Classic Left Bank Bordeaux!

March 18, 2022 3 min read


Big Savings on Saint Julien from the Extraordinary 2016 Vintage!

As we have mentioned many times before, certain wines can vary dramatically from vintage to vintage. Bordeaux is certainly one of those regions where the wines can vary depending on the vintage. A few estates make excellent wines almost every year, except for those rare occasions when the year is a washout. However, as we know, most great wines are not made in the cellar but in the vineyard. Regions mostly in France or other cooler climate areas, struggle with ripening, rain and even hail that can destroy a vintage every year. When a vintage is considered extraordinary like 2016 was in the Medoc, we try to buy heavily. We were happy to notice we still had a few cases of Chateau Moulin Riche 2016 still available. Today, we are selling it at the future price that we originally sold it for, over four years ago! 



The vineyards at Moulin Riche have produced wine for centuries in Bordeaux's northern Medoc but it was in 1920 when they were recognized for their greatness. This is when the Cuvelier family who also purchased second-growth Chateau Leoville Poyferre at that time, purchased the estate and its 50 acres to add to its land holdings and increase production of the Grand Vin. The Cuvelier family was in the wine business in Bordeaux since 1804 as wine merchants and purchased their first Chateaux in 1903, Chateau Le Crock in Saint Estephe. Generations later, Sara Lecompte Cuvelier is now the current Managing Director of the properties.

For years, the vines at Moulin Riche were an integral part of the second wine at Leoville Poyferre (also known as Moulin Riche) as they echoed the elegant and structured style of the appellation of Saint Julien. In 2009 however, the Cuvelier's decided the estate of Chateau Moulin Riche should stand alone as its own estate once again. The second wine of Leoville Poyferre was now known as Pavillon de Leoville Poyferre and Moulin Riche was treated as its own wine. Planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 30% Petit Verdot, it is possible that in good vintages they can produce upwards of 10,000 cases a year. The wine is always aged in a combination of new and older French oak for between 18 to 20 months and the same winemaking team at Leoville Poyferre make the wine here. With the price of Leoville Poyferre usually in the $150 to $200 range per bottle, Chateau Moulin Riche is considered a top value in the appellation of Saint Julien.

This week’s featured wine, Chateau Moulin Riche 2016, is perfect for those of you who love not only wines from Bordeaux but really any fan of bold, rich, Cabernet Sauvignon dominated reds. It comes from a top vineyard in one of the greatest wine growing regions in the world and also is from an outstanding vintage! Drinking great right now but will only get better. Try a bottle, if you enjoy it as much as I do, grab a few more to put in the cellar!



Chateau Moulin Riche 2016 (St.-Julien) 750mL


92+ Points - Vinous
"In 2016 Moulin Riche is absolutely gorgeous. Fresh, vibrant and full of energy, the 2016 is impressive today. The wine appears to have shed some baby fat and gained in aromatic complexity over the last two years. Sweet, red-toned fruit, rose petal, mint and chalk lend understatement to the classy, mid-weight Saint-Julien. The 2016 was bottled at the end of May (earlier than many other Left Bank wines) and might be entering a period of closure. Still, I find a lot to admire. Drink 2021-2036." - Antonio Galloni (01/19)

90-92 Points - Wine Advocate
"The 2016 Moulin Riche is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 11% Petit Verdot and matured in 30% new oak. It had a very opulent, ravishing bouquet with perhaps just a little more volatile acidity than some of its peers, although that will be contained by the time it is in bottle (it is not something that particularly bothers me in a wine's infancy). The palate is very smooth on the entry with succulent black cherries and black plums, a smear of vanilla and a gentle grip on the minerally finish. This will be a seductive Deuxième vin that should give a decade's worth of drinking pleasure. Drink 2021 - 2034." - Neil Martin (04/17)

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