Jancis Robinson - Saint Émilion & Satellites
Ch Angélus, Carillon d’Angélus 2016 St-Émilion
Rather sumptuous nose. Tarry start with lots of sweet black fruit and drama. Pretty tight and for the moment hard work, but it should relax with time.
Ch Angélus 2016 St-Émilion
Strong balsam notes. Rather luscious fruit and lots of life and interest. Real vivacity. In this wine, in this stable, although it has a drying finish, the fruit is so overwhelming that it distracts from the drying finish. Well done in a distinctly modernist style. Though the finish is a little weak.
Ch Ausone, Chapelle d’Ausone 2016 St-Émilion
80% of the two Cabernets - young vines.
Very deep crimson. Round and polished. Very grown up and glossy. Lots of drive and ripe fruit. Long and luscious. Difficult to see what is wrong with this. Except it’s a little dry on the end.
Ch Ausone 2016 St-Émilion
Deep crimson. Very ripe nose and then rather chewy end. Drying finish. Not charming for the moment - even a little exaggerated. Though there is a broad panoply of fruit flavours that come rather precipitously to a drying end.
Ch Balestard La Tonnelle 2016 St-Émilion
A hint of very sweet, almost vanilla oak on the nose. Then savoury and some definite oak influence on the palate. The tannins are a bit chunky. Doesn’t quite hang together at the moment though it may do eventually.
Denis Barraud, Lynsolence 2016 St-Émilion
Deep purplish crimson. Very rich and ‘modern’ on the nose. Pencil shavings on the finish. A tad brutal.
Ch Beau-Séjour Bécot 2016 St-Émilion
Deep crimson. Smooth and ripe. No rough edges. Until a sort of dry Marmite finish (love it or hate it). Cool, light end. Rather a lack of fruit intensity on the mid palate.
Ch Beauséjour (Duffau-Lagarrosse) 2016 St-Émilion
90% Merlot, late picked. Made by Nicolas Thienpont.
Very rich and edgy. Vegy edge. Massively ripe in the middle but not too ripe or sweet. Pretty dramatic. Dry end. Obviously classy stuff from a great terroir.
Ch Bélair-Monange 2016 St-Émilion
A Jean-Pierre Moueix wine.
Sweet, relaxed nose. A little edge of damp webbing. Mid weight only, and less compelling than the run of top Pomerols tasted just beforehand. No trace of any forcing in the cellar but it seems a little tentative. Nice that it’s not flashy. Quite serious intention here.
Ch Bellefont-Belcier 2016 St-Émilion
Very deep crimson. Intense, alluring nose with masses of ripe fruit. 11% Cabernet Sauvignon! (72% Merlot). Very exciting wine. Fills all the palate and has tannins in abundance but lots of sumptuous fruit too. Needs time.
Ch Bellevue 2016 St-Émilion
Owned by the de Boüard family.
Deep crimson. Not much nose. Very sour and dry on the end. No real impact on the palate. Light. Drying end.
Ch Bellevue Mondotte 2016 St-Émilion
Blackish crimson. Sweet blackberry compôte plus cumin. Lots of flavour but awfully drying on the end. Maybe this will come right eventually but I’d prefer a wine that’s capable of giving pleasure in youth too. Grating, grainy tannins.
Ch Berliquet 2016 St-Émilion
Made by Nicolas Thienpont.
Sweet and fragrant. Then some savoury notes. Really quite interesting! Good combo of freshness and ripeness. Doesn’t stand out from the crowd but at least it’s not distinctive for a bad reason…
Ch Boutisse 2016 St-Émilion
Rather appetising perfume and concentration on the nose and then it turned into something very drying and stolid unfortunately on the palate. No follow through.
Ch de Candale 2016 St-Émilion
Lively and sweet but not overdone, with a nice energetic mineral overlay. Sinewy.
Ch Canon 2016 St-Émilion
Lively dark crimson. Very smart and complex on the nose - distinctively different. Really focused and rich but not sweet. Real lift and drive. So complete! Opulent on the nose but nothing remotely simple and sweet. Throbs with excitement.
Ch Canon La Gaffelière 2016 St-Émilion
Dark crimson. Very rich sweet nose slightly reminiscent of the ‘modernist’ style. Rather thick and heavy. Suffers from being tasted immediately after the superior and sophisticated Ch Canon. Rather drying end. Good effort. Sincere but a tad vieux jeu. Hint of meatiness, then slightly drying tannins but good energy.
Ch Cap de Mourlin 2016 St-Émilion
Very rich and sweet on the nose. Then a bit more refined on the palate. Drying tannins on the end. Solid effort but definitely earthbound and old school.
