Bordeaux 2017 in bottle (3) the left bank

Continuing my write-up of the Bordeux 2017 vintage in bottle, here are my notes on the left bank wines from the UGC tasting.

Château Clarke 2017 Listrac-Médoc
70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Clay and limestone soils, natural grass cover. 66% new oak. Exaggerated, slightly confected berry fruits nose. Ripe and rich with nice raspberry and blackberry fruit. Has a nice fruity quality to it with some grip. 89/100

Château Fonréaud 2017 Listrac-Médoc
49% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 4% Petit-Verdot. Gravels on clay and limestone subsoil. 30% new barrels. Sweetly aromatic nose with some floral hints. Juicy raspberry and cherry fruit with some grip and nice density. Has good freshness. Vivid style. 90/100                             

Château Fourcas Dupré 2017 Listrac-Médoc
52% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot. 12 months in French oak barrels, 1/3 of which are new. Supple in a lighter style with juicy raspberry and cherry fruit. Juicy and focused with good acidity. Vivid and bright. 89/100 

Château Fourcas Hosten 2017 Listrac-Médoc
66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot. A fresh wine with linear cherry and blackberry fruit, supported by good acidity. Nice linear drive. Has good structure and balance with lovely purity to the fruit. 92/100                                  

Château Chasse-Spleen 2017 Moulis-en-Médoc
Cabernet Sauvignon 50%, Merlot 41%, Petit Verdot 6%, Cabernet Franc 3%. 40% new oak. Structured, quite savoury and gravelly with some grainy tannins under the blackcurrant fruit. A dense wine, with some savoury notes. 90/100                              

Château Maucaillou 2017 Moulis-en-Médoc
52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41%Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot. 40% new oak. Juicy and supple with sweet berry fruits. Some red cherry brightness. Has a savoury, cedary edge to the fruit. Balanced. 88/100

Château Poujeaux 2017 Moulis-en-Médoc
62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 13 % Petit Verdot, 30% new oak. Fresh, mideweight and very drinkable with juice cherries and plums, and some blackcurrant depth. Attractive and digestible. 89/100                       

Château Beaumont 2017 Haut-Médoc
50% Cabernet Sauvignon,  48% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. Hilltop of sandy Günzian gravel. Lovely weight here: balanced and fleshy, with sweet, fine-grained black cherry and blackberry fruit. Juicy and fine-grained with nice tannins. Not a big wine, but well balanced. 91/100                              

Château Belgrave 2017 Haut-Médoc
88% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 12% Merlot. Two hillocks of deep gravel lying on clay subsoil; gravelly-sandy soils on clay outcrop. 35% new oak. Good structure here: gravelly and expressive with sweet black cherries and blackcurrant fruit. Nice freshness and focus, with good acidity. Could age well over the next five years but delicious already. 91/100                         

Château Cantemerle 2017 Haut-Médoc
71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Bright and berryish with nice raspberry and cherry fruit, showing some juiciness. Textured with a lovely fruity personality, but also some savoury, gravelly notes. Showing lots of drinkability already. 90/100                           

Château Citran 2017 Haut-Médoc
49% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc. 38% new oak. There’s some structure here lurking under the ripe, accessible blackcurrant and cherry fruit. Has a nice texture with some chalky graininess and good acidity. Stylish and supple. 90/100                               

Château Coufran 2017 Haut-Médoc
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. 25% new oak, all Seguin Moreau. Smoky, gravelly nose. Supple palate shows sweet berry fruits with some savoury, grainy tar and gravel notes. Midweight and classic. 88/100                                  

Château La Lagune 2017 Haut-Médoc
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Fresh, vivid and structured with a firm tannic core and sweet, compact blackcurrant and blackberry fruits. Has depth allied to freshness. There’s substance here. 91/100                           

