Chateau Lascombes, the mighty modern Margaux Cru known for balanced and delicate wines, has a beautiful deep ruby colour with a narrow and light pink rim. This 2016 has violet notes of ripe red fruits and vanilla oak on the still-raw nose. The highly extracted palate is spice, sweet vanilla from the toasty oak, black cherry fruit, and a hint of cigar box, mint and spice. Inky, medium on the palate with intensity and concentration of fresh ripe fruit. The blend in 2016 is 50% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot, from a yield of 45hl/ha.
Tannic and woody, it recalls elements of 2015 I tasted: the structure is dense and firm and will age nicely for another decade. However, judging from the tastings, it has less potential than 2015 and is undoubtedly more enjoyable in the immediate and intermediate terms.
Scores are impressive: JS95, RP94+. Compared to 2015, this 2016 is more natural and age-worthy. Anson commended 2016 as a successor to 2015, and there is an added dimension of deep black pepper and cinnamon spicing, and while the tannins are a little tight, it has a clear oak structure. However, JR says 2016 is too modern. (referring to the sweet oak and concentrated fruit).
Deep, ruby, tight rim. Fresh, balanced and clean. Intense, red fruit bouquet with hints of sous-bois and tobacco. The texture is fleshy and friendly, slightly spicy. Tannins are there, but the palate is chalky and silky, and the finish is long and tense. Tannins come through in the medium-bodied palate with the flavours and fruits in the background. The finish is chalky and spicy. From a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc; 3 weeks ageing and 60% new oak. Over-driven overall, particularly in the finish, towards Pauillac.
Scores are consistent from 93 to 94. Well understood by commentators.
RP93. The 2015 Langoa Barton has a precise, understated, focused bouquet of pure blackberry and wild strawberry fruit laced with graphite and crushed stone. It becomes more floral with time, revealing incense and a touch of lavender. The medium-bodied palate offers supple tannin and beautiful, irresistible black fruit. This is silky-smooth and velvety in texture, with a sensual and very persistent finish. You could broach this now, although it deserves time in a bottle. Yet another Saint-Julien that has improved over the last year and tasted blind at the Southwold 2015 Bordeaux tasting. Edited
JS94. Layered and juicy 2015 with currants, light chocolate and cedar character. It’s full-bodied, round-textured and very pretty. Extremely long and flavorful. So friendly and bright. Drink or hold. Edited.
JD94. I was still majoring in primary fruit aromatics at seven years old. There is a precision and a silkiness to the tannins and structure that means the black cherry and raspberry fruits remain taut and almost austere at first before deepening out through the mid-palate, gathering together richer nuances of oyster shell, cocoa bean, and espresso. Great texture and depth of expression will benefit from another 3 to 5 years in a bottle—70% new oak. Edited.
The wines were lighter than expected for the reds without the heavy structure required for long-term aging. As a result, they are relatively for early drinking, which is about the right time now. However, some excellent examples were still with the best exhibiting plush forest fruit, ripe tannins and well-balanced acidity. While it is true that all wines tended to lack body and ripe fruit while staying incredibly tannic, the wines we selected here are relatively bodied by a higher merlot content(for example, Cantemerle, Giscours, La Lagfne, Malescote St Eupery, Montrose and Pontet Canet) than usual.
The 2007 vintage was not spectacular for Bordeaux, but some good wines were still made, especially regarding the top Cabernet of the Left Bank. However, even the best wines were hard-pushed to deliver at the prices they were initially asking. Most wines will likely be near their best; the very best may be drinking well now. They are of great value.