Bordeaux 2016 from The Wine Cellar Insider – Part 4 – Saint-Julien
We are very privileged to be able to have Jeff Leve – Founder, Contributor and Editor of “The Wine Cellar Insider” as our Guest contributor with an edited version on his tasting of the recent 2016 Bordeaux wines en primeur. This is the fourth of a series and for the full version, go to http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/2017/04/2016-margaux-tasting-notes-ratings-best-wines/
Jeff Leve has travelled to the Bordeaux wine region to barrel taste almost 30 times. He’ll be there twice this year. Each visit includes tastings at all the major Bordeaux Chateaux and lasts between 2-3 weeks. The visits also include several tastings at Bordeaux negociants. Read more at:http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/about/
Located in the middle of a ménage à trois, St. Julien is sandwiched between the power, elegance and classic, tannic, stoicism of Pauillac to the north, and the feminine, floral refinement of Margaux to the south. Its unique geographical location, giving it access to the Gironde, as well as the gravel slopes and plateaus was exactly what was needed to produce such stunning 2016 St. Julien wines.
2016 St. Julien is a perfect vintage. Or if you think this is hyperbole, I can change that to almost perfect. Every vineyard in this appellation made prodigious wine. Some of the estates, due to the perfect storm of having a new cellar, extraordinary climatic conditions and the financial willingness to make the best wine possible produced the best wine in their long storied history! 2016 Saint Julien did not start out with much promise. The flowering in the Left Bank took place under good conditions. But the majority of the first half of the year will be remembered for being late, and for the continuing deluge of water that soaked the vineyards. Growers knew much had to work to work in their favor from this point forward, as wet, and late are not descriptors that bring smiles to their faces.
By late June, warm, sunny and dry were the new normal. The Indian summer conditions were almost too much. The summer set records for the lack of rain. Young vines were in danger of dying. Plants were close to stopping their growth cycle and many people were worried about this becoming a difficult vintage. But the cool nights, which is where the much needed freshness came from helped and the rains that fell September 12 and 13 showed that Bacchus must love Bordeaux , because they saved the vintage! The harvest took place at a leisurely pace under outstanding conditions. The rest as they say is history. For details on the growing season and harvest report: 2016 Bordeaux Harvest and Growing Season Report
2016 St. Julien wines have it all going on. They are in such a beautiful style with their richness, ripe, velvet, textured tannins, concentration, freshness and elegance. There are no hard edges here, just delicious tasting wines made from perfectly ripe grapes . Lower in alcohol than the more recently fabled 2009 and 2010 vintages, plus depth and a wealth of raw material, if you’re a fan of these wines, this is a vintage to consider laying down. While most of the Saint Julien is classified, every chateau made truly great wine. This covers not just the Second Growths , but the Third Growths , Fourth Growths and the few Cru Bourgeois vineyards as well as you can see from my comments below.
Jeff’s top rated wine from St. Julien was Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou.
2016 Ducru Beaucaillou – Opaque with shiny, purple highlights, this creation is brimming with flowers, licorice, dark berries, boysenberry, black cherry, smoke, espresso and a spot of wet earth on the nose. With velvet textures, density of fruit and a finish that remains with you for close to 60 seconds, this is a seldom-encountered purity of fruit, which is pulling ahead in the competition for the best Ducru Beaucaillou ever! Produced from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, the wine reached 13.63% alcohol with a pH of 3.71 and is aging in 100% new French oak barrels. The Merlot was harvested from September 26 to September 30 and the Cabernet Sauvignon from October 7 to October 14. Yields were only 30 hectoliters per hectare. 98 – 100 Pts
For his take on the rest read more at:http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/2017/04/2016-st-julien-bordeaux-tasting-notes-ratings-best-wines/