En Primeur Bordeaux 2016

The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Aile d'Argent Dry Whites Unreleased - - - 93-94 - - -
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A fresh and fruity white with sliced-pear and apple character. Undertones of pineapple. Full-bodied, savory and round-textured wine. Delicious.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Another success for the white wines of the Médoc, this is lovely with true freshness expertly pulled together under tension, contrasting with the roundness through the mid-palate. Clear, fleshy white peach and soft citrus is pulled in on the finish by a lick of wet stone. 53% Sauvignon Blanc, 46% Semillon and 1% Muscadelle. 27% of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation to ensure a creamy character to the body.

Score: 94 Decanter Maturity: 2018-2032

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Alter Ego de Palmer (2nd wine of Palmer) Margaux Unreleased - - 91-94 95-96 16-17 - -
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40% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot. Packed with blackberry jam, soft black stone fruits with crushed rocks. Some chalkiness to the mid-palate. Very ripe and luscious with glycerol and a cocoa powder dry finish.

Score: 91 - 94 Albany Vintners

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.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot. Very bright dark glossy crimson. Very rich and sweet and approachable. Round and fresh. Meaty. Very, very sweet start and then chewy. Lots going on here but not that much tannin, much less than in most other 2016s. Very juicy. 13%

Score: 16 - 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2022-2030

Palmer lost 20% of its crop in the spring, and the Merlot was affected more than the Cabernet so there is only around half as much Alter Ego as normal. The yield here is 29hl/ha, so a lot less than most of Margaux, mainly due to vineyard rebalancing after moving to biodynamics and the spring crop loss. The harvest start date of 3rd October was the latest on record, following on from a very long, slow ripening leading to lots of tannins (71 IPT) which although soft and integrated are at a higher level than 2015, while the 3.65pH remains the same. Late harvests encourage elongated tannins, and Thomas says he has never seen such sophistication in the construction of the wines here, so different from the 2015. As with Palmer, Alter Ego has a highly aromatic nose, majoring here on damson and blackberry. Tasted on an overcast Friday morning and yet it sings, with the most beautifully soft expression of black fruits. It's a different style to others, the 13% ABV being extremely low for this amount of Merlot. Beautiful.

Score: 93 Decanter Maturity: 2023-2040

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Angelus St Emilion Unreleased - - 95-98 99-100 17 - 94-97
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A deep dark brooding nose. On the palate, precise black chocolatey fruits at the core with toasted notes, balanced and precise with impeccably ripe tannic structure. Long.

Score: 95 - 98 Albany Vintners

Incredible depth of fruit to this Angélus, which is dense yet also agile and energetic. There’s just so much dynamic fruit and tannin structure. Makes you want to taste and taste. What a young wine! We will see if 2016 is better than 2015. Both are great.

Score: 99 - 100 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Strong balsam notes. Rather luscious fruit and lots of life and interest. Real vivacity. In this wine, in this stable, although it has a drying finish, the fruit is so overwhelming that it distracts from the drying finish. Well done in a distinctly modernist style. Though the finish is a little weak. (17++ Points)

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

One of the more surprising wines of the vintage, the 2016 Angélus shows a level of finesse that has not exactly been the norm here in recent years. Persistent and energetic on the palate, the 2016 Angélus boasts tons of nuance, with plenty of detail in all of its elements. A closing burst of Cabernet Franc-inflected floral and spice overtones give the wine an exotic flair. The 2016 is a fabulous Angélus. It's as simple as that. (94-97+)

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

A wonderful Angélus, rich in the character of this vintage. Stunning length on the silky tannins. This extends outwards, and the architecture is very much more linear than circular (as it is in some vintages), with a lovely freshness and power. I just love how effortless this feels, with deeply intense black fruits and a dried herb edge. The flesh isn't overt but absolutely present. Likely to take on some more weight over time and it will certainly take its time to reach its perfect drinking window. Wonderful sense of energy, power and intensity, yet it's so drinkable now. The 100% new oak is very well-integrated, a brilliant success. Blend is 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, with the lowest pH for many years at 3.7 (the 2009 more like 3.9), mainly because the wide temperature differences between day and night slowed down the maturing process and kept freshness.

Score: 97 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Armailhac Pauillac Unreleased - - 92-94 95-96 17 92-95 -
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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 wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Ausone St Emilion Unreleased - - - 97-98 18 - 96-99
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This is one of the most subtle and ethereal Ausones I have encountered in a while. It’s a full-bodied wine, yet one that’s very refined in texture, all the way to the extremely long finish. Shows real dignity and character. A throwback to the great years of the 1950s.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Deep crimson. Very ripe nose and then rather chewy end. Drying finish. Not charming for the moment - even a little exaggerated. Though there is a broad panoply of fruit flavours that come rather precipitously to a drying end. (18+ Points)

Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2042

A regal, soaring wine, the 2016 Ausone is one of the wines of the vintage. Cabernet Franc aromatics meld into a core of beautifully layered, exquisite fruit. The flavors are bright, lifted and wonderfully focused throughout. Sweet red berry, blood orange, jasmine and sweet spice notes build into a super-expressive, silky finish supported by bright acids and vibrant salinity. Stunningly beautiful and precise, Ausone is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine.

Score: 96 - 99 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

The incredible succulent power in Ausone puts a different perspective on other wines, as it so often does. The epitome of perfumed finesse. The yield is up at 40hl/ha, high for these poor limestone soils, and the remarkable clarity of expression that runs right through the delicate but fleshy raspberry and smoke-tinged palate is helped by a pH of 3.5 (compared to 3.6 last year). In my book this counts as one of the truly exciting signatures of the vintage and that is only boosted by the limestone terroir. Stunning, with enormous persistency and a finish that just doesn't want to quit. From a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc, aged in 80% new oak barrels. 98-100 points.

Score: 98 - 100 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050

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