Jancis Robinson - Haut-Médoc / Médoc
Jancis sampled in excess of 600 wines and her detailed vintage assessment (per appellation) can be found on her excellent website, which we highly recommend (and not only for Bordeaux).
Ch d’Agassac 2016
Lifted and ripe. Sweet start and very friendly. Easy and approachable fermented blackcurrant pastilles.
Dom Andron 2016
Blackish crimson. Notably concentrated colour. Not much nose at this point. Very ripe start and slightly tough end. Could do with a little more zip and acidity. A bit overdone? Slightly hot end.
Ch d’Arcins 2016
Hubert de Boüard consults.
Very dark purple. Rather soft and floral. In Margaux style? Quite appetising with some flattering sweetness. Not forced. Very charming for relatively early drinking.
Ch Arnauld 2016
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, handpicked and about 40 years old.
Very dark purplish crimson. Fresh ferny top note on lively, ambitious blend that is not at all far from the impression that many crus classés give. Firm round tannins on the end. Proper stuff!
Ch d’Arsac, Winemaker’s Collection Saison 11 2016
Hubert de Boüard consults.
Very dark. Good freshness on the palate and some inkiness on the end. Masses of tannin. A little dry and tannic but sincere. Light sweetness on the end.
Ch d’Aurilhac 2016
Quite intense and juicy with some red pimento powder aroma. Lots of breadth and fun even if far from the most concentrated on the palate. Racy.
Ch Beaumont 2016
Deep crimson. Muted but ‘correct’ aromatically. Some richness on the front palate. Very dry finish. More flesh than usual and a good expression of vintage and estate.
Ch Belgrave 2016
Very deep crimson. Real lift and attractive (rather than underripe) leafy top note. Rather sumptuous start and then it rather falls away to something a little scrawny on the end.
Ch Belle-Vue 2016
Sample a bit tired. Second sample: Very deep purplish crimson. Fresh and a little austere. Not ample but correct and pretty vital. Very fast fade. Bit of a disappointment.
Ch Bernadotte 2016
Dark and glowing crimson. Not that concentrated but fleshy and fun. Sweet fruit, powdery tannins.
Ch Cambon La Pelouse 2016
Savoury and appetising nose. Rich and flattering fruity palate. Still very youthful.
Ch de Camensac 2016
Hint of pencil shavings on the nose. Then ripe fruit but it could do with a little more lift. And on the palate the phenolics are a bit underripe.
Ch Cantemerle 2016
Light nose and a little dull overall. Lacks energy. Is this a tired sample? Drying. 15.5 (Drink 2022-2030).
Second sample at UGC:
Quite pungent with treacly notes on the nose. Fairly light and soulless - not to say a little fruitless. Green notes on the end.
Ch Caronne Ste-Gemme 2016
Very rich, sweet nose with an earthiness underneath. Pinched finish. Sandpaper. Fast fade.
Ch du Cartillon 2016
Interesting nose in this stablemate of Lestage Simon. Some damp webbing! Thick and a bit brutal. Lack of charm. Sour end.
Ch Charmail 2016
Bright dark crimson. Deep, dark nose with lots of hot cross bun spicy charm. Pretty sweet but well done, except that it’s pretty dry and demanding on the end. Ambitious but you will have to wait!
Ch Cissac 2016
Thick and fully ripe with a bit of freshness on the end. Real drive and balance.
Ch Citran 2016
Dark purplish crimson. Neat, focused aroma. Blackberry compote. Then a sweet start and very polished tannins with a dry but not drying finish. Successful. In a slightly minor key.
Ch Clément Pichon 2016
Dark deep crimson. Rather appealing, fresh nose with plenty of ripeness too. Savoury and rather bloody but without the concentration of a great wine. Easy for relatively early drinking. A little drying on the end.
Ch Corconnac 2016
Mid to deep crimson. Pretty luscious ripe, sweet fruit with a top note of Cabernet. Almost soft but very friendly and approachable already. A low charge of polished tannins. Some drive and sweetness on the palate.
Ch Coufran 2016
Notably dark crimson. Voluptuous and velvety textured. Dry end. But lots of effort has gone into this. Sumptuous texture. GV
Ch Devise d’Ardilley 2016
Deep, dark, healthy crimson. Rather floral, sweet nose and then good freshness and fine tannins on the end. Not massively concentrated but very refreshing. Should make an appealing classic drink for the early medium term. Not that long.
