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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > FRANCE: Bordeaux

Winner Details

FRANCE: Bordeaux

2016 Gold: 5 Silver: 13 Bronze: 6 Commended: 8
2015 Gold: 4 Silver: 7 Bronze: 5 Commended: 8

There’s been a bit of a renaissance from Bordeaux in this competition over the past few years – and it carried on again this year. Five places on the Gold List was a strong performance – not least because our tasters found good wines across the price points, from the eyebrow-raisingly cheap Château Haut Roudier at sub-£7 (!) to the sublime fifth-growth Château Pédesclaux from the utterly lovely 2010 vintage at just over £40.

Yes, we’d have liked to see more whites – they are real somm wines, so their persistent non-appearance every year is utterly baffling – but otherwise this was a good performance.

Looking at the medals in more detail, we see a persistent theme emerging: specifically, the fact that the Left Bank has consistently done better in this competition than the Right.

The reasoning is always the same: even when they’re a little on the tight side, there’s an elegance to the wines from the Medoc that often isn’t there from the likes of St-Emilion, where the fruit is blowsier, the tannins more clunky and there is a general feeling of disjointedness.

With time, of course, many of these faults will ease as the wine knits together, so it’s worth keeping an eye on some of the younger Silver medal winners, which should start to come into their own over the next year or two.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Top-end Graves whites are structured and weighty, with good fruit on the mid-palate – you can pair them with many dishes.’ Kelvin McCabe, Yauatcha City

‘We don’t have Bordeaux By The Glass at the moment. Usually when people buy Bordeaux they know what they’re going for. Michaela Večeřová, Galvin La Chappelle

‘There were some great products and some good value for money from £5-£16. It was a great surprise to see so many entries from Bordeaux that were good value for money.’ Julien Sahut, Sexy Fish

‘I’m not sure you go to Bordeaux for excitement. Someone who works for Georges Duboeuf told me Bordeaux is your wife, Burgundy is your mistress and Beaujolais is a young girl who you flirt with.’ Simon Woods, team leader

‘For entertaining clients, Bordeaux is still a go-to wine.’ Chris Wood, Chelsea Vintners

‘As we went up the prices, the wines got better. From £15 there were some good wines that I’d list.’ Zuzanna Rogowska, M Restaurants

‘There was good consistency in terms of quality across the flight.’ Daniel Murray, Berners Tavern 

Award winners

Found 32 wines

France: Bordeaux

Domaines Lapalu, Château Lacombe Noaillac, Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2011, Bordeaux , France

Gold medal winner

Bold and elegant, with silky tannins, fresh herbs and a medium body. 'Ripe, with dark berry fruit and a slightly baked, extracted character, this also has a juicy, earthy freshness,' said team leader Simon Woods. 'Amazing value for money, this is rich but well delivered,' said Mikael Hannequin of M by Montcalm, continuing: 'Ideal with pulled pork, this bottle wouldn't last long with me!'

£9.00 Charles Taylor Wines

Château Pédesclaux, Pauillac, 5ème Cru Classé, 2010, Bordeaux , France

Gold medal winner

Class and complexity won the day. 'With pretty blackberry, concentrated blackcurrant, tobacco and cedar notes, this is elegant and refined, with a precise finish,' said Rebecca Coates of Hakkasan London. Team leader Simon Woods highlighted a 'supple, plummy, deep, fleshy character with some currant notes on the palate', while Ian Howard of The White Hart Inn at Lydgate found 'black fruit with slight notes of beetroot on the nose, plenty of tannin and acidity, but still good fruit and length on the finish, promising good further development'.

£43.71 Matthew Clark

Milhade, Château Haut Roudier, 2014, Bordeaux , France

Gold medal winner

'Easy drinking, with fresh, fragrant cherries aplenty and an open accessibility, this is proper Bordeaux,' said team leader Simon Woods. 'Medium intensity on a fruity, plummy nose, good acidity with tannin well balanced, cherry and plum fruit with notes of black pepper,' added Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish, while Michael Fiducia of Drake's Restaurant called the bouquet 'pleasant and enticing'.

£6.86 Matthew Clark

Vignobles de Larose, Château Larose Perganson, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2010, Bordeaux , France

Gold medal winner

Bold and fruit-driven, a delicious balance helped Château Larose Perganson take Gold. 'Light spiciness and plummy fruit on the nose, followed by fresh, crushed fruit and blueberry notes on the palate. Sweet, medium tannins and a very drinkable style overall,' said consultant Luciana Girotto-Beckett. 'Leafy, floral wine with damson notes, bright acids and a lovely violet-scented finish,' added team leader Natasha Hughes MW.

