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Vintage - 2017, Bordeaux

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Bordeaux



Maritime Bordeaux in the west of France is a large producer of quality wines. Although saying that there's a large gap between the top few who produce ultra-premium wines with hefty price tags (Lafite, Margaux, Y'Quem, Petrus….) and the rest of the field.

The Left Bank with its gravelly composition of soils is more suited to Cabernet Sauvignon while the Right Bank is made up more of clay and this is where Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominate (as they are earlier ripens and don't mind getting their feet wet). In the middle, the Entre Du Meurs provides a slew of whites and reds made for early drinking.

On the right bank outside of St Emilion and Pomerol, there are a lot of well-priced merlots made that are more for early consumption. These come from the satellite Bordeaux regions.
The English built up a thirst for the better Bordeaux reds which they have coined 'clarets'. These are often tucked away for a while in their cellars to age and drunk with a few years under their belts. But not all Bordeaux is built for aging, so choose wisely.

Styles
For whites, there are the crisp and easily quaffed whites from Entre De Meurs, or the more ambitious oak-aged Semillion Sauvignon blends from Pessac Legonan. The queen of dessert wines, Sauternes can also call Bordeaux home. French oak maturation is a common thread amongst the elite reds, whites and sweet wines.

Grapes

White:Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot

Some of the most highly rated recent vintages are 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2018.

Favourite Producers
Montrose, Pichon Lalande, Poitevin, D'Yquem, Coutet,
 


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  1. Chateau La Vieille Cure 2017- 375ml
    Chateau La Vieille Cure 2017- 375ml

    Fronsac

     74% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.

    An utterly delicious red with crushed berries, cappuccino and hints of black olives. Medium-bodied, compact and very soft. Really creamy texture. A blend of 75% merlot, 22% cabernet franc and 3% cabernet sauvignon. Hard not to drink now. So do it! JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 La Vieille Cure is deep, fleshy and delicious. In 2017, La Vieille Cure is a bit less dense than it often is, but it still packs a pretty serious punch. Dark red cherry, plum, cinnamon, chocolate and floral notes shape this racy, inviting Fronsac. ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Vieille Cure has a tightly-packed black cherry and cassis scented bouquet that feels as if it could be more intense once in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with a candied, pastille-like opening: blackcurrant, crème de cassis and vanilla, lower in acidity than its Fronsac peers but smooth as silk towards the finish. NEAL MARTIN

     

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  2. Clos Floridene Blanc 2017
    Clos Floridene Blanc 2017

    1 BOTTLES remain at time of offer
    The 2017 Clos Floridène Blanc has a really classy bouquet, very well defined with citrus lemon, lime and light crushed pebble aromas. This is very pure and focused. The palate is well balanced with a twist of sour lemon on the entry, a fine bead of acidity with a very saline finish. This is a really interesting Clos Floridène thanks to the expressive Sémillon (91). NEAL MARTIN

    A wine of real distinction and class, the 2017 Clos Floridène Blanc also shows just how appealing the vintage is for Bordeaux's dry whites. Lemon confit, tangerine oil, pear, spice and a kiss of new French oak all grace this soft, wonderfully expressive white from the Dubourdieu family. The 2017 is pure class. That's all there is to it. Tasted two times. (91) ANTONIO GALLONI

    2017
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  3. Rieussec 2017 375ml
    Rieussec 2017 375ml

    Sauternes 1er Cru Classé
    24 BOTTLES remain at time of offer

    The 2017 Rieussec captures the natural intensity of the year, while also remaining faithful to the house style that is now favored by the estate. A high percentage of Sauvignon Blanc (17%) adds freshness and lift to the passionfruit, pineapple, mint and lemon confit flavors. Beautifully harmonious and persistent in the glass, the 2017 has so much to offer. In this tasting, it is simply tremendous. (94-97) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Rieussec was affected by the frost, losing around 15% of the production although, it was more located in parcels that are designated for the dry white R de Rieussec. Eric Kohler told me that it was a relatively rapid picking. It has around 125gm/L residual sugar. It has a clean but slightly distant bouquet, does not really exude the richness that you expect from Sauternes. The palate is medium-bodied and more promising than the nose: a viscous opening, quite spicy and slightly Auslese in style. The acidity is well balanced and it becomes increasingly lively towards the lychee and fennel-tinged finish, as if compensating for the nose. (92-94) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  4. Chateau Rouget Pomerol 2017
    Chateau Rouget Pomerol 2017