Ch Fleur La Mothe 2016
5,000 cases per vintage. This is the property on which Antoine Médeville and associates try out new techniques.
Dark crimson. Rather sumptuous, ripe nose. Sweet start and then rather a spiky, tannic, inky finish. A bit of a hole in the middle.
€13.50 RRP 15
Ch de Gironville 2016
45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot. Sister to Ch Belle-Vue.
Dark crimson with a healthy gloss. More focus, freshness and some vegetation on the nose. Far from fat but very sophisticated. Lively and long term. Lots of ripe tannin and really sophisticated. Big and bloody as well as minerally/sucky stony. Well done!
Ch Goulefaisan 2016
Mid crimson. Fragrant cassis nose. Good fresh fruit but relatively lightweight. Racy stuff for fairly early drinking. Light tannins on the end.
Ch La Lagune 2016
Dark crimson with a slightly pale rim. Strong balsam notes on the nose - distinctive! Very full and supple. I would guess there was some strict selection here to have such ripeness. Some freshness on the end. A satisfying whole. Quite long.
Ch de Lamarque 2016
Particularly deep blackish crimson. Quite a bit of interest on the nose. Good balance on the palate and then rather drying tannins (underripe phenolics?) on the end. Nearly very good…but demanding on the end.
Ch Lamothe-Bergeron 2016
Sweetly scented. Round and transparent with great energy. Fresh finish and very well balanced. GV
Ch Lanessan 2016
Lifted aromatic nose. Polished tannins with some inner glow. Dry end. Very solid performance. GV
Ch Larose Perganson 2016
Very dark blackish purple. Much more lift and sophistication than its stablemate Larose Trintaudon. Vibrant and vibrating fruit but no concessions to sweetness. Just a bit of luscious texture on the front palate and the right amount of sappy tannins. Bone-dry end.
Ch Larose-Trintaudon 2016
Dark, thick crimson. Mild, upholstery-webbing nose. A little sour at the start with lots of acidity but dense and competent. Just a bit sour after rather broad, mildly luscious texture. Perfectly fine but very dry end and not a huge pleasure.
Ch Larrivaux 2016
Dark crimson. Good minerally freshness on the nose. Juicy fruit and mineral overlay. Very appetising without being especially dramatic. Just the ticket for a fine, affordable 2016. GV? Drying end. But then there is admirable persistence.
Ch Lestage Simon 2016
Perfumed. Dark crimson. Very juicy – masses of fruit encased in enough structure. Pretty chewy end.
Ch Malescasse 2016
Stéphane Derenoncourt. The new owner, Philippe Austruy of Commanderie de Peyrassol in Provence, has been spending and renovating like mad, including replacing old vines.
Sappy, and round. Very attractive. Lots more middle and charm than Malescasse used to have. Depending on anticipated price increases, this may be GV. Pure pleasure.
Ch Mille Roses 2016
Blackish crimson. Great depth of colour. Light nose that reminds me a little of gherkin water. Sweet palate entry but it’s all a bit devoid of flavour on the palate. Unappetising, sour finish.
Ch du Moulin Rouge 2016
Solid but without quite enough fruity core. Just a bit dull and stodgy.
Ch Paloumey 2016
Very dark crimson. Rather strange damp webbing and non-winey nose. Very marked tannins and acidity dominate the fruit. Bitter finish.
Ch Peyrabon 2016
Mid crimson. Florally scented and racy. Polished tannins. A little austere on the end but honestly intended.
Ch Peyrat-Fourthon 2016
51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot.
Bright mid crimson. Heady nose and rich and rather oaky on the nose. Sour start. Very dry on the end and a slight lack of fruit in the middle but certainly dramatic. Sour end.
Ch Peyredon Lagravette 2016
Stéphane Derenoncourt. Bought by Stéphane and Laurence Dupuch in 2009. 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot. On the border of Moulis and Listrac. Made in small concrete tanks.
Not at all showy. In fact a little scrawny but I’m sure there is a lot of sincerity here. Needs time.
