92-94 Points - Robert Parker
Vinorium Award - 2019 Best Value Wine of the Year: Bronze
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A heavenly nose of cassis, plum, soy, graphite and lots of mineralite at play here. With time, cedar / pencil box aromatics unfold. The palate speaks more of finesse than power. Incredibly complex and not overly tannic. The entry is sweet, ambitious with ripe, silky black fruits. Texturally, and impossible to miss, is the sense of finesse and grace which weaves its magic and is seldom seen in the Barossa. Cedar and graphite-infused fruit emerge but I keep coming back to the wines beguiling poise. Svelte and sensuous with a little wood dust which adds a lovely texture. The finish seems endless – clove and fennel seed leading to orange peel? I could go on, but I must stop. In short, this is a brilliant and uncompromising Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon. Think expensive Bordeaux Second-Growth and you’ll be right on the money”. Served in Zalto Bordeaux glass.
Antonio Galloni "Dark red cherries, plums, smoke and tobacco meld together gracefully in the 2013 Les Forts de Latour. Layered, supple and caressing on the palate, this is one of the juicier 2013s readers will come across. With its expressive floral and spiced notes, the soft, resonant finish is especially appealing. The blend is 62.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35.1% Merlot and 2.2% Petit Verdot."
Robert Parker "The second wine, the 2013 Les Forts de Latour, is a blend of 62.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35.1% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. Approximately 44.5% of the production made it into this wine. Easy-going and supple, it reveals cedary, tobacco leaf notes intermixed with notions of black currants and fresh walnuts. It possesses a Pauillac-like character, but it is neither deep nor long. Drink it over the next 5-6 years."
17 Points - Jancis Robinson "Tasted blind. Purple fruits and lots of come-hither opulence followed by some green leafiness. One of the more immediately charming St-Julien 2018s."
96 Points - Neal Martin "The 2016 Beychevelle has a stunning bouquet of vibrant, shimmering blackberry and wild strawberry fruit laced with crushed stone and rose petals. The well-balanced palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and a slightly savory/dried blood finish that lingers in the mouth. Tasting both in London and in Bordeaux, I found the latter bottle to have a little more precision and race on the finish. This will surely be a benchmark for this Saint Julien estate."
94 Points - James Suckling "Stacks of cassis, graphite and smoke on the nose of this rather full-bodied St.-Julien with a ton of velvety tannins that drive the long finish that’s simultaneously sweet, fresh and powdery. Try in 2022."
17.5 Points - Jancis Robinson "Tasted blind. Sweet and easy. Not dramatic but well mannered and all in balance. Inky and very Margaux. Henri Lurton and his sustainable viticulture will presumably be very pleased that his wine was the group's second-favourite Margaux after Ch Margaux in this Southwold tasting."
96 Points - Neal Martin "The 2016 Brane-Cantenac has been on a roll of late, under the watchful eye of Henri Lurton. This latest bottled vintage is superb. The divine, pure blackberry and bilberry bouquet develops touches of graphite in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, silky-smooth texture and a superb bead of acidity. This is not a powerful Brane-Cantenac, and it is perhaps less austere than I suspected en primeur, but it should drink beautifully over the next three decades. If you have a penchant for traditional claret, it really doesn’t come better than this."
96 Points - James Suckling "So much ripe and sweet tobacco on the nose with currant and blackberry character. Full body, intense tannins with density and beauty. It’s a wine with great structure and panache for this estate. Try after 2024."