    Pomerol
    12 BOTTLES remain at time of offer
    The 2017 Rouget is a total knockout. Aromatically explosive, deep and just so compelling in its beauty, the 2017 has so much to offer. A rush of inky dark fruit, lavender, bittersweet chocolate, spice and licorice build as this sumptuous, exotic beauty shows off all of its allure. The 2017 is not at all subtle, but it sure is gorgeous. Rouget was stellar en primeur. It is every bit as impressive from bottle. (95) ANTONIO GALLONI

    2017
    Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Merlot, Merlot
    France
    356
  5. Clinet 2017
    Clinet 2017

    Pomerol
    9 BOTTLE remain at time of offer
    The 2017 Clinet was bottled at the end of June 2019. It has a more understated bouquet than the 2015 or 2016. Tightly wound, brambly black fruit with traces of pressed violet and iodine, gradually open with orange rind notes. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins. This is classic in style, firm grip and a little rigid in its youth, although it will flesh out with bottle age. I admire both the freshness and salinity in this Clinet, especially its linearity on the finish. Excellent. (13.2% alcohol) (93) NEAL MARTIN, vinous

    2017
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  6. Lynch Bages 2017
    Lynch Bages 2017

    Pauillac 5ème Cru Classé
    18 BOTTLE remain at time of offer

    This is a focused and tight Lynch with beautiful blackcurrants, slate, graphite and lead pencil. Medium to full body. Very fine tannins and brightness. Linear line of tannins that runs nicely through the wine. A blend of 70% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. (95) JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 Lynch-Bages is such a pretty and engaging wine; as always, it is a wine of pure and total seduction. Lush, open-knit and very pretty with ripe red and purplish fruit. There is a slight bit of edginess in the tannin that needs to be resolved, but cellaring should take care of that. (94) ANTONIO CALLONI

    The 2017 Lynch-Bages is aged for 18 months in 75% new French oak. It has a very pure bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, freshly picked wild mint and a touch of iodine. It feels very primal compared to its peers and certainly requires plenty of bottle age. The palate is sweet and generous on the entry thanks to the supple tannin. Moderate acidity, quite opulent for Lynch-Bages but that is reined in towards the finish. I would have liked a little more complexity and delineation overall, but it should drink well for 15 to 20 years. (92) NEAL MARTIN

     

    2017
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  7. Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2017
    Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2017

    Pessac-Léognan
    15 BOTTLES Remain at time of offer
    The 2017 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is very clearly one of the wines of the vintage. Rich, voluptuous and creamy, the 2017 has so much to offer. Citrus peel, white flowers and mint are all generous in the glass. More than that, the 2017 offers an interplay of tension and textural opulence that is incredibly appealing. The blend is 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris. (96) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc has a really enticing bouquet with Granny Smith apples, Mirabelle, freshly sliced pear and light, flinty aromas. There is plenty of energy here, perhaps even more than the following vintage. The palate is medium-bodied with pretty orange rind and tangerine notes on the entry. This is very focused and full of tension, the finish quite saline with impressive persistency. (94) NEAL MARTIN

     

    2017
    sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
    France
    356
  8. Pontet Canet 2017
    Pontet Canet 2017

