En Primeur Bordeaux 2016

Haut Medoc - The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Beaumont Haut Medoc £100 - 88-90 90-92 91-92 16 - -
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The 2016 Beaumont, owned by Suntory and Castel, has a rather conservative bouquet, a little backward and surly compared to its peers with undergrowth aromas coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, quite lithe and agile in the mouth, a wine willing to go out and please and not worry too much about cellaring. Whilst it does not quite have the complexity of the 2015, it is still a mouthful of potentially delicious wine.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2019-2029

50% CS, 47% M, 3% PV. Attractive crunchy black fruit and a hint of hedgerow. Bright with good fresh fruit in the mouth and firm, angular tannins.

Score: 90 - 92 Albany Vintners

A juicy and pretty wine with berry and chocolate character, a medium body and a clean finish. Clearly better than the 2015.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Deep crimson. Muted but 'correct' aromatically. Some richness on the front palate. Very dry finish. More flesh than usual and a good expression of vintage and estate. 16++

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2033

From the Beychevelle team, this is a good wine. The mid-palate fills out with brambly fruit, and it is a little rustic on the finish. An even split between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with 8% Petit Verdot.

Score: 89 Decanter Maturity: 2023-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Belgrave Haut Medoc £255 - 90-92 - 92-93 16 88-91 -
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The 2016 Belgrave is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot and was picked from 28 September until 20 October. It has a generous bouquet with small dark cherries, blueberry and crushed violet aromas, quite Margaux-like in style. There is certainly good intensity here. The palate is medium-bodied with a supple opening: blackberry, mint and cedar. From the start there is fine tension and there is very impressive structure towards the finish, plus a long saline aftertaste. This is a very strong follow-up to the 2015 Belgrave and indeed, it may surpass it.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2021-2042

This is really constructed and powerful with lots of muscular tannins and rich fruit. Full-bodied, juicy and intense. Very serious. One of the best in years.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Very deep crimson. Real lift and attractive (rather than underripe) leafy top note. Rather sumptuous start and then it rather falls away to something a little scrawny on the end.

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2034

Modest but persistent, with a focused beam of black cherry and cassis flavors, carried by a good graphite edge.

Score: 88 - 91 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Investments at this property have increasingly paid off over recent vintages. This is brooding and a little subdued at the moment, but is packed with Médoc signature delivered in a subtle but enjoyable manner. It has a cedar sweetness and ripe blackberry fruits with a pulse of acidity, and is well held together. 50% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot.

Score: 91 Decanter Maturity: 2024-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Camensac Haut Medoc £255 - 90-92 - 92-93 16 - -
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The 2016 Camensac is an equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, picked from 27 September until 18 October at 42 hectoliters per hectare. There is a pastille-like purity on the nose: blackberry, briary and a light floral note coming through with time. The quality of the vintage shows through on the palate, which is very harmonious and demonstrates both excellent backbone and intensity. It builds in the mouth, maintaining plenty of freshness and with a mineral-driven finish. This is an excellent Château de Camensac and fingers crossed it will represent great value in the market once released.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2024-2045

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.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Hint of pencil shavings on the nose. Then ripe fruit but it could do with a little more lift. And on the palate the phenolics are a bit underripe.

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2032

A lovely Camensac full of plush, sculpted tannins and a ripple of cassis fruit. This closes down a little on the finish; maybe the fruit isn't quite pushing through the entire length of the wine and could do with being a little denser, but the tarry edge to the oak gives a sense of ambition and there is plenty to enjoy here.

Score: 91 Decanter Maturity: 2024-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Cantemerle Haut Medoc £270 - 90-92 91-93 94-95 15-16 88-91 89-92
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The 2016 Cantemerle has a tightly wound bouquet and it never quite delivers the detail and mineralité that some of its peers have produced in this vintage. There are attractive undergrowth scents and a touch of tobacco, but it does not leap from the glass with joy. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, good depth of fruit, blackberry laced with cedar and graphite. One sample was missed a little precision, however, a second and third demonstrated much more precision and tension. My score reflects this.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2020-2030

Deep beautiful colour. Impressive core of cassis fruit. Tannins are subtle, round and ripe. Juicy back palate.

Score: 91 - 93 Albany Vintners

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!

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Quite pungent with treacly notes on the nose. Fairly light and soulless - not to say a little fruitless. Green notes on the end.

Score: 15 - 16 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2030

Lively cherry and bitter plum fruit streaks through, laced with fine chalky tannins. Picks up iron and savory hints on the finish.

Score: 88 - 91 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2016 Cantemerle comes across as raw and not fully put together. Even so, the wine possesses superb richness, volume and depth. Iron, smoke, raspberry jam and succulent cherry notes are all pushed forward. Plush and racy, with striking depth, this succulent, expressive Haut-Médoc is built for pleasure. Tasted two times.

Score: 89 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

For me this is easily one of their best ever wines, totally living up to its fifth growth billing. Lovely and juicy with excellent tension, really walking that line. Menthol, cassis and cedar are framed by well-wrought tannins that bring the whole thing together and lead onto a juicy finish. The blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot is aged in 40% new oak for 12 months, followed by a further four months in vats before bottling.

Score: 93 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Lagune Haut Medoc £420 - 93-95 - - 17 - 84-87
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At least for this writer, the 2016 La Lagune is a return to form after their 2015 did not light my fire last en primeur. Lucid purple/black in color, it has a very intense bouquet with blackberries and sloes, whilst maintaining delineation and focus, almost pastille-like in style. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannin, perhaps just a little brittle on the entry, though it is commensurate with others 2016s that I tasted in barrel. I appreciate the focus and the "correctness" of this La Lagune, notwithstanding the freshness and tension that defines the persistent finish. This is a long-term wine, so do not be afraid to give this four or five years in the cellar. This is an excellent La Lagune, one of the best in recent years.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2023-2045

Dark crimson with a slightly pale rim. Strong balsam notes on the nose - distinctive! Very full and supple. I would guess there was some strict selection here to have such ripeness. Some freshness on the end. A satisfying whole. Quite long. 17- Points

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2042

Both samples of the 2016 La Lagune I tasted were slightly pruny and oxidized, which could be caused by overripe fruit and/or low sulfur levels in the samples. I look forward to tasting the 2016 again, as there is good plushness and silkiness to the fruit. Tasted two times.

Score: 84 - 87 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

Now certified organic, and converting to biodynamics from this year. It displays a confident weight to the damson fruits that are hugely elegant and well placed. A little closed when tasted on two occasions, and the high Petit Verdot content of this wine is no doubt contributing to its slight austerity at this stage, but it also brings that beautifully welcome whoosh of black fruit spicing. Very good quality, elegant and long-ageing, just a dash below the exceptional 2015.

Score: 93 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2045

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