The Best 100 Wines from the 2016 Bordeaux Vintage

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pin it button The Best 100 Wines from the 2016 Bordeaux Vintage

Top 100 wines from the 2016 Bordeaux Vintage The Best 100 Wines from the 2016 Bordeaux Vintage

By now, you’re clearly aware that 2016 Bordeaux has produced a plethora of exciting wines in the right Bank and the Left Bank. Yes, Cabernet Sauvignon is King in this vintage, but there are also sublime wines from Pomerol and St. Emilion that rock, due to the Merlot. In an interesting campaign, 2016 Bordeaux is a tepid campaign. Wines offered for prices consumers are willing to pay have moved. Wines that for many reasons left consumers with ennui,remain unsold. While it’s always an interesting exercise to see how the market is taking the 2016 Bordeaux wines to heart, on a pure quality level, there are numerous fabulous wines that deserve to be tasted.

With that in mind, here, you find the best 100 Wines from the 2016 Bordeaux Vintage wth not only tasting notes and scores, but blends, alcohol levels and prices, along with a comparison to what the state charged for the wine last year. To be fair, prices on their own do not tell the entire story. Better wines should sell for more money. So if a producer made a better wine in 2016 than they did in 2015, (And there are several chateau that did!) they deserve to price their wine higher. Other chateau, that did not make better wine, and raised prices are having a difficult time in the marketplace, with justification. So, please keep all that in mind, when considering what 2016 Bordeaux wines to buy. And remember, buy responsibly.

2016 Angelus – With deep color, the wine offers some truffle, earth, florae and dark, red pit fruits in the incense. On the palate, the wine has the feel of well-worn, fine hotel linen with refined, sexy fruits and concentration. There is vibrancy to the fruits and velvetiness to the texture, coupled with depth, complexity and length. The wine was made from a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc. The Grand Vin represents 67% of the harvest. Released at €294, ex-negociant, 16.7% over the previous vintage. 98 – 100 Pts.

2016 Ausone – Flowers, blackberry, boysenberry, licorice and blue fruit are complicated by smoke and crushed rocks to conjure up the aura and the essence. On the palate, the wine is full bodied, intense and nearly bottomless in depth. The character evokes molten minerals blended with the perfect fruits. There is a sense of purity in the red, blue and black fruits, which revolves in the racy finish. Using an even split of 50% Cabernet Franc with 50% Merlot, the wine reached 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.5 and is aging in 100% new French oak barrels. This represents 75% of the crop, the yields being 40 hectoliters per hectare. The last major wine of St. Emilion to be priced came out at €588, 9% over the previous vintage. 98 – 100 Pts

2016 Carmes Haut Brion – With a real intensity of raw material here, the nose pops with smoke, tobacco, flowers, earth, boysenberry and cassis. As time goes on, you find dark chocolate covered plums too. The texture is surreal. Pure silk and velvet fill your mouth and coat your palate. Concentrated and deep, this has a freshness, vibrancy and purity of fruit that really leaves you breathless. To understand the finish, picture eating ripe and almost over berries right off the vine, while smoking an aged Cuban cigar and you are almost there, if you just add the silky, velvet textures, rocks and stones. The finish sticks with you for over 60 seconds! The wine was made from blending 41% Cabernet Franc, 39% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon that included 50% of the grapes being whole, bunch fermented, the wine reached 13.8% alcohol, with a pH of 3.55. The harvest took place September 21 to October 8. The wine is aging in 100% new, French oak barrels, with 5% of the production aging in clay amphora. Offered at €56.40, Ex-Negociant, 27% over last year’s price. But the wine is so much better than last year, and not much is made, this is a bargain. 98 – 100 Pts.

2016 Ducru Beaucaillou – Opaque with shiny, purple highlights, this creation is brimming with flowers, licorice, dark berries, boysenberry, black cherry, smoke, espresso and a spot of wet earth on the nose. With velvet textures, density of fruit and a finish that remains with you for close to 60 seconds, this is a seldom-encountered purity of fruit, which is pulling ahead in the competition for the best Ducru Beaucaillou ever! Produced from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, the wine reached 13.63% alcohol with a pH of 3.71 and is aging in 100% new French oak barrels. The Merlot was harvested from September 26 to September 30 and the Cabernet Sauvignon from October 7 to October 14. Yields were only 30 hectoliters per hectare. The wine was released at €139.20 per bottle ex-negociant, an increase of 16% over the 2015 vintage. 98 – 100 Pts.

2016 Figeac – A great blend of density and supple, sensuous textures, velvety tannins and continuous waves of sweet, ripe, pure boysenberry, black cherry, licorice and chocolate. The fruit is very precise. The sweetness and purity is complimented by vibrant acidity and there is mouth-coating fruit that’s fresh from start to finish. It’s often easy for me to choose a favorite vintage between 2015 and 2016 but not here. This is sublime! From a blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.67 and will be aged in 100% new French oak for 18 months. The picking took place September 23 to October 20. The Grand Vin represents 60% of the harvest. Released quite late in the campaign, pricing at €150 ex-negociant showed a marked increase of 47% over the 2015 vintage. 98 – 100 Pts

2016 Haut Brion – Very dark in color, with just a bit of purple in the sheen the wine is the perfect combination of purity, power, refinement, complexity and length. Not as powerful as other recent vintages, you find more elegance on the palate. The finish builds in intensity moving from flavor to flavor, leaving you with this sense of purity and Cuban cigar tobacco. The wine was made from a blend of 56% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.5% Cabernet Franc. The wine reached 13.9% alcohol with a pH of 3.67. The harvest took place from September 19 to October 13. The wine represents 53% of the Grand Vin. The wine was offered at €420, ex-negociant, 9.1% over the previous vintage. 99 – 100 Pts.

