In a famous and celebrated top wine region such as Bordeaux, almost every change in the weather, property sale or first insect arrival of the year is reported with zeal. Many leading wine sales companies and media have their “on the ground” newshound sharing news, rumours and perceptions about almost everything. But then there was Bordeaux vintage 2016? What happened?
I haven’t quite worked it out but until this last couple of weeks, the wine media has been surprisingly low key about vintage 2016. And I can’t figure out why! Normally each year, the progress of the season is followed with microscopic scrutiny with various notable producers being asked about the chances of success almost from mid April onwards.
Certainly 2015 was an overall successful vintage following on the back of four challenging years – depending on one’s viticultural skills – so my only assumption was that it was “less market critical” if 2016 was good or just average. Our first 2016 wine run off samples at wine press day were all very clean. Young wine is a fickle natural product so I “bottled up” my writing emotions for a later point when the wisdom became more clear! The barrel filling took place in January. I tasted at least twice to make sure I wasn’t fooling myself. Still all good and quietly confident.
And then comes a fly-in / fly-out visit just ten days ago. I can’t contain the news any longer! As we released to our Club members last week, Vintage Bordeaux 2016 is quite clearly a success. And now just as the “En Primeur” season starts to get under way, finally there is an outburst of congratulatory news with some critics and châteaux even going as far as to suggest that 2016 may be the best vintage of this century so far!
Whilst the final verdict on a wine is always only speculative until the moment it is drunk from its bottle by the client, I do think it is time to “lift the lid” on Bordeaux Vintage 2016. This is a good, possibly great Bordeaux vintage. Good producers will always tell you that they make good wine in the majority of years and when the seasonal climate conditions conspire – as in 2016 – then great or exceptional wine is delivered.
At Paradise Rescued we agree fully. Both the volume and quality of our Cabernet Franc is exquisite. After just two months in barrel, I am already declaring all our barrels as B1ockOne quality. The 2016 has exceptional fruit and this shines through in every tasting starting with its redcurrant nose, growing complexity but already soft taste and finishing with a dazzling spicy length – the trademark characteristic of Paradise Rescued Cabernet Franc. Given the good acidity levels, I predict B1ockOne will be a great wine to drink both in the near future but also for a long time to come thereafter.
The smaller quantity of Merlot will probably be the dark horse of this vintage. Taking longer to show it’s full potential, the early signs are still very promising with a massive heart of fruit, early dryness ahead of growing maturation, complexity and beautiful full taste. I think it likely that we will be targeting a Merlot Cab Franc blend again in 2016 and from the small quantity held in vat for barrel top-ups, the quality of a full MCF assemblage also holds simply huge potential come December this year.
Congratulations once again to our Operations team on such a stellar result – to Pascale Bervas as Vigneronne and Winery Manager and Albane Bervas our Winemaker and organic viticultural advisor.
There! The lid is now finally off! Bordeaux Vintage 2016 is a success.
Paradise Rescued is the 2016 International Business Award Silver Stevie winner for Small Budget Marketing Campaign.