Bordeaux 2017En Primeur
As with Pavillon Rouge; Such perfume…. Deeply introverted yet floral and so pretty. There is a vibrant lift, yet the wine is light on the palate, building to a rich core of blackcurrant cassis liqueur-like fruit. Broad and expansive, the wine broadens and intensifies on the palate with each passing moment. Structured and forceful, yet pure..... So pure. A symphony.
An explosive day in Bordeaux has seen a number of top rated Châteaux release their 2017s to the world. Stunning Left Bank wines from the “Léovilles” of Barton and Poyferré, together with one of Mr.Wheeler’s star Châteaux of the vintage – Château Montrose, and our top pick of the Second Wines; La Dame de Montrose.
Léoville-Barton was in brilliant form in 2017, producing a wine which was every bit as strong as their 2015 and very much the equal of their stunning 2016. The great news here is that the Barton family have, once again, released at a great level which reflects a significant reduction on the 2016 release price. When you consider that this is many critic’s star St Julien in 2017, it looks to be an essential purchase this year.
2017 Château Cos d'Estournel, St Estèphe
A potentially perfect wine in 2017 according to The Wine Advocate, with Lisa Perotti-Brown MW awarding her joint highest score of the vintage (97-100pts), Cos d’Estournel goes from strength to strength.
The nearest neighbour to Lafite-Rothschild, it is no surprise that the sheer power and latent potential displayed in the estate’s 2017 release has stimulated such critical acclaim, placing this St Estèphe “Super Second” in pole position this vintage and leaving every single First Growth to simply step back and applaud the estate’s superlative effort.
3 Significant Releases - Canon, Rauzan-Ségla & Grand-Puy-Lacoste
The Bordeaux 2017 campaign is finally hotting up, with three significant releases today from our shortlist, Chanel-owned Châteaux Rauzan-Ségla and Canon, and archetypal Pauillac Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste.
With Chanel pouring huge investment into Château Rauzan-Segla and Château Canon, it is no surprise whatsoever that both estates are fast becoming some of the most desirable, yet conversely, well priced wines coming out of Bordeaux.
Pichon Lalande - The Wine of the Vintage...?
Today’s Superstar is one of the spearheads of our carefully crafted selection – Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande. One of the top estates in Pauillac, “Pichon-Lalande” is the subtle, delicate and beautifully elegant side of the Pichon-Longueville coin, providing perfect counterpoint to the muscle and raw power of “Pichon-Baron” across the road.
It was one of our favourites during the En Primeur tasting, its silky texture and pure core of fruit being carried for what seemed an age by the structure and minerality. Critics very much agreed with us – Neal Martin graced it with 93-95, Galloni 92-95 and Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW 94-96, very much top scores in the context of the vintage.
Even better, they have sensibly followed the example of Lynch-Bages last week, and released at a price that represents over 20% discount on the 2016.
Today sees the release of one of the most sought-after wines of the Médoc, Château Lynch-Bages. For lovers of alliteration, this is the original “Flying Fifth”; an estate taken to much greater heights than its original 1855 classification by the consistent care and expertise of the Cazes family. Indeed quality-wise, this Château is on a par with most second growths year in, year out.
The 2017 is no exception to the rule. It is graced by the same freshness, energy and lifted aromatics that were the hallmark of the vintage, and the structure is classic Pauillac – firm, fine-grained tannins and pitch-perfect balance with a long finish.
It was one of the highlights of the Pauillac tasting for us, and with a price 22% down on the 2016 release and 12 % down on the current market price for the 2015, it looks very good (relative) value so we can wholeheartedly recommend this.
Domaine de Chevalier
Hot off the press, the latest release out of Bordeaux focuses on the stunning Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Leognan. Another estate with exceptional history and pedigree, in 2017 they have provided one of the region’s most compelling combined efforts in both their red and white wines.
Proving a huge success with the critics, Jeb Dunnuck commenting that “"The 2017 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge is going to be up with the crème de la crème of the vintage” and James Suckling noting that of the Domaine de Chevalier Blanc “is a dense and beautiful DC with serious density and a fabulous layering of fruit”.
Certainly an exceptional pair of wines, it goes without saying that allocations will be extremely small this year. Do let us know if you would like us to secure a case or two of these stunning wines.
Château Talbot and Château Beychevelle
Following a period of relative silence emanating from the region, Mr.Wheeler are proud to announce their first brace of Classed Growth releases from the 2017 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign - Château Talbot and Château Beychevelle.
Super St Julien's by any stretch, in 2017 they both performed admirably and are offered into the market with a discount on last year’s releases. Château Talbot in fact, reflecting a reduction of over 10%! Château Talbot has become a huge favourite amongst UK wine drinkers and when combined with its perpetual over-achievements in recent vintages, pitches well above it’s lowly 4th Growth Status.
Château Beychevelle, too, with it’s huge following in Asia is released at a most affordable level, the quality on show in the bottle as intense and richly fruited as the Talbot, with lots of black cherry and cassis flavours and a plushness and confidence that St Julien seemed to exude in the vintage.
2017 Clos des Lunes "Lune d'Argent", Grand Vin Blanc Sec
With the mighty red wines of 2017 Bordeaux on the cusp of releasing to the world market, Mr.Wheeler offers you an opportunity to invest in one of the great dry white wines produced in the region during this wonderful vintage.
With so much talk of 2017 as a vintage currently around the trade, you can be forgiven for thinking that Bordeaux is an exclusively red wine region, however, 2017 also proved a stunning vintage for the dry white wines of the Medoc. Clos des Lunes, composed of 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc, is one such success.
Under the ownership of none other than the prestigious Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Leognan yet actually positioned within the Sauternes region of Bordeaux, the sheer pedigree in the glass is impossible to ignore.
First Release - Château Palmer
Today sees 2017 Bordeaux’s first major release. Château Palmer, a perpetual over-achiever in the commune of Margaux really has hit great form this vintage. Barely touched by the well documented April frosts which caused so much damage across the region, the Château has turned out two masterful efforts in the form of the Grand Vin, together with the brilliant “Second Wine” Alter Ego de Palmer.
Essentially a vineyard block cuvee, Alter Ego was one of my top wines of 2017 in both a qualitative as well as value sense. The price for Château Palmer itself reflects a 20% reduction on the 2016 vintage released last year; this for a wine rated by James Suckling as the joint top performing estate in the commune could prove to be an astute purchase so early in the 2017 campaign.
Early Vintage Review - Parts 1, 2 & 3
Day three of my 2017 Bordeaux tastings was met with a bright and sunny start as we escaped Bordeaux city for the rolling hillside of the region’s Right Bank. St Emilion and Pomerol lay in wait and most importantly for my palate, a break in play from the tannic impact of young Cabernet Sauvignon led wines...
Day two in Bordeaux’s Left Bank and our attention turned to the classic communes of St Julien, Margaux and Pauillac. Pessac-Leognan had already provided a delicious range of wines, where the very best examples displayed delicious candied notions of redcurrant...
Following the excellent preceding twin vintages of 2015 and 2016, it was never going to be the easiest task for 2017 Bordeaux to fire the imagination of buyers. Quality across those two vintages had been brilliantly received by critics and private customers alike. Many wines ticked all the boxes for both high quality drinkability...