Jancis Robinson -Saint-Estèphe
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 Le Boscq 2016
Dark crimson. Relatively light tea-leaf aromas. Then density and a real charge of tannins. Dry end. Far from seamless but properly of its appellation. Quite demanding.
Ch Calon-Ségur, Marquis de Calon 2016
55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. Young Cabernet Sauvignon (planted 2007-2010) are in this wine for the first time which Vincent Millet thinks add gravitas.
Very sweet and broad – rather like a particularly ripe Bolgheri wine on the nose! Very sweet and luscious. A good restaurant wine. Round tannins and lots of freshness. Very salivatory.
Ch Calon-Ségur 2016
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot.
Rich, deep, glowing purplish crimson. Pungent and really interesting and layered on the nose already. Creamy texture and massive energy. Lots of tannin but all beautifully balanced. This is seriously intriguing rather than just ticking boxes. Glows on the end. Old-vine influence – really gives layers and intrigue. Sweetness of tannin. But the freshness really lifts it.
Ch Capbern 2016
69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 4% very old Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 60% new oak.
Very deep crimson. Round and flattering texture with lots of zappy tannin. A little more angular than the famous 2009 but very easy to drink. Tannins quite marked at the moment. Very round tannins but they are there in such profusion that you will have to wait... GV
Ch Clauzet 2016
Energetic and stony with real energy and sap. Sinewy and absolutely classic for the appellation with real persistence. GV
Ch de Côme 2016
Scented and notably minerally. Not top drawer – rather too much acid and tannin for that. A sort of modern interpretation of St-Estèphe. I’m not sure that’s necessary! Tough.
Ch La Commanderie 2016
Meffre family. Black! Cool initially and then very sweet. Extremely soft tannins and then the bite of minerality (and the commune!) on the end. Just disappears a bit on the end.
Ch Cos d’Estournel, Pagodes de Cos 2016
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46.5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc. Picked 26 September to 15 October.
Fresh, muscular, racy nose. Sweet start – really rather flirtatious! Racy and elegant. But not for the long term.
Ch Cos d’Estournel 2016
76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc. 26 September to 15 October. IPT 69. pH 3.66. Very similar analysis to 2015. 45 hl/ha yield, which they feel is best for vine balance now.
Energy and raciness on the nose. Gentle and lifted. And then lots of tannins underneath. Fresh almost sandy tannins. Good energy and tea-leaf sensation. Excellent freshness. Long. Restrained. Elegant.
Ch Cos Labory 2016
Dark crimson. Thick, sweet and high toned. Then a bit too tarted up. You would certainly enjoy this wine, provided you didn’t taste it alongside another 2016 from the same appellation. Lots here and pretty supple. Just a tiny hint of green at the end.
Ch Le Crock 2016
46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot.
Rich and round. Very flattering. Slightly inky end. St-Estèphe on the finish. At the moment far from resolved but it has some alluring elements.
Ch Haut-Marbuzet 2016
Dark crimson. Very ripe and almost over the top. Sweet and sour. Not a well-knit whole. Really rather a hole in the middle. Sour finish. This may be a poor sample but I am forced to give it a poor mark as I can’t see an obvious fault.
Ch Laffitte-Carcasset 2016
Mid crimson. Luscious, mildly gamey nose. Not very St-Estèphe! Just a little mean on the palate. All on the nose and then it goes grainy and light.
Ch Lafon-Rochet 2016
Not the deepest crimson. Broad and rich and a bit beefy and yeast-extract-like. A tad scrawny on the end.
Ch Lilian Ladouys 2016
A bit of oak is evident on the nose and there’s something pretty stodgy about this – a terroir thing? Definitely earthbound. Grainy tannins dominate.
Ch Meyney 2016
Very deep crimson. Sweet and perfumed. Very luscious with a hint of camembert! Much riper and lusher than the average St-Estèphe. Very dry end. Only on the end does the appellation impose itself.
Ch Montrose, La Dame de Montrose 2016
52% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. This has absorbed all the Petit Verdot in 2016.
Exceptionally deep blackish crimson. Not especially expressive on the nose but really deep and intense on the palate Very dense for a second wine but with a good raciness and energy. Rather elegant and flattering without resorting to sweetness. Quite cool on the end. Lighter and less dense than the grand vin.
Ch Montrose 2016
Gravel and then clay (rather than mixed as in Tronquoy). 9 ha organic and 6 ha biodynamic. They intend to be fully organic in five years. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc.
Very dark blackish crimson. Great, fresh, minerally savour on the nose. Lots of intensity initially. Sweet start – quite a surprise in a way – and then lots of structure. Doesn’t quite hang together yet but there is masses of potential. Sweet, fresh ink. Good raciness. Quite muscular but not at all heavy. An edge of acidity is evident without the strong stoniness of St-Estèphe. Just a little bit stringy on the end. Lots of life and freshness (clays help). Pretty glamorous.
Ch Les Ormes de Pez 2016
Deep colour and unusually sweet nose for a St-Estèphe. Voluptuous ripe cassis and then masses of tannins on the end. Slightly drying end and even a bit of heat. Sandpaper tannins. But good, ripe fruit.
Ch Petit Bocq 2016
Deep crimson. Rather rich on the nose. Then a bit pinched on the palate. This may well develop into something special. But it isn’t at the moment.
Ch de Pez 2016
Dark colour and strong cassis aromas. Round and thick. Not the noblest but lots of pleasure to be had here. Very drying end.
Ch Phélan Ségur 2016
Comfortable, well-balanced, bone-dry rendition. Very appetising. Very dry finish. Classical build. Far from heavy. Meaty and spicy and very agreeable to drink!
Ch Sérilhan 2016
Hubert de Boüard consulting. 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot.
Blackish crimson. Minerally St-Estèphe nose. Great energy and life. Sinewy.
Ch Tour de Pez 2016
Not quite fresh enough on the nose but I’m sure this is a sample thing. Mouth-filling and yet with the sinew of a true emissary of the appellation. Dry finish.
Ch Tour des Termes 2016
A bit painful. Lots of acidity and not quite enough fruit to counterbalance it but certainly obviously from this village.
Ch Tronquoy Lalande 2016
Not sold en primeur since 2011. 58% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Harvested 27 September to 15 October. Not organic. Deep, 12-m layer of gravel (very different from Montrose) mixed with clay and some sand.
Remarkably deep crimson. Dense and very fresh and St-Estèphe. Almost as though steeped in stones! Almost too much but a strong statement. Stony, chewy finish. Long-term wine.