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Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur

Honest Grapes Bordeaux 2015 selection

Producers and critics alike are talking about 2016 as a special vintage with many declaring that it rivals 2015 and some even suggesting it is the best year since 1982! Both Claire and Tom have been tasting barrel samples variously out in Bordeaux over the last three weeks and tried some truly great wines with a general balance of tannins, acidity, and fruit across both left and right banks. Fresher and brighter (and generally lower alcohol) than 2015 but deeply coloured, with amazing concentration and structure, the vintage is a classic case of intensity not density.

A vintage of two extremes, a wet first half where a year’s rain fell in the first six months) and an incredibly dry second, it all came good in the end! The warmth and long, relaxed harvesting conditions, with the odd well-timed shower, meant that Cabernet Sauvignon dominant producers were happy in 2016. However, St Emilion and Pomerol have a very strong showing this year as well, with the Merlot variety benefiting from the heavier clay soils that retained water during the driest summer on record. The best examples fill the palate with ample, supple and polished tannins, but are underlined with good acidity, a velvety mouthfeel and balanced alcohol. Back on the left bank, Pauillac and especially Saint Estephe have produced largely better wines than in 2015 with some modern day classics to rival the greatest ever Bordeaux.

2016 is a homogenous vintage with top quality across the board and a large harvest BUT, with rumours that prices may be anything between 5-30% than 2015, selecting châteaux which both performed well and which have been released at the correct price is essential. Unlike many, we will only offer our top picks as the Chateaux release their pricing, thus helping make your selections that bit easier.

Want to know more about En primeur wines?

Read our blog on Burgundy wines that also details buying wines En Primeur.

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