En Primeur Bordeaux 2016

The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Belgrave Haut Medoc £255 - 90-92 - 92-93 16 88-91 -
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The 2016 Belgrave is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot and was picked from 28 September until 20 October. It has a generous bouquet with small dark cherries, blueberry and crushed violet aromas, quite Margaux-like in style. There is certainly good intensity here. The palate is medium-bodied with a supple opening: blackberry, mint and cedar. From the start there is fine tension and there is very impressive structure towards the finish, plus a long saline aftertaste. This is a very strong follow-up to the 2015 Belgrave and indeed, it may surpass it.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2021-2042

This is really constructed and powerful with lots of muscular tannins and rich fruit. Full-bodied, juicy and intense. Very serious. One of the best in years.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Very deep crimson. Real lift and attractive (rather than underripe) leafy top note. Rather sumptuous start and then it rather falls away to something a little scrawny on the end.

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2034

Modest but persistent, with a focused beam of black cherry and cassis flavors, carried by a good graphite edge.

Score: 88 - 91 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Investments at this property have increasingly paid off over recent vintages. This is brooding and a little subdued at the moment, but is packed with Médoc signature delivered in a subtle but enjoyable manner. It has a cedar sweetness and ripe blackberry fruits with a pulse of acidity, and is well held together. 50% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot.

Score: 91 Decanter Maturity: 2024-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Bellevue St Emilion £400 - 90-92 - 97-98 - - 93-96
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The 2016 Bellevue has an attractive bouquet with bright redcurrant and cassis notes although not as complex as either the Angelus or Carillon d'Angelus. The palate is medium-bodied with smooth tannin, silky to the touch with a touch of oyster shell tincturing the red fruit on the finish. Probably earlier drinking that others, it is a well-crafted Saint Emilion.

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

This is very exciting this year with a profound depth and power of fruit in addition to mineral undertones. Full and intense. Great finish. Better than the 2015?

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The 2016 Bellevue is simply extraordinary. The aromatics alone are captivating, but it is the wine's balance and poise that are most impressive. Graphite, gravel, smoke, licorice, crème de cassis and blueberry jam all flesh out on the palate as this deep, dense Saint-Emilion shows off its personality. Hints of blood orange and citrus add a touch of freshness. Complete and satisfying, Bellevue is a total knock-out on 2016. Tasted two times.

Score: 93 - 96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

From the Angélus stable, this lovely property has a 0.5ha slice on the top of plateau, with the remaining 6ha on clay limestone top slopes. Late ripening soils mean that this can be austere when young, even though it is 100% Merlot. Plum fruits, wild berries and a touch of austerity through the mid-palate. Needs time in the glass, but it opens to reveal lovely elegant mineral notes that layer over the top of restrained power.

Score: 93 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2045

[Add to shopping basket] Bellevue Mondotte St Emilion £1,320 - 95-97 94-95 96-97 16 92-95 95-98
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The 2016 Bellevue Mondotte is a blend of 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon cropped at 18 hectoliters per hectare because of the old vines and the shallow depth of the earth, 20-30 centimeters until the pickaxe hits limestone. It is matured in 100% new oak, and the alcohol level is 14.84% this year. It has an opulent bouquet with ravishing blueberry and black cherry fruit, crushed violets and a touch of glycerin. The palate is silky smooth on the entry, and whereas I had anticipated being overwhelmed by this Bellevue-Mondotte, it actually retains wonderful elegance and precision. You cannot help but be seduced by this Saint Emilion and its satin-like texture. This is not always my favorite wine from Gérard Perse, as my previous scores attest. However, this year the Bellevue-Mondotte has pulled off a very luxuriant 2016 with a greater sense of control, a wine that should drink beautifully for many years. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2025-2060

90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc % 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. A lush nose of sweet confit red and black stone fruits, creamy vanilla and spices is thick and rich with sweet fruit in the mouth. Concentrated Merlot with very polished tannins and very long on the finish.

Score: 94 - 95 Albany Vintners

There’s a vibrance and brilliance that gives this wine focus and energy. Medium body, ultra-fine tannins and a long and beautiful finish. Very fine.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Blackish crimson. Sweet blackberry compôte plus cumin. Lots of flavour but awfully drying on the end. Maybe this will come right eventually but I'd prefer a wine that's capable of giving pleasure in youth too. Grating, grainy tannins. (16++ Points)

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2043

Very, very solid, showing a core of delicious blackberry and dark plum fruit laced with anise and light bramble notes. Has a dose of toast, but it’s integrated and the finish has drive, thanks to a buried chalky spine.