£16.65 Liberty Wines

Château d'Issan, Moulin d'Issan, Bordeaux Supérieur, 2010, Bordeaux , France

Gold medal winner

'Wonderful nose, mellow and warming, with a well-rounded, balanced palate,' said Michael Fiducia of Drake's Restaurant, while Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant called the wood spice aromas 'seductive, with lots of pure fruit concentration', and team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW said: 'Red fruit and cedar aromas, very appealing. Bold and precise, redcurrant palate with broad mocha back-notes and a long finish. Definitely Bordeaux.'

£16.46 Matthew Clark

Château Lestrille, Château Lestrille Capmartin, Bordeaux Blanc, 2013, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

'Lime and honey with beeswax notes on the nose,' began Yauatcha City's Kelvin McCabe, adding: 'More lime fruit with tropical notes, honeyed peach and stone fruits on an off-dry palate.' 'Very ripe and phenolic, with oak, peachy fruit and good acidity,' added Sara Bacchiori of Chez Bruce.

£10.64 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Château Domeyne, St-Estèphe, 2012, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

'Very well structured with good oak treatment, a firm style of Bordeaux,' began Bart Michalewicz of The Arts Club, continuing: 'Full and upfront,with lots of ageing potential, Bravo!' 'Intense, with dark fruit on an elegant palate. Needs a piece of meat,' added team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£21.59 Matthew Clark

Château Lamothe-Bouscaut, Pessac-Léognan, Rouge, 2012, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

'Loads of gamey notes and slight brett on the nose, with cassis, medium tannin, ripe fruit and acidity on the palate,' began team leader Laurent Richet MS, continuing: 'Can drink now, but would be better in five years.' 'Fresh herbs and cherry notes, thyme and rosemary with red and black fruits on the palate,' added Gustavo Medina of Tate Britain.

£18.43 Matthew Clark

Château Lestrille, Le Secret de Lestrille, Bordeaux Supérieur, 2010, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

'Deep, complex nose, juicy and spicy intensity on the palate with a lot of black fruit and a lot of tannin, but it's well balanced,' said Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish, with team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW adding: 'Boldly cedar nose and palate, too young now but may improve.'

£16.90 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Château de Camarsac, Oak-Aged, Bordeaux Supérieur, 2011, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

'Subtle lifted aromas of sweet plums and herbs lead to a refreshing palate,' said Michael Fiducia of Drake's Restaurant, while Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish said: 'Shy fruit on the nose with vegetal notes; black fruit shows on the palate, which is well balanced, with moderate acidity and body, then a spicy note on the finish.'

£8.86 Matthew Clark

Château Boutisse, Château des Bardes, St-Emilion Grand Cru, 2012, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

'Fruity and lively on the nose, very appealing,' began James Hocking of The Vineyard Group, continuing: 'Bright cherry fruit, good use of oak, and a touch of spice on the mid-palate and finish.' Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant described it as: 'Good value, with lots of spice, pure fruit and good sense of balance.'

£15.00 Matthew Clark

Château Edmus, St-Emilion Grand Cru, 2012, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

While relatively youthful, our judges appreciated this wine's potential. 'Tight and young, though deep cedar notes on the nose. Well extracted, and feels like a coiled spring. Needs time in the cellar, or decant well before serving,' advised team leader Sam Caporn MW. 'Nice, ripe fruits which mellow amid the oaky influence,' said Bartosz Hilla of Drake's Restaurant.

£21.00 Top Selection Ltd

Château Notton, Margaux, 2011, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

'Plenty of grip on a young, chewy, fruity wine that has deep cedary intensity,' began team leader Simon Woods, continuing: 'It's good, but so young. However, it opens up with some air to show class, finesse and a dark fruit finish.' 'There's a lovely expression of tertiary flavour, smooth and rounded – very pleasant,' said Mikael Hannequin of M by Montcalm.

£22.18 Matthew Clark

Château Castera, Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2011, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

'Leather and cherry on the nose, and packed with black forest fruits on the palate and a core of tannin. Is ready to drink, but can develop further,' said Tate Britain's Gustavo Medina. 'Soy sauce, toasty oak, violets, plums and smoked peppers alongside crunchy tannins and a cocoa-dusted finish,' said team leader Natasha Hughes MW.

£19.53 Please contact winery for further information

Château d'Arcole, St-Emilion Grand Cru, 2010, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

'Leafy, menthol nose with black cherries and good ripeness of fruit,' said Daniel Murray of Berners Tavern, with team leader Sam Caporn MW noting 'some evolution on the nose and a baked fruit palate'.