2016 La Conseillante – Dark in color, the wine pops with scents of blackberry liqueur, violets, spice box, truffle, licorice, smoke and plums. On the palate, the wine has a richness and density seldom found here, but don’t let that scare you because, as you would expect, the wine is fresh, elegant and refined. Nothing is different; there is simply more raw material. The fruit is perfect, the tannins are ripe and the liqueur and licorice remain with you for close to 50 seconds. The wine was made from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Starting with the young vines, the Merlot was harvested from September 21 to October 13, representing the longest harvest in the history of the estate. The Cabernet Franc was picked on two dates, October 12 and October 17. The wine reached 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.65 and will be aged in 70% new French oak barrels. Offered during what looks like the last week of releases during the campaign, the wine was priced at €150 ex-negociant, increasing 32.7% over last year. 98 – 100 Pts

2016 Lafite Rothschild – Silky, luscious, refined with profundity and sophistication, the fruit has the concentration, depth, structure and tannins to fill your mouth with flavor, coating your palate with deeply energetic fruits. Balanced between concentrated and fresh, this is regal but not stuck up. There is no attitude here, just pleasure. While intellectual, this does not loft past you. Produced from a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot, the wine reached 13.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The Grand Vin represents 45% of the harvest, which took place September 23 to September 28 for the Merlot and September 29 to October 12 for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The was first offered at €455, ex-negociant, 8.3% over the 2015 price. Subsequent tranches were higher. 98 – 100 Pts

2016 Latour – Each vintage has a signature and this one is a combination of volume, intensity, purity, complexity, freshness and silky, salty tannins. The wine coats your palate with mineral-driven fruit that stays with you for over 60 seconds. The finish shifts from fruit to stone and back to fruit again. This is elegance with refinement and it has the ability to age for decades. The wine was produced from blending 92.9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7.1% Merlot, reaching 13.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. The harvest took place September 22 to September 30 for the Merlot and October 7 to October 19 for the Cabernet Sauvignon. Only 36% of the production was placed into the Grand Vin. 99 – 100 Pts

2016 Le Pin – Produced from 100% Merlot, the wine offers citrus, roses, plum, cocoa and wild cherries as soon as your nose draws close to the glass. Silky, sweet, polished, this is not a wine of density. It is a wine of purity, refinement, complexity, elegance, opulence and with time, it may border on decadence. The harvest took place from October 4 to October 8. The wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.72. 98 – 100 Pts

2016 Montrose – Inky black in color with incredible levels of density, the first thing you notice when the wine hits your palate is the salty, mineral-driven tannins. The purity of the fruit, concentration, richness and velour textures bring you to pleasure with spice, dark chocolate, licorice, blackberry and plum notes. The endnote resonates for at least 60 seconds! Completely satisfying in every way. In the old days you’d need a cigarette after tasting this wine! The best wine since the historic duo of 2009 and 2010, this is right at that level, or even better! Time alone, will be the final arbiter. The Grand Vin was produced from just 36% of the crop, blending 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc. This wine reached 13.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.55. The harvest took place September 23 to October 14. In a surprising move, the wine was first offered at €102 per, the same exact price as they sold their lesser, 2015 wine. However, the tranche was small, perhaps half of what it normally is. 99 – 100 Pts

2016 Mouton Rothschild – Almost opaque in color, the wine is inky dark with a beautiful sheen to the edge. Blackberry, cassis, citrus, flowers, Cuban cigars and exotic spices are the first things you notice. Power balanced with stylishness, sweetness with acidity. This is pure silk and velvet in texture with the flavor of berries just picked off the vine. I timed the finish at over 60 seconds and this is just a baby! Imagine what this will be like when it’s mature! The blend comes from 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. This is the first time since 2004 that Mouton Rothschild has been able to include Petit Verdot in the blend. At 13.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.76, the harvest took place between September 26 and October 14. The Grand Vin represents 53% of the harvest. The wine was priced at €420 per bottle ex-negociant, a 9.4% increase over 2015. 99 – 100 Pts

2016 Pavie – Inky in color, the wine is pure silk and velvet. The reduction of new oak and the increase of the Cabernets really make a difference. Rich, dense, plush and pure, there is a sweetness to the fruit and complexity that moves the wine from red to black again and again. Made from a blend of 60% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 14.5% with a pH of 3.49 and the harvest took place October 10 to October 20. Priced at €294 ex-negociant, this shows an increase of 16.7% over the 2015 vintage. 98 – 100 Pts

2016 Pavie Macquin – You have to like your grapes poured over a rock quarry to get this wine, but I love it. The color of Homer’s wine dark sea with levels of extract that coat your palate, teeth and gums. There is something special here you can easily sense, with crushed velvet textures and the perfect combination of decadence and refined elegance. Even though this is incredibly powerful, everything is in harmony. The pure fruits linger, build and expand; this is a unique textural experience. The wine was produced from blending 82% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Merlot was harvested October 7 to October 21, the Cabernet Franc, October 17 to October 20 and the Cabernet Sauvignon on October 20. The wine reached 14.4% alcohol with a pH of 3.35. Priced at €58.80 ex-negociant, this is an increase of 11.4% over last year. 98 – 100 Pts

2016 Petrus – Roses, lilacs, Cuban cigar wrapper, dark plums and wild cherries permeate the bouquet. There is a combination of structure and elegance with silky tannins, intensity and concentration. Not that any Petrus is for early drinking, but this one will need a long time to show its array of complexities. Finesse, intricacy and harmony with decadent textures and a beautiful purity of fruit, this wine was produced from 100% Merlot. The harvest started September 28, finishing October 11. The wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.5. 99 – 100 Pts

2016 Pichon Baron – Astounding color, it’s impossible to see though the wine in the glass. Rich, concentrated, multi-layered and multi-faceted, this is a powerful attention grabber. But it’s also a wine of finesse, freshness and purity. There is a force of flavor and meticulousness that has not been produced in previous vintages. This is one of those wines that coats your palate with precision, fruit and flavor. The tannins are there but they are so ripe and there is such a wealth of fruit, you just do not notice it. The finish, with opulently textured boysenberry, tobacco, dark chocolate, cigar and plum, lasts for a full minute or more! Blended from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, this wine reached 13.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.8. The Grand Vin represents only 45% of the harvest, which took place between October 3 and October 18. The wine was released for €114 per bottle ex-negociant, 18.7% more than the previous vintage. 98 – 100 Pts.

