Out this morning are the Cazes family wines of Pauillac. The grand vin itself CHÂTEAU LYNCH BAGES has been released at £575 per 6 IB. The price of Lynch has drifted higher in recent years, but so have the reviews, and this 2016 has the highest ratings ever en primeur.
While Lynch Bages (now sold out) was obviously the big news of yesterday, several other releases are more than worthy of mention. 2016 CHÂTEAU GRAND MAYNE at £360 per dozen was not only given a terrific note by Neal Martin (94-96), but was also mentioned in his introduction to the vintage: 'I was deeply impressed by Grand-Mayne this year.
CHÂTEAU ANGÉLUS is out this morning at £1788 per 6 IB. There are some highly impressive scores here, 96-98 from Neal Martin who expects this wine will reach the top of his banded score once in bottle, 17++ from Jancis Robinson, 99-100 from James Suckling, 97 from both Jane Anson and Tim Atkin, and 94-97+ from Antonio Galloni.
This morning sees the release of a trio of very impressive Saint Juliens. An excellent and highly-rated LANGOA BARTON has been released at £420 per 12 IB, and the stylish LA CROIX DE BEAUCAILLOU has followed at exactly the same price.
Following the release earlier this morning of CHÂTEAU GLORIA and CHÂTEAU SAINT PIERRE comes the wonderfully impressive CHÂTEAU PALMER, one of the great wines of Margaux. This has been released at £1420 per case of 6 In Bond, which is certainly a price as grand as the wine.
CHÂTEAU GLORIA , which has been on a quality charge this year, is out today at £360 per 12 bottles IB. We were really impressed with the quality of the 2016. It has good volume and density but will certainly need time in the cellar to round out.
CHÂTEAU LE CROCK is a fantastic little cru bourgeois that sits right between Cos and Montrose. In great vintages this property really sings so when Neal Martin says the 2016 is a spitting image of the 2010, the signs are very good indeed! We found it bold and hedonistic.
Lots of En Primeur activity this morning. The pick of the bunch is CHÂTEAU TALBOT at £246 per 6 bottles IB. Jancis says this is a wine that represents all that is best about the 2016 vintage. She's absolutely right. It's a wine of typically profound structure but there is plenty of intense blackberry fruit behind all that mass.
Released this afternoon is CHÂTEAU DUHART MILON ROTHSCHILD at £310 per 6 IB. This is one of our recommended wines, we all found it a joy to taste and it is a great example of the brilliant wines from Pauillac in 2016. Neal Martin recommends it too, he says that it is 'a step up from the 2015' and scores it 92-94.
'a more classic style' of Pape Clément red, says Neal Martin (95-97), while Galloni found it 'one of the raciest, silkiest wines I have ever tasted here' (93-96), and that 'it is the wine's balance that is most remarkable'.
The ever dependable right-bank stable of Denis Durantou has just been released. These are wines where the price-to-quality ratio is always off the scale - even more so so in a fresh and juicy vintage like 2016. The SAINTAYME and LA CHENADE will provide enormous pleasure almost immediately.
'En Rama' style sherry is something we have championed since it first hit the market 8 years ago when Gonzales Byass released their fabulous, limited release Tio Pepe - straight from the barrel. 'En Rama' is the purest, least 'mucked-about-with' wine you can get your hands on, a rare chance to taste wines straight from the barrel just as the cellar master finds it.