A taste sample of vintage 2016, Bordeaux Tasting 2017, Villa Solliden, Stockholm (20-10-2017 by Robert Jonasson and Nenad Jelisic)

 

This was the seventh year in a row that the Swedish people had the opportunity to try en primeur wines from Bordeaux in Stockholm. This time it was the vintage 2016. After four straight years of bad luck with the weather, Bordeaux finally had good weather in both 2015 and 2016. According to wine journalists, the vintage 2016 is a very good vintage in Bordeaux, probably the best in the 21st century, together with the 2009 vintage. In addition to the en primeur wines (the vintage 2016), all participating châteaux had an older wine for tasting as a reference. 43 châteaux were represented, and all wines that were presented at the tasting were tasted. Unfortunately, the wines from Clos Fourtet had ended before NJ Wines had the opportunity to taste them. A new château at this year's tasting was Château la Conseillante. In total, 96 wines were tasted of which only 14 wines got more than 2,5 NJP, i.e. 15% of the wines. Worth noting is that only 1 wine from vintage 2016 got more than 2,5 NJP. This is the worst result for any en primeur since NJ Wines began to try en primeur wines in Stockholm. Comparatively, 10 wines from the vintage 2015 got more than 2,5 NJP, i.e. 24% of the wines. This means that, unlike most of the journalists, NJ Wines cannot yet praise the vintage 2016. It will be interesting to see how the wines will evolve and if we will have reason to later revise our opinion of the vintage 2016.

 

The following wines got more than 2,5 NJP (in alphabetical order): 1. Château Beauregard, 2014, red dry blend wine, 3,0 NJP, 2. Château Beychevelle, 2008, red dry blend wine, 3,0 NJP, 3. Château Beychevelle, 2016, red dry blend wine, 3,5 NJP, 4. Château Canon la Gaffelière, 2009, red dry blend wine, 3,5 NJP, 5. Château d’Aiguilhe, 2008, red dry blend wine, 3,5 NJP, 6. Château d’Armailhac, 2010, red dry blend wine, 3,0 NJP, 7. Château Giscours, 2009, red dry blend wine, 3,0 NJP, 8. Château Langoa Barton, 2011, red dry blend wine, 3,0 NJP, 9. Château Lascombes, 2012, red dry blend wine, 3,0 NJP, 10. Château Léoville Barton, 2012, red dry blend wine, 3,0 NJP, 11. Château Léoville-Poyferré, 2012, red dry blend wine, 3,5 NJP, 12. Château Suduiraut, 2014, white sweet blend wine, 3,0 NJP, 13. Château Talbot, 2011, red dry blend wine, 3,0 NJP and 14. Domaine de Chevalier, 2014, red dry blend wine, 3,0 NJP.

 

The best wine producer at the tasting: Château Beychevelle. This was the only wine producer where both tasted wines got more than 2,5 NJP. Château Beychevelle is classified as Quatrièmes Crus (Fourth Growths) according to the 1855 classification. Today, Château Beychevelle is own by Grands Millésimes de France. Château Beychevelle owns 90 hectares of vineyards, which are located in the southern parts of the appellation Saint Julien, Haut-Médoc, Médoc. The vineyards are planted with the Médoc’s four traditional grape varieties: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. A typical grape blend of wine (Château Beychevelle) is about 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, about 40% Merlot, about 5% Cabernet Franc and about 5% Petit Verdot. The (Château Beychevelle) wine is aged in French oak barrels (50 to 60% new) for 18 months. In addition to the grand wine (Château Beychevelle), two other red wines (Amiral de Beychevelle and Les Brulières de Beychevelle) are also produced.

Château Beychevelle

The best en primeur wine at the tasting: Château Beychevelle, 2016, red dry blend wine, Saint Julien, Haut-Médoc, Médoc, 3,5 NJP. Château Beychevelle was the only wine from vintage 2016 that got more than 2,5 NJP points. The Château Beychevelle 2016 is a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. The wine was, at the time of the tasting, 11 months old, and it will be aged on oak barrels, before bottling, about 7 months more. Of course, it is hard to tell how the wine is going to be when it is released, but to be a en primeur wine, it is very impressive already now. The aroma is magnificent and big, with layer upon layer of dark fruit. To be a young wine, it has very long and powerful flavour with a beautiful elegance and a good balance. The wine has a good tannin structure, a good acidity and a good fruitiness to evolve for at least 15 years of cellaring i.e. until at least 2032.

The best wine in all categories at the tasting: Château Canon la Gaffeliére, 2009, red dry blend wine, Saint-Émilion, Libournais, 3,5 NJP. Château Canon la Gaffeliére is classified as Prémier Grand Cru Classé in the appellation Saint-Émilion. The estate, who owns about 19,5 ha of vineyards, is located just south of the medieval city Saint-Émilion. Château Canon la Gaffeliére is own by Comtes von Neipperg. The vintage 2009 is a blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is aged in French oak barrels (90% new) for 17 months. Château Canon la Gaffeliére 2009 has a complex aroma of dark fruits and dark berries like plum and blackcurrant. Really, this is a wine to just sit down and enjoy of the beautiful aroma. The taste is long, fruity and elegant, but at the same time powerful. The balance of the wine is fantastic, and the structure is exceptional. The powerful tannin structure has begun to soften something and that makes that the wine is very good to drink now. The wine has a good aging potential, up to 12 years, i.e. until 2029.

Bordeaux, a French wine region which is divided into three wine areas. The first wine area is located on the Garonne and Gironde river's left bank and it is called the Left Bank. The second wine area lies between two rivers, the Garonne and Dordogne, and it is called Entre-Deux-Mers, the area "between two seas". The third wine area is located on the Dordogne river's right bank and it is called the Right Bank (also called Libournais). The first wine area (Left Bank) is divided into two wine districts: Medoc and Graves, there also Sauternes and Barsac are embedded. The second wine area (Entre-Duex-Mers) is divided into nine appellations. The third wine area (Right Bank) is divided into whole series of individual appellations, the most famous between them are Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, which together form the Libournais.

 

Bordeaux the best vintages, 1900, 1904, 1906, 1914, 1918, 1924, 1926, 1929, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1982, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2016.

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