En Primeur Bordeaux 2016

Pauillac - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to shopping basket] Armailhac Pauillac £390 - 92-94 92-94 95-96 17 92-95 -
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The 2016 D'Armailhac is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot that was picked between 27 September and 14 October. The bouquet is very impressive, typical d'Armaihlac in terms of the opulence and flamboyance with lush black cherry and boysenberry fruit, a subtle floral note developing with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a crisp and tensile entry; there is immense purity here with some lovely blue fruit appearing on the finish. This is a d'Armailhac that is emboldened by unprecedented tannic structure that gives it real backbone and a sense of authority. Quite simply, this is one of the best wines of Château D'Armailhac that I have tasted, somehow not a million miles away from Grand Puy Lacoste in style.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2021-2045

62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Expressive almost heady nose with creamy spicy fruits and mocha and some toasty notes. Robust plum and spices fruit, deep in the middle with a creamy texture, tasty and complete.

Score: 92 - 94 Albany Vintners

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?

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Very dark, blackish purple. Perfumed and rather seductive. Pretty chunky and solid. Tannins more in evidence than in some (though admittedly this is my first Pauillac in a long run of wines). A long-distance runner. Very juicy. (17-)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2045

Inviting, with notes of currant preserves and cherry sauce giving way to taut charcoal and singed alder accents. The chalky finish is a bit tight, but the stuffing is there. This has really good energy.

Score: 92 - 95 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Such richness through the palate, with deep crushed blackberry notes alongisde soft coffee bean. I get hints of Petit Mouton here. The Mouton stable measure their tannins in weight, not IPT, and this year comes in even higher than 2010, 4.5g compared to 4g. You don't feel it because the grain of the tannins is so fine, but it is clearly going to age well, without any dryness. Incredible balance, with a pH of 3.55 giving freshness to the alcohol, and making these wines really not very difficult to taste. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, to be aged in 30% new oak.

Score: 93 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Batailley Pauillac £414 - 93-95 92-93 95-96 17 91-94 -
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The 2016 Batailley is a blend of 12% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 85% Cabernet Sauvignon cropped at 50h hectoliters per hectare. Matured in 60% new oak. It has an intense graphite infused bouquet with fine delineation, some freshly picked Pauillac mint coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin that grip the mouth insistently; with graphite and tobacco-infused black fruit dominating, this a classically styled Batailley in the vein of previous vintages with the elegance coming through towards the finish. This is one of those wines that grows on you, perhaps not as easy or as charming to taste as other Pauillac 2016s at this stage, but knowing this property well, I know how it can blossom when it matters, which is when you and I drink it.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2022-2050

85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, representing 70% of production. Rich and dense with lots of concentration of spiced black fruits. powerful but ripe tannins.

Score: 92 - 93 Albany Vintners

I thought the 2015 defined the new Batailley, but this is fantastic. Full-bodied and so tannic and powerful. Flavors of chocolate, coffee and spices. Excellent finish. Very muscular. Tight and precise.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Lifted, sweet and very Pauillac on the nose. Thick and sweet on the palate though – rather different from the nose. Pretty sharp on the palate with some overtones of the right bank even though the nose is pure Pauillac. Quite a dramatic play, this wine! Drama in spades. (17+)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2043

Enticingly fresh, this is open-knit in feel, offering a pretty display of cherry paste and red currant preserve flavors. A twinge of warm earth on the finish keeps this grounded and adds some needed bass.

Score: 91 - 94 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

A tunnel of tannins takes you right through the palate, but it is not fully walled in as with 2010, rather the tannins are pliable and the overall feeling is of well controlled fruit that deepens as you go along. The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 12% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, and a pH of 3.6. Wonderfully deep fruit flavours of blackberry and crushed cassis reside against black chocolate and well contained tannins. A lovely vintage that has power but is just the right side of big extraction. Good persistency with a coffee-scented finish. This is a buy, for sure.

Score: 93 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2045

[Add to waiting list] Clerc Milon Pauillac £600 - Sold Out 92-94 94-96 94-95 17-18 93-96 90-93
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The 2016 Clerc Milon is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere (the latter vinification intégrale, so that it includes 50% of the stems, and Philippe Dhalluin said he was pleased with the results). It has a very pure bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit, a touch of cedar and ash in the background. It takes time to really unfold in the glass. The palate is adorable: svelte tannin, beautifully pitched acidity, great depth with a silky smooth finish that just caresses the mouth. There is a little tightness here compared to the more expressive 2016 d'Armailhac, but I have no doubt that it will turn into a top-flight Clerc-Milon.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2023-2050

55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Carmenere. Exciting polished blue and black fruits, crème de cassis and spices. Intense, long and mineral with high toned fruits in the middle and bright acidity. A great Clerc Milon.