2016 Vieux Chateau Certan – Grab fresh flowers, buy truffles, pick a bushel of fresh plums from the market and you get the idea of the aromatics. Full bodied, silky, plush and sensuous, the wine shows freshness coupled with ripe, juicy, fresh, dark fruits and concentration. Even with the concentration and tannins, the wine is a dancer — light on its feet, balanced and fresh-faced. Blending 85% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.77. Picking took place October 3 to October 18, making this latest harvest in the history of Vieux Chateau Certan. One of the final big name releases from Pomerol came out at €192 ex-Negociant, making the wine 37% more expensive than the 2015 vintage. 98 – 100 Pts

2016 Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse – Deep dark in color, this wine is all about the spirit of fresh picked flowers, stony minerals and black cherry. Full bodied and penetrating, the wine has a beautiful sense of purity, lift and finesse. There is intensity, concentration and layers of sweetly saturated, energetic, dark fruits, licorice and boysenberry that just keep going long after the last sip. The wine was produced from blending 90% Merlot, harvested October 7 to October 18 and 10% Cabernet Franc, picked October 18 to October 21. The wine reached 14.4% alcohol with a pH of 3.38. Offered at €84, this is 16.7% over last year. 97 – 99 Pts

2016 Calon Segur – Incredibly dense with a beautiful sensation of forbidden fruit in the nose and on the mouth. There is weight, balance, freshness and complexity, imparting perfectly ripe, dark red, pit fruits and minerality is what this beauty does best. The wine was produced from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 0.2% Petit Verdot, reaching 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. The harvest took place from September 20 to October 25. Priced at €62.40, this is 17.7% over last year. But the wine is so much better, this is still a steal! 97 – 99 Pts

2016 Haut Bailly – Deep in color, with intensity of fruit, silky tannins, length and volume. There is a lot going on here. On the attack, the wine opens with ripe, spice filled plums, moving next to darker fruits. The fruit and flavor builds in the mouth and really sticks with you. The refinement of the texture, depth of flavor and the purity of the fruit is what you’ll notice, before being impressed with the length. The wine was made from 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. The wine reached 13.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The Grand Vin was produced from 55% of the harvest, which took place from September 26 to October 18. Offered at €84 per bottle ex-negociant, this is 27% over 2015. 97 – 99 Pts

2016 Lafleur – Deeply colored with a purple tint that shines at the edge, chocolate mint, flowers, black raspberry and plum liqueur notes are immediately dancing in your face. On the palate, there is serious weight and density yet the wine feels light on its feet. Fresh and refined with length and purity, the finish remains with you for more than 60 seconds. During that time, the wine moves from red fruit to black fruit taking on truffle and spice. It’s an intellectual vintage for Lafleur with a unique profile. The wine was produced from a blend of 55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot and reached 14% with a pH of 3.65. The Merlot was harvested From September 24 to September 30, which is the second longest harvest in the history of the estate. 97 – 99 Pts

2016 La-Mission-Haut-Brion – Deep in color, the smoke, tobacco, dark red fruits, earth, espresso and cigar box aromatics keep you busy. Full bodied, concentrated, the wine takes up a lot of room on your palate. It’s long, expansive and is a Cuban cigar dream, provided they also enjoy a big wave of fruit. There is a lot of tannin, but the fruit is so ripe, and sweet, you barely notice it. The wine was made from a blend of 57.5% Merlot and 42.5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The harvest took place from September 19 to October 14. The wine reached 13.7% alcohol, with a pH of 3.66. This represents 50% of the harvest. The wine is sold at €336 ex-negociant, an increase of 12% over last year. 97 – 99 Pts

2016 Leoville Las Cases – This powerful elixir has peppery cassis, tobacco, cedar, blackberry and forest scents that cannot be avoided. Powerful, concentrated, mouth filling and very tannic, this could be a modern-day version of what the 1986 Bordeaux was supposed to be. The wine is elongated, regal and driven, stern yet refined. With this much tannin and structure, I’m sure at least 20 years in the cellar are needed before this really starts to shine. Produced from a blend 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.66. The harvest took place from September 30 to October 16. One of the later releases, the wine was priced at €180, ex-negociant, at 30% increase over the 215 vintage. 97 – 99 Pts

2016 LEvangile – Incredibly deep in color, the truffle, the flower, the dark chocolate and black cherry liqueur aroma is impossible to avoid. Dense, rich, and full-bodied, this wine has crossed over to the dark fruit side of the style range. It’s masculine, powerful and tannic. The freshness is there, the fruit is there and the long finish is packed with black fruits, fig, plum and chocolate. This is the most powerful and concentrated wine I’ve ever experienced here – this could be a legend in the making. That being said, consumers will need patience as this is going to demand a decade in the cellar. Made from a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, this is the highest amount of Merlot used in the history of l’Evangile. The wine is 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.8 and the harvest took place from September 26 to October 10. Offered late in the campaign for €180, this is 20% over last year’s price. 97 – 99 Pts

2016 Pichon Lalande – Deep in color, the espresso, cigar box, tobacco, spice, forest floor, blackberry, cassis, lead pencil and dark red fruits make an incredible perfume. Pure silk and velvet, this is so sexy, it’s off the charts. Opulent, in fact, decadent, this wine tastes and feels so majestic I drank it all! This is the best vintage since the majestic 1982 and that is really saying something. Made from a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, it reached 13.32% alcohol with a pH of 3.76. The harvest took place September 20 to October 20. Priced at €120 per bottle ex-negociant, this is 25% over last year. 98 – 100 Pts

2016 Pontet Canet – Cassis drenched flowers, lead pencil, clay, spice, blackberry and cigar box aromatics win you over immediately. Purity and freshness, balance and harmony with length and character, this wine sneaks up on you — it tastes and feels wonderful. The finish keeps going, building in intensity and flavor, moving from red to black fruits, leaving you with red berries, spice and minerality. The tannins are silky, the fruit is sweet and there is more than ample lift here. The wine just does not quit. Produced from blending 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot,.4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the wine is aging in 55% new French oak barrels, 35% in amphora and the remainder of wine in one year old casks. The harvest took place September 28 to October 12. Offered at €108, ex-negociant, this is 44% over last year. 97 – 99 Pts

