This morning has seen a string of excellent value releases – not the biggest names perhaps but some excellent wines at very good prices, including a couple of BI favourites which we really believe fit into that ‘new benchmark’ category.
D’Armailhac has been released at GBP 390. The rise and rise in quality of the Mouton Rothschild stable has been one of the stories of the last decade – but it’s not just the Grand Vin (98-100pts in 2016) that’s making headlines. 2016 makes for the third excellent D’Armailhac in a row, following on from the classical 2014 and plump 2015; in our view the 2016 is the pinnacle of the trio with a quality of tannin and finesse of fruit and acidity that combines to produce a wine which punches well above its reasonable price tag.
Labegorce is available at GBP 240. Margaux was the superstar of 2015 and many observers were watching closely to see if 2016 could match up – and in the case of Labegorce it didn’t just meet those expectations, it beat them. With a (94-96)pt score, there is no doubt that this producer is operating at a whole new level – Neal Martin suggests this is “a Margaux estate that has really upped its game.” At this price it offers an amazing value expression of both the unique Margaux terroir and this extraordinary vintage with its stunningly ripe but powerful tannins and integrated acidity.
One release we were very happy to see was Capbern. The baby brother of Calon Segur, formerly known as Capbern Gasqueton, this is a St Estephe of classical architecture which has always offered great value for relatively early drinking – a wine of real character. However the tectonics have shifted in 2016 and the wine was really quite something – punching at the almost same level as the true second wine of Calon, Marquis de Calon, but for about half the price... a mere GBP 170 per case. This is undoubtedly a new level for this wine. If there’s any left after the staff have been at it, it will be well worth having.