2016 Bordeaux – Lafon-Rochet, Pedesclaux, Cantenac Brown, Clos du Clocher, Troplong Mondot, Mouton Rothschild, Aile d’Argent…

by Edward Richardson

Another busy morning in Bordeaux today…

Saint Estèphe as a whole had great success in 2016. This is perfectly illustrated by the superb LAFON-ROCHET released today at £204 per 6 bottles IB. Basile Tesseron, now aided by Jean-Claude Berrouet (of Pétrus) continues to improve the quality at this estate. The proportion of Cabernet used in the blend is now at 67% – the highest to date, which may be why we found this more restrained than usual, but there is great potential here.

PEDESCLAUX L&S is out at £198 per 6 bottles IB. Neal Martin liked this wine’s ‘brooding intensity‘ as well as its ‘gorgeous salinity and a long and persistent, lightly spiced finish‘. It’s a touch above our price estimate but we were impressed by its cool feel and silky texture. It also has some impressive scores, including Neal’s 93-95/100.

The highly dependable CANTENAC BROWN has been released at £237 per 6 bottles IB. Neal Martin thought this had lovely ‘sorbet-like freshness‘ and was ‘certainly equal to the impressive 2015‘. We found it very attractive too – a wine that really shows off the natural density and sweetness of the fruit in this vintage.

A rare bargain from Pomerol, CLOS DU CLOCHER has been released at £444 per 12 bottles IB. This micro-property (production is just 2,000 cases) sits in pole-position right at the heart of the plateau and has really upped its game of late. We loved the 2016’s focus and intent – it is pure finesse from start to finish. Galloni was equally impressed calling it ‘racy and succulent to the core‘ and encapsulating ‘all the radiance of the vintage’, while Neal Martin singled it out as one of his ‘best potential value’ buys of 2016 Pomerol, giving it 93-95.

TROPLONG MONDOT is also out at £600 per 6 bottles IB. We found this thick, rich and gourmand but it’s still surprisingly fresh and balanced. Galloni loved it, giving it 94-97/100 and calling it ‘plush, sensual and inviting.’ He thinks the 2016 ‘is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine.’ This is recommended for those that like their Saint Emilion turned ‘up to eleven‘ (credit Neal Martin for the Spinal Tap reference).

Last, but clearly not least, is MOUTON ROTHSCHILD. This is all on allocation with last year’s buyers. We are hunting more stock so let us know if you’re interested and we will do our best. Neal Martin wrote that this Mouton will simply ‘rivet you to the spot‘ and gave it 98-100/100. Jane Anson called it ‘astonishing!‘ with ‘depth and impact that closely approaches the 2010.‘ While we wouldn’t quite go that far, we did see glimpses of the 2010 in its sheer density and power. However, this is a slightly drier style with a touch more of the characteristic juiciness on the finish that is so common in 2016. This will need plenty of time to reveal itself but it will be a beautiful Mouton.

Also out from the Mouton stable is AILE d’ARGENT at £324 per 6 bottles IB. This didn’t quite have the energy of the 2015 but it does still have a very attractive spice and a nice fullness. It’s really very good given that 2016 was definitely not the easiest vintage for whites. Tim Atkin gave it 95/100 and called it ‘beautifully judged‘ and ‘always among my favourite white Bordeaux.’

More wines were rumoured to be released today so watch this space… As ever, you can keep up to date with everything from #Bdx16 on our Recent Releases page.