En Primeur Bordeaux 2016

The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Clos l'Eglise Pomerol £875 - 93-95 - 94-95 16 - 92-95
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The 2016 Clos l'Eglise is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, and was the first to be picked by the Garçin-Léveque family (before Barde-Haut, d'Arce and Poesia). It has a high pH of 3.65 and it was matured in 100% new French oak. It has a very intense bouquet with macerated small black cherries, raspberry coulis, oyster shells and crushed violets, well defined and quite penetrating in style. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, layers of black fruit laced with black pepper and a touch of black pepper. There is a little chewiness to the texture towards the harmonious finish, which is one of the most primal that I have encountered in recent years. The barrel maturation will lend a little more sheen to this Pomerol--a long-term prospect that will deserve several years in bottle.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2022-2045

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.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Mid slightly smudgy crimson. Not as pure as some. Very sweet start. A little simple. Pleasant enough but without real focus. And tannins a bit leathery. (16+ Points)

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2035

The 2016 Clos L'Eglise is a powerful, dense wine. In 2016 Clos L'Eglise presents a distinctly deep, spiced expression, with tons of clove, cinnamon, leather, cedar and tobacco overtones. Rich, ample and creamy, the 2016 possesses notable depth and richness in all of its dimensions. The wine is powerful, ripe and intense, with just enough freshness to add a measure of balance. To be sure, the style is one built on textural richness and resonance, with ripeness pushed to the edge. The 2016 saw around 3-4 days of cold soak. Among other developments, the estate is experimenting with 300-liter barrels. New oak is around 80%.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Clos Les Lunelles Cotes de Castillon £195 - 90-92 - 92-93 - - 88-90
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The 2016 Clos les Lunelles, the Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux owned by Gérard Perse, is a blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc picked at 41 hectoliters per hectare on 14 and 15 October, matured in 80% new oak and the remainder one year old. The alcohol is 14.75%. It has a rich and opulent but pure bouquet with creme de cassis and blueberries, seductive and plush. The palate is full-bodied with grippy tannin on the entry, although I would not describe them as "vice-like," rather they lacquer the mouth. There are layers of spicy black fruit here, bay leaf and white pepper; this is a wine of considerable substance even if it just misses a little finesse on the finish that is showing a lot of oak tannin at the moment.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2023-2043

Refined and pretty with lovely fruit and density. Medium body, a delicious center palate and gorgeous fruit. Fine and fresh.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The 2016 Clos Lunelles, Gérard and Chantal Perse's Côtes de Castillon, is plump, juicy and forward. Sweet red cherry, raspberry, spice and new French oak are pushed forward. Sumptuous and racy, the 2016 will drink well with minimal cellaring. This is very nicely done.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

[Add to shopping basket] Conseillante Pomerol £1,860 - Low Stock 96-98 96-98 99-100 17 93-96 95-98
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The 2016 La Conseillante is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc picked from 22 September to 13 October and 12-17 October at 39.5 hectoliters per hectare. Winemaker Marielle Cazaux told me that there is 13.8% alcohol, nearly one degree less than in 2015, with a pH of 3.65 and it is matured in 70% new oak. This has a succinct bouquet that is stylistically not that far removed from its neighbor Vieux Château Certan: detailed and understated at first with scents of blackberry, wild hedgerow and a touch of pressed flowers. The palate is very well balanced with a fine backbone, but what really marks out this La Conseillante is the salinity that comes through on the second half. It exerts a gentle grip in the mouth, reveals a little spiciness towards the finish whereupon it gently fans out, leaving a touch of black pepper on the saline aftertaste. This is a classic La Conseillante and the best since the majestic 2010. Similar to that vintage, it will require several years in bottle, but it will be well worth the wait.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2023-2060

A pretty nose with floral hints. Dense with sweetly ripe opulent fruit explodes on the palate. Round and subtle with seamless tannins. An excellent Conseillante which the owner considers to be the best since 2000.

Score: 96 - 98 Albany Vintners

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!

Score: 99 - 100 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Not as aromatic as some of the very top Pomerols. Lovely texture but not as expressive as some. A hint of soapiness. Lots of texture buried under the substance here but needs time for the flavour to develop. Lots to chew on. (17+ Points)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2040

Bright raspberry and blackberry confiture flavors fill out nicely as they move along, followed by a well-buried graphite edge and a flash of cocoa at the very end. Has a vivid display of fruit and the buried spine to back it up.

Score: 93 - 96 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2016 La Conseillante is one of the undisputed stars of the vintage. Dark, rich and voluptuous, with no hard edges and exceptional balance, the 2016 has been simply extraordinary on the two occasions I have tasted it so far. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, lavender and spice notes flesh out in the glass, but it is the wine's textural feel and overall balance that stand out most. The 2016 is plush, deep and textured, yet retains the super-classic midweight feel that is such a Conseillante signature.

Score: 95 - 98 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

This is a big wine, from the colour to the stunning level of fruit and tannin extraction that is not overdone, but is certainly evident. Gorgeous violets and blackberries run through the palate and slightly chewy tannins are extremely well-integrated with the oak. At first you think this carries on the slightly more swaggering style of La Conseillante seen in recent years, with black fleshed fruits and high drama, but as it unfurls in the glass you reclaim also the more floral, vibrant and elegant touches that suggest the heart of this property is unchanged. A touch austere, but that's what you want for long ageing. There is around one degree less alcohol than in 2015, even though they finished picking later. For me, this is a more classic La Conseillante than 2015. The aromatics are just so striking. This is the second year of using biodynamic preparations across the whole vineyard. Michel Rolland consults. 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc aged in 70% new oak.

Score: 96 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Cos d'Estournel St Estephe £1,600 - 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] Cos d'Estournel Blanc Dry Whites £1,020 - 90-92 92-94 96-97 - - 89-91
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The 2016 Cos d'Estournel Blanc is a blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Sémillon that was picked between 12 September and 10 October, matured in a very modest 7% new oak. It has a fragrant bouquet with lemon curd, lime flower and just a hint of grilled almond. The palate is very well balanced with fine mineralité on the entry. Fine tension here, although I would like to see it develop more persistence on the finish, which just cuts away a little swiftly at present.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2019-2029

Just 5500 bottles are made of the 100% Sauvignon Blanc that aims to compete with the best whites from Graves. Grass, melon and a touch of peach, crisp and refreshing.

Score: 92 - 94 Albany Vintners

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.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Cos d'Estournel has done a terrific job in preserving a good deal of freshness with the 2016 Blanc. Citrus, floral notes and a touch of reduction convey energy and tension, both hard to come by in 2016, a vintage in which high temperatures created less-than-ideal conditions for whites. The Blanc is fermented and aged in neutral oak, with some lees stirring, but no malolactic fermentation. The Blanc is shaping up to be a success for the vintage. Production is down by about a third because of the severe selection that was required.

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

Another Médoc white to bear in mind when selecting this year. A 75% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Semillon blend, the team picked over the course of four outings, right through to 10th October having started on 12th September. This is far enough up in the northern Médoc to get full estuary breezes, and with extreme selection the crop is one third less than last year. The aromatic precision is lovely, a fresh, clean line of citrus and white peach flesh that opens up and peels itself back through the palate.

Score: 93 Decanter Maturity: 2019-2030

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