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This is real Bordeaux!

And what we mean by “real Bordeaux” is that these 2016s are inimitable in every sense of the word. Nowhere else in the world, but also, no one else in the world could produce wines like the Bordeaux region does. From their unique terroirs and micro-climates, to the experienced and brilliant minds behind each and every château. This year has led to unrivalled productions, as Christophe Salin, the general director of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) sees it, “They are wines that can’t be duplicated anywhere in the world”.

“It’s an excellent year, producing dynamic and well-structured wines that are fresh and balanced. These wines represent the new renaissance of Bordeaux where harmony, refinement and energy are the new keywords for the region.” – James Suckling

With the first and not to mention, outstanding ratings and reviews coming in, Bordeaux 2016 is proving to be another wonderful year for the region. And with this news, an official trilogy of exceptional vintages (2014, 2015, and 2016) has been made. According to James Suckling this hasn’t happen since 1988, 1989, and 1990. But these trilogies aren’t the same. With 2016 being the largest harvest in over a decade, it’s easy to see how the yields have nearly doubled compared to the late 1980s. There is much more “finesse and sophistication” in today’s Bordeaux Suckling remarks, as he tasted from barrel the 1980s himself, he’s convinced present day is “so much better and more precise in just about every sense of the word”.

The weather last year in Bordeaux was complicated to say the least, but miraculously ended well. A year of contrasts, with a lot of rain in the Spring, followed by an extended period of drought - the first miracle was the flowering, which occurred under perfect conditions for many châteaux. Then for harvest, the Bordeaux vineyards were blessed with several weeks of impeccable weather making it easier to decide when to pick. In general, 2016 was a colder year, so the freshness and acidity is there.

Like most years, the variances in weather means some terroirs perform better than others. For example, we could say those vineyards that could remove the excess water during the first half of the 2016 growing season were fortunate, however the fresher terroirs, those that could retain water during the drought of the second half have been favored, specifically clay and limestone. Furthermore, the clay and limestone soils of the Right Bank are expected to produce the best wines. Yet on the contrary, the gravel hills of the Médoc is where you are going to find the jewels of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage.

Returning after a week-long of tasting in Bordeaux, the ARVI team affirms the potential of this 2016 En Primeur campaign. Davide Vaccarini, ARVI’s Head Sommelier says, “We are all super impressed with the wines we tasted, it is a rather homogeneous vintage.” With an incomparable freshness, the wines are well-balanced and powerful yet elegant. They combine quality, quantity and a resurgence of classic real Bordeaux style.

“A spectacular vintage for Bordeaux, full of finesse and elegance, yet the traditional freshness and acidity is ingenious. These 2016 wines are vibrant even exuberant, benefiting from a strong structural backing, they are persistent on the palate – uninterrupted excellence.”
-Davide Vaccarini, ARVI Head Sommelier

In general, we feel there is a certain richness and structure that is undeniable amongst Bordeaux’s latest vintage. The wines are relatively low in alcohol (many 2016s are less than 14% alcohol) and high in acidity (pHs from 3.4 to 3.7). Whiles the yields were uncharacteristically large this year, the quality is top. Many châteaux reported perfect bunches hitting the sorting table this fall.

“It’s not too soon to say that 2016 is a great vintage overall… The wines are full and dense, with ripe tannins and generous fruit. The secret ingredient in the success of these wines is their crisp acidity, and that balance is what makes a great Bordeaux vintage.” – Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast

Making for a great vintage, Davide Vaccarini adds “While it may be more of a Left Bank year, with outstanding quality specifically in Paulliac, there is concentration, structure and precision throughout 2016s in Bordeaux.” The wines of smaller châteaux, as well as second wines are preforming extremely well, benefiting from the overall amazing structure of this vintage these wines are serious. It is definitely a year for standout reds.

“I have so far tasted some absolutely stunning reds (I have even been tempted to give a few scores of 19 out of 20 – virtually unheard-of for me).” – Jancis Robinson

It is clear, like every year, due to an array of external and internal factors, no two vintages are the same. But we can say no vintage has quite as much potential as 2016. And with the most important annual offers coming from Bordeaux during En Primeur – the ARVI team personally visited and tasted throughout the first week of April, 2017 to give you a first-hand look at the region.

“It’s a year of stunning quality and there are numerous properties that have made the best wine in the history of their estate!” – Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider

With such a favorable vintage, securing wines before they are released onto the market is what makes the En Primeur system so captivating, and especially important this year. Purchasing En Primeur wines is not only the best way to secure the most sought after labels, but to secure the quantities and bottle formats you crave. Purchasing wine En Primeur guarantees its origin – coming from a credible source, rest assured that each bottle has been stored and handled properly.

Like always, when it comes to En Primeur wines it is vital that you buy from a dependable and financially strong source. In the past years, some companies even went bankrupt, therefore it is more than imperative to purchase from a proper, trustworthy merchant. One that has definite allotments and will deliver your wines.

Globally, the demand for En Primeur wines is high – and growing with each year. We expect that the top wines will sell out quickly. As usual, we will inform our clients immediately upon release. But in order to avoid disappointment, we will need an equally face-paced reaction in return.

ARVI is here to help. We have one of the largest allocations of top-end Bordeaux 2016 wines and offer each and every producer without any tie-ups. If you have bought En Primeur wines from us before, we would like to give priority to those clients. Along with the standard and half-bottle sizes, as always we will give our clients the possibility to choose from larger formats as well - from Magnums to the extravagant 27-liter Primats – En Primeur is the time to dream big (and act faster). Our ambitious lineup of wine consultants will support you along the way. We will guide you through this year’s selection of En Primeur wines and assist you in making the best decision – fitting with your personal tastes and desires, of course.

Bordeaux is back, are you?

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En Primeur wines are offered subject to a minimum purchase of 6 bottles. For the 37.5 cl there is a minimum of 12 bottles.

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En Primeur / Future Bordeaux Vintage 2016 – estimated time of delivery: spring /summer 2019. White wines estimate time of delivery: Winter 2017/2018

ARVI S.A. Via Pedemonte CH-6818 Melano Switzerland
Tel. +41 91 649 68 88 Fax +41 91 648 33 75 info@arvi.ch

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