Bordeaux 2017 was all about location. Most of the top vineyards were hardly touched by the devastating April frost, including almost all those in Pauillac, St-Julien and St-Estèphe. For those that weren’t impacted, it was a good and occasionally very good vintage, though not exceptional. How good was mostly down to how well placed.
All the First Growths on the left bank have made predictably fine wines, as did many of their neighbours, and there are some lovely, tiny-production Pomerols and classy, top flight St-Emilions. The same can be said for Pessac-Léognan and Margaux, and the whites meanwhile, both dry and sweet, can be excellent.
No one is claiming that 2017 is a great vintage. Yet it was a perfectly good one. Here are my top 20, featuring the outstanding wines.
My top 20
|Chateau||Appelation||Classification||Drinking window||GQ score|
|Ausone||Saint Emilion||1er Grand Cru Classé A||2028-2048||95-97|
|Latour||Pauillac||1er Cru Classé||2027-2050||95-97|
|Lafite Rothschild||Pauillac||1er Cru Classé||2027-2047||95-97|
|Margaux||Margaux||1er Cru Classé||2027-2045||95-97|
|Haut Brion||Pessac Léognan||1er Cru Classé||2027-2050||95-97|
|La Mission Haut Brion Blanc||Pessac Léognan||Not classified||2021-2037||95-97|
|Le Pin||Pomerol||Not classified||2025-2040||95-96|
|Haut Brion Blanc||Pessac Léognan||Not classified||2022-2035||95-96|
|La Mission Haut Brion||Pessac Léognan||Cru Classé||2024-2042||95-96|
|Palmer||Margaux||3ème Cru Classé||2024-2040||95-96|
|L’Eglise Clinet||Pomerol||Not classified||2025-2045||94-96|
|Vieux Château Certan||Pomerol||Not classified||2026-2043||94-96|
|Angelus||Saint Emilion||1er Grand Cru Classé A||2025-2043||94-96|
|Léoville Barton||Saint Julien||2ème Cru Classé||2027-2045||94-96|
|Léoville Las Cases||Saint Julien||2ème Cru Classé||2027-2045||94-96|
|Mouton Rothschild||Pauillac||1er Cru Classé||2027-2047||94-96|
|Pichon Baron||Pauillac||2ème Cru Classé||2026-2047||94-96|
|Pontet Canet||Pauillac||5ème Cru Classé||2024-2045||94-96|
|Yquem||Sauternes||1er Cru Supérieur||2024-2040||94-96|
In fact, there are 21, but you won’t be able to buy Latour for a good few years as they won’t release it for sale until it’s ready. So it almost doesn’t count.
All the wines above will be priced in the stratosphere, with only Léoville Barton being comfortably under £1000 a case ‘in bond’ – it’ll probably cost around £60 a bottle, ex taxes – with Pontet Canet and Pichon Baron not too far off a grand.
I left the gratuitous classification of each wine in there for fun, and my guestimate of when to drink them. It’s not definitive, just an indication of the optimum drinking curve and all these wines will live longer if well cellared. Larger formats will last a lot longer.
My highest score, as you can see, was 95-97, which I gave to seven reds and one dry white. By comparison, I rated 20 wines from 2016 higher than this, with a stash more at the same level.