Jancis Robinson - Margaux, Moulis & Listrac
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 Angludet 2016
Dark crimson. Some sweetness and slightly simple fruity aromas. Some silky quality and the merest hint of less-than-perfectly-ripe fruit. Pretty and unforced but not top drawer. A bit stringy on the end.
Ch d'Arsac 2016
First sample tasted in London: Rather luscious. Very slightly tired sample on the nose. Lacks a bit of drive but I suspect it's the sample at fault not the wine.
Second sample tasted in Bordeaux: Smudgy crimson. Broad start and then pretty inky and pinched on the finish.
Ch Boyd-Cantenac 2016
Very dense glowing crimson. Rather farmyard aromas - are we in Chianti Classico? Masses of extraction and slightly syrupy texture but not enough freshness. Out of balance.
Ch Brane-Cantenac 2016
Dark purplish crimson. Neat, unforced, smells fully ripe. Salty finish and a fine spread across the palate. Bone dry, but not too drying, finish. Cool, unforced and sophisticated. Very competent indeed.
Ch Cantenac Brown 2016
Dark crimson. Relatively high VA. Thick and sweet but with a green edge. Not the most generous nor the ripest Margaux. Falls away pretty suddenly on the palate. An attempt at glamour certainly.
Ch Charmant 2016
Pretty skinny and tight without much breadth of ripe fruit. Pinched finish.
Ch Dauzac 2016
Very deep purple. Some sweet coconutty oak in evidence, which I find a bit off-putting. Then a bit green on the finish. Evidence of some make-up here? Not a comfortable whole.
Ch Desmirail 2016
Dark crimson with a slightly weak rim. Very sweet, almost chocolatey oak (like the old Tertre nose). Really nice texture and pace on the palate though. Provided you don't have anything against that aroma, you could take a lot of pleasure from this wine.
Ch Deyrem Valentin 2016
Light and round with lots of immediate appeal. Not that complex but everything is in the right proportion. Long.
Ch Durfort-Vivens 2016
Dark purple. Very wild cocktail of aromas. Real lift and freshness. Racy and very distinctive. There is certainly full ripeness but a more delicate touch than most. Good length. Transparency and undertow. A way ahead?
Ch Ferrière 2016
Light, toasty nose. Lively and very Margaux. Unforced. Even a bit delicate. Just a tad drying on the end, and far from the most concentrated, but overall quite a pleasure.
Ch Giscours 2016
Glowing purple. Concentrated and sappy - real energy here. Glossy and fresh. Really exuberant. Perhaps not one of the most earnestly fashioned for the very long term but a real crowd-pleaser.
Ch La Gurgue 2016
Mid crimson. Lightish in weight but quite luscious in terms of ripeness. Floral top note. Pretty and Margaux with a light touch even if not that dramatic.
Ch Haut Breton Larigaudière 2016
A De Mour property. In the process of dropping the L word from its rather cumbersome name. Lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and some Petit Verdot.
Polished nose and a little sharp in terms of acidity on the palate. Drying finish. In the UK this wine is sold to Handford.
Ch Haut Breton Larigaudière, Le Créateur 2016
Dark purple. Sweet, floral notes on the nose make me think of Merlot though apparently this cuvée of particularly senior vines is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. It certainly has Margaux elegance and the fruit is just rising above the oak even at this early stage. Should mature nicely and please those who see a refreshing finish as a sine qua non. Grown-up wine. I wonder whether it would not be even greater with just a little bit of Merlot flesh?
Ch d'Issan, Blason d'Issan 2016
Fresh and penetrating aroma. Luscious texture. Doesn’t taste like a second wine! Just a little stodgy on the finish.
Ch d'Issan 2016
Mid crimson. Vigorous nose. Round texture and really rather admirably relaxed. Certainly not sweet. Quite long.
