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Jancis Robinson - Pauillac

Jancis Robinson - Pauillac

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).

More scores by Jancis

Ch d’Armailhac 2016 

Very dark, blackish purple. Perfumed and rather seductive. Pretty chunky and solid. Tannins more in evidence than in some (though admittedly this is my first Pauillac in a long run of wines). A long-distance runner. Very juicy.

Drink 2027-2045


Ch Batailley 2016 

Lifted, sweet and very Pauillac on the nose. Thick and sweet on the palate though – rather different from the nose. Pretty sharp on the palate with some overtones of the right bank even though the nose is pure Pauillac. Quite a dramatic play, this wine! Drama in spades.

Drink 2025-2043


Ch Clerc Milon 2016

Real aromatic lift. Calm, collected, lovely ‘minerality’. Completely pure. Fully ripe but not a trace of sweetness. So cool! 

Drink 2025-2043


Ch Croizet-Bages 2016

Very ripe cassis. Cool finish. Not too much heart and soul and a bit austere on the end but very correct and very bordelais.

Drink 2023-2037


Ch Duhart-Milon 2016

67% Cabernet Sauvignon picked from 3 to 12 October, 33% Merlot picked 26 to 29 September.

Dark glowing crimson. Black pepper and intensity on the nose. Bone dry and enormous energy and savour. Real elegance and some majesty. Neat and well balanced. Bravo! Very much speaks of the vintage with its freshness and intensity.

Drink 2027-2042


Ch La Fleur Peyrabon 2016 

Blackish crimson. Sweet, floral nose. Very soft. Where are the tannins?! Salty end. Easy to like but not very serious.

Drink 2020-2030


Ch Grand-Puy Ducasse 2016

Sappy, lively nose. Straightforward Pauillac character. No transports of delight but a very solid performance. Strongly Cabernet.

Drink 2026-2040


Ch Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2016

79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot. Harvested 28 September to 13 October. 45 hl/ha.

Very dark crimson. Very ripe and fresh. Pretty glorious expression of the vintage on the nose. Slightly dry finish but really very energetic and may be a fairly good buy. Slightly dry on the end – very British claret!

Drink 2025-2040


Ch Haut de la Bécade 2016

Bright crimson. Light, fragrant nose with some flesh in the middle and a very dry, stony finish. Far from a charmer but it does taste like (minor) Pauillac. Lots to chew on and slightly sour on the end. Absolutely demands food.

Drink 2024-2032


Ch Haut-Bages Libéral 2016

Bright, deep crimson. A little simple in the context of other Pauillac classed growths. And some greenness on the end. Not fully formed.

Drink 2025-2035


Ch Lafite, Carruades de Lafite 2016 

49% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot.

There’s a putty note on the nose. Neat, restrained, rather tight nose and a tad mean on the end. Just as there’s a big gap between Petit Mouton and the grand vin, so there seems to be between Carruades and Lafite. Drying tannins on the end. Seems to be a lack of phenolic ripeness towards the end of the palate experience even though it starts out pretty ripe and round.

Drink 2024-2038


Ch Lafite 2016

92% Cabernet Sauvignon picked from 29 September to 12 October, 8% Merlot picked 23 to 28 September. High IPT of 75.

Very rich, dense dark crimson. Not much nose, just a vague impression of quality lurking beneath the super-subtle aroma. Round texture, tannins are in a very low register indeed. Then I’d love to see just a little bit more energy. Round and it may all get together. A really rather delicate Lafite. Nothing in excess; it’s true and very classic claret - very Lafite - but arguably just a little muted.


Drink 2026-2045


Ch Latour, Pauillac de Château Latour 2016

55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. 26.5% of production. 10% press wine and an IPT of 77. Will be released in 2023.

Deep crimson and very ripe and fresh. Real flesh and savoury and lovely texture. Sinewy. Rich and polished. Long. Dangerously good. Very pure. Great stuff!


Drink 2023-2032


Ch Latour, Les Forts de Latour 2016

64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, tiny bit of Cabernet Franc. Les Forts is 37.5% of production and has an IPT of 77.

Very supple tannins and absolutely pure drive. Sleek and pure. Rather floral and great evolution of tannins. Super-expressive. (He used very little sulphur on the fruit, which may have had an influence…) Great purity. Dances. Much more refreshing than this wine used to be.


Drink 2026-2042


Ch Latour 2016

93% Cabernet Sauvignon picked 7 to 19 October, 7% Merlot picked 22 to 30 September and includes 6% press wine. IPT 83. This represented 36% of total production.

Very deep, dark colour. Strong minerals and balsam – also extremely ripe – and hugely Latour on the nose. Salty and rich but with amazingly round tannins . Spice and red pimento pepper. Sinews and muscles. Lovely whole. Massive tannin level but fine tuned. Much more finesse than traditional Latour.

Drink 2030-2055


Ch Lynch-Bages, Écho de Lynch-Bages 2016

73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot. Second-year barrels.