Ch du Retout 2016
71% Cabernet Sauvignon plus Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Minerally scented Cabernet nose. Juicy with cough-sweet aromas. Lots of fun.
Ch Reysson 2016
Dourthe Cru Bourgeois. 87% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. The only Cru Bourgeois with clay-limestone because it’s in Verteuil. Looks almost like the plateau of St-Émilion. None of the gravel of the rest of the Médoc.
Dark crimson. Distinctive. Peppery nose. Very ripe and sweet and broad and winning, with an almost burgundian richness. Long. One to follow? GV
Ch Sénéjac 2016
Relaxed, well-integrated, ripe nose. Sweet, purple fruits and quite a bit of both acid and tannin but just the right side of rasping. A success on a bourgeois scale. Lovely fresh confidence. GV?
Ch Sociando-Mallet 2016
Very dark glowing crimson. Great graphite nose. Some rich meatiness. Very much pushed up the ripeness scale. Seems richer than I remember it but it’s clearly very ambitious. Thick and sweet. Not really my style but it will over-deliver to those who are still looking for a wine from the 1990s! Drying end.
Ch Soudars 2016
Dark crimson. Zesty, very dry, classic wine. A little sour on the end. Pretty austere. But some good bright fruit before the austerity.
Ch St-Ahon 2016
Very deep crimson. This smells on the way to oxidation – a sample problem perhaps? The fruit is loose and unfocused. I’d rather not score this.
Ch La Tour Carnet 2016
Glowing very dark crimson. Attractive ‘mineral’ quality on the nose. Very comfortable and unforced. Perhaps it could do with a little more energy but the texture is great. Lovely mouthfeel with no shortage of tannin.
Ch Tour Marcillanet 2016
Dark blackish crimson with a pale rim. Good combination of ripeness and freshness on the nose. Firm line and dry tannins. Appetising finish. Impressively persistent.
Ch Verdignan 2016
Fresh, bracing nose. Very aromatic and nicely balanced. Neat. GV
Ch de Villegeorge 2016
Mid crimson. Quite savoury after a sweet oaky start. Correct but nothing thrilling. The opulence of the vintage. Then a tad stringy.
Ch Les Anguilleys 2016
Bright mid crimson. Very heady nose – seductive perfume. Sweet start with some gas in evidence. Is this really a long-term prospect? Introvert.
Ch Blayac 2016
Mid to dark crimson. Relatively light nose. Extremely sweet palate entry – not that appetising and a bit skinny on the palate. Jagged and hollow.
Ch La Cardonne 2016
Used to belong to Lafite.
Looks quite ripe purple and feels almost heavy. Minerally graphite nose. Fresh and direct and with a real line. Nicely transparent. Not for a very long life but very creditable. Long too.
Ch La Chandellière 2016
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot.
Extremely dark, brooding look. Polished treacle on the nose. Very luscious and hedonistic initially and then masses of dry tannins on the end. Masses of zest and aplomb, plus persistence. Well done! Very promising.
Ch Chantemerle 2016
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc.
Dark crimson. Nose is very sweet and loose. Needs more structure. Dangerously evolved. Could give immediate pleasure but I would be worried about recommending it for the future. Hot finish.
Ch Cos d’Estournel, Goulée 2016
77% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc. Yield 52 hl/ha. Picked 28 September - 15 October.
Not much nose. Lots of freshness. Really quite lifted and racy on top, though a tad stodgy underneath. Definitely quite an evolution of style. A certain inkiness but very much smarter than it used to be. Inky finish.
Ch David, Les Hauts de David 2016
Mid crimson. Sweet black fruits on the nose. Very soft indeed – in fact I can hardly sense the tannins until the very end. Relatively low acidity. A distinctive wine for relatively early drinking. Flatters the palate; liquid velvet? Salty finish.
Ch Fontis 2016
Very dark crimson. A bit of drive and tension on the nose. Round and fleshy but with good freshness. Good balance. Not the most concentrated but nicely done. Minerally and needs a bit more time. Quite long.
Ch Grand Lacaze 2016
Dark crimson. This particular sample is definitely off-putting on the nose. Drains? Sweet and tarty. SO unappetising!
Ch Les Grands Chênes 2016
60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Scented, reasonably restrained. Thick and just lacks a little bit of freshness. Drying sandy finish.
