Bordeaux 2017 – my top 20 wines

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
Petrus Pomerol Not classified 2026-2045 95-97
Lafleur Pomerol Not classified 2025-2045 95-97
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.

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