I had the particular fortune to stop by for a quick tasting of the Bordeaux En-Primeur 2016 at this year's Bordeaux Confidential - En Primeur 2016 hosted by ex-Wine Spectator wine critic James Suckling. This is the first year where I've kept up with the release (more or less) and have been curious hearing the raving reviews given by all the critics.
The harvest was beautifully warm and dry - basically ideal - however the end result is not too overly ripe like 2015. 2016 should be showing somewhat better in some regards than 2015 as the fruit were more balanced and lower alcohol content overall.
Despite not expecting much from the event, except a lot of grand showmanship from the host James Suckling himself, the event turned out to be a great opportunity to see the wines. However Bordeaux is REALLY terrifying when drunk so young - to imagine and see a potential in the wine is much more difficult in fact than Burgundy pinots.
There were some standouts - in spite of my lack of experience in tasting young Bordeaux (I tried not to let name and points cloud my judgement):
Smith Haut Lafitte: A stunning beautifully showing wine even in its youth. Can't wait to see what it's like once bottled.
Figeac: Structured yet fruit forward. There is a certain purity not masked by the oak and tannins.
The more disappointing ones were La Conseillante and D'Issan, which I expected more of but got nothing except a dry, astringent mouthful of tannins. The experience did drive home a point for me is that even though my current work is more Burgundy-focused, I should still respect the market's greater desire for the region and learn more accordingly.
So far nothing stands out yet but I will keep my eyes peeled for more.