Château de Lamarque 2017 Haut-Médoc
45% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot. Methode “Cousinié”; no herbicide; working soil; organic compost; no botritis treatment. Winemaking 21 days alcoholic fermentation; soft extraction; écoulage in vats with malolactique in vats; press wine in barrels for selection (method Eric Boissenot). 35% new oak. Sweet and plummy on the nose with some green hints. There’s a real sweetness to the palate: lush and berryish with a softness, and a touch of stewed green as well. 86/100       

Château La Tour Carnet 2017 Haut-Médoc
60% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc. 30% new oak. Forward, fruity and gravelly with nice purity of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. Has some richness and depth. Seamless and polished with supple green hints on the finish. Modern style. 90/100                         

Château La Tour de By 2017 Médoc
60% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit-Verdot. Fleshy, dark and gravelly with nice brightness to the sweet blackcurrant and black cherry fruit. Grainy and structured. This is quite serious, but it’s also relatively approachable now. 92/100

Château Brane-Cantenac 2017 Margaux
74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Some harmony here to the ripe, sweet blackcurrant fruit. Shows some depth and breadth, with an autumnal hint to the sleek black fruits. Very appealing. 92/100                                   

Château Cantenac Brown 2017 Margaux
67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot. Nice blackcurrant fruit core here: ripe and sleek, with fine-grained chalky tannins. Good concentration, with a sleek, balanced personality. 93/100

Château Dauzac 2017 Margaux
69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot. Fresh and juicy, with good acidity and some tannic grip supporting the ripe cherry and blackcurrant fruit. Good concentration. The tannins are quite marked, but they integrate well. Good potential for mid-term development. 93/100                                 

Château Desmirail 2017 Margaux
Cabernet Sauvignon 35%, Merlot 55%, Petit Verdot 10%. Juicy and bright with a savoury, grippy, slightly herbal edge to the bright raspoberry and blackcurrant fruit. Juicy and focused with nice grippy tannins. 90/100                               

Château Ferrière 2017 Margaux
79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. Organic. There’s a nice open fleshiness to this wine. It has ripe black fruits, but also good structure, and a really nice mouthfeel. Elegant in style, but with some substance. 92/100

Château Giscours 2017 Margaux
71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Juicy and expressive with a rounded, sweet berry and black fruit core, but also nice juiciness and some grainy structure. Classic and appealing, with potential for mid-term development. 91/100

Château Kirwan 2017 Margaux
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet-franc, 5% Petit Verdot. Pyrenean gravel carried along by the Garonne river during quaternary era at a depth of three to six meters. Graphite and minerals on the nose, alongside sweet black fruits. Good concentration and balance on the palate with some good structure. Has a bit of flesh and fruit sweetness, but also good balance and focus. Stylish. 93/100       

Château Labégorce 2017 Margaux
46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit-Verdot. 33% new oak. Polished and ripe with sweet blackcurrant fruit and some cherry richness. Has some spicy oak supporting the fruit. Midweight. Modern and ripe in style. 90/100                            

Château Lascombes 2017 Margaux
57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot. Nice focused aromatics: ripe and floral. Concentrated palate with ripe black fruits. Polished and well defined with some structure under the wall of sweet fruit. 92/100                   

Château Marquis de Terme 2017 Margaux
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Bright, taut raspberry and red cherry fruit core. Very red fruits in character with good acidity. Nicely expressive. 89/100                             

Château Monbrison 2017 Margaux
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25%  Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Fleshy and expressive with nice elegance to the cherry and berry fruits. Has a fine-grained structure. Good balance. 89/100

Château Prieuré-Lichine 2017 Margaux
63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Good concentration here, but it’s very nicely balanced and elegant, showing fine-grained structure and lovely blackberry and cherry fruit. Good weight. 90/100                              

Château Rauzan-Gassies 2017 Margaux
76% Cabernet Sauvignon,  23% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot. Deep gravels, sandy gravels. Mechanical work of the soil or use of between-rows grass. Poussard pruning. Removal of the laterals and manual repositioning of the clusters. Thinning out of the leaves before the harvest. 50% new oak. Nice concentration here with fresh blackcurrant fruit and lovely fine-grained structure. Supple and elegant with good balance. 92/100          

