BORDEAUX EN PRIMEUR 2016

Hong Kong Tatler - - Life -

James Suck­ling presents his tast­ing notes from the best of the vin­tage

Af­ter spend­ing three weeks in Bordeaux tast­ing 1,200 wines, the largest bar­rel tast­ing of his 34-year ca­reer as a wine critic, James Suck­ling de­clares the 2016 vin­tage shows won­der­ful prom­ise, with dy­namic, bright and struc­tured wines, es­pe­cially on the Left Bank. The re­gion con­tin­ues to pro­duce some of the best-value wines in the world. The Calon-ségur at the top of the pyra­mid costs just US$70, a bar­gain com­pared to tro­phy wines like the first growths. Fol­low­ing are Suck­ling’s tast­ing notes on the top 10 of the 2016 vin­tage

Château Male­scot saint-ex­upéry Mar­gaux This is a su­perb wine. I didn’t think it could be bet­ter than the 2015 but it is. Full, lay­ered and sexy. It goes on for min­utes with dense fruit, yet it’s also vivid and show­cases sub­lime tan­nins and bal­ance of acid­ity. Great fin­ish.

98-99 points

Château Calon ségur saint-es­tèphe 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 Saint-es­tèphe. Best ever?

98-99 points

Château Lynch Bages Pauil­lac This is re­ally back-ended thanks to a pow­er­ful and al­most end­less fin­ish. Full-bod­ied, dense and pow­er­ful with in­cred­i­ble con­cen­tra­tion and length. Round and pol­ished tan­nins. Lay­ered. Un­rav­els bit by bit. En­er­getic acid­ity gives it su­perb fresh­ness. This is at the 2010/09 level.

98-99 points

Château Pi­chon­longueville Baron Pauil­lac I’ve been wait­ing for this for a long time. It’s a re­make of the legendary 1990 Pi­chon Baron. Full body, ul­tra-pol­ished yet pow­er­ful tan­nins and a glo­ri­ous fin­ish. Will evolve beau­ti­fully. The core of fruit and tan­nins is won­der­ful. A truly great Pi­chon Baron. 98-99 points

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