In this, the last of our en primeur 2016 blog trilogy, I want to reflect on a discussion (ahem), that James and I have been having. It is about picking our en primeur 2016 favourites from those we tasted recently in France. The discussion was prompted by a customer in Dublin, who challenged us to choose just 10 wines from the many sampled (our previous posts, here, and here describe our trip to en primeur week in Bordeaux).
The actual definition of en primeur can be translated from French as ‘as being new’.
Having finally agreed on our ten, we thought you might like to see the result of our deliberations. I outline them below by way of tasting note graphics. The scoring is out of 20 points. Of course, during our discussions we queried each other’s choice but, to be honest, it really came down to individual taste. Allow me to elaborate.
Most of us are born with roughly the same capacity to taste. Although, individual sensitivities may vary, in the main wine tasting depends on much more practice than on any natural gift. James and I have been in the wine business for many years and we have, therefore, built up a good memory bank of wine tastes.
That is why, for the general public, some tasting notes may appear ridiculous, but remember, we must have a vocabulary to describe what we sense. That sensation may be one or all of sight, smell, taste or touch. Anyway, I don’t believe that I go overboard in my notes below, but let me know what you think. ?
If you would like to receive all of our tasting notes from the Bordeaux week or advice on investing in en primeur wine – contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green Acres Mixed Case of En Primeur 2016 Favourites
I have to admit that singling out just ten was an almost impossible task mainly because we tasted so many wonderful wines from this vintage. James and I just could not agree on a top ten or the positioning of each Chateau therein, so, the graphics below represents a Green Acres mixed case, in no particular order.
We probably should point out that there are always terms and conditions with regards to investing in en primeur wine. The 2016 vintage is no different, T&Cs usually include:
- that stocks are offered for sale, subject to them remaining unsold
- that all prices will be quoted per case when available, en primeur, and exclude duty & VAT
- that handling and administration costs will apply on the delivery of wine
- that the 2016 wines will be available for delivery in 2019
So it really is imperative that you speak with a professional before embarking on your en primeur venture.
Bordeaux – A Wonderful Source of En Primeur 2016 Favourites
If you leave the city of Bordeaux in any direction, you can take it that you will pass through some vineyards. As a wine region, Bordeaux is not the biggest in the world, but one could argue that with such a depth of quality, it may have the best selection of fine wines.
As James, Paula and I have experienced during our annual voyages of discovery, no matter what Chateau we visit, they all have an individuality.
You’ve probably noticed that all of our picks are of the red variety. Bordeaux’s wines are predominantly red. The white wines fall into two groups: dry from the Graves and other areas, and sweet ones such as Sauternes. Whatever the colour, obviously, Bordeaux has centuries of experience in making fine wine and in our opinion all the wines that we feature here, prove the point.
Chateau Grand Village (white), one of our best-selling white wines, owned by the Guinaudeau family (also owners of Chateau Lafleur in Pomerol), is ideal for summer drinking. The 2016 we tasted has lovely fresh fruit and a long finish. We all loved it…..James
So there you have it – our ten favourites. There are so many other excellent wines that we haven’t listed here as we were limited to pick only 10. There are also particular wines that offer excellent value, in our opinion. For instance, from St Estephe, I scored Chateau Capbern’s, 2016 a 17.5/20, but James and I agree that it just may be our Best Value Option.
This blog post is shorter than our previous ones, as we just wanted to share some of our favourites with you. We have indicated already, that the 2016 vintage is one to be reckoned with and the en primeur campaign has started extremely well. Needless to say, the recent French presidential election may have slowed matters down slightly, but it now appears to have picked up again.
We distribute details (prices etc.) of each release from the various Chateaux as we receive them, to our database. If you would like to be included and to receive our newsletter, just give us your details and we’ll be in touch.
By the way – in two weeks’ time (May 27th) at 8.30pm, we have the famous bordelaise, Johnathan Ducourt (www.ducourt.com) with us, here in Green Acres, hosting a wine tasting dinner. Places are being snapped up right now but if you’re interested, call us on +353 (0)53 9122975 to check availability.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our en primeur discoveries over the last few weeks. We’d love for you to drop into Green Acres at any time and we can engross ourselves in some wine banter…..…..cheers, Donal