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Bordeaux 2017

vintage report Bordeaux 2017

A Darwinian Vintage

In 2017 there’s no avoiding the ‘F’ word. It has been more than a quarter of a century since frost last devastated a Bordeaux crop, so it is inevitable that this was a major talking point. However, cruel as the frost was on some, it doesn’t really determine the quality of the vintage.

Life isn’t fair and neither is nature. As the earth gets warmer, flowering gets earlier, and the risk of frost damage becomes greater. Not many winemakers can recall the frosts of 1991 first hand, but their legacy is still haunting. When the meteorologists predicted a cold blast on the nights of the 27th and 28th of April, there was a genuine sense of panic. Most with the means deployed bougies, wind turbines, helicopters, lit hay, took whatever measures they could - the rest left it to chance.

2017 Releases

20 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017: Cheval Blanc and L’Eglise Clinet

As the campaign draws towards its finale, it’s easy to become a little blasé about the big names. VCC, Cheval Blanc and L’Eglise Clinet in one day – no problem… Who are we kidding, these are three of the most spectacular chateaux in Bordeaux – all well and truly on top of their games.

19 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017: The Dazzling Vieux Chateau Certan

There’s absolutely no doubt that Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont have made one of the wines of the vintage – this is a sensational VCC. We’ve always known that this terroir is capable of producing one of the most ravishing wines in Pomerol – now we come to expect it every year. If it isn’t in the same league as the absolute elite wines of this luxuriant commune, we’d be very surprised. The 2017 is another sumptuously textured, aromatically profound, vibrant yet effortless Pomerol; it’s a real seductress that won’t let you put the glass down… We were thrilled when we tasted it, as were the great and the good of the world’s wine press. The 2017 has been showered with accolades, but that shouldn’t come as any surprise… this is one magnificent Vieux Chateau Certan!

14 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Lafite Rothschild

We are delighted to offer the outstanding Lafite 2017. This wine has received unanimous praise from the critics and merchants alike. It’s a wonderful wine and whereas other exceptional wines from 2017 have been rejected by the market for overly ambitious pricing, Lafite looks set to be a roaring success. At £2490 per six, this is the best priced Lafite available today. As ever, demand for this brand is sky high, it is after all the darling of the First Growths in the Asian market. If you would like to secure an allocation, please contact your line manager or follow the link below.

14 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Haut Brion and family

First out of the traps this morning are the Pessac Leognan wines of Clarence Dillon: Haut Brion, La Mission Haut Brion, Clarence Haut Brion, Chapelle de la Mission, Haut Brion Blanc, La Mission Haut Brion Blanc and Clarté de Haut Brion. And what a great range of wines they are. We were thrilled by their purity, the wide spectrum of aromas and effortless power. This is everything we have come to expect from this superb portfolio. Jean-Philippe Delmas crafts handsome, reserved wines – the glitz is provided by the exceptional stony terroir, which reveals its complexity with every swirl of the glass. Purists will swoon for these wines and they promise to age gracefully for many years to come.

13 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Chateau Margaux, Figeac, Pavie, Angelus and La Conseillante

There is only one contender for top billing today – it has to be the quite ravishing Chateau Margaux. It was for us the most refined First Growth, a truly ethereal wine with all the very best characteristics of Margaux: wonderful perfume, exquisite detail, concealed power and a glorious finish that reveals an astonishing array of nuances. It is unmistakably Chateau Margaux, and we fell head-over-heels for it. We also adored the Pavillon Rouge, but alas, selection was stricter than ever, so allocations are absolutely miniscule – please enquire with your account manager if you would like an allocation.

12 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Leoville Las Cases

It’s time to get contentious and wear our hearts on our sleeves... You can forget analysis and talk of points or comparisons with other vintages, this mailer is emotive and may be a touch controversial. We adore Leoville Las Cases. Hubert Delon’s flagship chateau is the epitome of great Left Bank Bordeaux. In our opinion this vineyard at the northern tip of St Julien is unsurpassed. It neighbours a notable First Growth, but hand on hearts, we prefer Las Cases. It is such an exquisite expression of this extraordinary terroir – the wines are a purists’ delight; they feel for want of a better word, ‘proper’. They have grace and charm and will age effortlessly. The 2017 is yet another outstanding effort that is clearly of First Growth quality at less than half the price. Discerning drinkers and collectors should take note…

12 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Mouton Rothschild

Philippe Dhalluin has produced a stunning range of 2017s. His wines are silky and sumptuous, yet serious and complex – the pinnacle is the exceptional Mouton Rothschild. It is evidently a wonderful Mouton full of exotic spice and glorious fruit. There is more than a nod towards the great vintages of the past coupled with the control and polish of modern winemaking. The result captures all the character and gravitas of this terroir in a style that will be approachable in its youth and for many decades to come. It is certainly one of the most profound 2017s and continues the exceptional run of form from this noble chateau.

