“I should be so lucky…lucky, lucky, lucky.” – Kylie Minogue (1988)
Bordeaux 2016 At a Glance
- A growing season of two halves. A year’s worth of rain (more than 700 millimeters) from January to 20 June, and then extremely dry from June to harvest without heat spikes and cool nights. 30 millimeters’ rain on 13 September prevented hydric stress and then perfect conditions during harvest.
- A precious window of dry weather during flowering meant potential yields were unaffected.
- High quality wines on both Left and Right Bank, perhaps favoring the Left Bank slightly thanks to exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, especially in Saint Estèphe, Pauillac and Saint Julien.
- Style: Deep lucid color. Perfumed and floral aromatics. Exceptionally fine tannin with abundant ripe fruit. Astonishing freshness and high acidity levels. “Classic” style of Bordeaux.
- Lower alcohol levels than 2009, 2010 and 2015, often by 1.0-1.5%.
- The best Right Bank wines tend to be on water-retentive, clay soils and older vines with deep root systems. Cabernet Franc suffered more stress than Merlot. The pinnacles are generally on the Pomerol plateau and Saint Emilion limestone soils, especially on the côte.
- This is not a small vintage in terms of quantity, with many château recording yields of 40-50 hectoliters per hectare—more than in 2015.
- Sauternes is very good, though inhibited by less noble rot comparative to recent years.
- Freshness of the dry reds suggest that they will be more approachable than its “big brother,” the 2010s, and yet their substance, freshness and structure gives grounds for longevity.
- You will love these wines.