In the Haut-Médoc, the 2017 vintage doesn’t quite play as well as perhaps I’d hoped back in 2018 during my primeurs tastings. A lot of sites inland from the Gironde, such as Listrac and Moulis, suffered from the April frosts, and this has obviously affected the choices of blending elements, as well as volumes [as elsewhere in Bordeaux in this vintage]. I’m a great fan of these two appellations as sources of good value, vigorous wines, that have plenty of zap and life. Unfortunately, there is a certain angularity to some of the wines here in 2017. While the best terroirs have made the best wines here – Château Poujeaux is the most convincing – 2017 is not a vintage to particularly seek out here over 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018. All these vintages are fuller and more complete than 2017.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Clarke’
The neighbouring appellations of Moulis and Listrac provide an important source of good value, high-quality Bordeaux. Both have succeeded in 2015. Listrac continues its modern march towards a softer more supple style, and the qualities of the vintage – harmony and balance – accentuate this. I was especially impressed with Château Clarke, but there are very positive efforts from Château Ducluzeau, Château Fourcas-Borie, Château Fourcas-Dupré and Château Fourcas Hosten. In Moulis, Château Poujeaux reigns supreme, year in year out, but there is another good effort in 2015 from Château Maucaillou.
Day three on primeurs week saw me start off in Margaux with an early morning tasting with Thomas Duroux at Château Palmer. There is great depth to Palmer in 2015. It looks to be an exciting vintage in the appellation. Though there is some variation in experience, Margaux, overall, had less of the September rain that dampened things further up the Haut-Médoc. An emotional trip to Château Margaux then beckoned. This was the first primeurs tasting in the château’s new Norman Foster designed chais and winemaking facility. Obviously it was also the first primeurs for thirty years or more unaccompanied by Paul Pontallier. It was an emotional experience. All the things he had worked for at Margaux had come true – an impressive new cellar and a beautiful wine in 2015 – a fitting epitaph for a fine man.
Fans of the sturdy and ambitious wines of Moulis and Listrac will have a lot to enjoy in 2014. This is undoubtedly the best vintage here since 2010. As usual there is a lot of freshness to the wines, but in most cases the fruit is genuinely ripe and the tannins well handled. Château Poujeaux once again leads the field. It has produced an impressive wine of depth and polish. Do look out for the excellent effort from Château Maucaillou and good wine has also been made at Chateau Anthonic. Château Chasse-Spleen is fresh and elegant, though it needs to fill out. In Listrac, Château Fourcas Hosten and Château Fourcas Dupré look very good as usual, and there is an excellent effort from Château Clarke.