September 23rd, 2019

The 2016 vintage of Bordeaux is set for release at BC Liquor Stores on Saturday September 28, 2019. It is a frustrating one day early morning line-up to get a chance to buy some 216 different choices of which 89 are either one or two bottle limits. What about coming into the 21st century with using e-commerce? Once again Barbara Philip MW Category Manager has done an excellent job in securing such a diverse selection of wines at all price ranges. The most expensive is Chateau Petrus Pomerol at $3500 Canadian followed by First Growths all at $1500 including Haut-Brion, Lafite, Margaux, and Mouton but also Lafleur & La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc (red is less at $950 and Haut-Brion Blanc is $1800). At the other end there are some very reasonably priced value bottles all at $25 of Jouanin (Cotes de Castillon), Roc Meynard (Bx Superieur), and Saint-Bernard (Bx). Hard to believe you can actually buy 140 bottles of those making an instant cellar rather than just one bottle of Petrus! Lots of good choices at in between prices.

At a small media preview held on September 18 your scribe had another opportunity to taste this now bottled vintage. After the high quality big powerful 2015 vintage (that some felt favoured Merlot) comes the equally impressive fresh more vibrant structured 2016 (some felt favoured Cab Sauv) with some nice uniformity across the board that is most helpful for purchasing consumers. 2016 does deliver intensity with elegance and attractive layers of flavour approachability. Full bodied Fronsac de la Dauphine $50 has attractive full-bodied 90% rich Merlot with 10% Cab Franc. Poujeaux is a value buy at $70 with wonderful deep seductive fruit from the underrated Moulis region. Both at $180 the Beychevelle surprised with buckets of ripe fruit from equal 47% of both Merlot & Cab Sauv (but preferred another St Julien Saint-Pierre $130 from old vines structured with more Cab Sauv at 73%) while personal fav over the years Grand Puy Lacoste has more blackberry cedar elegant Pauillac styling. Haut-Bailly $250 has really come into its own in recent years and the 2016 is another stellar success. Enjoyed comparing Cos d’Estournel $380 to Chateau Margaux $1500. The former received the perfect 100 point score from Wine Advocate but the more expensive Margaux only 99. Attractive but somewhat atypical Cos was almost too elegant for what you expect from St. Estephe terroir while the Margaux combined sensational balance of fruit, acid and tannins with delicacy – what a potential!

Certainly yet another vintage of Bordeaux worth considering at all levels while waiting for the almost legendary already 2018s still in cask.

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September 23rd, 2019

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