En Primeur Bordeaux 2016

St Estephe - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Calon Segur St Estephe Unreleased - 95-97 96-97 98-99 18-19 94-97 94-97
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The 2016 Calon Segur is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot cropped at 42 hectoliters per hectare between 29 September and 15 October (finishing with the Cabernets and the Petit Verdot). Notice that Cabernet Franc, which excelled not just here but around Saint Estèphe in this vintage, given that there was not a drop in the 2015. It has a very elegant bouquet, very pure with small macerated black cherries, blueberry, a hint of licorices and juniper berries, all effortlessly detailed and exuding what I term "controlled opulence." The palate is medium-bodied with a sense of symmetry on the entry, the acidity very well judged and the tannins far less rustic than the Calon-Ségurs of old. What I like about this Calon-Ségur is that it could not come from anywhere apart from Saint Estèphe: that structure, that obduracy counterbalanced by the opulence bestowed by the growing season. There is freshness locked in here from start to finish, with a subtle tang of seaweed and black pepper on the long aftertaste. For me this is a serious step up from the 2015, and the structure augurs a Calon-Ségur destined to last as long as those legendary wines from the 1920s and 1940s. Chapeau to winemaker Vincent Millet and estate director Laurent Dufau. This is easily the best Calon-Ségur that I have tasted from barrel.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2026-2060

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot & 2% Petit Verdot. High quality Cabernet Franc distinguishes the 2016 from the 2015 when none was used in the Grand Vin. A sophisticated nose, a wealth of ripe black and blue fruit. Profuse and weighty savoury black fruits in the mouth, very dense character that seems to build and build, with exciting freshness, elegant bite of ripe tannins and length. A great Calon Segur.

Score: 96 - 97 Albany Vintners

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?

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. Rich, deep, glowing purplish crimson. Pungent and really interesting and layered on the nose already. Creamy texture and massive energy. Lots of tannin but all beautifully balanced. This is seriously intriguing rather than just ticking boxes. Glows on the end. Old-vine influence - really gives layers and intrigue. Sweetness of tannin. But the freshness really lifts it. 14%

Score: 18 - 19 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2055

This sports a dark fruit core, a mouthwatering iron edge and a long, tobacco-accented finish. The broad and racy feel gives this a distinctive profile. This should put on some weight.

Score: 94 - 97 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2016 Calon Ségur is dense, powerful and radiant. Even so, it possesses striking aromatic intensity. Much of that no doubt comes from the Cabernet Franc. Sweet red cherry, plum, spice, mint and rose petal build into the silky, textured finish. In 2016, Calon Ségur is all class. There is quite a bit of tannin (more than 2014 and 2015) but the tannins are totally woven into the wine's fabric. The 2016 is not an explosive or obvious Calon, but rather a wine of exquisite beauty and pure class. Don't miss it! As of today, the best Saint-Estèphe wine of the vintage.

Score: 94 - 97 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

An extremely complete and well balanced vintage for Calon Ségur that shows how, with the right levels of acidity, tannin and depth of fruit, even 100% new oak can melt away. This is one of the signs of a great vintage and we have it here in spades. Great definition on the darkly spiced palate, with powerful cassis, liquorice, mint and violets that are dense yet feathery, with chalky tannins that need time to bed in. I love that the tannins are extremely high (80IPT) but not upfront, helped by a pH of 3.6. Just 35% of production made it into the grand vin because so much replanting was done back in 2006, although this should ramp up as the vines mature - they believe the potential is for 70% grand vin. The blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

Score: 96 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Capbern (formerly Capbern Gasqueton) St Estephe £170 - 90-92 89-92 92-93 17 90-93 90-92
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The 2016 Capbern (the erstwhile "Château Capbern-Gasqueton") is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, delivering around 14% alcohol with a total acidity of 3.5 grams per liter. It was cropped at 42 hectoliters per hectare and is being matured in 60% new French oak. It has a clean and precise bouquet with blackberry, mint and just a hint of boot polish. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin; this is a typical Saint-Estèphe in terms of a bold, almost Montrose-like tannic structure, gently grippy with more than enough freshness on the pert finish. There is a lovely touch of cracked black pepper on the aftertaste. Give this three or four years in bottle as this is a fine Château Capbern.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2021-2040

69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Deeply coloured with spiced currants and bramble fruit. Midweight with a core of crunchy fruit and firm tannins. Very attractive Saint Estephe.