Very deep crimson. Rather pure and alluring on the nose. Then a little tart on the end. As though all the wines with less ripe phenolics went into this. Sandpaper tannins.

Drink 2021-2028


Ch Lynch-Bages 2016

Very annoyingly, my tasting note on Lynch Bages has evaporated into thin air. I remember the wine as being delightfully plump yet structured and very recognisably Lynch with its trademark spiciness - so there don’t seem to be any ill effects to its being made in a completely different place from usual (see pictures above) but more than that I cannot say for the moment. (I am trying to track down another sample.) I think I have remembered the score correctly but am much less certain about the drinking dates I have suggested here. All to be taken with a pinch of salt, I’m afraid.

Drink 2025-2042


Ch Lynch-Moussas 2016

Sweet ink on the nose. Tasted just after Lynch-Bages, it’s obviously less dense and a little frailer but it is a good Lynch-Moussas and takes advantage of what the vintage has to offer. Long.

Drink 2025-2040



Ch Mouton Rothschild, Le Petit Mouton 2016

62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc.

Solid, muscular nose. Almost a bitter streak on the end it’s so firm! Lots of black fruits and real juiciness. Some lift and life. A very zesty wine with admirable length. But not heavy on the flesh!

Drink 2026-2040


Ch Mouton Rothschild 2016

83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot picked from 26 September (Merlot) until 14 October (Cabernet Sauvignon).

Exceptional crimson. Real lift and transparency. Quite a soaring dry style with great texture and refreshment. Very strong style statement. Infusion of Cabernet. A sort of amalgam of cassis and tar in that very Mouton way but with 21st-century lift and transparency. Quite brave in a way. Bone dry and utterly embryonic compared with most of the 2016s (with the notable exception of Las Cases).

Drink 2030-2055


Ch Pedesclaux 2016

Bright deep crimson. Creamy texture. Obviously lots of work has gone into this. Very gentle extraction. Rewarding drink though just a suggestion of modern winemaking rather than overbearing vineyard influence.

Drink 2024-2036


Ch Pibran 2016

55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon – more Merlot than usual because of lower yields of Cabernet Sauvignon. 50% new oak.

Snazzy dark crimson. Insistent nose bursting with the scents of vegetation (but not green and underripe) with lots of energy and life. Not rich and with lighter tannin content and more sweetness than the St-Estèphes I have just been tasting but a pretty nice glass of wine. Very slightly sweet on the end. Meant for early drinking.

Drink 2023-2032


Ch Pichon Baron, ​Les Griffons de Pichon Baron 2016 

52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot. 60% new oak. Production is 30% of Pichon Baron production. Meant for ageing.

Glossy, dark crimson – very dense. Rich and racy and much more subtlety than the Tourelles. Inky finish. Good energy.

Drink 2026-2040


Ch Pichon Baron, Les Tourelles de Longueville 2016 

58% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. 30% new oak.

Dark crimson. Spicy peppery nose. Lively and just the right side of skinny. Edgy. Just a tiny bit scrawny on the end.

Drink 2024-2032


Ch Pichon Baron 2016

85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot. 80% new oak. 45% of total production.

Dense, dramatic, splashy wine with great balance and lift. Lots of energy and masses of old Cab in here. Really snazzy. Long.


Drink 2026-2050


Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Réserve de la Comtesse 2016

Polished and pleasurable. Not a single angle in evidence. What a wonderful wine this would be for an airline first class! But note relatively short drinking period.

Drink 2020-2027


Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2016 

Blackish crimson. Sweet start and much less obvious density than some, very Merlot and just a little soft. Super-supple certainly… But where’s the beef?

Drink 2024-2040


Ch Plantey 2016

Lustrous purplish crimson. Really interesting plummy-but-Pauillac nose. Sweet and round with flesh and a backbone! Edgy fresh finish and sacks of stones really adds to the experience. Really appetising and well balanced with fine tannins. Recognisably Pauillac. Chapeau! Surely VVGV.  (The 2015 currently sells for $15 in US.)

Drink 2022-2030


Ch Pontet-Canet 2016

Picked 28 September to 12 October. Director Jean-Michel Comme says maybe a bit earlier than some. I’m not sure. They’ve been biodynamic for 12 years but 2007 was so bad that they had to abandon status. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 34 hl/ha – reduced to that from spring pruning.

Very dark crimson. More savoury and sumptuous than many of its neighbours. Blackberry compote and very round and rich and satiny. Very round. Almost too sweet but that is to complain needlessly. Already rich and enjoyable but masses of tannins too. Long and throbbing. Excellent with freshness and cleanliness and round. Pretty sweet though so it’s a definite style.

Drink 2024-2050


La Rose Pauillac 2016

From the Pauillac co-op. Mid healthy crimson. Notably light nose. Slightly sour start. Nothing terribly ripe or alluring here but it does the job. Far from fleshy! Correct but just a little austere.

Drink 2023-2029