Bordeaux 2016: our top cellar-fillers


Ch. Léoville Las Cases. Photograph: Jason Lowe

In a very good vintage such as 2016, we always recommend putting aside some of our favourite wines – bottles which won’t break the bank but will reap unbelievable rewards with five to 10 years of cellaring. Here’s our top 10 to tuck away

2016 Ch. Angludet, Margaux

This is one of the best Angludets we have tasted in recent years. It possesses lovely, sweet, cool fruit on the nose with a hint of spice. It has a suave, ribbon-like texture with red fruit and violets coming through. It dances across the palate with an elegant, almost Burgundian finesse.

Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon 50%, Merlot 38%, Petit Verdot 12%

Score: 16/20

2016 Ch. Pibran, Pauillac

The 9.5 hectares of vineyards at Ch. Pibran stretch across a well-drained gravel bank that borders Chx Mouton Rothschild, Lynch-Bages and Pontet-Canet. The 2016 has plummy fruit on the nose with dark fruit and cassis. There is a good, leafy crunch with a wonderful, ethereal, silky texture, and it finishes on a glorious fresh note.

Blend: Merlot 55%, Cabernet Sauvignon 45%

Score: 16.5/20

2016 Ch. Pédesclaux, Pauillac

In recent years Pédesclaux has garnered a reputation for making a more interesting, modern style of red Bordeaux. There is a lot of ripe, plump red fruit and it finishes full-bodied, still with the trademark freshness of the vintage, but there is a little more body and joy.

Blend: Merlot 48%, Cabernet Sauvignon 47%, Petit Verdot 3%, Cabernet Franc 2%

Score: 16.5/20

2016 Ch. Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc

When Cantemerle is on form, it is one of the most consistent and well-loved Clarets at its price point. It has an attractive nose of red fruit and finishes with a lovely, mineral savouriness.

Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon 64%, Merlot 28%, Cabernet Franc 5%, Petit Verdot 3%

Score: 16/20

2016 Clos Marsalette, Pessac-Léognan

Dark inky purple, the 2016 Clos Marsalette has notes of dark blackcurrant, coffee with generous, dark fruit, bright fruit and a succulent finish. Very good indeed.

Blend: Merlot 55%, Cabernet Franc 40%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%

Score: 16.5/20

Ch. Haut-Bailly. Photograph: Jason Lowe

Ch. Haut-Bailly. Photograph: Jason Lowe

2016 La Parde Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan

The 2016 is dark ruby with a delicate nose of red fruit and some floral elements. The palate is very succulent with ripe tannins and good energy from the acidity. It finishes with a pleasing grip and a long finish. Very good.

Blend: Merlot 47%, Cabernet Sauvignon 47%, Cabernet Franc 6%

Score: 16/20

2016 Ch. Laroque, St Emilion

Ch. Laroque dates back to the 12th century and sits on a limestone plateau outside St Emilion. The 2016 is dark ruby, with fine aromatics of mint and blackcurrants. Suave in texture, there is a freshness and lift on the palate with a silky, grippy finish.

Blend: Merlot 95%, Cabernet Franc 4.5%, Cabernet Sauvignon 0.5%

Score: 16.5/20

2016 Moulin Saint-Georges, St Emilion

The soils here are clay-limestone. This is hugely expressive on the nose, with red fruits and blackcurrants. On the palate it has vitality and bright acidity, with ripe tannins which give way to a long, savoury finish.

Blend: Merlot 80%, Cabernet Franc 20%

Score: 16.5/20

2016 Ch. Ormes de Pez, St Estèphe

This has a dark ruby hue. Even before you have lowered your nose into the glass, this comes at you with a wave of dark, black fruit – think Morello cherry, cassis and liquorice. The palate feels “cool” but is full-bodied, with elegant, silky tannins and a long finish.

Blend: Merlot 52%, Cabernet Sauvignon 42%, Cabernet Franc 5%, Petit Verdot 1%

Score: 16/20

2016 Clos du Marquis, St Julien

A dark ruby hue, this has bright red fruit on the nose – Morello cherry. It feels silky and cool on the palate; very precise with tremendous length which just goes on and on.

Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon 73%, Merlot 24%, Cabernet Franc 3%

Score: 17/20