2016 Bordeaux – a ‘regal’ Lafite and a ‘voluptuous’ Vieux Château Certan

by Edward Richardson

The (lengthy) en primeur show is drawing to a close but there are still a couple of the greatest hits left.

First is LAFITE, out today at £2,950 per 6 bottles IB. Alongside HAUT BRION (now sold out) this was the first-growth that most impressed us en primeur. We found it silky, dense and brooding but still unbelievably pure. There’s a glorious minerality and salinity that make the finish astonishingly long and salivating. Neal Martin was equally impressed. He gave it 96-98/100 and called it a ‘regal‘ Lafite with ‘more density, more vigor, more depth and you could even argue more ambition than the 2015.‘ Galloni called it ‘mind-blowing,‘ ‘stunning,‘ and ‘ethereal‘ giving it 95-98/100. Like us, Tim Atkin thought it wasn’t far off wine of the vintage territory scoring it 97/100. Anson called it ‘awesome‘ and gave it 99/100. It is clearly a Lafite of exceptional class and polish. Supply is a little uncertain at present but don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested.

Second is VIEUX CHÂTEAU CERTAN L&S which is out at £1,182 per 6 bottles IB. The Cabernet Franc really suffered in the long, dry summer so the result is a VCC with 85% Merlot. It’s remarkable that all that Merlot can make a wine that’s so controlled, restrained and elegant. It’s total silk with gorgeous gloss, floral grace and a rich sappy weight. We feel that this is up there with the best of Pomerol and perhaps the very best of the vintage. Neal Martin called it ‘outstanding‘ and rated it 95-97/100. Jancis Robinson praised its ‘lovely ripeness and nobility‘ and scored it a rare 19/20. Galloni was utterly convinced. He scored this 97-100/100 and called it ‘a wine of extraordinary beauty. Rich, seamless and voluptuous in the glass, it exudes sensuality in all of its dimensions.’ Quantities are sadly down 20% so availability will be very limited indeed, and at the moment this is on allocation to last year’s buyers, but if you would like us to try for you, please order now.

There is still time to reflect on our recommendations from the vintage in both the Médoc & Graves and Right Bank. Despite some unpalatable price hikes at a few Chateaux, there are still value buys to be had at all levels in this vintage. Do have another look at these lists, and we will shortly add the promised list ‘fill your cellar for under £250 a case’ for those lucky enough to have somewhere to put their wine on arrival.

As ever you can keep up to date with everything #Bdx16 on our Recent Releases page.