2016 Bellevue Mondotte – A deep shade, smoky and mineral driven with dark, ripe plums that remain on your palate for at least 60 seconds. This is focused, elongated and the fruit is pristine. The sensation of salt and rocks really pulls through here. This is a wine to cellar for a decade or so; it will be well worth the wait. Selling at €115 ex-negociant, this is 6.5% over last year. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Chateau Margaux – Deep ruby with purple accents of color around the rim of the glass, violets, lilacs and roses are the first scents you notice before moving to the red and black plums, tobacco and a hint of licorice in the bouquet. Light on its feet but don’t let that fool you, it’s impossible not to feel the purity and elegance. The wine displays an incredible clarity of fruit with a finish that dawdles on your palate, moving from red fruit to black fruit and back to sweet, red berries again. The finish has an incredibly supple, refined quality that leaves you yearning for another sip. It was early in the morning and I can assure you, I finished my glass without spitting a drop! The wine was made from a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot reaching 13% alcohol with a pH of 3.6. Yields were high, but it’s important to note, the Grand Vin represents only 28% of the harvest, which took place September 23 to October 18 — one of the longest harvests in the estate’s storied history. Priced at €420, ex-negociant, this shows a 9.7% increase over the 2015 price. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Cheval Blanc – Rose petals, spice, kirsch, earth, smoky black cherries, wet earth and forest leaves. On the palate, the wine is silky, pure, fresh and vibrant. There is an elegance, charm, refinement and precision to this more structured, classic example of Cheval Blanc. You will want to age this for at least a decade before popping a bottle. The wine was made using 59.5% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Franc and 3.3% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the first vintage in 10 years that any Cabernet Sauvignon was used in the blend. The wine reached 14.25% alcohol with a pH of 3.67 and the harvest took place September 20 to October 12. The Grand Vin represents 77% of the harvest. Priced at €552, ex-negociant, the wine is priced at an increase of 2.2% over last year. – 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Cos dEstournel – Deep purple at the edges of its inky hue, this wine shows smoke, (Yes, a Deep Purple wine that shows Smoke on the Water) with licorice, Asian spice boysenberry and blackberries at the front of the perfume. The wine is full-bodied, concentrated and palate staining (so don’t spill it on the rug) but it also shows freshness, spice and lift. The fruits are sweet, ripe and ready to eat but that’s just the beginning, stand by for late breaking licorice, spice and silky tannins. There is energy and lift that grabs a seat at the table this year. Produced from a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 0.1% Cabernet Franc, this wine reached 13.07% alcohol with a pH of 3.66 and is now aging in 80% new, French oak barrels. The harvest took place from September 26 to October 15. One of the first major 1855 Classified Growths to be offered, the wine was priced at €120, ex-negociant, which is the same money asked for the lesser quality 2015 vintage. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Domaine de Chevalier – Silky tannins, sweet, ripe, elegant, polished, and refined, this is a top vintage for Domaine de Chevalier. The tobacco, dark, red berries and spice are really shining this year. The wine has that elusive quality of freshness, length, purity and character. This will age quite nicely for decades. The wine was produced from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The fruit was picked from October 4 to October 21. Offered at €52.80, ex-negociant, this is a 18.9% increase over the 201.5 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Haut Brion Blanc – Full bodied and concentrated with sweet, polished, fresh, citrus, honeysuckle, grapefruit and lemon peel. Sweet, ripe and forward, this can be aged of course, or enjoyed in its youth, The wine was produced using 70.5% Sauvignon Blanc and 29.5% Semillon. The harvest took place from September 1 to September 13. The wine reached 13.85% alcohol with a pH of 3.23, this represents only 31% of the harvest. 97 – 97 Pts

2016 La Mondotte – Sensual, concentrated, luscious, deep and focused, this is another hot librarian in lingerie. Precise, with layers of velvet-textured plum and black cherries, the wine is decadent with freshness and lift with a strong sensation of crushed stone to add complexity. The finish leaves you with a feeling of self-indulgence. Sophisticated, sleek and ready with succulence, this darkly colored wine was produced from 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.4. The harvest took place September 29 to October 15. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 La Violette – Made from 100% old vine Merlot planted in clay soils, the first thing you’ll notice is the distinctive floral bouquet. Wet earth, black cherry, dark plums, and even darker chocolate are next in line. This wine is ripe with silky, but firm tannins, spicy, pure fruits and a long, juicy, slightly masculine finish. Give this time to develop and you’ll experience a deep and complex Pomerol. The harvest took place from October 4 to October 7. Only 400 cases were produced. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Larcis Ducasse – This is incredibly rich, sensuous, full bodied and deep. Between the tannins and fruit, I cannot decide which is more polished or has more finesse. With lavish textures, waves of fruit and a velvet mouth feel, this is an outstanding wine with tremendous character. Made from a blend of 87% Merlot, harvested October 12 to October 20 and 13% Cabernet Franc, picked on October 18 and 19, the wine reached 14.4% alcohol with a pH of 3.45. The wine wa priced at €52.80 ex-negociant, a 15.8% increase over last year.n96 – 98 Pts

2016 LEglise Clinet – Blackberry, floral, earth and smoke aromatics get you going. Not a showy wine, this is more of an intellectual experience. Still, there is no denying all the layers of ripe, dark red fruits, lush textures, concentration, richness and density. This will be one of the longest aged wines from Durantou, as it will not show well young, but with proper cellaring there could be more complexity than previous vintages. Blending 90% Merlot, which was picked from September 21 to October 4 and 10% Cabernet Franc, harvested October 6, the wine reached 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.60 and will be aged in 80% new French oak barrels. Showing his typical sense of humor, when asked how many cases were produced, Denis Durantou replied, “too few.” One of the last important releases from Pomerol, the wine was offered at €225 ex-negociant, which is an increase of 25% over the 2015 vintage. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Leoville Poyferre – Sophisticated and drizzled with opulence, these sexy, supple fruits and creamy tannins feel as good as they taste. This wine is endless in depth with a penetrating bullet of pure, silken fruit in the finish. Blending 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.66. The harvest took place October 5 to October 20, the Grand Vin representing 56% of the harvest. The wine was offered at €66, ex-negociant, an increase of 19.5% over last year. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Lynch Bages – Powerful, concentrated and long and with depth of flavor, this wine is rich and fat, like someone wearing a gold Rolex and a diamond pinkie ring. There is a refined, stern, masculine quality to the fruit with a finish that lasts and sustains the layers of fresh, sweet black currants. This is probably the best Lynch Bages since 1989/1990. Produced from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, this wine is aging in 75% new French oak barrels. Reaching 13.4% alcohol with a pH of 3.69, the picking took place September 28 to October 12 and the Grand Vin represents 65% of the harvest. The wine is priced at €96, 14.2% over last year. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Palmer – A richly-colored, attention-seeker whose nose pops with truffle, tobacco, black cherries, cigar box, plum and cocoa. Silky, velour textures and polished tannins embrace juicy, sweet, fresh, pure plums and a finish that builds as it lingers. This sublime wine was produced from a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 0.6% Petit Verdot, reaching 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.85. Currently being aged in 65% new, French oak barrels, the wine represents 50% of the harvest, which took place between October 3 and October 18. This is the third vintage that was farmed using 100% biodynamic farming techniques, allowing Palmer to become fully certified. The wine is priced at €240, ex-negociant, an increase of 14.3%. 97 – 98 Pts

