Posts with the label "pichon lalande"


Vintage Report: Bordeaux 2016 - Back to the future

Vintage Report: Bordeaux 2016 - Back to the future

Thursday 13th April 2017
by Tom Jenkins

Tasting back to back vintages like 2015 and 2016 is fascinating. These are both exceptional years, although polar opposite in style. It is perhaps hard to be as loquacious about the 2016s as we were about the sumptuous 2015s. 

This is in no way a barometer for the vintage – 2016 is certainly as good as 2015, probably better, but the wines are generally less expressive and generous at this early stage. The 2015s were a sheer joy to taste - 2016s are more cerebral, introverted, structured, serious and profound. In most cases, and particularly on the Left Bank, there is a reserve and classicism that makes one think of ancient vintages with huge tannic profiles and long-term aging potential. Certainly, the best Chateaux have flexed their technical know-how and have produced wines with stunning purity of fruit and precision, but there’s no getting away from the fact that 2016s are real vins de garde.

The extraordinary growing season and Mother Nature have combined to produce something remarkable. There are many contributing factors to the success. After the early season deluge the drought and heat of July and August were welcomed by all. Old vines and soils with some clay component were best placed to benefit from the conditions. Critically, during harvest, there were dramatic day/night temperature differences. This helped the grapes to mature, but retain acidity, and also kept alcohol levels exceptionally low, a key feature of 2016s.

Bordeaux 2016: Northern Lights

Bordeaux 2016: Northern Lights

Wednesday 15th February 2017
by Tom Jenkins

Journalists like to pigeonhole vintages. It supposedly makes life easy for consumers. Condense the wines of Bordeaux down into a brief soundbite, a paragraph that tells you all you need to know about this wonderful region. 

In 2015 it was a ‘Right Bank, Pessac and Margaux’ year. Read into this what you will – but what is not said often resonates the loudest. Most interpreted this as ‘don’t go near the northern Medoc’. The truth is rarely so simple…

Last week, our reconnaissance team spent three fascinating days tasting and re-tasting what is already being referred to as a sanctified trilogy: 2014, 2015 and 2016. Let’s start with the 2014s. This is a vintage that really appeals to our palates – a combination of modern winemaking and classic flavours, a vintage of balance and precision with more than enough power and concentration. It will of course remain in the shadow of 2015 and 2016, but these wines will make you smile and if you bought them en primeur, you should be well pleased.

UGC Week: Bordeaux 2015 - Day three,  It’s grim up north… far from it!

UGC Week: Bordeaux 2015 - Day three, It’s grim up north… far from it!

Friday 8th April 2016
by Tom Jenkins

We started up north with a St Estephe trio: Calon Segur, Montrose and Cos d’Estournel. 

Now much has already been said about the weekend of the Medoc marathon – some vignerons in these parts are blaming the runners for the rain. It happened, there’s no point in denial, about 120 mm fell on the Northern Medoc over the weekend of the 12th and 13th of September. It changed the profile of the vintage in St Estephe, but it most certainly didn’t ruin the quality. These wines are all highly successful, elegant wines, which perhaps lack a little of the exuberance and opulence other communes displayed, but they should by no means be dismissed, they are classical, beautifully structured and most alluring. 

Justerini & Brooks' Bordeaux Tasting

Justerini & Brooks' Bordeaux Tasting

Tuesday 8th March 2016
by Tom Jenkins

‘Long overdue’ was the cry from members of the press and clients alike. It was over ten years since Justerinis hosted a Bordeaux tasting. 

Unlike Burgundy, Rhone, Loire, Germany and Piedmont, there is no annual Justerini & Brooks’ tasting for the largest fine wine producing region of them all! We decided it was high time to put this right. After several years of lost ground to other regions, Bordeaux’s fortunes are a-changin’ (as you will see with the 2015s). There’s plenty of fight left in the grand old Chateaux of Aquitaine…

Bordeaux 2015 - love at first sight

Bordeaux 2015 - love at first sight

Monday 29th February 2016
by Tom Jenkins

We are just back from a three day reconnaissance mission, scoping the latest Bordeaux vintage. Some Chateaux have finished their assemblage and were prepared to show us their final blend, others were more circumspect; either way, the technical directors, cellar masters and general managers we met with were all beaming about their 2015s.

We cannot claim to have tasted widely enough to give a thorough verdict on the vintage. Our team will head back to Bordeaux at the beginning of April for more comprehensive primeur tastings. But what we can tell you, based on the samples we did taste, is that 2015 is a very ‘sexy’, enticing style.

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