11 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Leoville Barton

Our thoughts echo those of Antonio Galloni and Neal Martin – this is a scintillating Leoville Barton. We shouldn’t be surprised, this Chateau has really upped its game in recent vintages producing serious, muscular, profound wines in a classical style. Cabernet is very much at the fore, a whopping 93% of the blend, and it shows in the glass. The flavour profile is wonderful, the palate is effortless; this is such a refined and stylish wine – a perfect balance of power and tension. It was without doubt one of the most impressive wines of the Left Bank and will be one of the best value ‘super seconds’ of the vintage.

08 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - The Moueix Family Wines

We are delighted to release a quartet of Moueix Family wines: La Fleur Petrus, Belair Monange, Hosanna and Lafleur Gazin. Jean-Pierre Moueix was a maverick propriétaire and negociant. He spotted the potential of Pomerol, raising brands like Petrus from near obscurity to the very pinnacle of wine collectability. Now the company is run by the father and son team of Christian and Edouard Moueix. Their portfolio of chateaux is unparalleled and thanks to sympathetic and traditional wine-making techniques, they all have unique identities.

07 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017: The ravishing Smith Haut Lafitte

The Cathiard’s have yet again produced another outstanding Smith Haut Lafitte. The house style of plush, velvety textured fruit and generosity transcends the vintage. It is ravishingly aromatic, voluptuous and pallet coating yet taut and compact with the structure to age gracefully for many decades. We were seriously impressed, as were all the major critics:

07 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Cos d’Estournel

Cos d’Estournel 2017 is one of the three 97-100 point wines from The Wine Advocate, along with Chateau Lafleur and Haut Brion Blanc. It is a parting gift from the departing Aymeric de Gironde – a brace of potentially perfect wines, and a change of style that we very much like. Heavy extractions and an abundance of alcohol are out – finesse and elegance are in – it’s a refreshing change and one that has caught the eye of the major critics.

06 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Calon Segur, Rauzan Segla, Canon and Brane Cantenac

We’ve been eagerly anticipating a deluge of releases post Vinexpo. Now we have lift-off. Laurent Duffau’s wonderful Calon Segur was first out of the blocks. To say that Calon Segur is desirable is a gross understatement – this is one of the hottest tickets in Bordeaux. Huge investments in the vineyard and in a new state of the art winery have elevated this wine to the very top echelons of the Bordeaux hierarchy. The 2017 is superb. We were struck by the dazzling purity of the Cabernet; this is sleek and refined with real intensity and poise. It is a wonderful modern expression of the Calon vineyard and will be an instant sell-out!

05 June 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Pichon Comtesse and Reserve de la Comtesse

Nicolas Glumineau has transformed the fortunes of Pichon Comtesse, turning it into one of the most consistently outstanding wines in the Medoc. The 2014 set the bar at vertigo inducing heights, only for 2015 and 2016 to sail over. 2017 is once again a real beauty – this is a wine of First Growth pedigree and finesse; there are the tell-tale haunting aromatics, gorgeous texture and precision of flavours, and the most effortless of tannins – it’s the whole package! This really is a huge success and a worthy addition to the impressive compendium of Glumineau wines.

18 May 2018 Clerc Milon, d’Armailhac, Duhart Milon and Evangile 2017

The great First Growths of Pauillac, Mouton Rothschild and Lafite Rothschild have released their sister properties on to the market. We make no apologies for our fervour for Clerc Milon and d’Armailhac. Under the watchful eye of Philippe Dhalluin the quality at these chateaux has soared, as has demand. These are now two very hot tickets. Wines made with First Growth know-how and means from great vineyards close to the Gironde – well, it was always going to be a winning formula... D’Armailhac deserves special mention in 2017 – there is a real sense of ambition and class. We were suitably impressed and rank this alongside Chateau Batailley as our best value pick from the Pauillac appellation.

17 May 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Domaine de Chevalier Rouge and Blanc

Olivier Bernard is a busy man. He’s been the President of the Union des Grand Crus since 2012 and manages no fewer than six Bordeaux chateaux, but still finds time to greet his guests with his customary hospitality, and most importantly, produce spellbinding wines from Domaine de Chevalier.

16 May 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Chateau Beychevelle

Beychevelle has always been regarded with affection by the UK market. The wines were traditionally classic clarets; thoroughly dependable and good value for money. Under the stewardship of Romain Ducolomb this beautifully situated chateau has really started to live up to its true potential. A new state of the art winery combined with Romain’s technical know-how has elevated this estate into the top echelons of the Bordeaux hierarchy.

14 May 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Tertre Roteboeuf, Roc de Cambes and Domaine de Cambes

The inimitable Francois Mitjavile has once again triumphed with his stunning range of 2017s; they are decadent, expressive and down-right delicious.

11 May 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Les Cruzelles, Montlandrie, La Chenade and Saintayme

After the roaring success of Chateau Lafleur on Wednesday, Monsieur Durantou has also decided to come to the party. Denis’ flagship, Chateau L’Eglise Clinet received top marks from Neal Martin along with Lafleur, Lafite, Yquem and L' Extravagant de Doisy-Daëne. We were mighty impressed by his grandiose Pomerol.