Ch Carteau Côtes Daugay 2016 St-Émilion
Interesting liquorice note on the nose here. Very smooth and suave but with no shortage of tannin underneath. Good potential.
Ch Chauvin 2016 St-Émilion
Owned by Sylvie Cazes.
Blackish crimson. Cool and sweet and rather gorgeous. Energy. Fresh and lively. Well balanced.
Ch Cheval Blanc, Le Petit Cheval 2016 St-Émilion
Back after 2015 when none was made. 16% bulk was produced from a young plot, 7% went into Petit Cheval and the rest into the grand vin. 11,000 bottles of this. 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc, from three plots.
Light nose. Good savour and a little inkiness. Very far from a grand vin but a pretty blend. Racy. Pierre-Olivier Clouet sees Italian structure in this. Just a little skinny on the end.
Ch Cheval Blanc 2016 St-Émilion
The property is divided into 45 different plots and each plot has made some grand vin in the last five years. This is from 33 plots. 38% Cabernet Franc, 59% Merlot. The remaining 3% is Cabernet Sauvignon, from a parcel that has been replanted with Cabernet Franc successively. But they have decided to recover this gravelly plot by the road to St-Émilion with Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the first year it’s in the grand vin as a reflection of the traditional assemblage of Cheval Blanc.
Tasty floral start and then quite rich. A bit of grainy astringency (from those concrete vats?) in terms of texture - by no means unpleasant. Lots of floral notes, hint of putty and then lovely richness underneath. Quite a contrast between nose and palate. Smudgy palate and precise nose. Tannins really present on the end. Very floral on the nose. Big gap! Not sweet!!
Clos Cantenac, Petit Cantenac 2016 St-Émilion
90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. One-day cold soak. Fermented at 25 ºC over six days. 10 days’ post-ferment maceration. 12 months in barrel, 30% new.
Deep inky crimson. Fresh, lightly woody (both oak and cedar) dark fruit and an attractive mix of sweet fruit and dusty/white pepper hints. On the palate, firm chewy tannins with a deliciously dry texture to them without astringency. Savoury and dark on the finish with just a hint of very dark chocolate in both texture and flavour, leaving your mouth clean and dry. (JH)
Clos Cantenac 2016 St-Émilion
100% Merlot. One-day cold soak. Fermented at 25 ºC over six days. 10 days’ post-ferment maceration. Malo partly in new barrels. 12 months in barrel, 45% new.
Very dark crimson, almost black at the core. All pretty closed but there is just a suspicion of fine dark-fruited fragrance and a touch of oak’s sweet spice. But pretty dark and rocky/savoury overall. On the palate, it actually seems a little bit more fluid and more rounded in texture than the Petit Cantenac but also more compact in its structure with greater depth and intensity on the mid palate, and a longer finish. Plenty of firm tannin on the finish but starting already to melt into a chocolate-like smoothness. A long way to go nevertheless. (JH)
Clos des Jacobins 2016 St-Émilion
Blackish crimson. Some fresh fragrance - hurrah! Dense and very ripe but lifted. Dry, pinched end.
Clos Fourtet 2016 St-Émilion
Very sweet nose. Something a little dead about this sample. Not enough freshness. Smooth tannins but just a bit of lack of life on the mid palate. Obviously ambitious. I’d love to taste another sample. A saliva-sucker.
Clos La Madeleine 2016 St-Émilion
Very dark. Sweet and a bit dry on the palate. More juice please.
Ch La Clotte 2016 St-Émilion
Rich purple fruit notes. Very ripe. Sweet and rich. Could beguile and is very polished.
Ch La Confession 2016 St-Émilion
Sweet and rich - and fairly toasty. Good fruit and zest. Though it’s pretty drying on the end.
Ch Corbin 2016 St-Émilion
Black as pitch. Very ripe nose but saved by a certain toasty energy. Very sweet start - just not appetising enough, I’m afraid. And rather demanding acid on the pinched end.
Ch La Couspaude 2016 St-Émilion
Blackish crimson. Rather heady and opulent on the nose. Super-ripe! Very sweet palate entry - too sweet for refreshment factor, alas. Awkward, unknit, ungracious green tannins on the end.
Ch Croizille 2016 St-Émilion
Sister to Tour Baladon and 5 ha next door. The very modernistic orange winery next to Tertre. No Cabernet Franc. 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Very dark. Zesty nose – quite evolved. Sweet and rich. Lots of energy and good balance. Good freshness. But quite forward.
