A fresh and long red wine from Pessac-Léognan
Produced in the Pessac-Léognan appellation, Château Couhins red benefits from a 19-hectare vineyard set on a gravel hill of clay on limestone base, as well as a space made up of sand and clay. The wine is aged in French oak barrels (35% in new oak) for an average of 12 months. The 2016 vintage contains a blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.
Following a mild winter characterised by heavy rainfall, budburst began one week early around March 25th. The rain continued into the cool spring, leading to strong pressure from mildew. Flowering was delayed and started on the 30th but only in the earliest plots. A short period of good weather around June 4th led to superb and even flowering. The summer truly began on June 20th, bringing plenty of heat and severe drought. The water shortage of the summer of 2016 was close to that of the 2005 and 2010 vintages. Veraison occurred evenly, in continuity with the even flowering. Heat and dry weather allowed rapid breakdown of malic acid, while also keeping the pH levels low. Rain on September 13th gave the vine what it was missing in terms of water and revived its development. Until the end of harvest on October 20th, only one occurrence of rainfall was observed, allowing for a peaceful harvest.
With its pretty red colour, Château Couhins red 2016 reveals aromas of black fruits. The wine also unrolls silky tannins in the mouth, displaying a pleasant freshness and splendid length.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2016 Chateau Couhins has a slightly more backward bouquet compared to its peers, but it offers attractive blackberry, black olive and raspberry scents that gently unfold in the glass. The palate is sweet on the entry with juicy red and black fruit tinged with sea salt. My first sample was just missing a little backbone, although a second sample encountered at my final tasting seemed to address that and displayed a much steelier finish. This Pessac-Léognan will need three or four years in bottle, but has the substance to suggest that it will drink well for 15-20 years.