Bordeaux 2016 en primeur – what to buy

As they say, the wines that are really in demand you can’t get hold of, and the wines that are available no one wants to buy. However, there are some delicious wines that are affordable – and available – which are certainly worth a punt. Steven Spurrier, the hugely respected writer and critic for Decanter who retired from judging the primeurs earlier this year, told me that he didn’t buy wines that cost more than £500 a case en primeur/in bond (ie excluding duty and VAT) because he didn’t have any friends who’d appreciate them.

So, with Steven’s words in mind and based on prices so far, here are my thoughts for a balanced selection of 2016s – for drinking. In most cases, these wines were produced in decent volumes, which is one reason why the prices are ’reasonable’. (Note though that these are drinking wines, not really for investment.) My other reasons for picking them – other than the fact they are sold in the UK – are that they will undoubtedly provide delicious drinking over 6 to 25 years, and the fact that these are, arguably, each estate’s best wine to date.

La Dame de Montrose, St-Estèphe, £312 a case/12
Ch Labegorce, Margaux, £240
Ch Langoa Barton, St-Julien £420
Ch Gloria, St-Julien, £360
Ch Sociando Mallet, Haut-Médoc £315
Ch La Lagune, Haut-Médoc, £360
Ch Malescot St-Exupery £504 (ok, I’m cheating)
Ch Prieuré Lichine, Margaux, £350
Ch Grand Mayne, St-Emilion, £360
Ch Talbot, St-Julien, £490
Ch Charmail, Haut-Médoc, £136
Ch Petit Bocq, St-Estephe, £159
Ch Dalem, Fronsac, £165
Ch d’Aiguilhe, Castillon, £186
Ch Meyney, St-Estephe £245

And, with any luck price-wise, Ch de Fieuzal from Pessac-Léognan (c £300)