Château Larose Perganson Haut-Médoc 2016


Score
92-93

A tight and rich young red with velvety tannins, ripe dark fruit and a savory finish. Full and impressive. Look forward to following its evolution.




Château La Fleur Morange St.-Emilion 2016


Score
92-93

This shows serious depth and texture with berry and chocolate character and chewy, polished tannins. Full to medium body and a long finish. All here.




Château Le Prieure St.-Emilion 2016


Score
92-93

Dense and minerally red with blueberry and blackberry character. Hints of licorice, too. Medium body and a juicy finish.




Château La Confession St.-Emilion 2016


Score
92-93

A dense and rich red with blackberry, blueberry and fresh mushroom character. Medium to full body, a wonderful balance of ripe tannins and fresh acidity. Harmonious, young wine.




Château Chasse-Spleen Moulis-en-Medoc 2016


Score
92-93

A solid and linear young wine with blackcurrant and berry character, a medium to full body and a savory finish. Another excellent, young Chasse-Spleen.




Clos Petit badon St.-Emilion 2016


Score
92-93

A tangy and juicy wine with dark-berry and cherry character. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a delicious finish. Excited about this one. Never tasted it.




Château La Gaffelière St.-Emilion 2016


Score
92-93

Tangy and minerally young wine with blackberry and blueberry character. Medium body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Shows some structure, not to mention finesse.




Château Bolaire Bordeaux Supérieur 2016


Score
92-93

A beautiful young wine with linear and super-refined tannins as well as a long and delicious finish. Fantastic length and precision. Half petit verdot and merlot. Best ever?




Domaine du Bouscat Bordeaux Supérieur Les Portes de L’Am 2016


Score
92-93

This is very dense and powerful with robust structure and intensity. Lots of minerals and blackberries. Full and chewy yet polished. Very impressive. Fun that there’s some malbec in this.




Clos des Lunes Bordeaux Blanc Lune d’argent 2016


Score
92-93

The acidity to this really gives verve and intensity to the wine. Full yet vivid. Exciting.




Clos Manou Médoc 2016


Score
92-93

Stone and mineral aromas with cement undertones. Crushed raspberries and currants. Full-bodied and so refined with a beautiful finish. Gorgeous.




Château Desmirail Margaux 2016


Score
92-93

A chewy and rich red with plenty of currant and black-cherry character. Tannic. Should come together nicely with some barrel aging.




Château La Tour de Bessan Margaux 2016


Score
92-93

Full yet tight and tannic with a polished texture and a chewy finish. Lively and intense.




Château Andron Blanquet St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
92-93

Solid core of ripe fruit such as blackberries and cherries follows through to a medium body, firm and silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Excellent.




Château Haut-Marbuzet St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
92-93

Tangy and energetic with a mineral, dried-lemon and dark-berry character. Full body and chewy tannins. All here.




Château Pauillac Pauillac 2016


Score
92-93

A dense and velvety red with blueberries, chocolate and walnuts. Full-bodied, round and juicy. Ripe tannins.




Château Tour des Termes St.-Estèphe 2016


Score
92-93

Plenty of dark fruit here, and there’s a solid core of it within the center palate. Hints of licorice amidst the blackcurrant character. Full body and a lovely center palate.




Moulin de Duhart Pauillac 2016


Score
92-93

A very fine and elegant second wine from Duhart with blackcurrant and berry character. Medium body and silky tannins. A beauty.




Château Capbern St.-Estèphe 2016