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Bordeaux 2017 In Bottle: Haut-Médoc

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

It is a tribute to the dedication of the top estates in the Haut-Médoc that so many respectable wines have been made in 2017. In some cases that might also be a little of the luck of the draw. Some properties will have been less frost-affected than others because the best sites are often those that also offer some degree of frost protection by virtue of geography or aspect. Others will have made wine by sheer force of effort and wherewithal. Château La Tour Carnet, for example, lost well over 70% of their crop due to frosts. The very respectable red they have ended up producing has also been underwritten by the resources of owner Bernard Magrez. Smaller, less well financed properties, would have probably faired less successfully in the circumstances. Of the eight wines shown last autumn by the UGCB, Château Belgrave and Château Cantemerle led the pack. These are really stylish and complete wines which show a lot of flair. For the moment Château La Lagune shows less well. Though it has considerable purity, it felt a little sulky, but I would expect this wine to eventually find its stride. Excellent wines have been produced by Château Beaumont and Château Citran and both will offer good value. Château La Tour Carnet and Château Coufran are also good.

The following notes were taken on October 2019 at the annual Unions des Grands Crus de Bordeaux event in London. As ever, the notes are more important than the numbers!

Château Beaumont, Haut-Médoc, 2017

Healthy colour; purple at edge; fresh blackcurrant aromatics with some cherry; nicely done; good entry on the palate; stylish and textured with freshness and grip; zappy finish. This works well. Good effort! Tasted October 2019. Drink 2023-2030. 89+

Château Belgrave, Haut-Médoc, 2017

Mid depth; deep at the centre; purple edge; nice cassis and pain grillénotes; good seductive Belgrave; easy palate which is almost ready to drink; plums, spices; glossy quality. Like this! Very seductive for the vintage. Belgrave is now such a consistent property. The 2010, tasted recently, is on top form. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2022-2030. 91+

Château Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc, 2017

Deep colour; tight to edge; soft and full aromatics; lots of pleasure here; forward and attractive; plums and blackcurrants; nice extract and texture on the palate; plenty of middle here; full and impressive. Good length. Excellent effort in the vintage. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2023-2035. 92+

Château Citran, Haut-Médoc, 2017

Mid depth; deepish core; integrated aromatics; plums, olives; some wet rock; soft entry; fruit cake spices; nice mouthfeel; extract; some grip and bite on the finish but this is full-flavoured, gutsy Haut-Medoc. Tasted October 2019. 2022-2030. 89+

Château Coufran, Haut-Médoc, 2017

Mid depth; legs; soft and easy aromatics; some spice; nice depth; full and complete on the palate; sturdy Coufran. Works nicely. Be some time before this is released by the property as Coufran offers its wine when it feels it is mature. 2024-2030. Tasted October 2019. 88+

Château La Lagune, Haut-Médoc, 2017

Mid depth; deep core; fresh and a little reductive at first; clean and fresh; lacks the supple quality of Cantemerle and Belgrave; nevertheless displays purity and freshness and will probably ‘bloom’ in a few years. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2025-2035. 90

Château de Lamarque, Haut-Médoc 2017

Mid depth; loose red at edge; ripe and easy aromatics; forward but a little figgy; feels rather simple on the palate; lacks complexity. Soft, easy and quite forward in this vintage. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2022-2027. 85

Château La Tour Carnet, Haut-Médoc, 2017

Mid depth; deepish; nice blackcurrant fruit and plum tones; some savoury notes on the palate although it lacks a bit of depth, it finishes well. This property was badly affected by the April frosts of 2017. Good effort considering that so much of the harvest was lost to frost. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2022-2030. 88

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