James Suckling’s French Top 100 – 2016s lead

The last decade has produced a long string of quality Bordeaux vintages but for James Suckling it’s the 2016s that stand out from the crowd. Published yesterday, Suckling’s 2019 top 100 French wines included sixty-two Bordeaux 2016s. Of those sixty-two, eight made the top ten, all being awarded an impressive 100-points.

Suckling acknowledges that 2016 follows “a superb 2015 vintage” suggesting they “will be viewed together like other superb back-to-back vintages such as 2009 and 2010 and 1989 and 1990.”

Suckling’s top wine, Cos d’Estournel 2016, earned unanimous acclaim. He awarded it 100 points along with Neal Martin and Lisa Perrotti-Brown. “This is a warm and generous wine,” noted Suckling, “the alcohol is just over 13 degrees.” Suckling believes this represents a move for producers “from the big and rich wines of 2000 and 2010 to a more fresh and unique style”.

Among the top scoring 2016s are two Champagnes from Billecart-Salmon and Jacquesson. Suckling included 15 Champagnes in his top 100, ranging in vintage from De Venoge 1995 to Cristal 2012.

James Suckling’s bottom line is that “you need some 2015 and 2016 Bordeaux in your cellar if you love Bordeaux.” If Suckling’s scores aren’t enough to pique your interest, the 2016 prices might be. The vintage is trading at a discount across comparable vintages, offering clear value for the buyer. Liv-ex recently covered Bordeaux prices from 2005-2018 and will be looking further in-depth in this month’s Market Report.

Suckling’s full Top 100 can be found here.