Ch Greysac 2016
20-year-old vines : 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot.
Dark crimson. Overripe nose. At attempt at opulence and a rather flat nose. Superficially this is ripe and ambitious but it lacks freshness. A really extreme Greysac! So different from the usual lean, light version. There is even some heat on the end.
Ch Haut-Condissas, Prestige 2016
Dark, glowing crimson. Good combination of opulence and freshness. Floral top notes and fluidity. Dry treacly tannins on the end. Both ripe and structured. Proper wine with real persistence. Needs time but is complete. Well done!
Ch Lestage-Chevillon 2016
Crimson. Very ripe – dangerously ripe? – nose. Unappetisingly sweet start. Thick and not refreshing. Then tough tannins on the end. Thick – no lift. Drink soon.
Ch Noaillac 2016
Good healthy crimson. Powerful, concentrated, confident nose, full of life. Dry finish. Pretty embryonic but all very promising.
£TBC per case ib Thorman Hunt 16.5
Ch Les Ormes Sorbet 2016
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot. 5% Petit Verdot.
Dark crimson. Intense, minerally nose that is a long way from fruitiness but is quite arresting. Sweet palate entry with lots of rather glossy Cabernet in evidence. Really very polished. Great balance. Neat, fresh, appetising. Impressively long. Chapeau!
Ch Picourneau-Malvezin 2016
Bright dark crimson. Occluded nose – decidedly smudgy. Solid but a bit stodgy. Where’s the lift? Sour and drying. Not enough fruit or flesh.
Ch Poitevin 2016
11, 000 cases per vintage.
Light to mid crimson. Light, sweetish nose. Good attack on the palate with very fine tannins and good acidity. Vigorous, but not for the long term.
€13 RRP 16
Ch Potensac, Chapelle de Potensac 2016
75% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc. Yield 55 hl/ha. 5% new oak.
Round and winning and early maturing. Charming but not a long-distance runner. Real charm. GV?
Ch Potensac 2016
39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 30% new oak.
Bright crimson. Racy and very rich and polished. Lovely tannins. Very juicy. Some tannin and potential underneath. Firm structure but no austerity. GV?
Ch Ramafort 2016
Dark crimson. A bit chewy and occluded on the nose. Not the charm of stablemate Cardonne 2016. Not really sold en primeur.
Ch Rollan de By 2016
Dark, dense crimson. A hint of overripeness. Very sweet start and then a bit stringy. Not quite a whole, broad, mouth-filling wine. A bit stringy. Lots of acidity and tannin but not quite enough fruit breadth. A bit of alcohol on the end. A bit savage and brutal. Disappears on the end.
Ch La Roque de By 2016
Healthy crimson. A little more animal on the nose than La Tour de By. Is there a little Malbec? Lots of good energy but lighter bodied than La Tour de By. Dry tannic finish.
£TBC per case ib Thorman Hunt 15.5
Ch Rousseau de Sipian 2016
55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Very dark crimson and a lack of freshness on the nose. Heavily extracted and overdone. Sour start and not enough flesh. Really unappetising in old-fashioned St-Émilion mode. No!
Ch Taffard de Blaignan 2016
Dark crimson. Not much nose and rather severe. Good zestiness and easy to like but a bit superficial. Dry end. Correct and admirable.
Ch Le Temple 2016
60% Cabernet Sauvignon; 35% Merlot; 5% Petit Verdot.
Lustrous dark crimson. Spicy, peppery nose that reminds me of Petit Verdot. Very round palate entry with polished tannins. Notably dry finish. Lip-smacking and quite lifted and racy.
Ch La Tour de By 2016
Concentrated healthy crimson. Attractive, ripe leafiness on the nose (not meagre). Good balance though slightly muted.
£TBC per case ib Thorman Hunt 16
Ch Vieux Maurac 2016
Dark crimson. Light and well-balanced nose with good fresh floral fruitiness. Fine juicy tannins. Adult balance. Real lift, bravo! Needs time. Leathery finish.
Ch Vieux Robin 2016
45-year-old vines: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot.
Dark moody crimson. Rather muddy nose. Thick and sweet but not much freshness. A bit heavy and thick. Heavy oaking unfortunately.