Jane Anson, Decanter - 97 Points
The colour on this is deep and inky and a blast of cassis and black cherry fruit greets you on the nose. It has undeniable oak impact, but also a lovely lift that carries right through the palate, and that incredible Clinet precision. A fantastic 2016, not as exuberant as 2015 but showing the quality of the vintage where even the big-shouldered wines have a stunning lift, and a feeling of an invisible gossamer curtain holding them in place. Not a hedonist’s vintage like 2009 or 2015, but cerebral in the style of 2001 and 2010. Strong coffee and grilled caramel on the finish.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2050
100 Points - Neal Martin "In my last sighted review of the 2016 Cos d’Estournel, I wrote: "I suspect it will close down for a period in its youth." Perhaps it is already beginning to shut down, because though this wine was deeply impressive, it fell just a notch short of ethereal previous bottles, despite its "pixelated black fruit" on the nose and "sublime balance" on the palate. I tasted the wine twice thereafter, though this time with a 4-6 hour decant, and this revealed the Cos d'Estournel that has amazed since I first tasted it out of barrel."
100 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown "It is deep garnet-purple colored and starts off a little closed and reticent, opening out slowly and seductively to reveal beautiful lilacs, rose hip tea, crushed stones and camphor nuances over a core of crème de cassis, kirsch, wild blueberries and mocha plus wafts of incense and wood smoke. The palate is simply electric, charged with an energy and depth of flavors that seem to defy the elegance and ethereal nature of its medium-bodied weight, featuring super ripe, densely pixelated tannins that firmly frame the myriad of fruit and floral sparks, finishing with epic length. Just. Magic."
16.5 Points - Jancis Robinson "Tasted blind. Quite savoury and saline on the nose. Sweet and round. Not that much tannin. Only just enough acidity. Velvety. Evolved.."
96/97 Points - James Suckling "This is extremely long and linear with a powerful and refined texture of superfine tannins. Full-bodied, yet so tight and polished. The finish is very, very impressive. Snaps at the end. Better than the 2015?"
94 Points - Neal Martin "The 2016 Giscours comes off the back of the superlative 2015, not an easy wine to follow. It clearly boasts more horsepower on the nose compared the de Tertre, presenting layers of blackberry, cedar and crushed violet aromas that leap from the glass. The medium-bodied palate is crisp and focused, with grainy tannin and a pencil-box-infused finish. Winemaker Alexandre van Beek has retained the density this Margaux showed out of barrel, to offer a classy wine that will benefit from several years in bottle. Drink 2023-2050"
100 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown "The 2016 Haut-Brion is blended of 56% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.5% Cabernet Franc. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the nose is at once profound and arresting, offering drop-dead gorgeous Morello cherries, lilacs and red rose scents with a core of Black Forest cake, warm blackcurrants and blueberry preserves plus wafts of sandalwood and underbrush. Medium-bodied, the elegantly crafted palate is completely packed with intense floral, mineral and cassis-laced flavors with a firm frame of very finely pixelated tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and achingly stunning."
99 Points - Neal Martin "The 2016 Haut-Brion has a beguiling sense of purity on the nose, which features scents of blackberry, crushed violet petals, hints of dark chocolate and even a suggestion of fresh fig. Underneath all this is a seam of mineralité that becomes more conspicuous with aeration, tightening everything up. The palate is medium-bodied with filigreed tannin, a satiny texture, perfect acidity and incredible harmony. Everything here is in the right place. Quite sensual in style, conveying an enthralling sense of delineation on the long finish. About as good as you will find in this vintage."
98+ Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown "The 2016 La Conseillante is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc aged in 70% new and 30% one-year-old French oak for 17 months. Deep garnet-purple colored, it slips provocatively out of the glass with a lifted perfume of roses, candied violets and lavender over a core of warm red and black plums, chocolate box, unsmoked cigars and baked cherries with wafts of wild thyme and tilled soil. Medium-bodied, the palate exudes polish and sophistication with bags of fragrance, freshness and energy, sporting exquisitely fine-grained tannins and finishing very long and minerally. Around 3,808 cases produced."
99 Points - James Suckling "The aromas of violets and dark berries with licorice and sweet black tea are so attractive. What really impresses is the sweet fruit in the dense middle palate. So attractive. At the same time, there’s plenty of plush and ripe tannins that give the wine form and brightness. And it still remains bright on the finish, as the tannins roll on. A great Conseillante. Try after 2024."