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Ryan M

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WTN: A first look at 2016 red Bordeaux

by Ryan M » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:03 am

This trend of some cheaper red Bordeaux being released as soon as a year after the vintage is a fascinating development. I speculate that it is driven by a combination of (1) vintages like '14, '15, and '16 have a modern, approachable style of fruit, and (2) perhaps a realization on the part of the Bordelais that if they are going to attract new fans and stay relevant, they need to reach out to the more casual consumers. And I must say, these two 2016s I tasted over the holidays, plus an early release 2014 I had not so long ago seem to indicate that when Bordeaux decides to make that more approachable style, they can blow the other wines in that category out of the water while still retaining the underlying structure that makes Bordeaux great.

At any rate, these two 2016s showed a very distinct vintage character that is fully consistent with the reports after the harvest: attractive, modern-style fruit, but with excellent acidity keeping it all fresh and vibrant, and a healthy amount of tannin. In short, just plain delicious.

Chateau Charron, Bordeaux 2016
Dark ruby/purple. Low key but rich and somewhat heady nose of fresh berries, with some cured tobacco. On the palate, loads of blackberry, a hint of raspberry, and currants, and then a note of wood toward a nice finish of earthy mineral. Medium-full bodied, with a somewhat savory / fleshy texture; rather juicy and exuberant fruit, excellent acid, and a lot of spicy tannin. Impressively high quality for the price. Drink now or the next 5 years, perhaps longer. 3 Stars. [12/20/17]

Chateau Les Millaux, Bordeaux 2016
100% Merlot. Medium ruby-purple. Juicy blackberry, plum, some cassis, succulent mint, spice, some wood/cedar, and a lot of peppery tanning and mineral. On the light side of full bodied, with juicy fruit, a sweet texture, good tannin and good acid. Should drink nicely for 5 - 8 years. 2.5 Stars [12/24/17]
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
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(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: A first look at 2016 red Bordeaux

by David M. Bueker » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:22 pm

I have not seen a single 2016 available at retail yet. Heck, many 2014s have not yet arrived.
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