In a nutshell: A polished 4ème Cru Classé Margaux with good ripeness from an ever reliable estate.
The lowdown: While Prieure-Lichine has neighbours who are among the most exalted châteaux in Bordeaux its wines certainly stand comparison with the best of them. The 2016 is an elegant, classic and polished Margaux with vibrant aromas of blackberry and red berry fruit, sweet spice and floral notes. The body is medium-to-full with supple tannins, ripe dark berry fruit flavours with touches of tobacco, smoke and minerally notes. A very well made wine, another excellent Prieure. 96/100 - Antonio Galloni, 95/100 - Jane Anson (Decanter Magazine)
When to drink: A fine wine that is just entering its drinking window but will reward cellaring and while it's reached a good level of maturity it'll continue to improve well into the 2030s.
Prieuré-Lichine, a 4ème Cru Classé estate with 70 hectares of vineyards is one of the larger ones in the Margaux appellation and also one of the most fragmented with dozens of parcels scattered through the commune. Much of this is down to former owner Alexis Lichine, who, in the 1950s and 60s, traded several parcels with neighbouring châteaux with the aim of improving the overall quality of his vineyard holdings. The proportion of Merlot (at 45% of plantings) is high for a left bank Médoc estate and helps lend a distinctive suppleness to their wines.
In his turn Sacha Lichine, Alexis' son, ran the estate in the 1980s and 90s before its sale to current owners Groupe Ballande. It's thought of as one of Margaux's most reliable châteaux with their wines possessing good structure and depth of fruit.