Score: 89 - 92 Albany Vintners

Love the stone, tar and black currant in this. Full and tight with firm and silky tannins and a long, long finish. Spicy, too. Can’t wait to see how this evolves. Serious.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 4% very old Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 60% new oak. Very deep crimson. Round and flattering texture with lots of zappy tannin. A little more angular than the famous 2009 but very easy to drink. Tannins quite marked at the moment. Very round tannins but they are there in such profusion that you will have to wait.. GV 14%

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2032

A vibrant and energetic wine, with savory and bay notes adding to the mix of crushed cherry, plum and blood orange flavors. Reveals an iron-edged spine on the finish.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

One of the sleepers of the vintage, the 2016 Capbern is a gorgeous wine. Plump, juicy and expressive, with good aromatic nuance throughout, the Capbern is once again terrific. Sweet tobacco, grilled herbs, licorice and succulent red cherry infuse this racy, exquisitely beautiful Saint-Estèphe. The Cabernet Sauvignon is quite expressive today, while soft contours and silky tannins add to the wine's considerable appeal. The 2016 is without question the most complete of the mid-tier Saint-Estèphes. Don't miss it. Tasted three times.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

This shows a great combination of deep, intense cassis and loganberry fruits and chalky, almost chewy, tannins. There is a slow creep of power, but with a sense of lightness in the touch. This is a reliable property, known as Capbern Gasqueton until 2013, that has delivered another hugely drinkable vintage - the IPT of 78 is similar to the 2014. The blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot spends 18 months in 60% new oak. 3.7pH.

Score: 92 Decanter Maturity: 2024-2038

[Add to waiting list] Cos d'Estournel St Estephe £1,400 - Sold Out 98-100 96-97 97-98 18 - 92-95
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The 2016 Cos d'Estournel takes the 2016 baton and runs with it. A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 26 September and 15 October at 45 hectoliters per hectare, this fabulous Saint Estèphe will be matured in 60% new oak. The alcohol level this year is 13.07%, which proprietor Michel Reybier reminded me is almost 1.5% lower than in 2010. This is clearly a more classically styled Cos d'Estournel that is completely different than say, the 2009 Cos d'Estournel and the more flamboyant, exotic wines in recent years. It actually bears more stylistic similarities to its neighbor Montrose. It is extremely detailed with blackberry and a touch of boysenberry, the fruit almost "creeping up" on you by stealth and then underneath, an undertow of minerals, wet limestone and even flint. The palate has astonishing: exquisite balance, perhaps the most precise and detailed Cos d'Estournel that I have encountered in many years of tasting at this address. It segues into a Pauillac-like second-half with veins of graphite strafing the black fruit, but what marks this Cos d'Estournel is the palpable energy and tension allied with an effortless nature. The persistence, the reverberation in the mouth is quite magnificent, perhaps even longer on my second visit to the property compared to the first. It really is a brilliant Cos d'Estournel that oozes class and sophistication, moreover, a wine that is going to give serious amounts of drinking pleasure over a very long period of time. Boom—and Cos drops the mic. Tasted twice, almost three weeks apart, with consistent notes.

Score: 98 - 100 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2026-2065

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc with ageing in 60% new oak. 45% of the crop will be used to make Cos which shows of a beautiful expressive nose of dark plums, liquorice, cloves, ginger and cumin. Densely packed spicy fruit with cashmere tannins. A glossy bright, and elegant finish that is both very long and very fine.

Score: 96 - 97 Albany Vintners

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.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc. 26 September to 15 October. IPT 69. pH 3.66. Very similar analysis to 2015. 45 hl/ha yield, which they feel is best for vine balance now. Energy and raciness on the nose. Gentle and lifted. And then lots of tannins underneath. Fresh almost sandy tannins. Good energy and tea-leaf sensation. Excellent freshness. Long. Restrained. Elegant. 13.07%

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2042

The beautiful 2016 Cos d'Estournel is one of the most polished, gracious young Cos d'Estournels I can remember tasting. Aromatic freshness and lift, along with a distinctly red fruit profile, are among the signatures. It will be interesting to see if this style of Cos - one in which concentration and textural richness are backed off - is the result of the vintage or an evolution in winemaking philosophy, or perhaps, as is most likely, a little bit of both.

Score: 92 - 95 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

This is one of the best Cos d'Estournels that I can remember trying at this early stage, it really does have every hair standing up on end. Powerful and deep, with a clear intensity but such delicacy; this is fresh, beautiful and succulent. It moves effortlessly through the palate without ever letting you forget that it's there. Deep black cherries, touches of dark chocolate and graphite are driven forward by a pulse of energy. From a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc aged in 60% new oak.

