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 Fonréaud’
The joyride around Bordeaux 2016 culminated once again with some remarkable wines in the Haut-Médoc. These were led by Château Palmer, which in 2016 has produced a Margaux to rival last year’s beauty. Overall you would have thought that the dry and hot conditions would have been difficult on some of the gravelly and lighter soils in both Margaux and in Pessac-Léognan, the two key appellations in which I dedicated a large part of my final day tasting. While I did notice a little more variability (some jam/raisin qualities in a couple, over-extraction in others] I was generally very impressed with a great number of wines. Once again the aromatics, the fruit tones and seductive qualities of the tannins were remarkable at the top end. I also explored the Haut-Médoc appellation in some detail. There are a great many wines of interest here in 2016 for the consumer. The vintage appears to rival 2009 and 2010. Stylistically it is almost a hypothetical blend of those two vintages [perhaps with some 2014 thrown in], but with generally more moderate alcohol levels. Time will tell as to 2016s precise place in the pantheon, but it’s obviously a very exciting vintage. Still, dark Brexit clouds mean that this vintage will obviously be released into an uncertain and possibly very different future.
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.
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.