Bordeaux 2017 in bottle, part 2: the right bank

Now the 2017 vintage from Bordeaux is in bottle, the October Union des Grand Crus tasting was a good chance to taste through and get a better impression of this complicated vintage than you can hope to from barrel samples in March. Here are notes on 27 wines tasted from Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. The left bank notes will follow shortly. For an overview of the vintage, see the commentary on my write up of the whites here.

Château Balestard La Tonnelle 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Limestone-clay plateau. Fermented in epoxy-lined cement tanks. Fleshy and berryish with nice taut structure. Midweight and quite generous with a slight caramel edge to the fruit. 88/100                    

Château Beau-Séjour Bécot 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
80% merlot, 15% cabernet franc, 5% cabernet sauvignon. Clay limestone soils. Fermented in 7000 litre reverse tronconic stainless steel vats with immersed cap. Aged 65% in new barrels, and 35% in amphora and 2000 litre oak cask. Sweetly fruited with nice ripe cherries and plums. Rounded and textural with a slight chalky edge to the ripe fruit. Has some elegance. 92/100

Château Canon 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
77% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc. Clay-limestone plateau. 56% new oak. Lovely floral detail with nice flesh to the cherry and plum fruit. Good concentration with nice elegance and purity. Approachable now, but with potential. Lovely red fruit freshness. Seamless. 94/100                        

Château Canon-La-Gaffelière 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru       
60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Clay limestone, with sandy clay at the foot of the slope. Organic farming. Punched down and then aged in 55% new oak. Concentrated and ripe with a slightly stern, gravelly, spicy edge to the lush berry fruits. Trying quite hard, but still retains balance. 91/100                      

Château Cap de Mourlin 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Concentrated with some blackberry and blackcurrant notes over a core of bright red fruits. Has good stucture and a grainy, mineral finish. Nice depth here. 92/100

Château La Dominique 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
70% merlot, 20% cabernet franc, 10% cabernet sauvignon. Gravels on clay, limestone on clay, brown soils with clay. Fermented in stainless steel tronconic vats, then aged in barrel for 16 months, 30% new oak. Lovely concentrated fruit here: ripe but balanced, with sweet cherries and raspberries, supported by a finely wrought structure that’s quite chalky and fine-grained. Nice fresh finish. Seductive but balanced. 94/100        

Château Figeac 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
43% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc       . Guntzian gravel. 18 months in new oak. Beguiling nose with a creamy, floral edge to the blackcurrant fruit. Fresh, vivid, structured palate showing bright blackcurrant fruit. Has flesh on the bones, but lovely structure, with a complex, spicy finish. Such a beautiful wine. 96/100

Clos Fourtet 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
86% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc. Clay-limestone soils, whole berry ferment. A ripe, lush, seductive wine offering sweet blackcurrant fruit with some blackberry jam richness. Under the bold, lush fruit there’s some grippy structure. Great concentration here. A very ripe wine. 93/100                          

Château Franc Mayne  2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. 50% new oak. Classically styled, with concentrated sweet red and black fruits and good structure. Gravelly, spicy edge to the fruit. Good concentration and potential for development here. 94/100                        

Château La Gaffelière  2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc. Vinified without sulphites, 8% whole cluster, 50% new oak. Enticing floral nose leads to a seamless, fleshy palate with bright red and black fruits. Harmonious and more-ish with a sweet core to the fruit. Good balance and concentration. 94/100          

Château Grand Mayne 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. Charcoal and roast coffee edge to the nose. Sweet black cherry and blackberry fruit with nice grippy structure. Good balance here, showing ripeness but also some structure. 92/100

Château Troplong Mondot Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc. 14.5% alcohol. Clay with flint and limestone soils. This is lush and concentrated showing sleek, bold blackberry fruit with some hints of tar, ash and cedar. Powerful and sweetly fruited with nice depth. Showy. 91/100                     

