I am hearing first hand reports on the high quality of the 2016 harvest in France from every corner of the country. Most recently, oenologue and wine consultant Phillipe Cambie share this on Facebook.
"2016 to châteauneuf du Pape, can we talk about vintage of the century? According to the former the vintage looks like 1990!!! Mythical!"
Earlier in the day, Jason Barrette, former Penfolds Winemaker, now International Winemaking Consultant and a close friend, revealed by phone to me that he's working with Chene Bleu on their wines this harvest telling me the "color and quality are excellent." When we discussed the harvest he was full of nothing but superlatives and praise for the richness and depth of the fruit and how high in quality the grapes are. His feeling was that there's something great this year and the wines are going to be something special. He was also full of praise for the 2009 Chene Bleu's which are now in market.....I agree.
Languedoc producer Sylvain Fadat of Montpeyroux's Domaine d'Aupilhac was as enthusiastic saying "2o16 will be one of my three best harvests EVER." He went on to say, while the yields are down 30 percent from last year, the quality and the color of the grapes are some of the best ever." I'm with Sylvain and two other producers tomorrow and will get more details on other parts of the Rhone and Roussillion then....until then..