Neal Martin releases his notes on 2016 Bordeaux – tasted blind

“It crystallized everything Bordeaux had been progressing toward over the previous ten years. It is an exemplar, a benchmark against which subsequent vintages are compared”.

Neal Martin’s latest report “Southwold: Bordeaux 2016 Blind” gives an in depth look at how the 2016 vintage has shaped up in bottle and how it “represent[s] a reconfiguration of Bordeaux’s aspirations”.

Neal Martin reaffirmed Cos d’Estournel as the single perfect wine from his tastings. He noted it “epitomizes how Bordeaux has changed in recent years”, adding “it is no tannic behemoth or high-octane, high-alcohol Cos d’Estournel; rather, its breeding and sophistication derive from ultra-fine tannins, precision and purity of fruit”.

With a strong showing from Pauillac, Martin found that the “2016 Mouton-Rothschild came up trumps with a stunning wine that flirts with perfection”. He originally had this wine scored at 100 points but blind he awarded it 99 points.

There were also small downgrades (from 100 points to 99) for Figeac, Latour and Vieux Chateau Certan. Neal did clarify that “blind tastings tend to manifest scores that are a little lower than tasting sighted […] because of youthful obduracy and absence of context”.

Neal concluded his report by saying “the Southwold results go far in securing the reputation of the top names, but also demonstrate that there are plenty of challengers snapping at their heels, wines that punch above their reputation, mocking the 1855 classification and the prices asked for some releases.”

Grand Puy Lacoste (a fifth growth) was upgraded from 95 to 97 points and from Pomerol, Hosanna, was upgraded from 94 to 97.

The table below shows Neal’s top scoring wines and their performance on the market since their release, many being available at a discount to their London release, three years ago.

Neal Martin’s full report on the vintage can be found on the Vinous website.