Château Rauzan-Ségla 2017 Margaux
62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. Has a fresh, supple, slightly green minty edge to the sweet berry fruits. Midweight with good acid and structure. Shows some generosity, but also has a tightness. 91/100                                   

Château Siran 2017 Margaux
46% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot. 35% new oak. Nice freshness. Shows some silky berry fruits, together with some tannic structure. Fresh and pure in style, this is really drinkable. Good balance with approproate structure. 91/100     

Château du Tertre 2017 Margaux
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. 60% in Biodynamy, the rest is in organic viticulture. 30% new oak. Green herbal edge to the nose. Some fleshy black fruits, but also some greenness here that sticks out a little. Very drinkable, though. 88/100                            

Château Beychevelle 2017 Saint-Julien
50% cabernet sauvignon, 45% merlot, 1% Cabernet franc, 4% petit Verdot. Fresh and balanced with a vivid blackcurrant fruit core. Midweight with nice structure and acidity, showing sweet fruit coupled with some grainy, mineral savoury notes. Potential for mid-term ageing, but already approachable. 93/100

Château Branaire-Ducru 2017 Saint-Julien
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 4,5% Cabernet Franc, 6.5% Petit Verdot. 65% new oak. Grainy, gravelly and savoury with a nice acid line and some firm tannins. Fresh with nice fruit presence. Quite classic in style. 92/100                                

Château Gloria 2017 Saint-Julien
61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petot Verdot. Fleshy and focused, this shows nice weight to the rounded, sweet red berry and blackcurrant fruit. Pretty and expressive with impeccable balance. 93/100                        

Château Gruaud Larose 2017 Saint-Julien
Cabernet Sauvignon 67%, Merlot 31.5%, Cabernet Franc 1.5%. Integrated pest control, 30 ha biodynamic, weather station, prophylaxis. There’s a tarry, roast coffee edge to the sweet black fruits here. Fine-grained structure. Quite brooding, and still tightwound. Potential for development. 93/100                                   

Château Lagrange 2017 Saint-Julien
78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. 60% new oak. Fresh and quite intense, with lovely blackcurrant and black cherry fruit. Has nice density and good acidity, with good concentration and freshness. Has real potential. 94/100                           

Château Langoa Barton 2017 Saint-Julien
54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc. Nice concentration here with dense blackcurrant fruit and some good firm tannins. Juicy and linear with nice freshness. Compact and a little backward. 92/100                                 

Château Léoville Barton 2017 Saint-Julien
93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot. Classic and a bit unfurled, showing dense, fresh blackcurrant fruit with some savoury cedar and tar notes. Tannic and primary still, but with a bright future ahead of it. 94/100         

Château Léoville Poyferré 2017 Saint-Julien
68% Cabernet Sauvignon 27%, Merlot 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 80% new oak. Grippy and firm, but with some flesh to the blackcurrant fruit. Expressive and refined, with good concentratiion. Nice grip. 93/100

Château Saint-Pierre 2017 Saint-Julien
73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc. Smoky roast coffee edge to the nose. The palate is savoury and quite firm with nice gravelly notes supporting the sweet blackcurrant fruit. 92/100      

Château Talbot 2017 Saint-Julien
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. 50% new oak. Fresh and expressive with nice focus to the cherry and blackberry fruit. Has an ease and elegance to it. Midweight and expressive. 92/100                        

Château d’Armailhac 2017 Pauillac
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. 50% new oak. Smoky, gravelly nose. Palate is midweight with ripe blackcurrant fruit. Polished and alluring with fine-grained structure. Nice stuff. 91/100                           

Château Batailley 2017 Pauillac
Merlot 17%, Petit Verdot 3%, Cabernet Sauvignon 80%. Supple and fine-grained with nice structure melding seamlessly with the elegant cherry and blackcurrant fruit. Nice weight here. 92/100                             