    Pauillac 5ème Cru Classé
    6 BOTTLE Remain at time of offer

    A gorgeous, alluring Pauillac, the 2017 Pontet-Canet is racy and exceptionally polished, with floral top notes that bring out the natural brightness of the red-toned fruit. Super-silky tannins add to the wine's immediacy and sheer allure. The 2017 was the first wine made with the new sorting table. About half the fruit was destemmed by hand. As always, visiting Pontet-Canet is like stepping back into another time, a time in which wines were made much more manually than they are today. Here that means manual punch downs and pump overs, with no electricity. Harvest ran from September 18 through October 4. The blend is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Aging was done 50% in new oak, 35% in amphora and 15% in one year-old oak. Tasted three times.. (95) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Pontet-Canet offers attractive red berry fruit mixed with cedar and potpourri, underneath which lies subtle aromas of graphite that I would like to see a little more of as it matures in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that render this one of the more approachable vintages in recent years. The cedar-infused black fruit is framed by fine tannins and a harmonious, graphite tinged finish. This Pontet-Canet should offer up to 20 years of drinking pleasure although it will be difficult to resist pulling the cork in its youth.. (93) NEAL MARTIN

     

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  9. Canon 2017
    Canon 2017

    Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 
    7 BOTTLES remin at time of offer

    Nicolas Audebert and his team have done it again. The 2017 Canon is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage. Rich and vertical in construction, the 2017 possesses off-the-charts richness and intensity in all of its dimensions. In the glass, the 2017 is sumptuous and layered, with superb detail and tons of sheer pedigree. In 20 years, readers will have a fabulous time tasting the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 together and debating their respective merits. Dark plum fruit, striking Franc aromatics and the clean, focused energy of Saint-Émilion's limestone plateau make for a ravishing, exquisite wine of the highest level. In a word: breathtaking. (97) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Canon was bottled on 15 May, 2019. This needs time to settle in the glass, the oak rather vocal at this early stage and overshadowing the blackberry and briary aromas. It only takes a couple of minutes for this Saint-Émilion to settle and reveal more limestone-infused fruit that really shows its terroir. The palate is very well defined with crunchy black fruit. I appreciate the chalky texture and freshness of this Canon, almost brittle, with blackberry and brine-like notes on the finish. Whilst not up there with the superlative 2016, the follow-up is still very fine. Note that over multiple tasting this Canon improved between September and December. (95) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  10. Pichon Baron 2017
    Pichon Baron 2017
    Pauillac 2ème Cru Classé
    3 BOTTLES remain at time of offer
    The 2017 Pichon-Baron was picked from 18 September with the Merlot, finishing on 3 October with the Cabernet Sauvignon, matured in 80% new oak for 20 months. It has a crisp, precise and tightly wound bouquet, although the aromatics feel a little reticent. Likewise, the tannins are a little conspicuous at this precise moment. They will soften with time. There is commendable body and precision, slightly peppery towards the finish with a tang of cracked black pepper on the aftertaste. Very fine - what you might call a "solid" Pichon Baron. (93) NEAL MARTIN

    The 2017 Pichon-Baron has developed into a potent wine, even by its own standards. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, grilled herbs, licorice, new leather and spice all flesh out in a succulent Pauillac that shows the racier personality of the year. In the glass, Pichon is dark, racy and sumptuous as it so often is, with terrific density and explosive energy. Today, I see less of the aromatic brilliance the wine showed en primeur; perhaps that will come with time. The 2017 spent 18 months in 80% new oak. (94+) ANTONIO GALONI
    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  11. Montrose 2017
    Montrose 2017

