The first release of the day, and it’s one we’ve been waiting for: the best Ormes de Pez ever has just been released at GBP 250. Why is this exciting? Not only is St Estephe one of the top-performing regions of the 2016 vintage, but the estate is owned and managed by the Cazes family of Lynch Bages fame – and as has been well reported, 2016 is probably the best Lynch ever made. We were absolutely blown away by this whole stable of wines and the Ormes de Pez was well worth our 93-95pt score.
Neal Martin was also a huge fan of the wine: “There is a lot of panache here, a word perhaps I have not associated with this Saint Estèphe in recent years”. He goes on to say “this is an excellent Les Ormes de Pez that seems to revel in the 2016 vintage.”
We love the vintage, we love the wine, and we love the price even more – right down at the bottom of our spread and only marginally up on last year, this is the first real no-brainer of the campaign so far. It may be the same price as the 2010 but it’s a serious step on and a small price to pay for the benchmark wine from this estate – which is really finding its form.
Another of today's great releases is the 'so impressive' (Suckling) Alter Ego de Palmer at GBP 560 - the 'other' estate wine of Chateau Palmer. We loved this wine for its drama, character and balance and this year it is particularly exciting.
In our initial Bordeaux 2016 report we outlined how 2016 was a great year for second wines, as the extreme fruit selection implemented by the top estates to maximise the quality of their first wines resulted in some superb parcels of fruit finding their way into the deuxieme vin. The outcome is a crop of ‘baby brothers’ which outshine their grander siblings in less exceptional years so represents a serious buying opportunity.
James Suckling rated the Alter Ego a worthy 95-96 points - “This is very concentrated yet soft and fresh in texture. Full-bodied and round and mouth-filling. So impressive how it fills your mouth yet remains fresh. It’s so framed.” - this is a smart wine at a commendable price.