Ch Dassault 2016 St-Émilion
Very dark blackish crimson. Extremely ripe nose - almost brûlée, taken to the limit of ripeness. Then on the palate it’s challengingly reminiscent of dried charcoal. Extreme! And not really comfortable to taste. Exaggerated.
Ch Daugay 2016 St-Émilion
Belongs to de Boüard family.
Savoury and juicy. Again, rather drying end. But there is life and drama!
Ch Destieux 2016 St-Émilion
Broad, relaxed style of St-Émilion with some toasty dried-fruit notes. Then a little drying on the end. Solid rather than inspiring.
Ch La Dominique 2016 St-Émilion
Dark purple. Some peppery freshness on the nose. Fully ripe fruit. Real focus, length and integrity to this wine. Nothing out of balance. Straight for the tasting jugular. Long.
Ch L’Évêché, Château La Chapelle-Lescours 2016 St-Émilion
Sandier than L’Évêché.
Loose and a little ordinary.
Ch L’Évêché 2016 St-Émilion
Very gravelly parcel in Ch Lescours with 70% Merlot plus five more varieties.
Very rich and sweet and very flattering. Rather salty end and very pronounced. More stones than fruit.
Ch Faugères 2016 St-Émilion
Fresh and a bit light and green. Not bad but a bit austere. More flesh please. Stringy finish.
Ch de Ferrand 2016 St-Émilion
Very dark purple. Sweet soupy nose. Then a bit of life and steeliness on the palate. Very dry finish but there is energy here.
Ch Ferrand Lartigue 2016 St-Émilion
Dried-fruit nose. Rather severe on the palate with masses of acid and tannin. Rich and round. Nicely balanced even if not the most concentrated.
Ch Figeac 2016 St-Émilion
36% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon. No pigeage, more like an infusion with gentle remontage.
Lively and very Figeac. Just as it should be. Zesty and confident and of the place. Rich palate entry and then lovely freshness. Firm and glorious. Like an arrow. Very pure. Frédéric Faye and the Manoncourt family should be very proud. Classic. Racy and juicy and beautifully balanced. Long.
Ch La Fleur 2016 St-Émilion
Dark crimson. Pretty ripe nose. Just the wrong side of overripeness unfortunately and then pretty demanding and pinched on the finish. Tarry and not much fun.
Ch Fleur Cardinale 2016 St-Émilion
Dark crimson. Fresh, quite vital nose. Pretty dense and with a finish that is much more dry than sweet. Quite noble and ambitious rather than a quick route to sweet oaky stardom. Real structure here. Throbs on the end.
Ch La Fleur d’Arthus 2016 St-Émilion
Naughty heavy bottle. Very dense crimson. Full-throttle extraction. Definitely bitter on the end. Too much! The most obvious hangover from the 1990s… No persistence. All on the nose. No thank you!
Ch La Fleur Morange, Mathilde 2016 St-Émilion
Dark crimson. Very voluptuous on the nose. Round and sweet. On the verge of over the top in terms of sweetness, but amazing concentration for a second wine. Hugely ambitious. Lightly tarry end.
Ch La Fleur Morange 2016 St-Émilion
Dark crimson. Much more restrained nose than Mathilde. Rich and thick. Very distinctive. Not sweet; just concentrated. As though each vine has had its juice put through a concentrator. Not ready for many a day but there is nothing sweet, alcoholic nor oaky about this. Pretty dramatic!!! But definitely not classically styled.
Ch Fombrauge 2016 St-Émilion
93% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc. 45% new oak.
Very dark purple. Very complete and creamy on the nose. But with excellent drive. Rather opulent and verging on showy but very successful. Real savour here.
Ch de Fonbel 2016 St-Émilion
Rich and crimson-tasting with just a hint of pencil shavings. Very sweet. Just a bit too sweet. Drying end.
Ch Fonplégade 2016 St-Émilion
Alain Moueix consults. 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Biodynamic.
First sample tasted in London: Very dark purple. Rather high in VA. But very plush start and a dry end. The sample was taken two weeks ago which may have been earlier than ideal. (16, Drink 2022-2032)
Second sample in St-Émilion: much better and more harmonious and fluid. Well balanced and charming with juice and undertow of interest.
Ch Fonroque 2016 St-Émilion
Alain Moueix consults. 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc.
Concentrated, meaty nose. Dense and robust. Dry end and very solid. Not so much juice.
Ch Franc Mayne 2016 St-Émilion
Blackish crimson. Very dense. Subdued nose. Lots of care taken with the tannin texture but there’s a distinct lack of flavour and real fruit freshness even though there is a light green streak on the end.