Château Clerc Milon 2017 Pauillac
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Carmenère. Deep sandy gravels (2/3), and clay over limestone (1/3). Blend of organic, sustainable and biodynamic practices. This stylish, midweight wine has a freshness and tension to it. Juicy acidity and fine-grained structure with lovely plush yet elegant berry fruits. 92/100                           

Château Croizet-Bages 2017 Pauillac
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot. Mechanical work of the soil or use of between-rows grass. Poussard pruning. 50% new oak. Juicy and expressive with a creamy undercurrent to the ripe berry fruits. Midweight and digestible. 90/100

Château Duhart-Milon 2017 Pauillac
Cabernet Sauvignon 76%, Merlot 24%. Fine gravel mixed with aeolian sand on tertiary limestone subsoil. Fresh and expressive with bright blackcurrant fruit and some cherry freshness. Has a supple, sappy edge to the fruit. 88/100                               

Château Grand-Puy Ducasse 2017 Pauillac
57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot. 35% new oak. Nice concentration here: dense, finely structured berry and blackcurrant fruit. Quite complex and structured with a fresh finish. Potential for development. 92/100

Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2017 Pauillac
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. Very deep coarse gravel. Sustaintable agriculture, Mechanical ploughing of the soil, spraying kept to the absolute effective minimum. 75%  new oak. Fresh and expressive with a juicy, linear quality to the blackcurrant fruit. This is quite backward, but the fruit is really nice, and it’s well balanced. 93/100          

Château Haut-Bages Libéral 2017 Pauillac
72% cabernet sauvignon, 28% merlot. Organic, in certification process. Juicy and bright with some raspberry freshness as well as bright blackcurrant fruit, and some crunchy structure. Nicely poised in a midweight style. 90/100                                 

Château Lynch-Bages 2017 Pauillac
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 4% Cabernet franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Classically styled with concentrated red berry and blackcurrant fruit. Compact and structured, yet showing some approachablity. Nice flesh. Has lots of potential: a very assured, structured but balanced wine. 94/100                       

Château Lynch-Moussas 2017 Pauillac
Merlot 22%, Cabernet Sauvignon 78%. Gravelly pencil shaving nose. The palate is dark and gravelly with midweight blackcurrant fruit. Brooding and dark. 92/100

Château Pichon Baron 2017 Pauillac
79%  Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot. Gravelly, cedary edge to the black fruits nose. Shows good concentration with lovely pure, concentrated blackcurrant fruit. Juicy on the finish with some refined green hints. Lots of interest here. 94/100                                  

Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2017 Pauillac
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Juicy, supple and stylish with bright blackcurrant fruit and some fresh cherry notes. Good concentration but avoids heaviness. Bright and expressive. 93/100                           

Château Cos Labory 2017 Saint-Estèphe
56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Sweetly fruited but with a dense, more savoury side. Good grip and concenration. Has nice intensity. 91/100                        

Château Lafon-Rochet 2017 Saint-Estèphe
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. Nice concentration and focus here, with brooding blackcurrant fruit and nice acidity. Has some savoury grip. A taut, structured wine. 93/100                          

Château Ormes De Pez 2017 Saint-Estèphe
42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 51% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 45% new oak. Supple and fresh with grippy structure under the sweet blackcurrant fruit. Nice freshness. Midweight and very drinkable. 92/100                          

Château de Pez 2017 Saint-Estèphe
51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 1.5% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Petit Verdot. Grippy and vivid with nice freshness and weight. Gravelly edge to the blackcurrant fruit. Has some cherry freshness. Nice acid. 91/100

Château Phélan Ségur 2017 Saint-Estèphe
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc. Structured but elegant with nice juiciness to the blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. Nicely poised with a sense of harmony. Not heavy. A good mid-term drinker. 92/100

See also:

Bordeaux 2017 in bottle The Whites, The Left Bank