BORDEAUX EN PRIMEUR 2016
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.
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?
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.
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