2016 in Bordeaux was unique, and the weather conditions were unlike any other year in recent memory. The result was homogeneity of quality not seen in 2015, with all appellations afforded the opportunity to make great wine. Stylistically the wines have plenty of fresh, lively fruit, with few signs of roasted flavours evident in hot vintages or the hard, green herbal flavours that plague under-ripe Cabernet. This is a vintage that was easy to taste and will definitely be approachable at a young age. That said, the acids and ripe fruit certainly suggest that the best wines will also age gracefully. The other notable characteristic of the vintage was the moderate alcohol levels in the wines, with those from the left bank registering around 13.5% and even most right bank wines coming in around 14%.
It could be argued that the single most important event impacting the 2016 Bordeaux Futures campaign actually occurred in 2017. After an unseasonably warm start to spring in 2017, Bordeaux was struck with significant frost in late April, which put into question both quality and quantity for the upcoming 2017 vintage. Expectations of a modest price increase for the 2016s were quickly dashed as many of the classified growths increased prices by 15% to 20% in preparation for a short crop in 2017. Collectors should be prepared for many top wines to be even more limited in quantities. Moderately priced wines are seeing an increase of only around 5% – good news for those looking for great values. As problematic as the price increase is, of equal concern was the holding back of 2016 quantities in reserve. Some châteaux released only 60% relative to last year, making it difficult to buy even the same quantity as the 2015s. The good news is with the overall quality of the vintage being very good, there was a lot of superior wine on offer. Therefore, Vintages significantly increased the breadth of the offer in 2016 with more the 200 wines available, up 25% from last year.
2016 is not a vintage of blockbuster wines nor is it one that should be saddled with the back-handed compliment of being called “classic.” It has, however, produced a large number of highly collectible wines – Haut-Brion, Clos Fourtet and VCC, to mention a few. There are excellent Cru Bourgeois from across the Médoc and outstanding Grand Cru Saint-Émilion that can be found at very good prices. There are great wines at great prices from every region, really, and we've brought those to you in this offer. The great defining characteristic of the vintage, as mentioned before, is consistency. Ultimately, this is a vintage with something for every fan of Bordeaux.
Category Manager, European Wines, Vintages