£19.55 Jascots Wine Merchants

Château La Patache, Pomerol, 2012, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

'Lovely, showing elegant, spicy oak, this is classy and well balanced,' said team leader Sam Caporn MW. 'Smoky and woody, with a lengthy finish,' added Zuzana Rogowska of M Restaurants. 'Balanced but needs time to integrate,' commented Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant. We hope it returns.

£17.92 DAVIS BELL & MCCRAITH

Vignobles de Larose, Château Larose-Trintaudon, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2009, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

'Quite a sophisticated nose with signs of ageing, this shows good complexity at this price,' said Chris Wood of Chelsea Vintners, with team leader Laurent Richet MS adding: 'Elegant and ready to drink, full of spices.'

£14.75 Liberty Wines

Château d'Issan, Blason d'Issan, Margaux, 2010, Bordeaux , France

Silver medal winner

'Fresh leather and cherry fruit on the nose, with a great backbone of tannin on the palate along with plenty of red and black fruits, rosemary and thyme herb notes and good structure,' said Gustavo Medina of Tate Britain. 'Serious top Bordeaux, full of fruit and well-integrated tannins,' added Bart Michalewicz of The Arts Club.

£32.06 Matthew Clark

Château Reynon, Château Reynon, Blanc, Cadillac Côtes De Bordeaux, 2014, Bordeaux , France

Bronze medal winner

'Very herbaceous and zesty, with grapefruit and citrus notes,' began team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Mattia Scarpazza of Petersham Nurseries Cafe noting 'gooseberry and lemon fruit with good complexity'.

£12.23 Matthew Clark

Crus et Domaines de France, Clos St-Vincent, St-Emilion Grand Cru, 2012, Bordeaux , France

Bronze medal winner

'Light and slightly spicy, with crunchy red fruit. A solid effort,' said team leader Sam Caporn MW, with Daniel Murray of Berners Tavern adding: 'Luscious, warm and approachable with tobacco notes on the palate.'

£10.77 From Vineyards Direct

Crus et Domaines de France, Château La Pointe Bouquey, St-Emilion, 2014, Bordeaux , France

Bronze medal winner

Seemingly youthful and ripe with good grip. Team leader Simon Woods said: 'Dry, fresh, juicy and crunchy on the palate, this is good honest wine, with tang and balance.'

£7.98 Peter Graham Wines , Addison Wines

Château Reynon, Le Clos de Reynon, Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux, 2010, Bordeaux , France

Bronze medal winner

'A dark, brooding style,' began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, continuing: 'Starts well, with red fruit aromas, then on the palate there is baked, sweet fruit, overlaid by tarry notes, backed by supple tannins.' 'Great balance between aromas, acidity and tannins, smooth and velvety,' added Michaela Večeřová of Galvin La Chapelle.

£10.98 Matthew Clark

Château de Barbe, Pourpre de Château de Barbe, Côtes de Bourg, 2009, Bordeaux , France

Bronze medal winner

'Big, rich, juicy and spicy, a very pronounced nose,' began Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish, continuing: 'Lots of tannin and structure; tannins are young but well balanced with good black fruit, pepper notes and oak.'

£13.35 Matthew Clark

Château Durfort-Vivens, Le Relais de Durfort-Vivens, Margaux, 2011, Bordeaux , France

Bronze medal winner

'Good black fruit nose with slight spice hints, high tannin on the palate with good acidity, but there is good fruit behind these tannins. Needs further ageing or decanting,' said Ian Howard of The White Hart Inn at Lydgate.

£23.19 Matthew Clark

Recougne , Château Montcabrier, Bordeaux Blanc , 2015, Bordeaux , France

Commended medal winner

£8.00 Matthew Clark

Samazeuilh, Comte de Sénéjac, 2012, Bordeaux , France

Commended medal winner

Château Haut-Bages Libéral, La Fleur de Haut-Bages Libéral, Pauillac , 2012, Bordeaux , France

Commended medal winner

£23.19 Matthew Clark

Producta, Esprit de Lussac, Lussac St-Emilion, 2013, Bordeaux , France

Commended medal winner

Château Castera, Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2012, Bordeaux , France

Commended medal winner

£19.53 Please contact winery for further information

Château La Lagune , Moulin de La Lagune, Haut-Médoc, 2012, Bordeaux , France

Commended medal winner

£20.69 Bibendum Wine

Samazeuilh, Château Tour Bayard , 2012, Bordeaux , France

Commended medal winner

Château de Barbe , Côtes de Bourg , 2012, Bordeaux , France

Commended medal winner

£10.76 Matthew Clark