2016 Peby Faugeres – Richly textured, opulent, sexy, ripe and fresh, there is a purity to the sweet, dense layers of fruit. Thick yet balanced, the black and blue show through really well here. Stratums of fat chocolate-covered boysenberries coat your palate with long lasting flavor. Even better, there is lift and freshness that makes this a wine you’ll want to ponder as well as drink. Produced from 100% old vine Merlot, the wine was aged in 65% new French oak barrels, reaching 14.8% with a pH of 3.6. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Rauzan Segla – Deep in color with violets and licorice that take no effort to find, this wine is luxurious and concentrated and feels like ripe black fruits polished with velvet. There is a sweetness combined with a quintessence of fruit that will send your mind to Bordeaux no matter where you take your first sip. The wine was produced from blending 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.6 and is aged in 60% new, French oak barrels for 18 months before bottling. The harvest took place from September 20 to October 4 for the Merlot and from October 10 to October 15 for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine represents only 50% of the harvest. Selling at €60 ex-negociant, this is 18.8% over the 2015. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Smith Haut Lafitte – With a good depth of color, the wine is almost opaque with dark purple accents. Espresso, smoke, black fruits, wet earth, licorice, truffle and dark chocolate come right out, when asked. Full bodied, fat and opulent, with serious density, length, character and tannins. The tannins are ripe, but this is going to need time in the cellar, even with all the ripe, supple fruits. The wine was made from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.75% alcohol with a Ph of 3.7, the harvest took place from September 22 to October 12 and the Grand Vin represents just 40% of the harvest. At €76.80 ex-negociant, this is 28% over last year. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Tertre Roteboeuf – Lusciously textured, fresh black raspberries, wild cherries, wet earth, oyster shell, smoke, licorice and forest scents create a complex set of aromas. Exotic Indian silk, virgin velvet, ruby fruits, anisette and soft tannins make this a hedonistic thrill ride. The wine was produced from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Troplong Mondot – Commanding, powerful, dark and intense, this wine is unfathomably deep, concentrated and juicy. While sizeable, there is a loveliness in the purity of the fruit and no heaviness on the palate. Instead, it’s balanced and harmonious. The velvet textured, opulent finish offers chocolate-covered plums and blackberry with licorice and a beautiful, multifaceted earthy character. This will take some time to come around. The wine was made using 89% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, reaching 15% alcohol. The harvest took place October 3 through October 27. Priced at €102 ex-negociant, this is 23.2% over last year. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Valandraud – Inky in color, the wine shoots out of the glass with spring flowers, licorice, smoke, boysenberry and cigar box. Rich, fleshy, supple with velvet-textured tannins, the wine is long, concentrated, deep and sweet. The dark fruit, licorice and plum liqueur finish has freshness and length. Made from a blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, reaching 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.5. The harvest took place October 8 to October 20. Released during the final major week of the campaign at €129 ex-negociant, making the wine 22% more expensive than the 2015. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Yquem – Fat, sweet, tropical fruits, apricots and Mandarin oranges slathered in honey, vanilla and flowers. This is quite rich, powerful and concentrated. It has more freshness than the 2003, but not as much freshness as you find in 2013. Still, this is complex, deep, long and intense, yet remarkably light on its feet. This will age much longer than I will. 96 – 98 Pts

2016 Canon – Inkjet black purple in color, you have depth, length and concentration. There is a waterfall of flawlessly ripe fruit and a quarry of crushed rocks with licorice and flowers. This is a wealthy wine, infused with lushness, opulence, density and intensity. The finish lingers, owing to the layers of ripe fruit and glycerin. The wine was made from a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.6. At €72, this is an increase of 20% over the 2015 vintage. 95 – 97 Pts

2016 Clinet – Style and grace in a long, dark cloak, velvet in texture, lush yet masculine. There is depth, length and power. The tannins are refined yet the acidity is quite present, giving the wine true lift, but the fruit is so ripe and sweet, all that tannin is buried deep. From a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.71 and is aging in 70% new, oak barrels. The harvest for the Merlot took place from September 22 to October 3 and the Cabernet Sauvignon on October 4. The Grand Vin consists of 70% of the harvest. Priced at €72, ex-negociant, which is 20% over last year, this is still a bargain for a wine on the Pomerol plateau! 95 – 97 Pts.

2016 Clos Fourtet – Smoky with licorice, violets, lilacs, cigar wrapper and dark fruits, this wine is silky and structured, precise and polished, concentrated and fresh. The finish has all this great juice that moves from black to red fruits, to spice and then sweetness and back again. The wine was produced from a blend of 90% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.35. The harvest took place October 4 to October 20. Selling for €82.80 ex-negociant, this is 23.6% over the previous vintage. 95 – 97 Pts

2016 Grand Puy Lacoste – Dewy and succulent cassis, smoke, tobacco, cedar wood and blackberry aromas pop up with just an easy swirl or two. Refined, polished, elegant with a medium-bodied personality, ending with loads of sweet, dark fruit. This vintage from GPL has the structure to age, coupled with the silky-mouth feel that its loyal tasters enjoy. The wine was made from a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot. The harvest took place September 28 to October 13. Priced at €60 ex-negociant, 25% over the 2015 price, and this is still a bargain. 95 – 97 Pts

2016 Le Gay – This will need time to develop before the deeply-colored wine comes together and you can enjoy the layers of concentrated boysenberry, plum, black cherry, earth, truffle and flowers it has to offer. Structured to age with purity of fruit and ripe, firm tannins, this is going to reward cellaring. The wine was made from a blend of 90% old vine Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14% alcohol. The harvest took place from September 29 to October 14. 95 – 97 Pts

2016 Lif – Ruby-garnet with a brush of toner, the wine offers truffle, smoke, black raspberries and cherry liqueur, which I would consider a perfect start. From there this really launches as it melts into your palate. Elegance, sweetness, purity of fruit, length and finesse with a precision and refinement that is difficult to achieve. The finish sticks with you and the memory holds up. Made from 100% Merlot, the wine reached 14.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.38. The harvest was quick, taking place October 19 and 20. Only 400 cases were produced. 95 – 97 Pts

