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Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur

Written by: James Bidgood

In a whirlwind visit last month, we tasted our away across the the appellations and were very excited at what we found. From the Médoc to the Graves and over to Saint-Émilion, we tasted our way through hundreds of wines to truly understand the vintage and find the most attractive offerings for you.

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Last year in October The Vintner team were in Bordeaux on our annual visit.  It was here that we first discovered the sheer excitement surrounding the vintage as the near perfect conditions during harvest had put smiles on everyone's faces.  We knew there and then that we would be going back in April to taste what was to be a unique vintage. 

We started on the right bank, which was so successful in 2015, and immediately started to notice what would be a trend through our week.  That rich, lush rounded fruit of the 2015s had become pure and polished with a cool intensity in 2016.   The trend continued in Pomerol and culminated in a visit to Château Canon for a fascinating tasting with the chef de cave where we tasting not only from new and old barrel, but also the final blend from bottle.  It was a great start to our trip that finished with a rather surreal tasting of Château d'Yquem in the Bourse on the Quai  - more akin to a drinks party, the newest vintage was poured freely with canapés of foie gras and confit de canard. Was this necessary? Was any of it really? 

                          First stop...the beautiful Château Canon                                                  The grandeur of Château Margaux
 

Tasting from barrel at Château Canon

                  

That night we attended the Ban de Millesime, a banquet hosted by the Union de Grand Crus (UGC). Greeted into a magnificent hall by Knights of the Order in gowns, we were treated to the most fantastic of evenings, with each table hosted by a Château owner.  We were lucky to have Philippe Dambrine on table “Château Cantemerle”.

 

 

Over the next few days we would take on the left bank, visiting Châteaux and attending UGC tastings in each appellation. The Union de Grand Cru tastings are held by a different Château each year, hosting all the estates from the appellation to showcase the new vintage, thus allowing the trade and press to taste the samples side by side. Starting in Margaux and then heading north we would visit the Médoc, Pauillac, St. Julien and finally St. Estephe. Thanks to our wonderful connections in Bordeaux we were treated to some extra fantastic visits too with Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Latour certainly the highlights as both excelled in this classic vintage.  

Château Latour still plough their vineyards                                                   Spectacular Latour tasting (at 9:30am!)

   

 

Château Palmer

 

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