Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur: Day 5, Thursday 6th April
After a welcomed later start we left after a good breakfast for our first appointment Chateau d’Issan at 8:30am arriving with 10 mins to spare, before diving into some excellent wines from both d’Issan and Pedesclaux; their sister property in Pauillac. These were attractive wines with wonderful balance and vibrancy, sure to be on our recommendations list if the price is right.
From d’Issan to Chateau Palmer to be bowled over by their 2016, left on a huge high. From Palmer we had an hour before our appointment with their neighbour, Chateau Margaux so we headed to Kirwan for the UGC Margaux tasting. The star performers were Chateau Malescot St Exupery, Chateau du Tertre and Chateau Giscours. However, the overall quality was indeed very good.
Realising that Dufont-Vivens wasn’t at the tasting, we took a quick detour for an impromptu tasting which was well worth the effort. Possibly the best from this Chateau, I have tasted in a long time.
The 2016 Chateau Margaux was seriously good, probably not quite the power of 2015 however, not far behind.
Stopping for a quick lunch at Le Lion d’Or at Arcins (recommended if you’re ever in the Medoc). As you would expect it also has a rather good wine list, however the dedication of the our tasting team meant that only water was served, to save our palates for a busy afternoon…
Ch. Cantemerle was our next stop for the UGC Medoc tastings, impressive wines all round. Ch. Cantemerle was excellent and Ch. Belgrave was a lovely big surprise.
Then on to a negociant tasting to taste some interesting and vibrant cru bourgeois. Ch. Tour St Bonnet was a cracker, Ch. Senejac shone with an array of others.
With only 50mins to get from the Medoc to Haut-Bailly in Pessac we set off in haste. For once the ‘Rocade’ motorway was kind to us and we arrived at the Chateau with 5 minutes to spare where once again we tasted some glorious wines showing real class.
A quick stop off at UGC Pessac tasting at Ch. Carbonnieux before heading to our final First Growth at Ch. Haut Brion to taste the Clarence Dillon range. La Mission and Haut Brion have been toned down with alcohol to normal levels (relief for my delicate palate), after last year’s blockbuster 15.1% ABV.
From Haut Brion we headed to our last tasting of the day at Ch. Smith Haut Lafitte. Sadly, our luck changed and we got stuck in gridlocked traffic making us 45 minutes late for our tasting. Thank you to Florian, the winemaker, for patiently waiting for us before presenting and talking us through his beautiful and charming 2016’s.
Before heading back to Bordeaux Lac, Monsieur Blatch called to say the steaks were on the BBQ, we hastened our pace. Very generously he has allowed us over a large glass of Raymond-Lafron 2009 to publish his vintage report and Sauternes report for our customers. Thanks Bill, great steaks too… will publish next week.