Score: 97 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Dame de Montrose (2nd wine of Montrose) St Estephe £312 - 90-92 90-92 91-92 17 - 89-92
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The 2016 La Dame de Montrose is a blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 52% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 11% Petit Verdot. It is often a difficult Deuxième Vin to taste en primeur, and it often meliorates considerably during its élevage. Here, the aromatics took some time to coalesce in the glass: blackberry, graphite and a noticeable oyster shell aroma. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip in the mouth, grainy in texture with very fine balance towards the finish where the quality of the vintage showed through. Doubtless those aromatics will improve and gain harmony by the time it is in bottle, and indeed, when I returned for a second visit I discerned a little more finesse and prettiness on the finish. This is a delightful La Dame. Tasted twice.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2021-2035

52% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, 11% Petit Verdot. 42% of the crop was used here with 22% set aside for the 3rd wine instead. Deep ruby colour then ripe savoury fruits in the mouth and chunky tannins on the finish.

Score: 90 - 92 Albany Vintners

A linear and fine rendition of Montrose’s second wine with blueberry and blackberry character. Medium to full body, firm tannins and a juicy finish. Structured. Racy.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

52% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. This has absorbed all the Petit Verdot in 2016. Exceptionally deep blackish crimson. Not especially expressive on the nose but really deep and intense on the palate Very dense for a second wine but with a good raciness and energy. Rather elegant and flattering without resorting to sweetness. Quite cool on the end. Lighter and less dense than the grand vin.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2039

The 2016 La Dame de Montrose is plump, juicy and seductive from the very first taste. Bright floral notes give the wine lovely aromatic expansiveness. Sweet red cherry, plum, pomegranate and sweet spice notes are all pushed forward. In many vintages, La Dame is a smaller-scale version of the Grand Vin, but in 2016 it is almost unusually polished and sensual, an impression that is enhanced by voluptuous, almost opulent fruit and ripe, silky tannins. In 2016, La Dame is also dominated by Merlot, which no doubt contributes to its personality. Tasted two times.

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

A little subdued right now but the fresh, floral edging of the grand vin is also clear here, balanced by juicy black fruit flavours and a similar sense of restraint. The blend of 52% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc represents 42% of the estate's production.

Score: 92 Decanter Maturity: 2024-2035

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Lafon Rochet St Estephe Unreleased - 91-93 91-93 93-94 16-17 90-93 -
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The 2016 Lafon Rochet is a blend of 25% Merlot, 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc cropped at 46 hectoliters per hectare and matured in 50% new oak. The harvest was between 1 October and 20 October. The alcohol is 13.6%, which is just a little higher here than say Cos d'Estournel or Montrose. It has a very succinct bouquet with blackberry, bilberry and light oyster shell aromas, classic in style, more reserved than I found the 2015 Lafon Rochet last year. The palate is medium-bodied with powerful tannin on the entry, a keen line of acidity (3.65 pH), fine symmetry with a pleasant rondeur on the finish sprinkled with black pepper and tobacco. This is a very fine Lafon Rochet from Basile Tesseron and his team.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, robertparker.com

Ideally situated between Cos d'Estournel and Lafite Rothschild, Lafon Rochet is one of the best values in Saint Estephe, since 2016 100% organic with the expertise of Jean-Claude Berrouet of Petrus as consultant. Scented and attractive with fresh red and black berries. Vivid fruit, juicy and bright with ripe tannins and a long finish.

Score: 91 - 93 Albany Vintners

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.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Not the deepest crimson. Broad and rich and a bit beefy and yeast-extract-like. A tad scrawny on the end.

Score: 16 - 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2038

Very pure, with a lilac note leading the way for racy red currant and cassis flavors. The finish is alive, featuring a brisk iron note and long, pleasantly austere structure. Nicely done.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

All the success of St-Estèphe in 2016 can be seen in Lafon-Rochet this year, where the 30mm of rain on 13th September and 13mm on 8th October, with nothing in between, allowed the clay, limestone and gravel soils to fully ripen the grapes. Owner Basile Tesseron says he had never seen such maturity in his Cabernet Sauvignons, and certainly we have hugely intense aromatics from the first nose. The palate features finessed and fleshed out mouthwatering black fruits making it hard not to love this. Tasted three times in total, and every time it stood out. Blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot aged in 30% new oak. 3.68pH.

Score: 95 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2045

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