Spring has arrived and one of the most exciting times of the buying and tasting year is upon us: the great Bordeaux Primeur tastings the first week in April.
On Sunday Johnny Goedhuis and I, with 5 colleagues from Goedhuis & Co head off to Bordeaux to taste the much publicised 2016 vintage. Another group are heading back to Bordeaux a week later for a second view of the vintage.
The excitement for this vintage, which James Suckling following his tastings a week ago described as “An exceptional vintage equal to the exquisite 2015”, has been slowly building up.
At first we just heard a whisper. At harvest time and immediately afterwards Chateaux owners were being quietly positive, not wanting to get too carried away as they couldn’t quite believe their luck. Could they really have another great year, following on from the superb 2015 vintage?
January is always a busy time of year in the UK wine trade; an army of Bordeaux negociants visit London, preparing for the year ahead. Everyone was becoming increasingly aware of the potential high quality of the vintage and their enthusiasm was difficult to contain.
Ten days ago, many of the world press had an initial preview of the 2016s ahead of the main En Primeur tastings next week. Their confirmation of the overall quality has been uniform, whether it be Neal Martin, Jancis Robinson or James Suckling. 2016 has clearly produced some very exciting wines indeed.
So I can’t wait for next week. Five solid days tasting of approximately 500 wines. Our week starts at 9.00 am on Monday morning at Ch Latour and is finishing on Friday at Ch d’Yquem. A tough life! Monday and Tuesday in the Medoc, Wednesday the Right Bank, Thursday Pessac Léognan and Friday Sauternes.
We will be posting daily blogs from various members of the team here. Please do follow us on our tour of some of the greatest wine estates in the world and more importantly our thoughts on the vintage and what our initial favourite wines are in advance of prices being released at the end of April and early May. We will try not to make you too envious!