2016 – THE NEW 1982?

Philippe Blanc’s first vintage at Chateau Beychevelle was 1995. He continues to make some of the finest, most intense, elegant, freshest, and age-worthy wines in the whole of Bordeaux.

When I first tasted the 2016 vintage during the futures or en primeurs in the spring of the following year, I was swept away by the unbridled audacity of the fruit.

So much so that at Chateau La Fleur-Petrus, tasting several wines belonging to the same proprietor, I said these very words to Christian Moueix.

“Christian, I hope you won’t consider what I am about to say otherwise, because it is a compliment. 2016 is the Beaujolais Nouveau vintage of Bordeaux”.

The wines were unafraid to be fruity. Today, so many “serious wines” are murdered by over extraction and/or heavy oak that they are anything but made from fruit.

Would you, for example, wish to eat an orange, cherry, pineapple or mango that is not fruity?

So, why be afraid to enjoy a fruity wine?


2016 is an even better vintage than 2015 (already very good to great).

The 2016 fruit is full of phenolic expression and concentration. So much so that the equally ripe tannins seem overwhelmed by the succulence. The freshness too is all there but, again, stepping aside to let the fruit take centre stage.

In 2018 and this year, I re-tasted some of the 2016 again.

Their fruitiness – the initial, original exuberance – has crawled back into the shell.

The structure is now competing for attention. The freshness has also become more dominant.

Philippe Blanc, Managing Director and Chief Winemaker at Chateau Beychevelle, said this to me when we first tasted their 2016 wines.

“In 2016, we made our best Amiral”.

That is just their Second Wine. Think what Beychevelle is like!

Blanc’s first vintage was 1995. Twenty years is a very credible perspective from which to render an informed judgment.

I believe time will show that 2016 will be as great as 1982.

2016 is superior to 2015, 2009, 2005 and 2000. And, although different in personality to 2010, the two vintages rank at the very top.

The 2016 Great Bordeaux Tasting on Saturday 24 August 2019 at The Tower Club Singapore is closed. It is over-subscribed.

There are a few more seats reserved for participants who sign up for a dinner we are organising for the E-Launch of our annual guide 100 Top Chinese Restaurants of the World 2019 on 24 July 2019.

You will get to taste the 33 wines an hour earlier than other participants. Your time slot is 1.30 to 4.30 pm.

You will receive a complimentary Riedel Ouverture Glass (to be used for the tasting).

You will also receive a free download of the English or Chinese e-version of 100 Top Chinese Restaurants of the World 2019 worth up to HK$98 or S$18.

Click to register for the Wednesday 24 July 2019 dinner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.