Score: 94 - 96 Albany Vintners

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

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Real aromatic lift. Calm, collected, lovely 'minerality'. Completely pure. Fully ripe but not a trace of sweetness. So cool! (17.5+)

Score: 17 - 18 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2043

Very fresh in feel, with bright cassis and cherry fruit racing along an iron edge. Shows a good sleek feel through the finish and a light tug of earth at the very end. A vivacious and delicious wine in the making.

Score: 93 - 96 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2016 Clerc Milon is dense, plush and undeniably appealing. Plump fruit and supple tannins add to the wine's considerable charm. Here, too, the texture is sweet, plush and quite generous. A burst of dark blue/purplish fruit, grilled herbs, menthol and licorice punctuates the vivid finish. Clerc Milon has been terrific on each of the three occasions I have tasted it so far.

Score: 90 - 93 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

An estate that has been making great leaps forward over recent years, and once again we have a gorgeous Clerc on our hands. This is extremely succulent, with aromatic complexity and a freshness that just bursts out of the glass. Things start off closed for the first minute or so, then the juice comes rushing through. The mid-palate is smooth and polished but also bursting with energy. This is quite clearly one of their best ever wines, ripped through with sweet cherry and wild blackberry fruit, tightened up by slate and cedar. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere (some of the oldest plantings of this grape in Bordeaux).

Score: 96 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Duhart Milon Pauillac £660 - 92-94 93-95 94-95 17 - 89-91
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The 2016 Duhart-Milon-Rothschild is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot picked between 26 September and 12 October with around 13.3% alcohol, slightly higher than in 2015 that suffered a little dilution. The bouquet is tightly wound with blackberry, cigar box and sous-bois aromas that gently unfold in the glass. This is classic, conservative Duhart-Milon. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a crisp line of acidity, just a touch of black pepper enlivening the black fruit. Overall, this represents in some ways a return to the slightly more austere style of Duhart-Milon, yet there is perhaps now more approachability and certainly plenty of freshness. For me, this is a step up from the 2015 and it comes recommended.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2023-2045

Inky nose, with blue and black fresh fruit, very clean and fresh and scented. Elegant on the palate, subtle but strong tannins. Impressive.

Score: 93 - 95 Albany Vintners

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.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

67% Cabernet Sauvignon picked from 3 to 12 October, 33% Merlot picked 26 to 29 September. Dark glowing crimson. Black pepper and intensity on the nose. Bone dry and enormous energy and savour. Real elegance and some majesty. Neat and well balanced. Bravo! Very much speaks of the vintage with its freshness and intensity. (17+)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2042

The 2016 Duhart-Milon is an attractive midweight wine. Floral aromatics and soft, silky tannins give the wine its gracious personality. Dark cherry, plum, lavender and new leather all develop in the glass, but above all else, the 2016 is a gentle, subtle Pauillac that shows the more understated side of the year. I imagine it will drink well pretty much right out of the gate. Today, the Duhart is perhaps just a touch narrow in its construction. It will be interesting to see if it fleshes out a bit more during its aging.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

Streamlined and pared back to the essentials, this is an excellent Duhart that has the classic reserve of this wine but with a pure fruit quality. There is a beautiful balance between fruit and tannins, and a clear elegance, almost surprsingly soft for a wine known to be backwards when young. But the softness is deceptive because there is both concentration and richness, it's simply the 2016 sleight of hand. From a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot, to be aged in 50% new oak.

Score: 95 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Echo de Lynch Bages (2nd wine of Lynch Bages) Pauillac £340 - 89-91 - 93-94 16 90-93 89-92
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The 2016 Echo de Lynch Bages is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot, representing about one-third of the total production. It has a clean and precise bouquet, very polished and developing crushed violet scents with time. The palate is medium-bodied with quite crunchy, firm tannin on the entry. Quite saline in the mouth, masculine and grippy with just a little toughness on the finish that should mellow by the time of bottling. Best give this Deuxième Vin a couple of years in bottle if you can.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2020-2032

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.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot. Second-year barrels. Very deep crimson. Rather pure and alluring on the nose. Then a little tart on the end. As though all the wines with less ripe phenolics went into this. Sandpaper tannins.

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2021-2028

Shows a slightly dusty edge, but the core of fruit bursts with friendly cassis and cherry compote flavors. Cedar and singed vanilla accents score the finish.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2016 Echo de Lynch Bages offers lovely intensity in its bold, forward fruit. Sweet dark cherry, plum, lavender, spice and menthol infuse this deep, racy Pauillac. Sumptuous and resonant on the palate, the 2016 will drink nicely right out of the gate. Today, the primary fruit is super-expressive.

Score: 89 - 92 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

Echo de Lynch-Bages this year accounts for 25% of overall production, and even here we are at a tannin index of 85IPT. But the freshness is undeniable, with a pH of 3.55 giving beautiful violet reflections on the colour. On the palate, there are softer brambly fruits than in the grand vin. 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot.

Score: 91 Decanter Maturity: 2025-2038

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