09 May 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Chateau Lafleur and other wines from the Guinaudeau family

In recent vintages Chateau Lafleur has produced some exquisite wines that possess a rare, haunting complexity and remarkable length. In 2017 Lafleur is without doubt one of the most profound and exceptional wines we tasted from barrel. It seems that all the major critics agree. To receive the top score from one journalist is an accolade, to obtain the most lauded scores from Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Neal Martin and Antonio Galloni is showing off! As Baptiste proclaims, “this is a clear continuation of 2015 and 2016… a trilogy of vintages that provided water stress and outstanding quality”. They have once again risen above the challenges and vagaries of the season and exceed all expectation. Lafleur is a quite simply a masterpiece that will still be giving immense pleasure when other 2017s are left behind.

Col. Vint.
Wine / Producer Appellation / Region
Format Cs. Btls. Price Tax
Read More
Format Price Tax
1x300cl - - £123.00 ep Buy
6x75cl - - £132.00 ep Buy
3x150cl - - £132.00 ep Buy
Château Grand Village
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - £64.50 ep Buy
3x150cl - - £64.50 ep Buy
1x300cl - - £78.00 ep Buy
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl 10 3 £75.00 ib Buy
Read More
Format Price Tax
6x75cl - - Sold Out ep
3x75cl - - Sold Out ep
Château Lafleur
Read More
Format Price Tax
3x75cl - - Sold Out ep
3x150cl - - Sold Out ep
6x75cl - - Sold Out ep
Read More
Format Price Tax
3x150cl - - Sold Out ep
1x300cl - - Sold Out ep
3x75cl - - Sold Out ep
1x6L - - Sold Out ep

04 May 2018 Three great values from the northern Medoc

Hot on the heels of our best value St Julien, Chateau Langoa Barton, is one of our must have wines from Pauillac, Chateau Batailley. Like Haut Batailley, this chateau has had a recent make-over. The introduction of a second label, enabling greater selection and subtle changes in wine-making have added a certain polish, but not at the expense of the traditional charm we all associate with Batailley. Like most transformations, it takes a little time, both for the wine and the taster to become accustomed to the new character. The team at Batailley has nailed it in 2017!

03 May 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Langoa Barton, Pape Clement and Malartic Lagraviere

Langoa Barton has really upped the ante in recent years. For a long time this beautiful Chateau and its wines lagged some distance behind its second growth partner, Leoville Barton. The gap has been closing, and yet the brand remains true to itself – it doesn’t try to be butch or overtly sophisticated; this is good, honest drinking claret that ages beautifully and rarely fails to deliver. There is noticeably more mid-palate in recent vintages, and the tannins are a touch more polished. It’s a gentle modernisation that will sit well with traditional Langoa devotees and the new generation of Bordeaux aficionados.

02 May 2018 Adieu Patrick

The genial Patrick Maroteaux was a true gent of Bordeaux. He wasn’t born into a dynastic Bordeaux family, he came from Picardy in Northern France and had successful careers in both banking and sugar before he bought Branaire Ducru in 1988. Patrick appointed a young Philippe Dhalluin as technical director and invested heavily in both the vineyard and in the chateau. Under his tenure, Branaire enjoyed a run of successful vintages. They were never flashy or headline grabbing, but they never failed to deliver. I was fortunate enough to have lunch with Patrick at the Waterside Inn before his illness, and every wine was a joy to drink, they had aged gracefully, were perfectly mannered and rather handsome.

25 April 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Haut Batailley

Xavier Borie has faithfully tended his Aunt’s property, Haut Batailley for many years, producing elegant and stylish wines. If there was one criticism it was perhaps a slight lack of ambition – one felt that most of his energy was spent improving the wonderful Grand Puy Lacoste. Now that the estate has been purchased by the Cazes family (of Lynch Bages and Les Ormes de Pez), one feels that Haut Batailley is about to receive the investment it requires to achieve its full potential.

23 April 2018 Bordeaux 2017 - Chateau Palmer

No-one can accuse the Bordelais of being predictable – the ink has barely dried in our notebooks and one of the biggest names of the Medoc, Chateau Palmer has caught us off guard and rather unprepared. Normally there is a period of grace for merchants and critics to gather their thoughts and proof their content during a slow trickle of releases from petit chateaux and Sauternes. But POW, 2017 kicks straight off with the magical and luxuriant Palmer. Although qualitatively this ranks in the same echelons as its neighbour, Chateau Margaux, it is stylistically a polar opposite. Whereas Margaux is pure florality and precision, Palmer is built in a darkly fruited, complex, gravelly mould with a lavish tannins and a real sense of opulence. James Suckling couldn’t separate these two great Chateaux, awarding both 97-98 points and it ranked amongst our top picks of the Left Bank.

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