On late Friday afternoon Lisa Perrotti-Brown released her in bottle Wine Advocate scores for the highly anticipated 2016 vintage, which had previously been marked out as a modern great. In said report she has awarded a raft of 100-point scores calling the vintage ‘the best news for consumers is that 2016 is the most consistently great year since 2009 and 2010, both at the top of the market and in terms of good value wines.’ This high praise has been backed quantitatively with eight wines achieving perfect 100-point scores, seven 99 points and overall 37-wine achieving 97 points or higher! The 2016 vintage is cementing its potential from bottle.

The 2016’s perfect 100 point wines are Cheval Blanc, Cos d’Estournel, Haut Brion, Latour, Leoville Las Cases, Mouton Rothschild Petrus and Vieux Chateaux Certan. Vieux Chateau Certan received the largest increase from its barrel score of 95-97 points. Perrotti-Brown’s 99-point wines are Ausone, Chateau Margaux, Lafite Rothschild, Lafleur, Montrose and Trotanoy. Many of our clients own these wines and are set to benefit from a healthy price rise over the coming six months. Moreover, some of the great left bank chateaux matched or surpassed their 2009 and 2010 scores including Palmer (98+), Pichon Lalande (98+), Lynch Bages (97+), Ducru Beaucaillou (98), Rauzan Segla (97+), Pichon Baron (97) and Leoville Poyferre (97+).

The large percentage of the above scored within, or close to their indicative score from barrel. However, there were several that outperformed and under performed in terms of Wine Advocate barrel to bottle score: we will cover these over the next couple of weeks. However, today one stands out, La Chapelle de la Mission Haut Brion (la Chapelle), the second wine of La Mission Haut Brion, which was awarded 91-93 from Barrel, yet exceeds this with a 94 score from bottle. Priced at £765 per case of 12, la Chapelle offers a brilliant entry point to the leading wines of 2016, at the superb price of £63.75 a bottle. This gives it a Price Over Points Score of 54.6, a splendid offering in the context of a leading wine in a great vintage.

This score is not surprising, Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion are two of the finest ever, La Mission being awarded 98+ from bottle. La Chapelle is best described as the younger brother of La Mission Haut Brion. It is also produced in in the same vineyards as its Grand Vin, La Mission Haut Brion. Of La Chapelle Perrotti-Brown says ‘it absolutely sings of red roses, black tea and tilled black soil with a core of crushed blackberries, Morello cherries and cassis plus a hint of cinnamon stick. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers a great intensity of ripe black berries and floral layers, framed by soft, silken tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral laced.’

La Chapelle 2016 outscores the second wine of Haut Brion, Clarence Haut Brion and indeed all other released second wines of the First Growths. It has done this by achieving its highest ever score, the only other vintage of La Chapelle to score close to the 2016 is the 93 point 2010, which trades at £850 per case of 12. Indeed, when compared to the Second Wines of the First Growths, its discount stands out, as shown in the table below.

Second Wine2016 ScorePrice 6×75POP
Carruades Lafite92£2,800233
Pavillon Rouge93+£1,700126
Petit Mouton93£2,400185
Clarence Haut Brion93£1,20092
Chapelle La Mission94£76555

La Mission Haut Brion has been owned by Domaine Clarence Dillon, owners of Haut Brion since 1983. However, despite the coming together of the two properties, Jean-Bernard and later Jean-Philippe Delmas, who oversaw the winemaking for both properties, managed to maintain La Mission’s unique identity that has led to its wines attracting much critical acclaim. It is located in Graves in central Bordeaux. As the name suggests the top vineyards in this commune boast abundant gravel. Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion also have more sand in their vineyards than the Haut Medoc, accounting for the higher degree of Merlot planted and enhanced harmony and elegance of the wine.

There are very few instances of a second wine outscoring 94 points by the Wine Advocate. This makes La Chapelle de la Mission Haut Brion 2016 a standout wine, a must own wine in 2016. It is one of the finest second wines ever made, a triumph of the vintage. We have a very small parcel we can offer this weekend.

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