Beautiful Pomerol & Saint-Emilion 2016s
Etablissements Jean-Pierre Moueix
Bordeaux Right Bank Specialists
The family firm of Etablissements Jean-Pierre Moueix owns some of the finest châteaux on Pomerol’s great plateau, as well as Premier Grand Cru Classé Ch. Bélair-Monange in Saint-Emilion. They also manage the vineyards of several Right Bank châteaux, helping them to produce wines of outstanding harmony, beauty and elegance. Christian Moueix has been the guiding light of the family’s progress since his first vintage in 1971. His son Edouard is now taking over, aided by a brilliant team in vineyard and cellar, however Christian remains very much a hands-on owner. Nick Clark and I have been buying wines from the Moueix family uninterruptedly since March 1970, making this our 47th vintage! Because of this long-standing relationship, we are fortunate to have direct, precious allocations of many of Bordeaux’s greatest, rarest wines.
The Moueix family epitomizes Bordeaux’s most classic wine-making, and are passionate in their commitment to making wines for delicious drinking (not wines for point-scoring). Their constant aim is to work with grapes which are fully ripe, yet still fresh and lively. The resulting wines never fatigue you – once mature, all elements are subtly integrated, with creamy texture and great length of flavour. By their nature, in a fine vintage, these wines gain smoothness, complexity and silkiness as they mature. They have made brilliant successes of their 2016s.
The Story of the 2016 Vintage
During the first half of the year, as much rain fell on Bordeaux as is normally seen over 12 months. Fortunately, the weather turned dry and sunny for most of the flowering period in June, which went through speedily. So a plentiful crop was in prospect, and one where grapes and bunches would come to ripeness within a narrow window, to be picked at optimum moments. This is an important quality factor, and the early rainfall proved beneficial, for the summer was to be very dry. The accumulated water reserves were vital to the vintage’s success.
July had significantly less rain than the 30 year average (1981-2010), with 10% more sunshine. August had only 20% of normal rainfall, with 30% more sunshine. There was a heat-wave in early September, but mercifully, rainfall came in the middle of the month, allowing those vines which were heat-stressed to spring back to life. The grape-ripening process then proceeded smoothly, with warm days and cool nights allowing precious acidity to be conserved. Virtually no rain fell at all during the harvest period, which went through smoothly and calmly. Harvest took place from 24th September to 12th October in Pomerol, and from 5th-11th October in Saint-Emilion.
Why You Should Buy these 2016s
2016 is undoubtedly superb on Bordeaux’s Right Bank, and the following selection are highlights from our extensive tastings in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion. We believe that these wines are worth securing without delay. They are offered to us directly by the Moueix family and – just like wines from top Domaines in Burgundy – they are for passionate wine enthusiasts to squirrel away for future drinking. Their productions are limited and given the exceptional quality of the vintage, we consider these wines to represent striking value. Please make sure to specify magnums or larger formats now, if you have special future feasts, or gifts, in mind.
Anthony Hanson MW