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Stephen Tanzer
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2016 Bordeaux

We are delighted to offer a selection of the Best of Bordeaux from the exceptional 2016 vintage!
Chateaux have just begun to release prices – most classed growth wines will be offered from May 1 to 31 – so stay tuned for offers on many more wines.

The wines will arrive in DC in early 2019.

Extreme weather conditions during 2016, from very wet to very dry, resulted in a challenging but unquestionably a Great vintage !   Bordeaux received a year's worth of rain fall in the first half of 2016  but this proved beneficially because drought conditions prevailed in the second half of 2016.

July and August were extremely dry but not torridly hot. The lack of rain continued up until September 13th when showers refreshed the vines at exactly the right time and with the right amount of water. Another rainfall a few days later preceded a long Fall which had the perfect combination of warm days and cool nights which allowed the grapes to ripen perfectly while retaining high levels of acidity and freshness, and helped keep the alcohol levels down. Winemakers found themselves in the position of being able to pick exactly when they wanted, and under absolutely ideal conditions.

The wines of 2016 are rather different in style compared to the 2015s. The '15s are notable for their voluptuous fruit, silky textures and high levels of tannin that are mostly well-concealed by the fruit.  The 2016s offer a beautiful study in focus, balance, elegance and freshness.  The wines have a very distinctive fruit character, which is more vibrant and pure in style.  The cool Fall nights imparted soaring aromatics and added considerable freshness, with the higher acidity levels adding extra focus and length. Fortunately the superb conditions at harvest time mean that the tannins are perfectly ripe, extremely refined and quite silky. Alcohol levels are generally around one percentage point lower than they are in 2015.  Overall the 2016s are very classically-styled and structured wines – they are refined and pretty with wonderful intensity, complexity and depth to them.  

2016 seems to be the perfect culmination of a movement in Bordeaux toward more precise, refined and elegant wines.   Nowhere else in the world is more time, effort, and money spent on improving the quality of the wines than in Bordeaux.  It is perhaps surprising that Chateaux who have produced ‘100 point’ wines in the past are leading this movement toward making even better wines – and thankfully better does not mean bigger – it means finer.  It is for this reason that 2016 will be regarded as one of the ‘greatest ever’ vintages in Bordeaux !