2016 Pape Clement – Very dark ruby in color, the smoky blackberries, cigar box and licorice aromatics are singing. There is a lot of freshness to the fruit, and the lower alcohol levels make the wine feel lighter and refreshing on the palate, especially in the silky finish. This vintage shows elegance, complexity and restraint. The wine was produced from a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, reaching 13.5% alcohol. The wine is being aged in 60% new, French oak barrels. The harvest took place from September 13 to October 19. Selling at €66 ex-negociant, this is 12.2% over last year. 95 – 97 Pts

2016 Trotanoy – Deep ruby in hue with distinctive floral, spice, incense, boysenberry, plum and cherry blossom aromas, the wine is pure silk with cushy tannins. There is a delicacy (which you should not confuse with being light) that leaves you wanting another sip to discover even more. Not decadent, but still quite sexy 95 – 97 Pts

2016 Beau-Sejour Becot – Fresh, silky, ripe, soft and pure, there is a lovely stone, floral and dark berry quality with length and polished textures. The wine was made from 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, reaching 14.5% alcohol with no touch of heat and freshness galore. At €50.4 ex-negociant, a 20% jump over 2015 and still reasonable, when you consider this is a First Growth Sait Emilion. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Belair-Monange – Fresh, dark red fruits, kirsch liqueur and black raspberry open the wine. Silky, soft and mineral driven, both bright red and dark red berries create the wine’s core. There is freshness, length, purity of fruit and a stone-filled finish. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Bellevue – Deep in color, this blend of 100% Merlot is all about the rich, silky textures, polished tannins, freshness, and the ripe, plush, plummy, mineral-driven finish with that touch of dark chocolate, spice and earth in the endnote. This could be the best ever wine from Bellevue. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Brane Cantenac – Garnet in color, the wine begins with a dominant spray of flowers followed by the aroma of wet earth, spice box, mint, caramel, espresso and blackberry. Elegant but not light, this is supple, fresh, balanced and energetic with crisp, red berries, easy yet vibrant tannins and spicy notes in the finish. Blending 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carmenere, this wine reached 13.3% with a pH of 3.69. The Grand Vin represents 40% of the harvest and the picking took place from September 22 to October 17, save for the Carmenere, which was harvested on October 20. Priced at €51.60, ex-negociant, this is 16% over last year. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Canon la Gaffeliere – With silky tannins, the wine feels like velvet. The black juicy plums, smoke, espresso, stone and salty mineral characteristics really shine through. There is concentration, complexity and length, offering purity of fruit and sensuous palate teasing textures. The wine was made from a blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, reaching 13.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.6. The harvest took place September 26 to October 15. The wine was offered at €66, ex-negociant, a 17% increase over last year. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Clos LEglise – Fertile, intense, opulent, dark chocolate-covered plums, this wine is fat and sassy with freshness, fruit and length, leaving you with a lavish sensation in the finish. The wine comes from 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14% with a pH of 3.7. Released late in the campaign, the wine was priced at €72, ex-negociant, making t 27.7 percent higher than the 2015 vintage. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Clos St. Martin – Cherry liqueur, kirsch, black raspberry, flowers, espresso and licorice create the perfume, while on the palate, you’ll find silky, sensuously textured black cherries and velvet tannins. This is a very hedonistic treat – hypnotic in a way. The wine was made from a blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 dIssan – Dark in color with strong floral aromatics that escalate with smoke, espresso, licorice, dark cherry and cassis, this wine is full-bodied, plush, opulent and richly textured with loads of sweet, pure, dark red fruits. From a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon and 36% Merlot, this wine reached 13.24% alcohol with a pH of 3.71. Now aging in 50% new, French oak barrels, it represents 45% of the harvest, which took place from September 29 to October 19. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Enclos Tourmaline – Produced from 100% Merlot and completely vinified in barrel, the wine shows a deep intensity of color. Intense floral notes combined with black raspberries, plum and earth with the right of chocolate in the finish, giving the wine more of a fat, sensuous, opulent nature. The fruits are sweet, with a strong sense of purity, freshness and energy. Open and expressive, this vintage shows the wine is a vintage on the upswing. The harvest took place October 4 and October 5. The wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.8. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Fleur Cardinale – Luscious textures with purity of fruit, this wine is all about the chocolate-covered plums and black cherry with their licorice and floral accents. The tannins are soft, the texture is velvety and the dark red fruits, anise, smoke, cocoa and earthy personality really shine in the finish. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Gazin – Flowers, plum liqueur and cherry blossoms reach your nose with little effort. There are sweet, ripe, sensuous fruits with hints of black licorice, silky yet dusty and powerful tannins and a long, sleek finish. The wine is made from a blend of 87% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. The wine 14.25% alcohol with a pH of 3.69 and is aging in 45% new, French oak barrels. The Merlot was harvested September 22 to October 10 and the Cabernets were picked October 17. This was the longest harvest period and the latest vintage in the history of Gazin. Priced at €60 ex-negociant, the price rocketed up 31.6% from last year. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Giscours – Flowers garnished with truffles, tobacco, spicy cassis and dark red fruits pop on the nose. In the mouth, this is all silk and purity with freshness and length. This wine was produced from a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot. This is the highest percentage of Cabernet used in the blend in the history of the estate. The wine reached 13.5% alcohol with a 3.6 pH. The picking took place from September 26 to October 5, while the Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from October 5 to October 20. The wine was released at €44.40, ex-negociant, 23.3% over last year. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Gracia – Deep and nearly inky in color, you’ll find so much sweetness in the fat, juicy, velvety fruits, silky-soft tannins and decadent textures. This is a wine to taste. There is less oak and more focus on the purity, elegance and balance. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Hosanna – Flowers, black cherry, boysenberry, truffle and dark chocolate pop right up in the perfume. Kind of an earthy Pop-Tart. Deep ruby in color, this is all those things you associate with a sophisticated wine. The tannins are doing a little black cherry jig on your palate long after the wine has traveled on. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 La Mission Haut Brion Blanc – With effort, you find lemon peel, grapefruit and Granny Smith apples in the perfume. Full bodied, with energy, the wine displays ample, just picked, yellow citrus from start to finish. The wine was made from a blend of 62.7% Sauvignon Blanc and 37.3% Semillon. This is a first for the wine as both La Mission Haut Brion Blanc and Laville Haut Brion Blanc, as this is the first time the wine has used a preponderance of Sauvignon Blanc in the blend. The wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.16. The harvest took place from September 5 to September 13. The Grand Vin represents only 31% of the harvest. 95 – 95 Pts. The wine is offered at €336, ex-negociant, 12% over the 2015 vintage.

