2017 Vintage in brief
A good to very good vintage in the leading communes of the Northern Medoc, Pessac/Graves, and over in St Emilion and Pomerol. Wines of freshness and excellent ripeness thanks to minimal rainfall and cooler than average summer temperatures. The closest vintage for quality comparison is 2014 and many wines are closer to 2015 and even 2016 in some cases.
The frost effect
Late April frost reducing volumes in lower lying vineyards on the right bank and in land vineyards on the left bank. The less well-located estates on each bank were those that fared worse in terms of loss of crop.
About the region
Northern Médoc produced great wines from St. Julien to St. Estèphe with the best results from those estates near the Gironde river.
Margaux produced some very good wines but was less homogenous in quality across the commune than further north.
St Emilion’s limestone plateau produced good to excellent wines with very little frost damage.
Pomerol’s plateau was badly hit by frost but top estates coped and reduced the effect. The quality is excellent in many properties.
Pessac-Léognan was badly hit by the frost with some top estates losing up to 50% of the crop. The resulting wines however are very good to excellent.
Overall, First Growths and Grand Cru Classé ‘A’ wines all reach a very high standard.
The dry whites and Sauternes are generally excellent. Generally medium bodied, elegant wines with ripe tannins expressive aromas and flavours.
Whilst the power of 2016 and 2015 is not there, balance and harmony make up for it. There is great ageing potential for the top wines.
Lisa Perrotti Brown, Wine Advocate
“Here is a vintage where pockets of extraordinary wines possessing great depth and super ripe, super fine-grained tannins can be found, achieving ripeness in some cases at around 13% alcohol. This is a quality and style of Bordeaux that we have not seen in many, many years and, without getting into a long-winded discussion about the possible impact of climate change on wine styles, is something of a miracle in our modern times.
They possess the structure and intensity of fruit to evolve incredibly and be very long-lived.”