The 2016 First Growths are back on top! What they offered with this vintage that other wines did not, was that gourmand creaminess that makes you want to not stop drinking and the promise of amazing longevity.These wines are expensive, no doubt. But increased knowledge, better tools and equipment and commitment to quality are making these wines better buys. Funny but true.
Château Lafite Rotschild had been a disappointment to me for the past few years. How could a wine costing this much money not wow me? Well, 2016 delivered big and this is definitely one of the wines of the vintage. Beautifully fashioned and stylish, with a gorgeous nose. (Unfortunately, I found the second wine Carruades’s nose was completely muted.) This is the Lafite you can spend your money on!
Lafite Rothschild – MTW 99-100
Château Margaux, whose blend includes 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, a little Merlot and Petit Verdot was quintessential elegance. Very perfumed, loaded with depth and complexity, the wine offered enormous volume. A beautiful, beautiful wine!
Margaux – MTW 97-100
Château Mouton Rothschild, rated 100 points by James Suckling, was a disappointment to me. Just as Lafite was a symbol of precision, Mouton seemed to be disjointed, a little hollow in the center. The wine was mid-bodied and I would have liked a little more “ meat.” I intend to review again, perhaps I missed something.
Mouton Rothschild – MTW 94-96
Château Haut-Brion was sampled with the entire group of Jean Bernard Delmas wines (including Quintus from Saint-Émilion, as well as Château La Mission). James Suckling gave the wine a 100 points rating and for now, I don’t understand why. When compared to La Mission, Haut-Brion suffers, both in terms of purity and concentration of fruit. Will Haut-Brion better its neighbor with time? Possibly.
Haut-Brion – MTW 96-98
We tasted Château Latour as well, but since the wine won’t be released for many years and will likely change a whole lot by then, we will not review it now.
On the Right Bank, Château Cheval Blanc’s nose was quite muted at first, but then both red and black fruit, and flowery tones came through. What I will recall about this wine was its powerful creaminess. The wine was quite satisfying although with Petit Cheval being so good this year, I am not sure I would spend the extra money, unless the price is such a good deal…
Cheval Blanc – MTW 96-98