2016 Vintage Report
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The Year: “Quality, Quantity and Very Classic Style”
A very wet spring following a wet winter caused angst among vignerons due to the threat of fungal diseases…this pre-season water did however prove the making of the vintage by aiding the vines ability to deal with the exceptionally hot, dry summer that was to follow and the delightful autumn on its heels.
The tail-end of the growing season and into harvest time was warm with cool nights and little rain leading to the deep coloured wines, rich in aromatics and balanced acidity.
- Mild and wet winter followed by damp and dreary spring
- Clean break of fine, dry weather at the beginning of flowering. Quick and even flowering and fruit set with uniform maturity.
- Exceptionally hot, dry summer leading to lasting water stress.
- Vegetative growth halted mid-season just as colour change was occurring allowing the perfect start to ripening.
- Hot second half of June, throughout July and August with little rain.
- Limited showers in September further boosting ripeness.
- Sunny and dry period right through to harvest, whether September or October. A gentle harvest with no rush. The cooler nights enriched the depth of flavours.
- Well timed rains allowed the emergence of noble rot in Sauternes and Barsac.
The early prognosis:
Good dry white and sweet white wines and outstanding red ones
The 2016 dry white wines are good. They are fruity and flavoursome, less acidic than the three previous vintages and well-balanced. The Sémillon wines were especially successful in 2016, adding body and softness to the blend but without heaviness.
The great wines of Sauternes and Barsac are extremely pure. Very rich and showing candied fruit overtones, they display a style that emphasises power rather than bright aromatics or freshness.
At the beginning of ageing, the 2016 red wines give every indication of being outstanding. They have an amazing colour. They are also fruity, without any herbaceousness, and combine the tannic power of great vintages with a deliciously velvety texture. Their relatively high level of acidity gives them an admirable freshness and tremendous balance, without any hardness. The vintage is unprecedented, more classic than 2009 or 2015, and seems to have very long ageing potential.