En Primeur Bordeaux 2017

Dry Whites - The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Aile d'Argent Dry Whites Unreleased 90-92 95-96 91-93 96 90-93 -
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The 2017 Aile d’Argent Blanc, which was the only cru to suffer some frost damage, underwent around 14% malolactic fermentation (normally it is around 30%). It has a fresh, lemon thyme and white peach scented bouquet. The palate is well balanced with fine tension, quite saline with moderate depth, a tang of grapefruit and a touch of stem ginger towards the finish. [Readers should note one-third of this wine will be bottled under composite cork for the first time.] Tasted twice with consistent notes.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2020-2030

The impressive ripeness and intensity combined with elegance and finesse are what make this wonderful white. Honeysuckle, apricots, glazed grapefruit, spices and nutmeg. Medium to full body and fleshy fruit that’s lifted by the delicious acidity to the long finish.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

One-third of the crop for this wine was lost to frost. A blend of 53% Sauvignon Blanc, 46% Sémillon and 1% Muscadelle, the 2017 Aile d'Argent has lovely white peaches, lemon curd and beeswax notes with hints of orange peel, grapefruit and a touch of sage. The palate is light to medium-bodied and bursting with exuberant stone fruit and citrus flavors, with a racy line and a long, peachy finish.lis

Score: 91 - 93 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

This is a gorgeous wine, with wonderfully round stone fruit flavours, reminiscent of apricot and generous white peach. It shows huge intensity and concentration, with a wet stone minerality on the finish - for me, that is always a texture not a flavour, and extremely welcome in a young white wine. They lost two of the five plots to frost, so production is 35-40% down on normal. The grapes were picked between 30 August and 5 September, and 13% went through malo. There is 1% of Muscadelle in addition to the blend given.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2019-2030

A plump style, featuring lemon curd, pear and shortbread notes starting to define themselves, with white peach and honeysuckle accents.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Super-intense citrus – pink grapefruit. Smoky, scented richness, full and fragrant with apricot in the mouth. Firmly textured, structured, dense and still so fresh. Very, very long. Chalky depth on the creamy textured finish.

Score: 17 - 18 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2020-2029

The 2017 Aile d'Argent (53% Sauvignon, 46% Sémillon, and the rest Muscadelle) was affected by the frost, but the quality is certainly top notch. Exotic citrus, flowers, mint, and a kiss of salty minerality all emerge from this medium-bodied, supple, nicely textured white that drops off slightly on the finish.

Score: 88 - 90 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Blanc de Lynch Bages Dry Whites Unreleased 88-90 93 - 93 90-93 -
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The 2017 Blanc de Lynch Bages, which was slightly affected by frost, especially the Sauvignon Blanc, had been bottled the previous week. A blend of 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 41% Sémillon and 19% Muscadelle and matured in 45% new oak, it has a fresh green apple and gooseberry scented bouquet with the Sauvignon firmly in charge. The palate is well balanced with a fine thread of acidity, touches of grapefruit, melon and pineapple leading to a slightly blank but fresh finish that will need a year in bottle to develop more personality.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2019-2023

A dense and fresh white at the same time with cooked apples, lemon rind and minerals. Bright and vivid yet shows depth and seriousness. Phenolic and vivid. Hints of fresh herbs. Drink or hold.

Score: 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Utterly gorgeous freshness and zip, with intensity of flavour. It has a little more Sémillon than usual, due to frost affect the Sauvignon Blanc, which seems to mean the aromatics of the Muscadelle are a little more prominent than a classic Lynch Bages Blanc, adding a white flower honeysuckle lift. It is beautiful and works within the cascade of flavours, although I miss their more classic blend - they probably do too, to be fair. Already bottled. 45% new oak. Harvested 4 September to 8 September.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2019-2030

Really bracing and pure right now, featuring lively lime zest, kiwifruit and tarragon notes. The long, rapierlike finish lingers, with mouthwatering chive and sel gris accents.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

A little grapey and floral on the nose. Creamy with strong clementine flavours on the palate. Not typically Bordeaux Blanc, perhaps, but fragrant, almost exotic. Fresh and lively. Not terribly concentrated but pretty and scented and there is some depth with the lees adding a very slight grip and a light spice on the finish, more in texture than flavour. There's a range of flavours rather than intensity.

Score: 16 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2018-2020

Checking in as a blend of close to 40% each of Sémillon and Sauvignon, with the rest Muscadelle, the 2017 Blanc de Lynch Bages is a lightly colored, crisp, and easygoing white that offers notes of lemon curd, lime, and hints of minerality. It’s delicious and about as quaffable as it gets.

Score: 87 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Carbonnieux Blanc NEW Dry Whites £265 New 92-94 90-91 89-91 95 89-92 -
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The 2017 Carbonnieux Blanc has an impressive bouquet with scents of Granny Smith apples, crushed stone and nettle. There is certainly impressive intensity here – a bouquet that means business. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity. This is one of the most sophisticated white Carbonnieux that I have encountered at this stage with wonderful mineralité and veins of ginger furnishing the finish that convey brio and confidence. This should evolve into an outstanding Pessac-Léognan.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2020-2035

This is very salty and flavorful with sliced green apples, limes and green pears. Medium-bodied, layered and flavorful. Plenty going on here as always. Minerally.

Score: 90 - 91 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The Carbonnieux 2017 Blanc is scented of grapefruit and squeezed lemons with a touch of lime leaves and chalk dust. The palate is medium-bodied, crisp and clean with great intensity and a long racy finish.

