The Southwold assessment: Jancis Robinson on Bordeaux 2016

“I have just had the pleasure of wallowing in the best Bordeaux vintage I will probably ever taste: 2016.”

This is how Jancis Robinson opened her summary report on the annual Southwold-on-Thames tasting, this year of Bordeaux 2016.

She confirmed that “the 2016 vintage is really outstanding, and relatively consistent”.

Robinson disclosed that “the group [of tasters] are usually hyper-critical, with not so sotto voce disparaging comments resonating round the long table at which we taste. But this year the quality of the wine seemed to stun my fellow tasters into admiring silence”.

But it is not just the quality. According to our fair value methodology, Bordeaux 2016 offers better value for money than any other recent vintage available in the market.

Having previously examined its pricing in light of other vintages including 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2018, and critic scores from the likes of Neal Martin, Lisa Perotti-Brown and Antonio Galloni, Liv-ex had stated that “in terms of value, 2016 could not present itself more clearly”.

The table below shows Jancis Robinson’s favourite red wines, tasted blind nearly three years since release, their current Market Prices and their price change since En Primeur.

Jancis Robinson's top-scoring Bordeaux 2016 red wines

There is value to be found across both the Left and the Right Bank with many wines still available at their opening price or at a discount to their release price. In terms of quality, Jancis Robinson wrote that “this is a vintage that seems to have succeeded in all red wine appellations and, with its richness and tannin, not to mention acidity, should have a delightfully long life”.

Robinson also noted that “Bordeaux’s right-bank wines have in the past tended to find less favour with the Southwold tasters drawn from the traditional British wine trade […] But the sheer quality of the 2016s rather stunned them into submission”.

When it comes to the Left Bank, Robinson found herself “hugely enthusiastic about some second wines” and praised “the minerally rigour” of the St-Estèphe wines “when the fruit is fully ripe, which it certainly seemed to be in 2016”.

Read Jancis Robinson’s full report on the Southwold tasting, here.