Château Larcis Ducasse 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc. Fresh and focused with nice grip to the sweet black fruits. Smooth and appealing with some lushness. Has a gravelly edge. Stylish and quite forward. 91/100                        

Château Pavie Macquin 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
80% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% alcohol. Limestone-clay plateau over asteriated limestone. Whole berry ferment then aged in oak (50% new). Supple and sleek, showing ripe blackberry and black cherry fruit, hemmed in nicely by fresh, fine structure and acidity. Shows ripeness, but also some restraint. Very pretty. 93/100

Château Soutard 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
60% new oak. Supple black cherry and blackcurrant fruit supported by good structure. Very stylish with nice balance and focus. 92/100                       

Château Valandraud 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. 22 months in new oak. Smoke and roast coffee notes on the nose. Concentrated and ripe with a creamy edge to the blackcurrant fruit. Very polished and brooding with nice depth of fruit. 92/100                           

Château Villemaurine 2017 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Clay/limestone soils, manual work in the vineyards. Smoky, gravelly edge to the nose. Floral, with sleek, ripe cherry and berry fruits. Supple with good weight and balance. Nice structure and acidity. Midweight and delicious. 92/100                         

Chateau Trotte Vieille  2017 Premier Grand Cru Classe Saint-Emilion
Smoky, gravelly edge on the nose, leading to a ripe, concentrated palate with sweet cherries, blackcurrants and fine spices. Nice depth. Ripe and rich, but with balance. 93/100                         

Château Beauregard 2017 Pomerol
55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Franc. Organic. Gravel and clay soils, 45% new oak. There’s an appealing subtly green edge to this wine. Fresh with sweet blackcurrant fruit. Has some redcurrant, too. Smooth structure. 90/100

Château La Conseillante 2017 Pomerol
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. 60% grey clay and 40% sandy gravel. Brooding, sleek black fruits on the nose with hints of leather and tar. There’s ripeness on the palate, but also a tension between the riper notes, and the fresher, more structured elements. Shows flesh and bones at the same time. Very nice texture. Thought-provoking and brooding. 94/100                          

Château Le Bon Pasteur 2017 Pomerol
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Fresh, pure and bright with good structure under the blackcurrant and cherry fruit. Very finely poised with good acid and tannic structure. Quite classic with lovely fruit. 94/100

Château La Cabanne 2017 Pomerol
100% Merlot. A ‘Vin Nature’ with no added sulphites during the winemaking process. This has lovely concentration and freshness, with amazing structure to the bright blackberry and black cherry fruit. Mouthfilling and seamless, with good acidity. Lovely freshness and balance, with a nice acid line. Brilliantly expressive. 94/100                     

Château Clinet 2017 Pomerol
92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. Manual work in the vineyard. 18 months in 72% new oak barrels. Supple and bright. A mix of red and black fruits with nice freshness. Good structure here under the appealing bright fruit. Great balance and elegance. 94/100                         

Château La Croix de Gay 2017 Pomerol
93% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc. Complex spicy, savoury nose. Gravelly edge to the supple berry fruits. Open and appealing. Sweet mid-palate. 89/100                         

Château Gazin 2017 Pomerol    
Merlot 95%, Cabernet Franc 5%. 15 month in barrels, 40% new oak. Juicy and bright with nice plummy, berryish fruit. Compact and sweetly fruited. Has a grippy, savoury edge. 90/100                      

Château Petit-Village 2017 Pomerol
71% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon. Grainy and structured with sweet cherry and berry fruits. Very appealing and approachable with nice texture. Has an ease to it, with lovely fruit purity. 92/100        

Château Rouget 2017 Pomerol
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. 30% integral vinification (berries directly in barrels), significant proportion of whole cluster fermentation, 25% new oak. The only one Bordeaux estate owned by a Burgundy family. Organically farmed since 2016. Smoky, gravelly nose shows nice complexity. Lush and sweetly fruited with a supple, ripe blackberry and cherry fruit character. Ripe, for sure, but has some elegance. 92/100     

See also: Bordeaux 2017 The Whites

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