    Saint-Estèphe 2ème Cru Classé 
    13 BOTTLE remain at time of offer

    Extremely aromatic with currant, wild-herb and fresh-violet aromas. This is regal cabernet sauvignon at its finest. The palate has unwaveringly long and defined tannins that carry such fresh, piercingly pure, redcurrant and cassis flavors. A twin to the superb 2015? A blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.(97) JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 Montrose is a very pretty, polished wine that speaks much more to finesse than power. Expressive floral and spices notes add an attractive inner sweetness to a Montrose that in 2017 leans more into the red fruit spectrum. Gracious yet deep, with terrific overall balance, the 2017 Montrose is a total winner. What impresses most about the 2017 is its freshness and sophistication. I won't be surprised if Montrose turns out to be even better than this note suggests further down the road. Graphite, licorice, menthol and sage lead to a finish with real grip and freshness. The 2017 is such a classy and promising wine. (95+) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Montrose was so impressive from barrel and now, bottled since July, it continues to put in a strong case for being one of the best Left Bank wines. It has a very pure and intoxicating bouquet with intense blackberry, light cassis, juniper and violet aromas, almost Margaux-like in terms of personality. Although there is a patina of new oak after bottling, it is in sync with the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle grip on the entry. Tightly wound at the moment but supremely well focused, this is a classic Montrose, "cool" and reserved, demonstrating impressive tension and precision towards the finish. It will require less time in bottle than the 2016 for example, so broach this superb Saint-Estèphe after five or six years and then it will give 25 to 30 years of drinking pleasure, and knowing Montrose, probably longer. Tasted twice with consistent notes. (95) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  12. Conseillante 2017
    Conseillante 2017

    Pomerol
    3 BOTTLES Remain at time of offer
    The 2017 La Conseillante is a regal wine. Lithe and statuesque in the glass, La Conseillante soars with real vertical intensity. Sweet floral aromatics and silky tannins give the 2017 much of its understated, classy personality. Inky dark blue/purplish fruit, spice, licorice and lavender develop with a bit of time, but it is the wine's balance and extreme sense of harmony that stand out most. Technical Director Marielle Cazaux gave the fruit about 2 days on the skins, with no SO2 at crush. Cazaux added that the malos were quite fast. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Frost reduced production by around 15%, while drought further reduced yields in the Franc by a further 10%. This is a fabulous showing. (96) ANTONIO GALLONI

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  13. Ducru Beaucaillou 2017
    Ducru Beaucaillou 2017

    Saint-Julien 2ème Cru Classé 
    6 BOTTLE remain at time of offer

    Attractive, intense aromas of ripe blueberries, currants and more savory, tarry notes, as well as iodine, violets and cassis. The palate has a supple and succulent feel. This is cabernet in outright seductive mode, offering such fluid tannins and mouth-filling length. A blend of 90% cabernet sauvignon and 10% merlot. One of the stars of the vintage. Drink or hold. (98) JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 Ducru-Beaucaillou is racy, deep and opulently beautiful. In 2017, Ducru is very red-fruited and floral, with tons of inner sweetness and nuance to match its sumptuous, exotic personality. Mint, spice, chocolate and licorice accents add character as the 2017 gains brightness, aromatic purity and detail with a bit of air. Bruno Borie gave the 2017 18 months in 100% new oak. Along with Beychevelle, Ducru is the most flamboyant wine in Saint-Julien. Tasted two times. (96)ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Ducru-Beaucaillou was bottled around 15 July 2019 after 18 months in 100% new oak. It offers seductive red and black fruit on the nose that is seamlessly integrated with the oak, touches of pressed iris flower and potpourri emerging with time and lending complexity. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and wonderful acidity. This is classic Ducru through and through, quite effortless in style with a persistent, slightly lactic finish that might lack the ambition of a great vintage like 2016. For sheer drinkability, this hits the spot. Thus it will be a Ducru that should drink earlier than other vintages. Tasted twice with consistent notes.(94) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  14. Leoville Las Cases 2017
    Leoville Las Cases 2017

