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2016 Clos de L'Oratoire, St-Emilion GC

Made from 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc. Elevage in 40% new oak, 2016 Clos de L'Oratoire is concentrated with ripeness, sweet vanilla oak and a sappy, smoky finish. Mid palate is very strong now. Will get mellow down the years with the ripe tannins and alcohol. Owner uses Stéphane Derenoncourt as consultant who has sed an array of means such as malolactic fermentation in the barrel, malolactic fermentation, and barrel aging on the lees with bâtonnage (stirring of the lees).

Tasting Team has cultivated in through these years a special kind of likings for the unique stylistics of owner Stephan von Neipperg’s other Saint-Emilion properties including Canon-La-Gaffelière Clos de l’Oratoire and La Mondotte, and Château d’Aiguilhe in the Côtes de Castillon.

94-95 points James Suckling

Lovely silky tannins and juicy fruit. Medium body and pretty energy. Lots of walnut, crushed-stone and subtle fruit flavors. Very fine. (4/2017)

92-95 points Wine Spectator

Pure and unadorned, with a lovely beam of cassis and cherry compote stretching out, flecked by subtle anise, singed alder and mineral accents. Refined finish. (JM) (4/2017)

91-94 points Vinous

The 2016 Clos de l'Oratoire is terrific. Deep, dense and powerful, with more finesse in its tannins than is often the case, the 2016 boasts superb balance. Black cherry, smoke, tar, licorice and incense add to its rich, exotic personality. Plush and unusually supple, this is a real knockout. The tannins are there, but they are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. The 2016 is shaping up to be a superb Clos de l'Oratoire. Tasted three times. (AG) (4/2017)

91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The 2016 Clos de l'Oratoire is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 10-17 October and matured in 45% new oak. It has a fresh, perfumed and floral bouquet, with pressed rose petals infusing the red cherry and crushed strawberry fruit. There is a sense of airiness here that I like. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, slightly grainy tannin, hints of tobacco and leather complementing the black fruit with a welcome soupçon of austerity towards the masculine finish. Excellent. (NM) (4/2017)

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