Having enjoyed a perfectly smooth grape ripening in 2016, the Right Bank offers us wines just as exceptional as those of the Left Bank, but in a different range. Revealing exceptional purity, warmth and tight, silky tannins, the Right Bank wines of 2016 are simply delicious and full of superb black fruit aromas. Let’s take a look at the success of this vintage in the three main appellations of the Right Bank: Saint-Emilion, Fronsac and Pomerol.
2016: Cabernets to fall for…
A truly consistent vintage, 2016 was a great success throughout the appellations of the Right Bank! From north to south, east to west, one can uncover several true gems. On this side of the Garonne, there are many exceptional Cabernets, but the Merlots, the flagship variety of the region, remain sublime. As it turns out, clay soils better retained and redistributed water during the 2016 vintage. Hence, the vineyards of Saint-Emilion planted on clay stand out in an incredible way.
The Saint-Emilion Appellation
Located in Libournais, the AOC Saint-Emilion lends its name to two appellations: Saint-Emilion and Saint-Emilion Grand Cru. Classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the appellation covers around 5,600 hectares and produces, on average, 235,000 hl of red wines per year. Four types of soil have been identified in Saint-Emilion: clay loam, clay, limestone soils composed of alluvial deposits and sand.
After an extremely rainy winter and spring, which raised the vineyard’s water table, the vines managed to tap into the water supply during the very dry summer of 2016. The wines of Saint Emilion from the 2016 vintage tend to be fuller in body and more concentrated. The year 2015 was already a successful one at the vineyards of Saint-Emilion, but 2016 marks a truly exceptional vintage. With their more powerful and technical style, the wines are also more balanced and taut. Their aromatic profile is very extensive. Even as en primeur these wines are already very seductive
A few favourites from the appellation:Browse our Saint-Emilion 2016 En Primeurs
The Fronsac Appellation
Situated to the west of Libourne and bordered by two rivers (the Dordogne and the Isle), the AOC Fronsac extends over seven communes. It covers up to 850 hectares and produces only red wines, roughly 44,000 hl per year. The appellation enjoys a climate suited to an excellent ripening of grapes.
Both in a qualitative and quantitative sense, the wines of Fronsac could not have escaped the uneven climatic conditions of 2016, particularly the very dry summer and rainy September. Nevertheless, the wines are even, very rich in fruit and alcohol. With high ageing potential, the 2016 vintage of Fronsac wines show great promise for those willing to wait.
A few favourites from the appellation:
The Pomerol Appellation
Forming a terrace above the Isle, AOC Pomerol is located in the Libournais. Perhaps best known for its highly acclaimed Pétrus, the appellation covers 770 ha and produces, on average, 31,000 hl of red wines each year. In Pomerol, Merlot dominates. The clay soils of the region’s terroir allow this varietal to express itself in an exceptional way, unlike anywhere else.
Even if the gravelly soils suffered, Pomerol’s more clayey soils did very well in 2016. They managed to lend a unique quality to the wines, which turned out to be impressive and charming. The 2016 wines from Pomerol are voluptuous, very nicely structured, flavoured with perfectly ripe fruit and endowed with an exceptional ageing potential.