Ch Kirwan 2016
Dark purplish crimson. Some freshness on the nose with a hint of ink and pencils. A certain 'mineral' scent. A very slight green note but not bad at all, and certainly not forced. Real Margaux charm. Lift and pleasure in a dry idiom.
Ch Labégorce 2016
Very scented. Maybe slightly tarty but it delivers lots of flashy fruit. It does seem almost too sweet to me and the oak is not yet fully integrated.
Ch Lascombes 2016
Dark blackish purple. I'd hate to be given this blind. It's pure Napa Valley! So sweet! So concentrated! Not really Margaux but a mouthful of concentration, certainly. Drying finish with a slight suggestion of something underripe on the very end. Extremely different from most of its neighbours but the style will definitely appeal to some palates. Just goes a bit dead on the end.
Ch Malescot St-Exupéry 2016
Quite gamey and savoury on the nose. Then rather strung out and austere on the palate. Doesn’t hang together. This bottle anyway is a disappointment in the context of the vintage. Austere.
Ch Margaux, Pavillon Rouge 2016
Very strict selection (only 28% went into their grand vin cf 35% in 2015). 26% went into Pavillon, 20% into the third wine, and 20% sold off in bulk. 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot.
Quite bright cherry red rather than deep crimson. Great quality sandy tannins. Really zesty. But light and very aérien. Really lifted.
Ch Margaux 2016
94% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a little bit of Petit Verdot. pH 3.6 (cf pH 3.65 in 2015).
Sweet rich start and then very fresh. Seems a little bit marked by oak at the moment. Sinewy. Hint of chocolate - just like Palmer! Slightly drying tannins. Sandpaper on the end.
Ch Marojallia 2016
Blackish crimson. Sweet and loose with a damp webbing flavour. A bit sour and drying on the end. Dramatic but not very user-friendly.
Ch Marojallia, Clos Margalaine 2016
Exceptionally dark, blackish purple. Very opulent nose but with spice and intrigue too. Sort of cordite fireworks scent but very severe, tough tannins. Not remotely ready. Clearly an extremely ambitious wine but not fun to drink. A bit like a fermented liquid in which cinders had been macerated. No follow-through.
Ch Marquis d'Alesme Becker 2016
Aromatic and fresh with lovely texture and integrity. Very firm spine. Lots of excitement. Well done.
Ch Marquis de Terme 2016
A little sweaty on the nose. Round and easy on the palate. And then pretty chewy and drying. Not a runaway success.
Ch Mille Roses 2016
Lightly sweet on the nose. Just a little stewed and rhubarby. Flattering for early drinking.
Ch Monbrison 2016
Dark purple. Ripe sweet black fruits. But then it falls away into something really rather insignificant. Lots of green notes.
Ch Montgravey 2016
Very dark crimson. Attractively dusty nose. Then very juicy on the palate. Fairly forward.
Ch Palmer, Alter Ego de Palmer 2016
48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot.
Very bright dark glossy crimson. Very rich and sweet and approachable. Round and fresh. Meaty. Very, very sweet start and then chewy. Lots going on here but not that much tannin, much less than in most other 2016s. Very juicy.
Ch Palmer 2016
47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot. No sulphur dioxide until after MLF.
Very dark, velvety look - really bright. Complex and energetic. Not simple and sweet but quite a step change. Feels a little transitional because it's so different and more energetic than the old style. 65% new oak, as always, but the wine can absorb it better. Some bitter chocolate. Lots of sweetness. Energy and freshness.
Ch Prieuré-Lichine 2016
Rather a sumptuous alluring nose. Mild and sweet on the palate without great drive, but inoffensive certainly. No great length.
Ch Rauzan-Gassies 2016
Unusually dark for this property. Smells of light blackberry juice. Not emphatic but certainly not disastrous. Almost ripe enough. Doesn't seem especially concentrated. Inconsequential.
Ch Rauzan-Ségla 2016
Really lifted, savoury nose. Well mannered. Nothing out of step. Could do with a bit more acidity and drive? A bit too diplomatic on the palate?
