The Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux is a trade organization based in Bordeaux, France that promotes the wines of its 133 member chateaux.
Every year they host a world tour showcasing the current vintage to be released, stopping in various cities in Europe and Asia with the tour arriving in North America on January 18-26.
In New York City on Monday afternoon January 21st, they held a tasting for members of the trade and a consumer event later that evening. Both events were held at the Cipriani Midtown event space located at 110 East 42nd street in heart of Manhattan, just down the street from the iconic Chrysler building. A former bank, the event space is a huge, pink marbled cathedral-like room.
The 2016 vintage in Bordeaux was a Jekyll and Hyde vintage. The first half of the year was very rainy which made the winemakers concerned that the vintage would be a bust, but the second half of the year turned out to be bone dry.
For the most part, I thought the wines had good fruit and structure with firm tannins and manageable acids. Most of the wines were still wound tight but I think will age well. I didn’t think they had the immediate lushness of the 2015’s where I was getting a lot of California style flavor profiles, nor were they as hard-edged as the 2014 vintage. Overall some nice wines to be drunk in the future.
Chateau Beychevelle: Clear medium purple with a closed nose of crushed red berries and milk chocolate, tight with silky, firm tannins.
Chateau Talbot: Dark purple, roasted meat and sour fruit on the nose, juicy dark fruit with a firm, balanced long finish.
Chateau Gruaud Larose: Medium red, tree bark and roast meat on the nose, tight silky fruit, moderate firm finish.
Chateau Leoville Barton: Medium purple, sweet tar on the nose, chunky, sweet cherry fruit with firm tannins.
Chateau Leoville Poyferre: Medium red, toasty sweet fruit on the nose, gritty tannins on the dark fruit ending with big tannins.
Chateau Branaire Ducru: Medium red, toasty crushed red fruit on the nose with silky red fruit and green herbs on the finish.
Chateau de Pez: Medium red with a perfume of sweet red fruit, tight red fruit.
Chateau Phelan Segur: Medium red, floral, green herbs on the nose, dusty dark chocolate and slate on the firm fruit.
Chateau Clerc Milon: Medium red, toast and crushed dark fruit on the nose, tight, red cherry fruit with crisp acidity.
Chateau Lynch Bages: Dark red, tar, violets and green herbs on the nose, tight with mouth puckering tannins.
Chateau Pichon Baron: Medium red, crushed dark fruit and violet on the nose, light, juicy fruit with firm tannins and acids.
Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtese de Lalande: Clear, dark red, roast meat notes on the nose, tight red cherry fruit with a moderate finish.
Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere: Dark purple, tar and leather on the nose, chewy, meaty dark fruit, long finish on the balanced finish.
Clos Fourtet: Medium purple, sweet tar on the nose, sweet red fruit with firm , tongue coating tannins.
Chateau Grand Mayne: Opaque medium red, dark chocolate and cigarette smoke on the nose, tight and tannic.
Chateau Pavie Macquin: Medium clear purple, tar and violets on the nose, dusty, red cherry fruit, moderate to long finish with moderate tannins and acids.
Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle: Medium to light red in color with a perfume of tar, tight, silky red fruit with crisp acidity at the end.
Chateau Clinet: Medium purple with a pretty perfume of violets and tar, juicy dark red fruit with moderate tannins and acids on the long finish. Drinkable.
Chateau Gazin: Clear medium purple, toast notes on the nose, juicy red fruit with some earth on the firm finish, tight.
Chateau Le Bon Pasteur: Medium red, cooked berries on the nose, leather notes on the fruit, firm and nicely balanced.
Chateau La Pointe: Medium red, strawberry and graphite on the nose, toasty sweet fruit on the firm finish.
Chateau Brane-Cantenac: Clear medium red, tree bark on the nose, dark chocolate and gritty tannins on the fruit.
Chateau Giscours: Medium red, sweet red fruit on the nose with tight sweet fruit and a firm finish.
Chateau Lascombes: Opaque dark red with a perfume of sweet cherry, tar and mint, chewy dark fruit and silky tannins with moderate acids.
Chateau Prieure-Lichine: Dark red with green herbs and red cherry on the nose, juicy followed by big tannins and moderate acid.
Chateau Dauzac: Clear medium red, pixie stick notes on the nose, juicy red fruit ending tart.
Domaine de Chevalier: Opaque medium red, some barnyard notes on the nose with chunky red fruit, moderate tannins and acids.
Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere: Medium opaque red, sweet black fruit on the nose with silky black, ends tart, moderate tannins and acids.
Moulis En Medoc
Chateau Maucaillou: Medium red with a perfume of turned earth, chunky and rustic, with the fruit dropping a bit but still nice balance.
Chateau La Lagune: Medium red with dark chocolate on the nose, juicy bright red fruit ends with tart notes.