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2016 Bordeaux Tasting Notes - Pauillac


NB. The figures beneath each wine name relate to the percentage of each grape variety (CS Cabernet Sauvignon, CF Cabernet Franc, M Merlot, PV Petit Verdot) and IPT means Index Phénolique Total (the total level of phenolics including tannin). 

2016 Château d'Armailhac, Pauillac
62CS; 28M; 8CF; 2PV. 13.5%abv.
Almost rose garden florality (?) to the aromas of pure blackcurrant fruit, plus a hint of limestone rock. Entry is supple-plush and ripe, then it turns direct and fresh and rocky. Cassis fruit from which emerges a spine of rocky minerality. A long wine. There's a hint of warmth at the back.

2016 Château Batailley, Pauillac
85CS; 12M; 3PV. 13.6%abv.
Lovely pure, floral, pot pourri of a nose. Scented blackcurrant fruit, plus some attendant spice. The palate is quickly structured, with spicy, tacky-rich tannins. Quite a linear thing, this. There's internalised energy. Light on its feet. Shows an elegant power.

2016 Château Clerc Milon, Pauillac
55CS; 29M; 13CF; 2PV; 1Carmenère.
This is much more mineral to smell than the Armailhac. And it's redder, too. Domestic, raspberry fruit showing good tang, and there's a hint of mint about it. Cool and rich in the mouth; a touch creamy. There's great, even sustain to this and tacky, clay-like grip. Juicy throughput. Very long, becoming at last juicy and upright and cloaked in fine, rich tannin. Fabulous.

2016 Château Croizet Bages, Pauillac
55CS; 41M; 4CF. 13.5%abv. 80IPT.
Creamy blackcurrant floral aromas. There are touches of blueberry and violet. Very cool wine. The tannins are a bit tough and pippy. Long. Almost a touch sour. Long though.

2016 Château Duhart Milon Rothschild, Pauillac
67CS; 33M.
Touch of pot pourri about the dark, blackcurrant fruit. And there's a pastille-like aspect to that fruit. Entry is cool, almost creamy, becoming quickly structured and more focused. There's a rocky minerality of some bulk allied to pure, cool fruit. There's a fresh sustain to the grip. This is intense at the back to a drily mineral death. This is stuffed. Very long thing.

2016 Château Grand Puy Ducasse, Pauillac
65CS; 35M.
Lovely nose of mixed flowers and dark fruit showing good tang and the smoky wood and gravel. Very cool wine of tangy-dark fruit with a core of tacky-rich tannin, some perhaps woody. There's salinity here. Long…burly even. The core is really very airy/fresh.

2016 Château Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac
79CS; 21M. 13.5%abv. 78IPT.
Lovely pure nose, unforced, of red- and blackcurrant fruit, very natural. Touches of red liquorice and red flowers and a hint of milk chocolate. This is cool and just medium weight in its airy palate. This take son a rocky grip of structure. Bothy backward and blanced. A beauty.

2016 Château Haut Bages Libéral, Pauillac
Bit of pot pourri and simple plum fruit with a touch of biscuit wood. A cool and linear and really quite elegant wine. Quite forward. Tasty.

2016 Carruades de Lafite, Pauillac
44CS; 49M; 5CF; 2PV.
Broader than the Duhart; more smoky. Fruit is a touch meaty and very dark and spiced. There's a floral wisp. This is dry and a touch backward even. Tannins are rich, fine and tacky. There's great even sustain to this. A cool and really grippy xample. Very long and spicily structured at the very busy death. Excellent. There's something more Pauillac south side about this in '16.

2016 Château Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac
92CS; 8M.
Pure aromas, a touch broad, of pure Cabernet blackcurrants with summery floral scents. A supple, easy entry quickly gains gingernut buscuits and exotic flowers. Structure has a rocky, limestone quality: big tacky-rich tannins and a fresh minerality. Very long and tacky wine with very grown-up grip. There's a busy assertion at the end. Very cool indeed. A lovely thing, wot.

2016 Pauillac de Château Latour, Pauillac
54.6CS; 38.9M; 6.5PV. 13.2%abv. 71IPT.
Crcunhy-dark and very pure blackcurrant nose, a to
uch chocolaty, but fresh and dark and very pure/aristo. Palate is fresh, dense, but very lively and it is rich in fine, tacky tannin. The whole is really upright and grippy. A gymnast. Lively; linear; long. Very, very juicy. There's a great line here...

2016 Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac
64.3CS; 35.3M; 0.4CF. 13.5%abv. 77IPT.
This is higher-pitched than the above. Very cassis Cabernet aromas, plus limestone rocks. This is a refined example, a touch snappy. It is more rounded on entry and quickly fresh, but it's wearing more clothes than the Pauillac and they're more couture. Tannins are well cached and upright and fresh and nutty, forming a proud skeleton. Long and lively wine. It is more beautiful, but with perhaps less gravitas than usual. There's limestone at the core and lasting piquant spice. A really lovely example.

2016 Château Latour, Pauillac
92.9CS; 7.1M. 13.5%abv. 83IPT.
Almost midnight. Very dark fruit and walnut and blackcurrant. This is a touch shut up. It smells dry. Palate is very rich and dry and there's a mass of big, assertive tannins. I asked for another sample, as the first seemed the merest touch oxidised. The nose is much more fruity: a brooding, fresh and very dark aroma. There's a hitn of mint and fresh blackcurrants and a great deal else besides. A dense and very densely structured wine. A massive youngster this. Tannins are (just) held within the fruit. Great upright sustained grip. Very long and fresh and tacky. This is in its shell a touch, but has a great core of energy. Wow.

