The 2016 Richebourg Grand Cru was picked on September 23–24 at 24hL/ha. It is much more intellectual and, you might argue, more challenging on the nose. Initially it feels a little green, not through underripeness but due to a stemmy element that is not quite as well enmeshed with the fruit. This seems to dissipate with time, and after two or three minutes it evolves an extraordinarily complex mélange of red and black fruit (more the latter), briar, rose petals, crushed stone and just a touch of seaweed. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannin, not as silky as the Romanée-Saint-Vivant, and a little more angular and masculine by comparison. This is one of the most saline Richebourgs that I have encountered from the domaine. Clearly a wine that is going to require a decade in bottle to really find its groove. Compelling, but not the most straightforward Richebourg in the pack. Then again, don’t we all like a puzzle? 868 cases produced. Tasted at Corney & Barrow’s annual in-bottle tasting in London.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2060
Vines aged 46 years. 24 hl/ha. Harvested 23″24 September. Bottled late March 2018. 868 dozen produced. Lightish ruby. Very pretty cherry fruit jumping from the glass and just a touch of wild herbs from the whole-bunch influence. Opens up to a more peppery lift, almost makes me want to sneeze. I’ve never taken snuff but I wonder if the revitalising effect is similar? There’s still all that tangy wild cherry on the palate but it is more severe than I expected from the nose, really corseted by the super-fine but strict tannins. Amazing power after such a pretty first impression. As with the Romanee-St-Vivant, the whole-bunch aroma ” very hard to describe but it has a sort of fresh, herbal, dusty, woodland effect ” grows in the glass. Darker on the finish, really sinewy and perfectly firm, compact, endless. (JH)
Anticipated maturity: 2029-2040
Robert Parker 97
Broader-shouldered and ampler than the Romanee-St-Vivant, the 2016 Richebourg Grand Cru unfurls in the glass with a lavish bouquet of cassis, dark plums, candied peel, potpourri, Asian spices, peonies and smoked duck. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, rich and expansive, with considerable depth and dimension at the core, and a gourmand, almost fleshy profile that marries beautifully with its cool, precise fruit tones and its velvety structuring tannins. This is a superb Richerbourg that to my palate surpasses the 2015 rendition.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2060