2016 La-FleurPetrus – A parfait of roses, plums, chocolate, truffles, smoke, spice and cherry blossoms creates the nose. Draped in silk, sensuous with lambskin tannins, the wine is the flossy librarian with her hair down — an intellectual Pomerol that also delivers sensuality. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Leoville Barton – A nose of blackberry, licorice, earth and smoky tobacco is easy to notice. Darkly colored, Full bodied, rich, fresh, long and sweet, there is a reflection coming off the ample tannins and lift that accentuates the densely textured, fruit-filled finish. This wine leaves a great impression. Produced from blending 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot, the wine reached 13% alcohol. The harvest took place September 29 to October 13. Selling at €63.60 ex-negociant, this is 17.7% over last years price. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 MagrezFombrauge – Inky and opaque, the wine is all about chocolate-covered boysenberry, espresso, licorice, dark plum and darker cherry. Velvet drenched tannins, fat, salacious, opulent layers of perfectly ready, glossy fruits. This is the best wine produced here since 2000. You can feel the difference. It seems like everything has truly been dialed back. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Malescot St. Exupery – Blackberry liqueur, boysenberry, espresso bean and dark chocolate over black cherry open up the nose. Fat, titillating, deep and lavish, this wine is ambrosial, powerful and mouth filling. The finish is fresh and packed with the ripest, sweetest, juiciest, dark red fruits. Produced from a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.72. The Grand Vin represents 72% of the harvest, which took place October 1 to October 25. Offered at €41 ex-negociant, which is 17.8% higher than last year, for a high scoring edc wine this is a fair rate. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Tour Saint Christophe – Deep, dark and almost opaque in color, the wine is made from blending 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Ripe and loaded with fresh fruit, with a real sensation of purity and silky, polished tannins and a hint of chocolate in the finish. The wine reached 14.5% alcohol with pH of 3.7. 94 – 96 Pts

2016 Alter Ego dePalmer – Fresh-picked flowers, espresso and hints of dark chocolate-covered black cherries come right out with ease in this elegant, refined wine. Expect bright, sweet fruits with lift, length and soft tannins. Produced from a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and 12 % Petit Verdot, this wine reached 13% alcohol with a pH of 3.65. The harvest took place October 3 to October 18. The wine is sold at €49, ex-negociant, a jump of 11.3% over last year. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Bellefont-Belcier – Almost opaque in color, the wine is smoky, floral and fruity. There is a profundity of flavor, purity of fruit, freshness and complexity. From a blend of 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, the alcohol reached 15% with no sensation of heat. The harvest took place between October 11 and October 22. This wine is a big step up for the estate and is clearly the best wine they have ever produced. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Branaire Ducru – Spicy boysenberry and sweet cassis with licorice and a kiss of oak on the nose, this wine displays elegance and a natural goodness of fruit. Oddly it gives the impression of fading in the mouth but it’s all an illusion as the essence rushes back in and lingers. Produced from a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13.49% alcohol with a pH of 3.59. Harvesting took place from September 28 to October 19, which is the latest as well as the longest harvest in the history of Branaire Ducru. Offered at €39.60 ex-negociant, this is only 6.5% over last year, and it’s a better wine too! 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Cantenac Brown – A fertile violet-ruby in color with a complex array of scents ranging from espresso, violets, truffle, cassis and dark chocolate, the wine is fresh, long and energetic with a lot of lift in the endnote. Balanced and classic with loads of fresh boysenberry and black cherry, this is quite intense and succulent. From 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot, this wine reached 13.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.68 and is aging in 60% new, French oak barrels. The harvest took place from September 23 to October 19. Only 49% of the harvest was used in the Grand Vin. The wine is priced at €39, ex-negociant, 16.1% over last year’s price. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Clerc Milon – With quite a dark ruby color, there is chocolate-covered black raspberry, plum, and cigar box with a floral nose. The palate has a richness that I’ve never seen here before. Concentrated, polished, silky, sweet and fresh, the wine is long with real depth of flavor, ending with a salty complexity in the finish. This is a new level of quality for Clerc Milon. Blending 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% old vine Carmenere, this wine reached 13.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.58. The harvest took place September 26 to October 15. At €50.40 ex-negociant, this is 17.2% over the 2015, and it’s a much better too! 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Clos Dubreuil – Chocolate-covered black raspberries, licorice and smoky notes create the perfume. On the palate, the wine is plummy, round, fresh and sweet. There is a good purity of fruit in the satin finish. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Croix de Labrie – Quite floral with truffle, licorice, cocoa, black cherry, smoke and plum notes. This plush, polished, supple textured wine blends freshness with juicy, ripe, soft fruits. The wine is made from a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, reaching 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.49. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc – Blending 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Semillon produced a richly textured, fat, sweet, lush, ripe wine with a mineral and yellow citrus driven character that is on display in the finish. 94 – 94 Pts

