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Bordeaux Vintage 2016: The Medoc

Robert Whitley on

BORDEAUX, France -- This is the third and final installment of my series of columns on the exceptional 2016 vintage in Bordeaux. I saved the best for last. The Medoc, the area northwest of the city of Bordeaux toward the Atlantic Ocean, is the sweet spot of vintage 2016.

Nowhere else in the vast Bordeaux region was the quality of the vintage as consistent across the board. It was particularly so in the districts of Pauillac, Margaux and Saint-Julien. The wines are suave and well-balanced, with moderate levels of alcohol and polished tannins. The best have tremendous long-term potential.

This is a superb vintage with solid wines at every level of the Bordeaux hierarchy. Even lesser-known chateaux from appellations such as Moulis, Haut-Medoc and Listric made wines worthy of an outstanding vintage.

I have used the 100-point scale in my evaluations, but it is a sliding scale that reflects the volatility of samples being tasted so young. The following are my highest recommendations from the Medoc wines presented at the annual en primeur tastings hosted by the Union des Grands Cru de Bordeaux:

Margaux

Chateau Angludet -- Good concentration; floral note; red and black fruits; fine tannins. 90-93.

Chateau Brane-Cantenac -- Floral note; good concentration; suave tannins; excellent long-term potential. 91-94.

Chateau Durfort-Vivens -- Pretty black fruit and floral nose; excellent concentration of fruit; good balance; fine tannins. Excellent near-term potential. 91-94.

Chateau Ferriere -- Good concentration of black fruits; very fleshy; medium tannins; rich and long. Good medium-term potential. 89-92.

Chateau Kirwan -- Good concentration; white pepper; red fruits; fine tannins. Good long-term potential. 90-93.

Chateau Labegorce -- Good concentration; layered red and black fruits; spicy. Excellent long-term potential. 91-94.

Chateau Lascombes -- Good concentration; excellent balance; suave palate; fine tannins. Excellent long-term potential. 93-96.

Chateau Marquis de Terme -- Good concentration; medium weight; good length; firm tannins. Good medium-term potential. 89-92.

Chateau Prieure-Lichine -- Good concentration; medium weight; good length. Good long-term potential. 89-92.

Chateau Rauzan-Gassies -- Excellent concentration; spicy; layered black fruits; Firm tannins. Excellent long-term potential. 92-95.

Chateau Rauzan-Segla -- Excellent concentration; layered black fruits; full-bodied; rich and long. Excellent long-term potential. 93-96.

Chateau Siran -- Excellent concentration; layered red and black fruits; rich and dense; firm tannins. Excellent long -erm potential. 93-96.

Chateau du Terte -- Good concentration; layered red and black fruits; fine tannins; good richness. Good long-term potential. 91-94.

Medoc/Haut-Medoc

Chateau Cantemerle -- Good concentration; layered fruit; hard tannins. 89-92.

Chateau Citran -- Good concentration; layered fruit; firm tannins. Excellent long-term potential. 89-92.

Chateau Coufran, Haut-Medoc -- Spicy white pepper; good concentration; red and dark fruits. Excellent long-term potential. 90-93.

Chateau La Lagune -- Pretty red fruits; good concentration; fine tannins. Excellent long-term potential. 91-94.

Chateau de Lamarque -- Spicy white pepper; good concentration; good depth and length. Excellent long-term potential. 90-93.

Chateau La Tour Carnet -- Pretty red fruits; good concentration; medium body. Excellent long-term potential. 90-93.

Chateau La Tour de By -- Floral note; good concentration; layers of fruit; firm tannins. Excellent medium-term potential. 89-92.

Moulis-en-Medoc

Chateau Maucaillou -- Pretty floral note; bright red fruits; power in the glass; good concentration; firm tannins. Good long-term potential. 90-93.

Chateau Poujeaux -- Good concentration of black fruits; firm grape tannins. Excellent long-term potential. 91-94.

Pauillac

Chateau d'Armailhac -- Excellent concentration; balanced; red and black fruits; good length; fine tannins. Excellent long-term potential. 93-96.

Chateau Batailley -- Good concentration; layered fruits; fleshy, soft tannins. Good near-term potential. 90-93.

Chateau Clerc Milon -- Good concentration; layered fruits; fleshy, fine tannins; good length. Excellent near-term potential. 90-93.

Chateau Croizet-Bages -- Good concentration; fleshy black fruits; fine tannins. Good medium-term potential. 90-93.

Chateau Lynch-Bages -- Excellent concentration; layered black fruits; well-balanced; outstanding length; fine tannins. Excellent long-term potential. 94-97.

Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - Good concentration; layered black fruits; fleshy and firm; fine tannins. Excellent long-term potential. 94-97.

Saint-Estephe

Chateau Cos Labory -- Excellent concentration; well-balanced, firm tannins; black fruits. Excellent long-term potential. 92-95.

Chateau Lafon-Rochet -- Good concentration; slightly tart red fruit; medium weight; good length; firm tannins. Good medium-term potential. 89-92.

Chateau Ormes de Pez -- Good concentration; pretty floral note; medium weight; good length. Good medium- to long-term potential. 90-93.

Chateau Phelan Segur -- Good concentration, medium weight, black fruits, firm grape tannins. Good medium to long term potential. 90-93.

Saint-Julien

Chateau Beycheville -- Excellent concentration; layered black fruits; good richness and flesh; good length; fine tannins. Excellent long-term potential. 94-97.

Chateau Branaire-Ducru -- Excellent concentration of black fruits; layered; fleshy; outstanding length; fine tannins. Excellent long term potential. 94-97.

Chateau Gloria -- Nice floral note; excellent concentration; soft tannins. Good medium- to long-term potential. 90-93.

Chateau Gruaud Larose -- Good concentration; flowery; layers of red and black fruit; fine tannins. Excellent long-term potential. 91-94.

Chateau Lagrange -- Good concentration; good richness; layered black and red fruits; soft tannins. Excellent medium range potential. 90-93.

Chateau Langoa-Barton -- Excellent concentration; well balanced; medium body; good length; soft tannins. Excellent medium-term potential. 91-94.

Chateau Leoville Barton -- Excellent concentration; exquisite balance; layered fruits; good length; suave tannins. Excellent long-term potential. 94-97.

Chateau Saint-Pierre -- Pretty floral note; good concentration of fruit; layered and rich but firm. Excellent medium- to long-term potential. 93-96.

Chateau Talbot -- Good concentration; fleshy but firm; good length. Good medium-term potential. 90-93.

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Follow Robert on Twitter at @wineguru. To find out more about Robert Whitley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


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