Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur 2nd Labels - we come to the end of the releases and time for reflection.........
MyCellar - Portfolio Management
Cellar Valuation & Inventory Service
With virtually all wines released, as we write, it is time to reflect and gather breath after what has been another frenetic and manically orchestrated delivery of new wines to the market place.
Many have written about the extraordinary quality but equally there have been more than whispers about the release prices of 2016 wines.
Whilst we ponder, I remembered recently a wonderful piece of advice by a wise veteran of the EP process - in a very good vintage buy what you can afford but in a terrific vintage the best value can be found in the 2nd labels!
While it will take some time to truly learn the fate of this vintage in terms of quality and aging potential, we thought we take this opportunity to share the best of the 2nd labels for your consideration.
We have focused on critical analysis from Wine Advocate but scores from James Suckling are in general 3-4 points higher.
Neal Martin - Wine Advocate
"Even a cynic … must admit that these 2016's live up to expectations and the superlatives [he or she has] heard consistently over three weeks."
Comparing the wines to 2015 -
“The two vintages are different, but there is no gulf in general quality between them.”
Antonio Galloni - Vinous.com
The 2016s are absolutely remarkable wines. The word that comes to mind, unfortunately so often overused, is balance. In technical terms, the 2016s boast off the charts tannins that in many cases exceed those of wines from massive vintages such as 2010. And yet, the best 2016s are absolutely harmonious, with the tannins barely perceptible at all. The 2016s also have tremendous energy and bright, acid-driven profiles, with many wines playing more in the red-fruit area of the flavor spectrum. One of the results of the unusual growing season is that alcohols range from 0.5% to 1% lower than what has been the norm in recent years.”
We thank all of those who have purchased for their custom - and to those who are still considering, please contact us directly for help and advice.
A selection of 2nd label wines tasted and recommended
by the Moat team
Le Carillon de L'Angelus
£432.00 per case 6 (IB)
@ £72.00 per btle
"The 2016 Le Carillon d'Angelus, which represents a higher percentage of the total production this year, has a tightly wound blackberry and briary-scented bouquet with admirable delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, harmonious and rounded in style with just the right amount of salinity on the finish to beckon you back for another sip. This is a lovely Deuxième Vin built to give pleasure."
91 -93 Neal Martin
Les Pagodes de Cos
£192.00 per case 6 (IB)
@ £32.00 per btle
"The 2016 Les Pagodes de Cos is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46.5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and a splash of Cabernet Franc, delivering 13.02% alcohol and matured in 30% new oak. It has an intense bouquet with aromas of blackcurrant, bilberry, graphite and a touch of sea salt. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, quite sleek in the mouth with plenty of black fruit tinged with graphite. It has a little more persistence compared to the 2015 Pagodes last year from barrel, very harmonious with a twist of bitter black cherry and tobacco on the finish. Very fine"
90 - 92 Neal Martin
Le Sirene de Giscours
£216.00 per case 12 (IB)
@ £18.00 per btle
"The 2016 La Sirene de Giscours comprises 58% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot. It has a pleasant black plum and incense-scented bouquet, the oak neatly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, black rather than red fruit here with a touch of soy towards the structured, saline finish. Give this a couple of years once in bottle"
89 -91 Neal Martin
Le Dragon de Qunitus
£288.00 per case 12 (IB)
@ £24.00 per btle
"The 2016 Le Dragon de Quintus is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 3 and 20 October. I found that aromatics tightly wound and a little unresponsive when I tasted it at Haut-Brion, though I managed to coax blackcurrant and bilberry scents, a touch of pressed flowers with time. I would like to see more vigor once in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin: blackberry mingling with white pepper and cloves, nicely balanced with commendable presence on the grainy finish."
89 -91 Neal Martin
£336.00 per case 6 (IB)
@ £56.00 per btle
"The 2016 Alter Ego de Palmer is a blend of 40% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Petit Verdot this year (a little less Merlot than usual). That exuberant Merlot drives the aromatics along, almost citrus-like with scents of blood orange and blueberries soaring from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin on the entry, quite sharp acidity at first, quite structured for an Alter Ego with a grippy finish."
89 - 91 Neal Martin,
Reserve de Comtesse de Lalande
£180.00 per case 6 (IB)
@ £30.00 per btle
"The 2016 Reserve de Comtesse de Lalande is a blend of 37% Merlot, 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, with a modest alcohol level of 13.1% and a pH of 3.71. It has a tightly wound bouquet that perhaps needed more coaxing than some of its peers, but it was worth persisting, as it unveils some lovely cedar-infused black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannin on the entry, moderate depth, a light marine influence upon the black fruit with a little creaminess on the finish. This is a fine Reserve de Comtesse."
90 - 92 Neal Martin
Les Fiefs de Lagrange
£210.00 per case 12 (IB)
@ £17.50 per btle
"The 2016 Les Fiefs de Lagrange, which actually comes from 35-year-old vines nowadays, is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot and matured in 20% new oak. It has a very intense bouquet, especially for a Deuxième Vin, with pure black cherry, crème de cassis and crushed violets. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity, quite tensile in the mouth and full of joie de vivre. You cannot really go wrong with Les Fiefs, and I bet it will be a great value once released."
90 - 92 Neal Martin
Sarget de Gruaud-Larose
£201.00 per case 12 (IB)
@ £16.75 per btle
"The 2016 Sargent de Gruaud-Larose is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The alcohol is 12.66% and it is matured in 15% new oak. There is plenty of fruit on the nose: black cherries, red plum and a touch of violet, the modest level of new oak allowing the fruit to shine. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannin, very pure fruit and a caressing texture. It can sometimes be a little disappointing, but not this year. It's just a delicious wine that will give a decade's worth of drinking pleasure."
88 - 90 Neal Martin
Wines available in different formats , large and small, on request.
Delivery anticipated late Autumn 2018
Our research along with that of a plethora of merchants and critics - indicates that this could well be another 'great' vintage ... already it is being compared to 2005, 2009 and other so called 'greats'!
The 2016 was a vintage of two extremes, a wet first half and an incredibly dry second, this defined its potential and helped mark a promise of greatness.
The Merlot harvest started on the 26th September at most Estates, continuing with perfect conditions to mid-October. This meant the grapes could reach perfect ripeness.The Merlot grapes were a good size, while the Cabernet Sauvignon were very small and incredibly concentrated. Yields were very generous indeed, the largest harvest since 2006 and the highest yield since 2004.
These special and unusual vintage conditions facilitated a wonderful year.
"as an exceptional vintage equal to the exquisite 2015."
"I would rate it ahead of 2000 and 2003, as well as every vintage in the 1990s except 1990 itself. The only vintages better are 2005, 2009, 2010 and perhaps 2015."
Pessac Leognan and Margaux also performed brilliantly, however, these stole the show in 2015 so in general 2015 edges 2016 very slightly in these appellations. Palmer, Chateau Margaux, Malescot St Exupéry and Rauzan Segla are remarkable wines.
In Pessac, Haut-Brion as always is stunning as are Pape Clement, Smith Haut Lafite and Haut Bailly.
However, there is no doubt it is a left bank vintage, with St-Julien, Pauillac and St-Estephe producing some modern day classics.
The wines are structured, precise with an abundance of balance and tension. Leoville las Cases, Pontet Canet and Lynch Bages are special, while Lafite and Mouton Rothschild are the best in years. Montrose tops 2015, as does Cos d’Estournel, while Calon Segur could be their finest modern day vintage.