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2016 Bordeaux Tasting Notes - St Julien

St Julien

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 Beychevelle, St Julien

47CS; 47M; 1CF; 5PV. 13.5%abv. 77IPT.
Scented, very pure and cool nose of dark cherry fruit. This is richly tannic: very fine quality structure. Long and incisively fresh wine. There's excellent grip and energy. Nice!

2016 Château Branaire Ducru, St Julien
64CS; 27M; 6PV; 3CF. 13.5%abv. 73IPT.
A scented nose of dark cherries and flowers and a nutty smokiness from the wood. This is very cool and composed and elegant on the palate. A dark and pure wine - laid back, even. It gains in fresh grip. Long and clean and lively.

016 Château Lalande Borie, St Julien
13.5%abv. 55M; 45CS.
A scented, spicy wine showing red and black fruits of currant and cherry…and that fruit is fresh. Goes in the mouth fluid and cool. This is a gently structured wine, subtly elegant, with lovely, integrated mildly grippy-fine tannins. Very long and it becomes increasingly assertive to a lovely complete finish.

2016 La Croix de Beaucaillou, St Julien
64CS; 33M; 3PV
Floral aropmas here: a real, dark, pout pourri. Snappy blackcurrant and graphite aromas. This is a fresh wine showing a hint of damson. A touch of breadth, but this is cool and medium weight, offers a lovely pure push throughout. This displays more minerality, becomes juicy fresh. It's an upright, incisive wine: increasingly so throughout. Very direct finish.

2016 Château Ducru Beaucaillou, St Julien
13.4%abv. 85CS; 15M.
Midnight in the glass. The nose is a reakl pot pourri of dark flowers and the fruit aromas. Blackcurrant and plum and there are hints of tobacco. Entry is rich and supple. This is an elegant and pure thing. It is a touch closed today, but is really quite gravelly-mineral. Persistent wine, fresh, of dark plum fruit and a hint of dark chocolate. Some quite sizeable tannins are integrated. Direct and structured wine. 

2016 Château Gloria, St Julien
60CS; 30M; 7CF; 3PV.
Midnight. Dark fruit with a biscuit veneer. A touch meaty. Very, very bacjkward wine. Oof. Fres and linear and spare. Long and spiced, with great drive and juice and vim. Dark, pure fruit. A baby!

2016 Château Gruaud Larose, St Julien
61CS; 29M; 7CF; 3PV. 13.02%abv. 66IPT.
Smoky, slightly reduced dark, cool, airy fruit. This is a nice, subtle, cool, elegant wine, earthily mineral at the core. Tannis are integrated, fresh and subtle. Long. I like this. It has style and length and a fabulous finish. Really juicy, intense and structured. Very long. Lovely.

2016 Château Lagrange, St Julien
70CS; 24M; 6PV. 13.2%abv. 77IPT.
Midnight. The nose is a touch shy, although I can find dark fruit. Entry is dark and a a touch creamy. An integrated, really snappy-dark wine with nice tang. Long and ripely structured. This is really dense, but offers a great deal of mineral interest. Very long and nicely light on its feet. Lovely wine.

2016 Château Langoa Barton, St Julien
55CS; 37M; 8CF. 13%abv.
Marked by the smoky wood at the moment, plus dark blackcurrant fruit. There's a saline note to this complex set of aromas. Very, very cool and direct wine. Great drive anad energy here. And I love the rich, tacky, architectural tannins. Very long and very freshly mineral. Super-long. A fabulous fresh and pure dark fruit ending. Lovely.

2016 Château Léoville Barton, St Julien

86CS; 14M.
Nose is all about the smoky wiood and a touch of reduction. Very dark wine and a little creamy. Very cool and backward. Pure and upright, with great, aloof sustain. Very long and direct. A classy keeper. Really fine drive and elegance. Fabulous.

2016 La Petite Marquise, St Julien
12.9%abv. 61CS; 38.5M; 0.5CF.
Smoky-dark sauvages and tangy fruit. A fresh and tangy wine of ripe structure: integrated tacky-fine tannins. This becomes increasingly incisive, remaining fresha dn juicy. Yet it's a bit lacking in nuance. Hmm.

2016 Clos du Marquis, St Julien
13.53%abv. IPT78.
A better nose of red and black fruit. Smells like claret! Decent snap to the aromas. Aristo. Touch of chestnut. A rich, supple entry becomes quickly fresh with internal snap. A nutty finish. Long wine that finishes full, dense and nicely fresh with sustained, easy grip. Nice.

2016 Le Petit Lion, St Julien
13.4%abv. 54CS; 38M; 8CF.
Aristo, pure aromas of chestnut, dried herb, gravel and the dark fruit aromas. Palate is pure and direct and quickly fresh. There's a really elegant thread here; it's almost airy. Mild limestone grip. Then it pulls itself up into snappy length. I'd happily drink this.

2016 Château Léoville Lascases, St Julien
13.6%abv. 74CS; 14M; 11CF.
N.B. IPT here is 82, compared to 75 in '03, 71 in '05, 74 in '09, 70 in '10 and 76 in '15.
Almost opaque, this. Dense looking. A touch closed. Really dark and pure wine. Latour-like to smell. Blackcurrant, smoke and nut. This is complex and a touch brooding. Fresh and dense wine of ripe, integrated, fresh structure. Good shape. Then it picks up its skirts and simply charges ahead. Fresh right through. Tacky, transparent blackcurrant, mineral fruit. Very long and confident wine. Fabulous.

2016 Château Moulin Riche, St Julien
63CS; 26M; 11PV.
Very deeply pitched nose, a touch closed. There's a hint of iodine here and the biscuit wood, along with fresh blackcurrant fruit. This is a medium-weight, cool wine. The palate is instantly supple, then the ultra-fine tannins appear and they grip gently through. Really fresh and there's a real limestone, gravel texture at the core.

2016 Château Léoville Poyferré, St Julien (tasted at the château)
60CS; 33M; 5PV; 2CF. IPT 88.
This is really pretty woody already. Entry is creamy then it grips with rocky, limestone tecture that becomes really quite linear. This is long and incisive and really fresh wine. Great vim and direction. Very long, with delicious, tang to the fruit. Lovely…but the wood? Will work eventually, I am reasonably certain.

2016 Château Léoville Poyferré, St Julien (tasted at the château)
Midnight. Really quite shy, with notes of iodine, smoky and very dark. Plum-ripe fruit, filled with quite assertive structure. Bit of woody tannin. Pure long and tangy. Is the wood an issue?

Château Saint Pierre, St Julien
73CS; 21M; 6CF. 13%abv.Rich, dark, smoky liqueur of a nose. Damson and blackcurrant. Clay-like and cool and backward, with upright, very fresh and tacky tannins. Long and embryonic; assertive, dark and pure. Very young; very limestone-mineral grip at the back. Quite hard work at the moment, but should be very good, I think.

2016 Château Talbot, St Julien
55CS; 39M; 6PV. 14%abv. Smokily oaked liqueur. Dark blackcurrant and plum fruit. Rich, supple fruit surrounds rich, assertive tannic structure. Really smoky-oaky this. Very long and assertive and fresh. Dark and pure. Atypical Talbot style but very good wine. 

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