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Bordeaux 2016: Smith Haut Lafitte and Pichon Baron
08 June 2017

We are big admirers of Daniel and Florence Cathiard’s superb Smith Haut Lafitte and AXA Millésimes’ flagship Pichon Baron. Both have a unique signature style. Smith Haut Lafitte is the most glossy and opulent of all the great Pessac Leognan wines. It is a decadent expression that never fails to charm. The 2016 is absolutely spectacular, and ranks alongside the magnificent 2009, 2010 and 2015 as one of the finest wines ever produced at this chateau. The 2016 Pichon Baron is typically broad and generous. This wine has a superb track record over the past fifteen years, always showing better from bottle, especially at the Southwold blind tastings. We expect the 2016 to follow this tradition and rival the top wines of the vintage.

‘The 2016 Pichon-Longueville Baron is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot picked between 3 and 18 October at 39 hectoliters per hectare for estate (therefore the Grand Vin will be less). It is matured in 80% new oak and 20% one year old for 18 months. It has a very intense, extremely pure bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, cedar and graphite notes; it is a straight-down-the-fairway Pauillac. The palate is medium-bodied with a very tensile opening, that seam of graphite penetrating the black fruit. There is a wonderful structure here, unapologetically classic in style with just the right amount of austerity on the aristocratic finish. The aftertaste is incredibly long, lingering after two or three minutes in the mouth. This is a majestic Pichon-Baron and it may well to surpass both the 2009 or 2010. Drink 2026 - 2060. 96-98/100’. - Neal Martin, robertparker.com

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