Bordeaux 2017 - Langoa Barton, Pape Clement and Malartic Lagraviere

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.

There have also been two notable releases from the commune of Pessac Leognan; Bernard Magrez’s flagship Chateau, Pape Clement, and the Bonnie family’s Malartic Lagraviere. After the triumph of the 2016, Pape Clement 2017 was a return to its traditional style of uncompromising tannins and massive concentration. If you like this style, then this will no doubt hit the spot, but we’d rather have the Langoa Barton every day and it’s more or less half the price!


‘The 2017 Langoa Barton was picked from 15 to 18 September with respect to the Merlot and from 22 to 29 September for the Cabernets, matured in 60% new oak. It has a ripe, brine-tinged bouquet, not complex compared to previous vintages, but pure and developing light smoke and truffle scents with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with quite sharp tannin to create a tensile Langoa-Barton, saline with moderate depth, just a touch of pencil lead that surfaces towards the finish. It is exactly what I expected, which is a good thing given the track record of this Saint-Julien.
90-92 points’, Neal Martin, drink 2021-2040