    Saint-Julien 2ème Cru Classé 
    2 BOTTLE remain at time of offer
    The 2017 Léoville Las Cases captures all the best the vintage has to offer. Rich, unctuous and stunning in its beauty, the 2017 possesses tremendous richness and textural intensity that carry through to the very long finish, all with the regal, statuesque feel that is the quintessential signature of Las Cases. Just as it was from barrel, Las Cases is wonderfully polished. Tasted two times. What a wine! (97+) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Léoville Las-Cases, which was bottled in July 2019, has a fragrant bouquet with rose petal and briary aromas married with cranberry, pomegranate and raspberry. A touch of tobacco emerges with time. It is certainly a more understated bouquet for this property. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and a fine bead of acidity. This feels very pure and harmonious, quite complex, more so than in barrel, with darker, more savory and ferrous fruit towards the finish. This is an excellent Léoville Las-Cases with plenty of character. (94) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  15. L'Evangile 2017
    L'Evangile 2017

    Pomerol - LIMITED
    2 BOTTLES reamin at timne of offer

    The 2017 L'Évangile, 100% Merlot for this first time, is just as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel. Dark, sumptuous and wonderfully inviting, the 2017 has so much to offer. Dark fruit, spice, mocha, leather and licorice infuse the 2017 with notable depth. Time in the glass brings out lovely aromatic top notes that add freshness. A rapturously beautiful wine, L'Évangile is stellar. Frost wiped out half of the potential crop, including all of the Cabernet Franc, which means the Grand Vin is 100% Merlot. Technical Director Jean Pascal Vazart opted for gentle pumpovers and longer extractions than normal. (97) ANTONIO GALLONI

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  16. Montrose 2017 1500ml
    Montrose 2017 1500ml

    Saint-Estèphe 2ème Cru Classé 
    4 MAGNUMS remain at time of offer

    Extremely aromatic with currant, wild-herb and fresh-violet aromas. This is regal cabernet sauvignon at its finest. The palate has unwaveringly long and defined tannins that carry such fresh, piercingly pure, redcurrant and cassis flavors. A twin to the superb 2015? A blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.(97) JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 Montrose is a very pretty, polished wine that speaks much more to finesse than power. Expressive floral and spices notes add an attractive inner sweetness to a Montrose that in 2017 leans more into the red fruit spectrum. Gracious yet deep, with terrific overall balance, the 2017 Montrose is a total winner. What impresses most about the 2017 is its freshness and sophistication. I won't be surprised if Montrose turns out to be even better than this note suggests further down the road. Graphite, licorice, menthol and sage lead to a finish with real grip and freshness. The 2017 is such a classy and promising wine. (95+) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Montrose was so impressive from barrel and now, bottled since July, it continues to put in a strong case for being one of the best Left Bank wines. It has a very pure and intoxicating bouquet with intense blackberry, light cassis, juniper and violet aromas, almost Margaux-like in terms of personality. Although there is a patina of new oak after bottling, it is in sync with the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle grip on the entry. Tightly wound at the moment but supremely well focused, this is a classic Montrose, "cool" and reserved, demonstrating impressive tension and precision towards the finish. It will require less time in bottle than the 2016 for example, so broach this superb Saint-Estèphe after five or six years and then it will give 25 to 30 years of drinking pleasure, and knowing Montrose, probably longer. Tasted twice with consistent notes. (95) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  17. La Mission Haut Brion 2017
    La Mission Haut Brion 2017

    Pessac-Léognan
    2 BOTTLES Remain at time of offer
    A positively stunning wine, the 2017 La Mission Haut-Brion is all class. Sweet floral notes give the 2017 striking freshness, nuance and energy. Rose petal, mint, blood orange, red cherry, pomegranate and mocha are all laced together. In 2017, La Mission plays very much in the red fruit and floral end of the spectrum. Effortless, gracious and wonderfully nuanced, the 2017 simply has it all. What a wine! (96) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 La Mission Haut-Brion was bottled a little earlier than the Haut-Brion, 20-24 May. It has a more understated bouquet than Haut-Brion and consequently demands more coaxing, eventually revealing very pure raspberry and wild strawberry scents mixed with wet limestone and hints of wilted rose petal. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannin, very focused and refined with darker fruit compared to the nose. Traces of tar and cedar surface towards the classic finish that linger nicely, although Haut-Brion just has a tad more persistence and depth. Superb. (94) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
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