Ch Siran 2016
Dark purple. Some excitement and risk on the nose here. Nicely Margaux but pretty intense. Sweet start but enough freshness. Not the most concentrated but nicely judged.
Ch du Tertre 2016
Dark with the usual sweet oak nose. Just a little dead on the palate. Round and very well worked tannins but just a little short of freshness.
Ch La Tour de Bessan 2016
Mid to dark crimson. Fresh, solid nose. Ripe fruit but not that much structure. Just a tad stringy.
Ch Branas Grand Poujeaux 2016
Perfumed and quite rich. Lots of energy and focus. Should be rewarding. GV
Ch Chasse-Spleen 2016
Dark crimson. Scented and rather voluptuous. Not forced. Medium weight. Very classic. Pimento and satin somehow! Bone dry. Tannins maybe just a tad too much? Just slightly sour on the rather sudden end.
Ch Duplessis 2016
68% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot.
Dark, rather muddy crimson. Just fresh enough on the nose and rather winning in the short to medium term with fine tannins on the end. Not luscious but correct with a certain inkiness on the end.
Ch Dutruch Grand Poujeaux 2016
Mid crimson. Clean, fresh and minerally on the nose. Very sweet (almost syrupy) palate entry. But very confident and fresh. Bravo! Should be racy and refreshing over the years to come. One to watch.
Ch Maucaillou 2016
Pungent tarmacadam nose. Very dry and slightly hollow palate. Not quite enough flesh.
Ch Mauvesin Barton 2016
Very neat and polished without being at all forced. Classic stuff - Barton Lite-ish. Very nice top-quality oak influence and a bone-dry finish. Lots of energy here.
Ch Moulin à Vent 2016
69% Merlot , 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc.
Dark crimson. Smells a bit unappetisingly overripe and tastes sweet and sour with salive-sucking tannins but without a real core of fruit. Shame.
Ch La Mouline 2016
57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot.
Light to mid crimson. Well balanced, rather ‘damp webbing’ nose. A little light and loose. Lots of ripe Merlot in evidence and a hint of sweet oak. Not much oomph or concentration. Just a little low key with a stringy finish.
Ch Cap Léon Veyrin 2016
Very dark purple. Juicy and savoury – a nice whole on the nose though it lacks a bit of drive and freshness on the palate. Something buttery about this.
Ch Clarke 2016
Deep purplish crimson. Just a little hint of green on the nose. Then a little bit of sandpaper. Pretty austere on the end. Not unalloyed joy. But it does have nice persistence.
Ch Donissan 2016
60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot.
Dark purplish crimson. Lots of Cabernet evident on the nose and real structure on the palate. A little strict with good freshness if a slight lack of flesh. Difficult to believe this is 60% Merlot. Ambitious but not charming.
Ch Fonréaud 2016
Deep crimson. Rather gorgeously ripe and glossy on the nose. Very sweet black fruits on the palate followed by really quite a charge of ripe tannin. Maybe not the longest-laster, but overall well done! A delicate touch.
Ch Fourcas Dupré 2016
Bright, mid crimson. Some pepperiness and real drive on the nose. Not the most concentrated wine, with quite marked acidity as well as light tannins at the moment. Very sandy finish. Competent rather than thrilling.
Ch Fourcas Hosten 2016
Slightly weak rim on deep crimson. Interesting nose with a real undertow of sophistication (top-quality oak?). Then it's a tad severe on the palate and drying on the end. Lots of effort…
Ch Lestage 2016
Dark rich crimson fruits. A bit loose and simple. Aggressively sour finish.
Ch Liouner 2016
Dark purplish crimson. Discreet, lightly sandalwood nose. Seriously luscious palate and bone dry on the end. Relatively youthful. Sandy tannins and well balanced. A certain stoniness on the end. Very successful.