2016 Château Lynch Bages, Pauillac
13.7%abv. 95IPT!!
Midnight. This is a touch closed but really mineral to smell. Rich blackcurrant aromas plus scents of rocky minerals with nuances of smoke, mint and the nut of the wood. This is rich and richly structured. Beautiful pure blackcurrant flavours, but absolutely masses of rich tannin throughout. Burly and very fresh. Huge grip and length. An assertive example. And a major keeper.

2016 Le Petit Mouton, Pauillac
62CS; 35M; 3CF.
Nose is rich and smoky, of fruits both red and black. There's a real show from the wood in its smoky toast. The palate offers an instant of creaminess, then becomes cool and rocky and mineral-fresh, gaining in juicy, rocky grip and taking on pure, red fruit pastille flavours. A long and cool and well-defined wine. With a core of very juicy, grippy acidity. Rather a lovely thing.

2016 Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
83CS; 15M; 1CF; 1PV.
Chocolate-rich dark and ripe blackcurrant aromas laced through with floral scents: lilac, possibly. The palate is structured from the front with cool rocky limestone tannins. This gains in great power and intensity. Fruit is pure and berry-ish. This is absolutely stuffed, yet pure and elegant still. Very very long, with a confident, full finish.

2016 Château Pibran, Pauillac
55M; 45CS. 13%abv. 80IPT.
Pot pourri and fruit-dark mix of plum and blackcurrant with a saline note. Rich and ripe and nicely pure, tangy blackcurrant fruit. Tannin is mild and integrated and that, along with juicy acidity creates the impression of a real spine of structure, greatly sustained. Finishes with intent, but there's overall a light touch here. very nice.

016 Réserve de la Comtesse, Pauillac (tasted at the château)
54CS; 37M; 4CF; 5PV. 13.5%abv. 80IPT.
Very deeply coloured. A spiced nose offers red and black fruit that's ripe and has good tang. Really quite spicy. Smells a touch meaty. Fluid/supple entry quickly becomes very snappy. Fresh and a touch saline. Fine, integrated quite tacky-nutty-rich tannins. Long, with spiced, peppery grip. Fresh - juicy even, with real peppery spice. A step up in seriousness this year.

2016 Château Pichon Lalande, Pauillac 
(tasted at the château)
Rich, deep and dark nose of salted plums. All ripe and dense and dark and a touch smoky. Plus entry of fluid-dark plum fruit. Then it pouts on its dancing shoes. The rest is airy and elegant with a delightful lightness of touch. A juicy-fresh wine, quite linear and long, with friendly, lightly tacky-fine tannins. A little saline/mineral touch at the death. Elegant, layered, fresh and very long. Very lovely, too. 

2016 Château Pichon Lalande, Pauillac (tasted at the UGC tasting)
21M; 75CS; 4CF. 13.32%abv. 81IPT.
Pretty nose with good tang, of red and black fruits and an apple blossom complication. Plush entry, then quickly fresh and nutty with upright tannin. Long and leaping and come hither. Real mineral freshness to the grip. Long and pretty linear. Super.

2016 Tourelles de Longueville, Pauillac
58M; 25CS; 5PV&CF. 75IPT.
Really great purity of blackcurrant aromas here. Hint of biscuit, maybe the wood. Plush, ripe entry. Forward; one could drink this now. Finally, a scrunch of fresh grip. Friendly, juicy and forward wine.

2016 Les Griffons de Pichon Baron, Pauillac

52CS; 48M. 13.3%abv. 82IPT.
Dark, pure, midnight nose of blackcurrants. Palate is cool and quickly snappy. Pretty laid back thing, this, and rather forward, with some nice, easy, user-friendly grip. There are limestone tannins at the very back. Juicy and delicious.

2016 Château Pichon Baron, Pauillac (tasted at the château)
Pure and pretty blackcurrant aromas. Entry is plush and very pure, the whole showing lovely elegance. Rich and ripe fruit, but there's hidden power and grip within. Linear, this, with fine push to a very long ending. Sustained, even grip. This is fabulous and perhaps less auctere than usual at this stage. 

2016 Château Pichon Baron, Pauillac (tasted at the UGC tasting)
85CS; 15M. 13.3%abv. 84IPT.
Dark wine, as ever. There's great purity and less force to the aromas than autrefois. A clay-like scent and something floral. More ripe and summer pudding than the Lalande. Very pure and elegant and really quite laid back. Integrated, tacky tannins emerge at the death. Very long and self-assured wine. Grip is sustained and even. This is fabulous.

2016 Château Pontet Canet, Pauillac
Midnight. Fruit aromas and very dark and spiced: blackcurrants. There's a touch of breadth that could well just be the sample. The nose is nuanced with aromas of liquorice, tobacco and piquant blackcurrant fruit. Menthol wisp in the background. This is a rich wine with lots of stuffing. Spice, almost pepper, and masses and masses of very rich, integrated, ripe tannins. A long and mineral wine: nutty, with a core of nicely fresh and firm acidity, albeit rather less than I found in many St Juliens. Big grip. This is one assertive, demonstrative example. Very long and really quite a burly thing at the moment, Juicy grip is sustained for a very, very long time. Liquid architecture!

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