Bordeaux 2016: Gloria, Palmer and St Pierre

Bordeaux 2016: Gloria, Palmer and St Pierre
The production at Palmer was miniscule due to the mildew in the first half of the growing season. This was a huge challenge for this and all biodynamically run estate in 2016. The team here is pioneering a low sulphur approach under the stewardship of Thomas Duroux. The style is still big, voluptuous and sexy. Fans of Palmer will not be disappointed.

‘I wrote that the 2015 was incredible, and this 2016 is again. It’s equally structured and powerful as the 2015, yet there’s an underlying intellectual serenity to this wine. You taste it, and you want to know and experience it even more. Full and tannic yet ever so polished and beautiful. Mesmerizing. Made from biodynamically grown grapes. 99/100’. – James Suckling

Also released today are the Henri Martin wines: Gloria and Saint Pierre. Normally we are big fans, however, our tasting at the St Julien UGC left us a little underwhelmed. They do however get big scores from The Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin (no relation…):

‘The 2016 Chateau Saint-Pierre is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc picked between 29 September and 3 October for the Merlot and 5-17 October for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is matured is 50% new oak. The Cabernet comes through strongly on the nose as you would expect: quite intense black fruit, graphite and just a touch of dried herbs. There is lovely definition and focus on display. The palate is well balanced with grainy tannin, a crisp line of acidity, classic in style in keeping with the style of the vintage with very fine mineralité and tension towards the sprightly finish. It is one of the most Pauillac-like Château Saint-Pierres that I have tasted, a very well crafted, almost understated but sophisticated wine that will age for 20 to 30 years. This is a fantastic Saint Julien that may well rest at the top of my banded score. Drink 2022 - 2050. 94-96/100’. – Neal Martin, robertparker.com

‘The 2016 Gloria is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 7% Cabernet Franc that was picked from 29 September until 17 October. It is matured in slightly less oak than the Saint-Pierre, at 40%. This is a little more backward and broody compared to the Saint-Pierre and indeed its Saint Julien peers, demanding more coaxing from the glass. It almost reluctantly unfolds and unveils subtle pencil box and dry tobacco aromas. The palate is more outgoing than the aromatics with a vibrant, almost citrus-fresh opening, tensile tannins and a satisfying sense of energy. This feels nimble and agile in the mouth with a touch of white pepper lingering on the aftertaste. You come away with the feeling that this Gloria has something up its sleeve for those with patience to cellar it for eight to ten years. Drink 2024 - 2060. 93-95/100’. – Neal Martin, robertparker.com