Bordeaux 2016 Vintage Review

Welcome to our Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur Campaign.  If you are new to En Primeur and want to find out more I encourage you to read our Newcomer Guide to En Primeur. Pease see below for our Bordeaux 2016 Vintage Review along and our recommended wines and Star Buys of the vintage. To follow our campaign please sign up to our En Primeur alerts, email to be added to the distribution list.  Recent releases and updates can be found on our Bordeaux 2016 Release Diary.

Bordeaux 2016 Vintage Review

Our BDX16 Team (L-R) James Goodhart, Founder of Bon Coeur, Robert Chamberlain, owner of Sous le Nez, Leeds and Andrew Ray, Private Client Sales, Bon Coeur

It was a real pleasure to taste the Bordeaux 2016 vintage during the UGC (Union de Grand Cru) tastings in Bordeaux this month and get a full understanding on how the vintage was crafted from first bud to barrel. We were out there for six days and each day published a report on our day’s tastings. If you would like to read these reports please go to our blog for full disclosure on the Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur tastings.

We have been fortunate to receive permission from one of the leading experts in Bordeaux, Bill Blatch to publish his vintage report. See below for the PDF for you to download. A great friend and wine companion whom I have known for nearly 20 years, Bill has been instrumental in influencing my passion for Bordeaux and is the ‘go to’ man in Bordeaux for insider knowledge for myself and the leading wine critics. I encourage you to read his vintage report.

Few critics have come out yet with comments however I can report the following:

James Suckling has written, “I can confirm that 2016 is an exceptional vintage equal to the exquisite 2015. In some regions like St. Estephe and the Northern Medoc, the wines are even better. These young wines already show beautiful fruit, bright acidity and linear tannins. They offer much of the same potential quality as 2015 but in a different profile—energy is the word that comes to mind—with slightly lower alcohols and stronger acidities.”

Nicolas Thienpont, from Pavie Macquin described the vintage as, "Unique and apex vintage with each wine respecting it’s terroir."

Breaking Bud

It is impossible to compare it directly in terms of quality to any other single since vintage. In the vineyards there was a fair amount of hydro-stress on the vines with Edouard Moueix (owner of La Fleur Petrus, Hosanna, Certan de May etc) describing some of the vines sheading their leaves on some of the gravelly soils before harvest which he hadn’t seen since 1990. Properties with the best ‘terroir’ whether it was limestone or clay seemed to have performed the best and there is greater individuality between the Chateaux down to their soil types that really come out in the blends.

Many of the wines are in tune with my palate and have a wonderful purity, harmony and energy. Excellent ripeness, fresh acidity, helped by the cooler nights at the end of August and fine tannins that makes the wines very approachable now and a pleasure to taste. Also importantly for me the sugar levels were low due to the long maturation of the vintage, resulting in lower alcohol levels across the board with most being at least 1% down. Overall, for me it is a beautifully constructed vintage with plenty of character and individuality that no Bordeaux wine lover will be disappointed with. I would describe the 2016 Bordeaux vintage, as good to very good without being exceptional and I disagree with James Suckling who has given 28 wines 98 and + scores out of 100. For me the vintage is 9-9.5 points out of 10 or 90-95 if you prefer the 100 point system. To generalise I would put it behind 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015 however, many Northern Medoc properties have produced better wines than in 2015. So better than 2008, 2001, 2004, 2012 and 2014. Of course in some instances the wines did outperform and in these cases I have highlighted them in my recommendations below. For pricing we will have to see if they work, and for now we are busy writing up tasting notes, collating scores and waiting for the Chateaux to release the wines.

James Goodhart
Founder, Bon Coeur Fine Wines 

See below for the wines that stood out for the Bon Coeur team – recommendations and star buys will be offered once we know more on the pricing.

Vieux Chateau Certan (VCC)
La Conseillante
La Fleur Petrus
Eglise Clinet

Petit Eglise (2nd wine of Eglise Clinet)
Fugue de Nenin – (2nd wine of Nenin)

St Emilion
Pavie Macquin
Larcis Ducasse
Tertre Roteboeuf
Troplong Mondot
La Mondotte
Canon La Gaffeliere
La Petit Cheval
Quinault l'Enclos (same ownership as Cheval Blanc)

La Marzelles
Saintayme (same ownership as Eglise Clinet)
Teyssier (Same ownership as Le Dome)
Puy Blanquet

Castillon and other Right Bank
Cap de Faugeres (Castillon)
Roc de Combes (Bourg) – (same ownership as Tertre Roteboeuf)
Puygueraud (Nicolas Thienpont, Cotes de Franc)
La Prade (Nicolas Thienpont, Cotes de Franc)

Lalande de Pomerol
Les Cruzelles (same ownership as Eglise Clinet)
La Chenade – 2nd wine of Les Cruzelles

Pessac Leognan
Haut Baillly
Pape Clement rouge
Domaine de Chevalier Rouge
La Mission Haut Brion
Haut Brion
Malactric Lagraviere Rouge

Picque Caillou
La Prade de Haut Bailly, 2nd wine of Haut Bailly
Larrivet Haut Brion Rouge

Ch Margaux
Malescot St Expurey
Ruazan Segla
Alter Ego de Palmer. 2nd wine of Palmer
Brane Cantenac
Du Tertre

Dufont Vivens

Mouton Rothschild
Lafite Rothschild
Pontet Canet
Pichon Comtesse Lalande
Duhart Milon
Clerc Milon
Lynch Bages

Grand Puy Lacoste
Lacoste Borie
Reserve de Comtesse, 2nd wine of Pichon Lalande

Saint Julien
Saint Pierre
Leoville Poyferre
Gruaud Larose
Langoa Barton

Lalande Borie

St Estephe
Calon Segur
Cos Labory
Phelan Segur
Capbern (same ownership as Calon Segur)

Les Ormes de Pez (same ownership as Lynch Bages)
La Dame de Montrose

Medoc and Moulis
Chasse Spleen


Lafaurie Peyrauguey
Rayne Vigneau
Doisy Vedrines


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