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Bordeaux 2016 MW Tasting: St Estèphe

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Five wines from St Estèphe were shown by the MW Institute in December 2021. Château Montrose [pictured left a few years ago during primeurs] and Château Calon Ségur are both knockout, but contrasting. Calon Ségur is flamboyant with opulent aromatics. The wine is plush on the palate but the sweet fruit hides a considerable structure. It’s a case of the iron fist in the velvet glove. Montrose by contrast is all brooding power and depth, with layer upon layer of concentrated blackcurrant and cassis fruit. Château Cos d’Estournel is beautifully pure with lots of energy and life. It will also be a great wine. Behind these three estates that dominate the appellation, Château Lafon Rochet has produced a structured, solid St Estèphe that needs a bit more time. Château Cos Labory has attractive freshness but doesn’t have the depth of the others.

The following wines were tasted on 1st December, 2021 at the MW Institute’s event held in Vintners Hall, London.

Château Calon Ségur, Grand Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2016

Very intense and deep looking; breathtakingly spectacular aromatics; very full, rich and plush; this is just as opulent on the palate but there is also great structure. Acidity is there. Super wine from this estate on a roll in the last decade. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 14% alc]. Drink 2024-2056. Tasted 1/12/21. 98+

Château Cos d’Estournel, Grand Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2016

Deep; stalky fresh blackcurrant aromatics; clean and super fresh; very attractive palate full of energy and life; blackcurrant and black cherry notes; love the purity here in the past decade; finesse here is exceptional. Needs a few years but this is a super well-balanced Cos. [76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 13.07% alc]. Drink 2016-2060. Tasted 1/12/21. 97+

Château Cos Labory, Grand Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2016

Deep and inky; some spice, dust; soft overall feel to the aromatics if a little subdued; soft and easy on the palate; not hugely concentrated but well balanced but had attractive freshness and acidity. Savoury finish. [53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 13.5% alc]. Drink now-2040. Tasted 1/12/21 88+

Château Lafon-Rochet, Grand Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2016

Mid depth; sturdy blackcurrant aromatics; some dust; bold palate, structured and quite chewy St Estèphe; little monolithic at this stage but has good freshness and acidity. Will age well. [57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 14% alc]. Drink 2028-2048. Tasted 1/12/21. 91+

Château Montrose, Grand Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2016

Deep and brooding; intense creamy blackcurrant aromatics; cassis; lovely ripe blackcurrant fruit; very pure and very fine. Up with the very best here as you’d expect. Great wine. Tannins considerable but these are seductive and textured. Brilliant wine. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 13.5% alc]. Drink 2026-2066. Tasted 1/12/21. 100

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