En Primeur Bordeaux 2016

The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Ausone St Emilion £7,200 - Low Stock - On allocation 98-100 - 97-98 18 - 96-99
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The 2016 Ausone is a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc picked 10-14 October and 14-19 October, respectively, at 40 hectoliters per hectare. It is matured in 80% new oak with a light toasting, a move that Alain and Pauline Vauthier have made in recent years just to lessen the impact of the oak. There is a palpable...stateliness about the Ausone this year. It is extraordinarily pure and articulates its terroir as well as any vintage that I can remember over the last 20-odd years. It is not as flamboyant as other Saint Emilions, more correct and precise. The palate is very elegant and precise. I adore the exquisite balance of this Ausone, the precision and fineness of the tannin, the effortlessness that it conveys. This is classy and sophisticated, satin-like in texture with a long and sensual finish. Not an Ausone that is going to blaze across the sky, this is a cerebral, intellectual Ausone that will entrance for many years to come.

Score: 98 - 100 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2022-2070

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

[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 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] Beauregard Pomerol £564 - 91-93 91-93 93-94 16-17 90-93 88-91
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The 2016 Beauregard, which now boasts one of the most modern cellars since its acquisition by the Cathiard and Moulin-Houzé families (although with winemaker Vincent Priou still on board), has a clean and pure bouquet with detailed blackberry and raspberry notes tinged with vanilla and light violet aromas. This is a classy set of aromatics from Beauregard that show more intensity than usual. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannin, a little foursquare in style, quite conservative yet with abundant freshness and fine tannin towards the finish. It is nothing flash. It is the best Beauregard that I have tasted.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2020-2035

75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc. Expressive black stone fruit nose. Glossy mouthfeel, subtle concentration with a cool, clean finish and no hard edges.

Score: 91 - 93 Albany Vintners

Tight and linear on the palate with a lovely depth of fruit and polished tannins. Medium to full body and an attractive, fine-grained texture.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Dark purple. Very heady and rich on the nose. Super-luscious and easy to like with the richness of the appellation but not too much sweetness and certainly no oak or alcohol in evidence. Just not especially long but a decent effort.

Score: 16 - 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2037

Juicy, with raspberry, blueberry and boysenberry pâte de fruit notes coursing through. Spice hints on the finish add range while energetic acidity keeps it all fresh. Delicious.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2016 Beauregard offers good depth and immediacy. Although not especially complex, it is well balanced. Somewhat chunky tannins attenuate the midpalate. Clearly, it will be a few years before new owners Daniel and Florence Cathiard get Beauregard into shape. Overall, the 2016 is solid, but that's it. Tasted two times.

Score: 88 - 91 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

This is the second vintage under new owners (Galleries Lafayette family), with Fabien Tetgien of Smith Haut Lafitte overseeing the winemaking and Vincent Priou heading up the team in Pomerol full time. This is an extremely promising wine, with damsons, graphite, and touches of chocolate and exotic spices, while the tannins are soft and plush even at this early stage. A sexy, polished wine that delivers on the vintage. 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc.

Score: 92 Decanter Maturity: 2025-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Beausejour Duffau St Emilion £1,025 - 93-95 - 98-99 17 94-97 95-98
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The 2016 Beausejour (Duffau Lagarrosse) is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc picked between 18 October and 21 October, matured in 55% new oak. The alcohol is 14.4%, with a pH of 3.38. It has a very perfumed bouquet with luscious red cherry and wild strawberry fruit, fine delineation, touches of truffle and smoke in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with very supple tannin that belie the structure of this Saint Emilion. This has a gorgeous salinity and spiciness that lend it character, very long and persistent with a tang of black pepper on the aftertaste. This is a step up from the 2015 last year and should rest at the top of my banded score once in bottle.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2021-2040

Is this the twin brother of the amazing 2015? We will see. What a superb density and richness with bright and intense tannins that are buttressed with fresh acidity. Beautiful finish.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

90% Merlot, late picked. Made by Nicolas Thienpont. Very rich and edgy. Vegy edge. Massively ripe in the middle but not too ripe or sweet. Pretty dramatic. Dry end. Obviously classy stuff from a great terroir. (17+ Points)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2042

On the exotic side, with loganberry, acai and crushed plum notes forming the core, laced with singed mesquite and alder flavors and backed by a long, juicy, dark-profiled finish.

Score: 94 - 97 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2016 Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse is outrageously beautiful. A striking bouquet of crushed rocks, graphite, smoke, scorched earth and lavender opens into a core of plush, sumptuous fruit. Deep, dark and inviting, the 2016 is endowed with tremendous intensity in all of its dimensions. Beams of tannin give the wine its explosive, exuberant personality. This is another exceptional showing from Nicolas Thienpont and his team. Readers should be prepared to be patient, as the 2016 is going to need time in bottle to be at its best. Even so, it is deeply impressive today. Tasted three times. (95-98+)

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

Wow, that is rich, tight and closed in. It is absolutely dancing with minerality, and just gets better and better on the palate. It doesn't try to force itself on you, but it certainly walks in the room five paces ahead. This is what St-Émilion can do, and could always have done if it didn't try so hard. A beautiful deep colour and pure fruit, what a lovely fresh, lifted but concentrated wine. Nicolas Thienpont is consultant here.

Score: 96 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050

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