There’s no doubt that many of the Haut-Médoc 2016s are now hitting their stride. There are a great many wonderful wines to be had at good prices in this appellation which deliver a lot of satisfaction. Amongst the small range shown at the MW Institute’s 2016 tasting at the end of 2021, Château La Lagune, Château La Tour Carnet and Château Cantemerle showed really well. Château Belgrave had a lot of depth and structure but felt like it needed a year or two more at the time of tasting. Separately I’ve since had Château Sénéjac and Château Citran 2016s recently and they have impressed too. The following notes were taken at the MW Institute tasting in December 2021. I hope you find them useful. The wines should have continued to open up and develop nicely since then.
Posts Tagged ‘2016’
Overall, 2016 looks to be an impressive, comparatively homogenous vintage in Margaux in quality terms. This is something of an achievement in this large, heterogenous appellation. In recent tastings I’ve found the appellation more consistent than it was a decade ago. It is a large commune with varied soils and blends, so sometimes it feels one is comparing apples and oranges but, on the whole, the winemaking today seems gentler and less overly extractive than before. Likewise, new oak levels have come down. There is more emphasis on purity of fruit expression in the wines which is a good thing. So, what were the picks of the wines shown by the MW Institute? The line-up lacked Château Palmer, but Château Margaux [pictured left during primeurs in spring 2017] was there in all it’s glory. It has made fabulous wine in 2016. Not far behind though is a magnificent effort from Château Brane Cantenac and there is also a very strong wine from Château Rauzan Ségla.
These notes from the MW Institute Tasting back in December 2021 are long overdue on the blog. Let’s just say I’ve been a bit side tracked. My impression with a lot of top drawer crus classés 2016s tasted more recently [ie in the intervening twenty months!] is that they remain a little closed. While this isn’t true of the Haut-Médoc properties [or many in St Emilion and Pomerol which are now coming into their own], it is true of St Julien. Undoubtedly 2016 is a classic vintage in St Julien. There is great precision and depth across the board and the wines are very impressive. The picks of the tasting? Chateau Léoville Las Cases was fantastic with profound depth and structure. Not that far behind was Château Léoville Barton and Château St Pierre. I was especially impressed with efforts from Château Branaire Ducru, Château Lagrange and Château Talbot, though there was great consistency shown across all the wines. Top châteaux Ducru Beaucaillou and Léoville Poyferré weren’t shown.
Of the eleven wines from Pauillac shown by the MW Institute, four were absolutely stunning and amongst the best tasted on the day. One of these was Château Mouton Rothschild. No surprise there. The others where Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Château Lynch Bages and the Pichons – Château Pichon Baron and Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. Evidently these have all produced wines of first growth quality in 2016. On the day Château Pontet Canet, though impressive, felt slightly less fresh than the others. Amongst the rest, Château Batailley and Château Clerc Milon are very good though both felt backward. Château Lynch Moussas and Château Grand Puy-Ducasse have also produced good wines.