Ch La Gaffelière 2016 St-Émilion
Dark crimson. Rich and round and very sweet. A bit thick and graceless. Some greenness.
Ch Godeau 2016 St-Émilion
Stéphane Derenoncourt consults. Owned by granddaughter of the late Mme Gasqueton of Calon Ségur. In the commune of St-Laurent des Cambes.
Very direct and fresh on the nose. Lovely balance though possibly dangerously forward.
Ch Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac 2016 St-Émilion
Bright mid crimson. Meaty, gamey nose. Then surprisingly cool. A bit pinched. Spicy sweet but not very appetising.
Ch Grand Corbin-Despagne 2016 St-Émilion
Sweet, dried fruit start. Zesty and with some energy as well as all that ripe fruit.
Ch Grand Mayne 2016 St-Émilion
Blackish crimson. Lots of ripe black fruits plus a bit of freshness. Quite zesty and appealing with a beginning, middle and end. Really quite successful and punchy. Lightly sandpapery tannins but long and well balanced. Really quite luscious. With an appetising saltiness on the end.
Ch Grand-Pontet 2016 St-Émilion
Very sweet and thick. Drying tannins. Juiceless!
Ch La Grangère 2016 St-Émilion
Very dark crimson. Sautéed black fruits on the nose. Chunky with acid unintegrated. Dull. Fast fade.
Ch Haut-Brisson 2016 St-Émilion
Deep crimson. Scented and peppery on the nose and then gently sweet on the palate. Much less drying than most. Charming!
Ch Haut-Simard 2016 St-Émilion
Dark crimson. Some energy and life to this though there is still a suggestion of oak.
Ch L’Hermitage Lescours 2016 St-Émilion
Intensely concentrated. Black fruits and rather painful acid and tannin. Old modernistic style!
L’If 2016 St-Émilion
Sister property to Le Pin.
Very deep crimson. Quite rich and dense with lots of sweetness. Sinewy and savoury end. Quite racy and energetic compared with most St-Émilions. Bracing.
Ch Laplagnotte Bellevue 2016 St-Émilion
Peppery nose. Lots of dry tannins but just about enough fruit. Ambitious certainly. Pretty drying end.
Ch Larcis-Ducasse 2016 St-Émilion
The last Merlot was picked after the last Cabernet Franc on this bit of the Côte Pavie.
Very floral and sumptuous on the nose. Rich and round and perfumed. Lots of juice and appeal. Interesting! A hint of sweet leather. Grown-up wine.
Ch Larmande 2016 St-Émilion
Rich, almost burnt aromas. Black fruit compote and an unappetisingly sweet palate entry. Leathery tannins and really quite painful chewiness on the end. An uncomfortable whole. Another saliva-sucker.
Ch Laroze 2016 St-Émilion
Hubert de Boüard is consultant. 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc.
Dense dark purple. Fresh, aromatic Cabernet Franc sort of nose. Very fresh yet voluptuous. Really very exciting. Even if it seems almost approachable.
Ch Lusseau 2016 St-Émilion
Personal vineyard of Monbousquet owned by Pavie’s winemaker.
Toasty and velvety. Rich and sweet but not too much - though there’s a slightly porty note! Very voluptuous.
Ch Magnan La Gaffelière 2016 St-Émilion
Bright fruit and pretty glam and snazzy. Very dry tannins on the end. But some utterly sincere fruit on the way there.
Ch Magrez Fombrauge 2016 St-Émilion
60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc.
Dark purple. Lots of savour and a certain tarry quality. Very sweet start. Then drying on the end. It’s a bit too sculpted and forced for me – though much better balanced than it used to be. Hot finish.
Ch La Marzelle 2016 St-Émilion
Dark crimson. Headily, meatily scented. Very luscious and sweet. Tastes almost more like a Pomerol! Lots of fun. Uncannily evolved.
Ch Monbousquet 2016 St-Émilion
Very dark purple. Rich, red fruits taken to the limit. Raspberry jam initially but rescued by freshness on the end. Great drama and a bit of alcohol on the end. Stylistically Perse rather than St-Émilion but well-done tarry end.
Monolithe 2016 St-Émilion
Dark purple. Big and ripe black fruit but actually not the most monolithic St-Émilion 2016 I have tasted - and not a name designed to appeal to me! Drying end. Made in the image of Pavie 2003? But from a much less promising terroir, I suspect.
Ch Montlabert 2016 St-Émilion
Very dark purple. Rather succulent nose. Very round and approachable. Fruit almost covers the tannin. Lots of energ