Score: 92 - 95 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2016 Bellevue Mondotte is striking. An explosion of fruit and mineral-drenched overtones make a strong first impression. Remarkably nuanced for such a big, powerful wine, the 2016 possesses exceptional balance from the very first taste. Graphite, smoke, crème de cassis, lavender and menthol are some of the many notes that build into the huge finish.

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

[Add to waiting list] Beychevelle St Julien £800 - Sold Out 96-98 94-96 94-95 16-17 93-96 91-94
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The 2016 Beychevelle is a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc cropped at 45 hectoliters per hectare between 3 October and 18 October. It is matured in 50% new oak. Furthermore, it is the first vintage to be matured in the new chichi winery whose glass exterior overlooks the passing traffic on the D2. It has a very pure, fragrant bouquet with black cherries, cassis, cedar and wet limestone, extremely precise to the point where you might think it was from the Right Bank (logical given the proportion of Merlot in the blend). The palate is sensational: understated at first and bridled with ultra-fine tannin, it is a Beychevelle armed with a disarming sense of symmetry. It builds in the mouth towards a fabulously tensile finish that is so fresh and full of energy that the senses are almost overwhelmed. Frankly, it leaves all the other Beychevelles in recent years standing. This is an electrifying 2016 from winemaker Philippe Blanc and his right-hand man, technical director, Romain Ducolomb.

Score: 96 - 98 Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2026-2060

47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc. Efforts are being made here, with a new cellar and stricter selection, to make their best wines ever and the 2016 is a great achievement with a fresh floral nose. Pleasing fresh berry and mineral character with gorgeous ripe fruit intensity on the mid-palate. Supple, fresh and elegant.

Score: 94 - 96 Albany Vintners

The softness and finesse to this are indeed impressive with blackberry and blackcurrant character. Full-bodied, dense and polished. Lovely texture and length. It builds on the palate. Clearly better in 2015. This is the first year in from the new cellar.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Dark purple. Light peppery nose. Sweet palate entry with a hint of sweet oak, and then a bit austere on the palate. Lively coconut hint. Falls away on the finish. Competent rather than exciting.

Score: 16 - 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2040

A textbook St.-Julien in the making, with crushed plum and warm cassis notes inlaid with anise and graphite accents. The muscular, driven finish is just a touch chewy in feel but gets soaked up quickly on the finish by the pure fruit. Really solid.

Score: 93 - 96 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

A heady wine, the 2016 Beychevelle possesses off-the-charts richness and intensity. White truffle, plum, lavender, black cherry and incense, along with an unctuous, racy feel, give the wine much of its exotic, voluptuous personality. Not at all subtle, the 2016 shows the more flamboyant side of Saint-Julien. Its balance is beyond reproach, however. Ripeness is pushed to the edge in 2016, yet the wine is absolutely compelling. This is a fabulous showing from Beychevelle and technical director Romain Ducolomb. Tasted two times.

Score: 91 - 94 Antonio Galloni, www.vinousmedia.com

An extremely successful Beychevelle this year, a carefully drawn wine where the fruit register is deep and dark, the tannins a little brooding, and a seam of freshness runs right through and picks things up. Excellent persistency, a beautiful wine.

Score: 94 Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Bon Pasteur Pomerol £680 - 92-94 - 96-97 17 - 89-92
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The 2016 Bon Pasteur has an atypically modest and almost bashful bouquet at first, one that required coaxing from the glass, eventually offering blackberry, briary and subtle floral aromas that are very classy. The palate is well defined with crisp tannin. This Bon Pasteur is, you might say, more "classic" than the 2015 and more reserved, but displays excellent tension with impressive detail on the finish. It might not quite possess the persistence on the aftertaste of its peers higher up on the plateau, but it is a very, very good Bon Pasteur that I prefer to the 2015. I would not be surprised if this lands at the top of my banded score once in bottle.

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

Reminds me of the splendid 1998. Full-bodied yet balanced and rich, showing velvety tannins and a long and beautiful finish. All here. Better than the 2015?

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Purplish crimson. Rather interesting soapy/mineral aromas. Rich with a dry finish and a hint of camembert. Interesting! Good life and vivacity even if it's not in the top drawer.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2040

The 2016 Bon Pasteur is a powerful, tannic wine. Dark fruit,

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

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