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2016 Blanc Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan

Grapes Sauv Blanc, Sémillon
Colour White
Origin France, Bordeaux
Village Pessac-Léognan
Classification Cru Classé

Nice harmonious nose, less of the grassier Sauvignon aromas than usual, fat, it might feel a bit heavy, but there's good acidity showing on the finish and lifting the fruit. Drinking range: 2018 - 2020 Rating: 90-92 L&S (Apr 2017)

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An outstanding white, the 2016 Château Carbonnieux Blanc has a tight, slightly reductive style in its lime, citrus zest, and mineral-like aromas and flavors. These flow to a medium-bodied, elegant white that has bracing acidity yet good fruit. It needs a year or two of bottle age to come together, but it’s beautiful. Drinking range: 2021 - 2031 Rating: 90+ Jeb Dunnuck, (Feb 2019)

The Carbonnieux 2016 Blanc has a gentle nose of peardrop, citrus peel and orange blossom: attractive if just missing the race and drive of either the 2014 and 2015. The palate is well balanced with lime and a touch of orange zest on the entry. There is good depth of fruit here and a pleasant saline finish—it just needs more acidity. Drinking range: 2018 - 2024 Rating: 88-90 Neal Martin, (Apr 2017)

Bit stinky and reduced on the nose. (Bordeaux University is experimenting with sulphur use here.) Fruit lacks vitality. Solid and stolid but not much fun. Quite long though, so perhaps it will improve? Drinking range: 2020 - 2024 Rating: 16+ Jancis Robinson OBE MW - (Apr 2017)

Château Carbonnieux

Château Carbonnieux has a long history stretching back, at least, to the 13th Century. The house itself started as a fortified farm back in the 14th Century. As with many a Bordeaux estate, the end of the 19th Century through to the middle of the 20th Century was not a good time for Carbonnieux with the devastating onset of phylloxera, two World Wars and the Great Depression to suffer. Consequently, by the early 1950’s Carbonnieux was in a sorry state. Salvation came with its purchase, in 1956, by Marc Perrin. Much replanting and investment eventually restored Carbonnieux to its rightful place among the best that Pessac-Léognan has to offer. Today Château Carbonnieux is still owned by the Perrin family, with Marc’s grandsons Eric and Philibert at the reins. Château Carbonnieux is situated on the classic Graves gravel outcrop allowing good natural drainage. “Above and beyond preserving our natural environment, our objective is to come as close as possible to organic-type farming”, says Philibert Perrin. Chemical insecticides and weed-killers are banned. White grapes are grown in a fairly typical Bordeaux ratio of 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon; whilst red grapes are, of course, dominated by (60%) Cabernet Sauvignon with 30% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc; the remainder being small but important plantings of Petit Verdot and the all but forgotten (in Bordeaux) Carmenère. Vines are 27 to 30 years old. On the creation of the Graves Classification in 1959 Château Carbonnieux was awarded Cru Classé status both for its red and white wines.

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