Bordeaux 2016: our top cellar-fillers
Author: Berry Bros. & Rudd
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%