Pavie has seen multiple shifts in methodology which have led to a stylistic revolution: relatively earlier picking dates, resulting in more balanced, fresher fruit; an increase in the proportion of the two Cabernets from 20% to 40%, giving a sleeker, more defined structure.
It received the first potentially perfect score from Neal Martin (98-100 points) which sums Pavie 2016 up: “whatever your views of this Saint Emilion, it has one of the greatest terroirs... a supremely accomplished Pavie that is without question one of the best that I have tasted at the estate.”
Angelus 2016, too, has seen a philosophical adjustment which has resulted in a more elegant and restrained style of wine which has far more emphasis on terroir. Angelus received an almost perfect score from Suckling (99-100 points) who said 'Incredible depth of fruit to this Angélus, which is dense yet also agile and energetic. There’s just so much dynamic fruit and tannin structure. Makes you want to taste and taste. What a young wine!'
The very good second wines of both the new GCC ‘A’ estates are also available, and as with their elder siblings, the prices align: Aromes de Pavie and Le Carillon d’Angelus at GBP 850. Suckling gave both high praise but in particular he commented about Le Carrillon d'Angelus: 'this is a fantastic second wine... Long and intense. Better than the 2015.'
Quintus is available at GBP 1120. This was the first really impressive Quintus since the Clarence Dillon/Haut Brion organisation took over. Neal Martin gave it 92-94 points and noted it has a 'grippy finish that suggests it will be a long-term proposition. Excellent.' The second wine was also pretty fantastic - Dragon de Quintus at GBP 280 with Galloni saying 'readers will have a hard time keeping their hands off this exemplary Saint-Emilion'.
Today also sees the return of one of our biggest successes of 2015 – the excellent value red and white of La Tour Martillac 2016 have been released today at GBP 295 and270 respectively.
Pessac-Leognan has certainly upped its game (again) and, as Neal Martin puts it, “it is so pleasing to see more and more properties raising their game, so that Pessac-Léognan becomes synonymous with more than one name, that of Haut-Brion... you can understand why more consumers are paying just as much attention to Pessac-Léognan as elsewhere—merging the best of the Left Bank with the best of the Right.”
Of course it is also the only major Bordeaux region that also specialises in both reds and whites and the quality to value ratio is exquisite with both. Matthew Jukes referred to the white as 'big and beautiful' with considerable praise across the board. Phenomenal value.
More of today's releases:
Clos de L’Oratoire – one of the value stalwarts of the Von Neipperg stable has been released at GBP 350. With Galloni saying 'the 2016 is shaping up to be a superb Clos de l'Oratoire'.
Helene Garcin-Leveque’s home estate Barde Haut, always a very good buy and on a definite stylistic upward trend, is available at GBP 315. Fantastic value for such a highly lauded wine with Galloni awarding it 92-95 points and saying 'the 2016 is easily one of the best recent versions of Barde-Haut I can remember tasting. Today, it is fabulously beautiful.'
Petit Village, the Pomerol estate of Christian Seely’s AXA Millesimes group, is available at GBP 625.