2016 Duhart-Milon – Floral, black raspberry, tobacco and wet earth scents create the nose. Medium bodied with an elegant palate, the fruit radiates with a fresh, sweet quality and ends with juicy, ripe dark cherries. The wine was made from a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot, which was picked September 26 to October 12. Selling at €55, ex Negociant, this is 12.5% over last year. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Feytit-Clinet – Using 93% Merlot with 7% Cabernet Franc, this wine offers that great mix of truffle, flowers, cocoa, cherry and earth. Polished with silk, there is a heavenly sweetness in the fruit, feminine tannins and a freshness that piques your interest and pulls you deeper. Once again, Feytit Clinet remains the best value of any wine from Pomerol. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Gloria – Exotic tobacco, anisette and fresh-picked currants on the nose. On the palate, the wine is an eager virgin in a silk wrapper, well coiffed and refreshingly fresh. The fruit is clean and pure and the perfume lingers in your brain. This is clearly the best wine ever from Gloria. The wine was made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The wine is priced at €30 ex-negociant, 11.1% over 2015, and it’s still a steal of a deal. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 La Dominique – With a floral nose that is complicated by incense, black raspberry and vanilla, this wine shows a nice, deep color. On the palate, the wine bursts with fertile, sweet, luscious, dark red fruits, ripe, opulent tannins and a fruit filled, spicy finish. The wine was made from a blend of 80% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, representing the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend in the history of the estate. The wine reached 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 La Fleur de Bouard Le Plus – Two dozen long-stemmed roses and a cup of cocoa, cherry blossoms, espresso, licorice and spice on the nose. Polished tannins, silky, lush, textures, freshness and vibrancy, the finish is all juicy, dark plums and even dark chocolate. Made from 100% Merlot and reaching 14.8% alcohol, the wine is aging in 100% new French oak. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 La Lagune – Cherry blossom, thyme, menthol and black raspberry notes create the bouquet. Finesse in style with soft lush tannins, round, dark cherry fruits and a spicy, silky, red berry finish with just the perfect amount of dark chocolate in the end note to add some fatness and complexity. Produced from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.6 and is aging in 50% new French oak barrels for 14 months before bottling. The harvest ran from September 6 to October 17. This is the first vintage from La Lagune that was certified organic. Priced at €35.40 ex-negociant, this is 9.2% over last year. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Lafaurie-Peyraguey – Take a jar of honey and drop in all the juicy, ripe and over-ripe pineapple, orange and apricot fruits you can squeeze into the jar and you’re close. All you need is a bouquet of flowers, vanilla bean and some acidity and you get the picture. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion – Elegant, finesse styled wine with layers of sweet, ripe, juicy, cassis, blackberry, espresso, spice, earth and tobacco. Fresh, clean, complex and long it’s hard to believe this is the second wine! The wine was produced from blending 51.3% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.1% Cabernet Franc and 2.6% Petit Verdot. The wine reached 13.6% alcohol. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Le Dome – Inky dark in color, the wine pops with all the flowers, black raspberries, smoke, licorice, cherry and vanilla bean you’ll need. Full bodied, powerful and concentrated, there is lushness to the textures, ripeness to the fruit and a salty, mineral character that really hangs on your palate. The wine has one of the largest percentages of Cabernet Franc in all of Bordeaux at 80% with the remainder coming from 20% Merlot. The wine reached 15% alcohol with a pH of 3.81. Thomas Duclos is the new consultant at Le Dome and he’s apparently kicked things up a notch. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Les Forts de Latour – Flowery with tobacco, blackberry and spice with an interesting hint of citrus, this is smooth and reserved with a juicy blast of cassis and plum in the finish. Classic but with softness and refinement instead of severity, give this perhaps five to eight more years before popping a cork. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Liber Pater – Deep ruby in color, flowers, smoke, earth, tobacco, espresso and ripe, dark plum scents find you easily. Elegant, fresh and less dense than previous vintages, but in exchange, the wine has more lift and finesse that really shows a fine, Graves character. Ripe, fruits, refined, sandy tannins and a long, fresh, plummy finish. This should age quite well. The wine was produced from a unique blending of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1.5% Tarnay Coulant and .5% Castet. The Tarnay Coulant and Castet were used in pre phylloxera Bordeaux. Due to these non AOC allowed grape varietals, the wine will be sold as a Vin de France. The wine is made from the lowest yields in all of Bordeaux at 10 hectoliters per hectare. Aged on its lees in 100% new, French, oak barrels for between 28 to 30 months before bottling, the extended aging time is due to the fact the grapes all come from 100% ungrafted vines, meaning that in theory, this is about as close as you are going to get to wines produced in the 19th century, albeit with a lot more selection, and probably more new oak barrels, which have a longer aging time.

Because of severe frost damage, only Liber Pater was produced this year, they did not make any white wine, Denarius of Clos de Landrias. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Malartic Lagraviere – Licorice, dark cherry, espresso and smoke create the character. Full bodied, richly, concentrated and intense, the fruit is fat, yet, crunchy, spicy and juicy. It offers volume, and freshness with depth of flavor. Until now, I thought the 2015 was the best vintage from Malartic, but it looks like I am going to change my mind, as this year is probably better. Produced from a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.5% alcohol. The harvest took place from September 29 to October 20. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux – Ruby red in color, this is what Japan must smell like when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Followed by an array of sweet plum and earthy notes, this medium-bodied wine is elegant and sophisticated with sweet, fresh red berries in the finish. Balance, finesse, refinement is its mantra. The wine was produced from a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, reaching 13% Alcohol with pH of 3.6. Of the harvest, 26% was used for Pavillon Rouge du Margaux. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Quintus – With a stunning shade of purple-red, a single sniff and you know Quintus truly knows how to craft a serious wine. Divine textures, fruits that dance on the palate, minerality, smoke, earth, licorice and. The wine was made from a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet, reaching 15% alcohol with a pH of 3.5. The harvest took place October 3 to October 20. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Rocheyron – Inky ruby and purple in color, the wine offers boysenberry, floral, licorice and black and blue fruit. Sweet, lush, fresh and pure with a concentrated, dark chocolate and plum liqueur finish. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Saint-Pierre – Dark, inky ruby in color, this wine is full bodied, concentrated, deep, long and focused. The fruit is precise, fresh and poised. The wine was produced from 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc. 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Sansonnet – Powerful, mouth filling, rich, opulent and fresh, there is intensity and concentration with flavorful bands of fat juiciness, licorice and black plums so ripe you’ll want to suck on the stone. You’re going to like this wine, its masterful essence will linger in your mind for hours. From a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, this is the best vintage of Sansonnet yet. I know I’ve said it before, but this time I really mean it! 93 – 95 Pts

2016 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc – White peach, honeysuckle, pie crust and lemon curd aromatics are all over the place. The wine is concentrated, the fruit is sweet and juicy, but a but more lift would have made this really rock. The wine was produced from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon, reaching 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.2. 94 – 94 Pts

2016 Suduiraut – With a deep yellow color, the wine is perfumed with honeyed pineapple, orange, apricot and nut aromas. The full bodied wine is sweet, rich, lusciously textured and loaded with honey and nuts. The wine was produced from blending 94% Semillon and 6% Sauvignon Blanc. Priced at €45.60, this is the same rate as it was last year. – 95 Pts

2016 Tronquoy Lalande – Tempting dark plum, blackberry and earth are available with little effort in this deeply colored, equally luxuriant wine. The fruit is bottomless, the tannins are smooth and there is a plushness, depth and purity to the fruit I have never seen before at Tronquoy Lalande. The finish has distinct intensity of flavor. Produced from a blend of 58% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. The harvest took place from September 27 to October 15. Clearly, this is the best wine ever produced at this estate! 93 – 95 Pts

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