Ode to France, les Accabailles and the Crus Classés de Grave

Château Carbonnieux

Tasted November 13, 2019 by PanosKakaviatos with 144 views

Introduction

I took a round-trip on the high speed train TGV traversing the country diagonally from Strasbourg to Bordeaux and back in less than 6 hours. No need to stop in Paris. First class seat each way, €170: convenient and efficient. I visited to see dear friends in the great city of Bordeaux that Alain Juppé made beautiful during his tenure as mayor. And then a wonderful dinner at Château Carbonnieux to mark the end of the 2019 vintage harvest in a fete known as “Les Accabailles” - and where I tasted again several 2016s from bottle, which I had done in January this year as well. If you want to read my notes on the 2017 whites, also tasted at this event that happened on 10 November, they will be posted soon in wine-chronicles.com

Flight 1 (14 notes)

Red
2016 Château Haut-Bailly France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
96 points
Elegance and tobacco. What cool blue fruit, tasted just after the Haut Brion. A less opulent style, but such refinement! And it is coming just a bit more out of the obvious shell that I had experienced in January this year. Very long finish.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine de Chevalier France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
96 points
What excellent crushed tobacco! Fine acidity lends energy to the deep ripe fruit red and black, making this wine fulfill its promise from barrel and echo again the positive impression that I had enjoyed in January this year.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Château Carbonnieux France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
93 points
Smooth and fun! What can you say ? This is tasty wine! Not as long as the top reds of this tasting, but in terms of sheer pleasure of drinking, hard to resist, as it combines floral aromatic freshness with ripe red fruit. Fine balance, too.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Château Couhins France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
92 points
This is a bit strict and cool on the nose at first but opens up with with time in glass, and I like its acidity and freshness. I had a similar impression in January this year in Philly. What you need to do if opening this year is to carafe the wine, as it needs air. Then you get the ripe red and black fruit as well as the grip. Perfect with grilled steak!
Red
2016 Château de Fieuzal France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
91 points
Nose is lovely, with some black tea, ripe plum and graphite, but the palate comes across a tad noticeably extracted in style (the oak tannin, perhaps). You feel the winemaking, in other words, but the wine is still delicious and earns an "A" grade in that it conveys ripe fruit and a burgeoning complexity of aromas and flavors. Not much different in expression as compared to the January tasting in Philly this year.
Red
2016 Château La Tour-Martillac France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
92 points
It has closed down a bit since my more positive review from January this year, which - as we all know - shows that wine is a living product :-). You get the bright red fruit and the fresh lifting aspect on the palate but some 10 months later in bottle, it shows a slightly steelier aspect, which could use a bit more richness. Warmer vintages such as 2018 may serve this estate reds better, but this 2016 is lovely. It recalls the structure of the 2005 vintage, which we enjoyed over dinner later that evening, and that wine is a keeper, as I think 2016 will be.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Château Smith Haut Lafitte France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
95 points
Not as impressive an experience as I had in January this year in Philly, so the wine may be closing down. But the depth and density are undeniable as is the savory, somewhat modern style.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Château Olivier France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
93 points
OK, I am revising my impression from barrel - and from the January tasting earlier this year. What airy elegance and spicy fruit! This is lovely! It comes across more open and less "standoffish" than in January this year in Philadelphia.
Red
2016 Château Pape Clément France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
94 points
Quite opulent and the oak is there too but not as much as in previous vintages.
Had a somewhat heady aftertaste but only just so as this is 2016! Have to tip my hat to this estate in this vintage especially. Nice job!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Château Bouscaut France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
93 points
As with Olivier, a noticeably positive development in bottle, as the wine comes across more noble and and exudes lovely aromatic and flavor nuance. It was tasting better this evening, nearly 10 months later. Less overtly rich in expression that I experienced from the Philadelphia tasting.
Red
2016 Château Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
100 points
2016 is utterly magnificent and it moved me to make a video, which I have posted on Facebook but will soon be on the wine-chronicles page as well. I loved it from barrel as one of the top wines of the vintage and it fulfills its promise from bottle. What richness and refinement, what precision and opulence with burgeoning tobacco. A tour de force and arguably the first among the firsts of 2016.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
93 points
The attack is elegant and the palate texture smooth. Some density albeit a hint of extraction that makes the winemaking more "noticeable". Give it time in your cellar and it should be fine in a five years or so.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
93 points
Quite a muscular second wine from LMHB. You sense the extraction here. It is powerful with ripe fruit, however, and should have staying power. This begs five more years in the cellar before daring to touch.
Red
2016 Château La Mission Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
96 points
If the second wine needs five years time, this needs double that in your cellar. This is a powerful wine that comes across more Pauillac than Graves. Already the color is deep purple still like a barrel sample and the nearly 80% new oak tannin is well integrated but present along with the tannin from the blend of 57.5% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. While Haut Brion manages depth and breadth with sheer elegance, LMHB is more of the former along with extra power.

Closing

Overall, this tasting confirmed how amazing Château Haut Brion is in 2016, but also how well many of the less expensive classified growths of Pessac-Léognan did in this most excellent Bordeaux vintage, each reflecting their styles.

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