MALESCOT SAINT EXUPÉRY has been released at £252 per 6 bottles IB. We were all really impressed by this - it was clearly one of the stand-out wines from Margaux in 2016. Neal Martin gave it 94-96/100 and called it 'sensual and voluptuous' but with great delineation and precision on the finish.
After the bank holiday lull, a very exciting morning in Bordeaux today. We have the release of the Domaine Clarence Dillon wines - most notably HAUT BRION and LA MISSION HAUT BRION - as well as LARCIS DUCASSE and RÉSERVE DE LA COMTESSE. HAUT BRION is out at £2,490 per 6 bottles IB.
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.
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.
'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'.
Out this morning from Saint Estèphe is CHÂTEAU LES ORMES DE PEZ at £250 per case of 12 IB. We really enjoyed this wine on the two occasions we tasted it, and the critics seem to have shared our enthusiasm.
With their election over, and confidence in the future of La France restored it is back to business in Bordeaux this morning. Château Branaire Ducru has been released at £232.50 per case of 6 IB. Jane Anson in Decanter, gives it 95 points: ‘Always a supremely elegant, measured take on St-Julien that delivers in spades in 2016.
Today sees the release of CHÂTEAU BATAILLEY , a real favourite of ours this year from Paulliac at £207 per case of 6 IB. 2015 saw the creation of a second wine here ('Lions de Batailley'), and the grape selection has dramatically improved the quality of Batailley itself.