Let’s cut to the chase: 2016 is a fantastic, sublime and at times entrancing vintage. For once, the frothing hype that presaged en primeur was justified. The 2016 vintage already feels haloed. The promise that was so palpable in barrel remains, and many of these wines are destined to give immense pleasure, not only at the top of the hierarchy but on the lower rungs too – always the litmus test of a truly great growing season.

 Another facet is the aromatics of the 2016s. My God, there are wines so perfumed that you could just sit and nose the glass all day, enjoying the often quite floral style, as if a little bit of Margaux was distributed around the appellations. The delineation and precision are sometimes remarkable.

I shall always remember my first impression of the 2016s: their elegance, purity and poise, the intensity of fruit, the articulation of respective terroirs, and that oft-forgotten virtue, how bloomin’ delicious they tasted. My overriding feeling was that Bordeaux had been heading towards the 2016 vintage since the late 1990s. It was a year when everything just came together at the right moments.


 Some winemakers in Bordeaux are calling the 2016 vintage part of “the second coming of Bordeaux” due to the overall excellent quality of the wines and their unique character. And after tasting more than 1,300 wines from 2016 a few weeks ago in Bordeaux, I must agree.  — James Suckling

The bottled 2016s capture every bit of the potential I sensed when I started tasting the wines from barrel, prior to en primeur, in January 2017. I found many 2016s to be even better from bottle than they were during the spring futures campaign. The best 2016s are powerful, richly layered, vibrant and stunningly beautiful, not to mention incredibly delicious and alluring. For so many wines and estates, 2016 is an epic vintage.

In my experience, all great vintages share one thing in common. And that is the wines are positively electric and energizing. I am never tired at the end of a day of tasting a great vintage. Actually, it is quite the opposite. I have a hard time going to sleep at the end of even the longest days because the wines are exhilarating, emotional and incredibly delicious to taste. I felt that way in the spring of 2017, when I tasted these 2016s en primeur, and I felt exactly the same way when I tasted the bottled wines in December 2018. Many wines were even better from bottle than they were from barrel. While the reputation of a vintage is often created by a relatively small number of wines, 2016 offers tremendous quality in many appellations from the most humble to the most prestigious. 


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