Score: 89 - 91 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

Right off the bat this has richness and concentration, with peachy creaminess through the mid-palate but without sacrificing tension and lift. It's a fine example of what 2017 can deliver in the best whites, and should age very well.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2020-2030

Friendly white peach and honeysuckle notes breeze through, with a kiss of brioche at the very end.

Score: 89 - 92 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Pear, ctirus and a creamy lees aroma. Creamy texture and excellent freshness of grapefruit and pear. Just enough fruit to balance the acidity but a touch sour on the finish and a little dilute.

Score: 16 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2019-2022

Notes of lemon curd, citrus rind and hints of crushed rock define the 2017 Château Carbonnieux, which is medium-bodied, pure, and elegant on the palate. It’s another great white from the Pessac-Léognan region in 2017.

Score: 89 - 91 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Clarte de Haut Brion Dry Whites Unreleased 86-88 93-94 90-92 93 - -
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The 2017 La Clarté de Haut Brion was picked from 22 to 31 August. It has an attractive lime flower, fresh pear and white flower scented bouquet that opens with aeration. The palate is nicely defined with crisp acidity, quite tensile in the mouth with a slightly short finish that just tends to flesh out during the remainder of its barrel maturation.

Score: 86 - 88 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2019-2024

This shows beautiful density and layers for a baby white with cooked apples, pears and hints of yogurt. Full-bodied, fresh and bright.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Composed of 69.4% Sémillon and 30.6% Sauvignon Blanc, the 2017 La Clarté de Haut-Brion opens with very sprightly peaches and fresh lemon juice notes with nuances of honeysuckle and chalk dust. The palate is medium-bodied with vibrant citrus and stone fruit flavors, finishing long and chalky.

Score: 90 - 92 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

This is an exceptionally good Clarté, a second wine to buy this year if you possibly can, underlining just what exceptional whites have been produced at the Haut-Brion stable in 2017. It has lovely aromatics, with persistent flavours of exotic stone fruit, white flowers, soft rosemary and slatey minerality. It's generous without losing focus. Just 7% of production was put into Clarendelle. Harvested 22 to 31 August. 60% new oak.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2019-2028

The 2017 La Clarté (second wine) is a 69/31 Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc blend. There are 1,706 cases of this juicy and full wine that brims with delightful honeysuckle, chamomile and verbena notes backed by white peach, lemon zest and kiwi core flavors on the plump finish.

Score: - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

That lovely mealy spice of restrained but top-class oak. Zest and orange pith. Bright citrus. Deep, crisp and a little creamy. Deep and long.

Score: 16 - 17 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2019-2025

The 2017 Haut Brion La Clarte de Haut Brion Blanc is the second wine of the estate and in 2017 is 69.4% Sémillon and 30.6% Sauvignon. It’s a fresh, racy beauty with exotic notes of lime, lychee, and lemons, with obvious minerality. Nicely textured, balanced, with the bright acidity of the vintage, it’s a serious wine in its own right and ideal for drinking while you give the Grand Vin a few years of bottle age.

Score: 88 - 90 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Cos d'Estournel Blanc Dry Whites Unreleased 89-91 96-97 90-92 95 - -
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The 2017 Cos d’Estournel Blanc is aged in just 6% new oak, the pH coming in at a lip-smacking 3.17. It was picked from 5 September until 22 September. It has a striking bouquet of citrus fruit, white peach and yellow flowers, hints of melted candle wax in the background imparted by the Sémillon. The palate is well balanced with notes of lime cordial, citrus peel, a touch of mango and just the right amount of salinity that pricks up the finish. I appreciate its weight and body, perhaps not the most cerebral dry white Bordeaux, but certainly a delicious wine that will be difficult to resist one bottle. This will mature in barrel until next July, an élevage of around ten months in total.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2020-2030

This is going to be a wonderful Cos white with green mangoes, sliced apples and crushed-stone character. Green kiwis, too. Full-bodied and very rich with tension and brightness. Fantastic length. 80% sauvignon blanc and 20% semillon.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Cos d'Estournel started making this white wine in 2005 from the Goulée vineyard. The 2017 Blanc is composed of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Sémillon. It gives beautiful, expressive grapefruit, ripe peach and passion fruit notes with touches of baker’s yeast, powdered ginger, nutmeg and beeswax. Medium-bodied, vibrant, racy and with great finesse, it has a very long citrus and tropical fruit-laced finish. With plenty of structure and intensity, it should age reasonably well.

Score: 90 - 92 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

This is totally delicious, the best Cos white for many years. There's excellent shape and form through the palate, with a huge intensity of flavour. This has a slatey lick of minerality that almost knocks you off your feet but ends up just making you want more. Flavours of apricot, white pear, tight rosemary and grilled almonds are joined by a succulent structure, austere in all the right places. Good ageing potential. Harvested 5-22 September. 3.17pH. 6% new oak.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2018-2030

The oak and the fruit are entwined on the nose to give finesse, with both citrus and mealy oak creaminess. Smells beautifully creamy and yet utterly fresh with just a suggestion of clementine. Mouth-filling freshness, that creamy texture and a long, pink-grapefruit finish. Rich and concentrated but not at all heavy, incredibly persistent. So fresh on the finish, mouth-watering and with a maritime freshness.

Score: 17 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2019-2027

The 2017 Cos d'Estournel Blanc from this team is another impeccably balanced wine that does everything right. A blend of 80% Sauvignon and 20% Sémillon brought up almost all in older barrels (6% were new), it offers a juicy, racy, citrus and grapefruit-driven bouquet, medium-bodied richness, bright acidity, and good sweetness of fruit. It will keep for 10-15 years.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

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