En Primeur Bordeaux 2017

Haut Medoc - The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Beaumont Haut Medoc £98 86-88 - - 87 - -
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The 2017 Beaumont has a simple blackberry, raspberry preserve and charcoal-tinged bouquet, nicely defined but not intense. It doesn’t have to be. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly tough tannin on the entry, structured and quite dense with a stocky finish that has a pleasant blackberry and iodine aftertaste. Fine.

Score: 86 - 88 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2020-2028

Owned by the same group as Beychevelle, this is a fairly even split of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with a dash of Petit Verdot. The austerity of the vintage is on display in its slightly dour tannins, but it's well-held together and has a 2014 feel about it. There's good depth to the fruit. A good value choice.

Score: 87 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2022-2030

The 2017 Beaumont is a tasty Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois with good depth and personality. Leather, smoke, grilled herbs, licorice and incense give the 2017 a distinctly earthy personality. There is a good bit of Cabernet character in this pleasantly rustic red. Sadly, yields are down 50%.

Score: 87 - 89 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

[Add to shopping basket] Belgrave Haut Medoc £252 87-89 90-91 - 91 88-91 -
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The 2017 Belgrave offers crisp blackberry and tobacco scents on the nose, a touch of gravel developing with time. The palate is medium-bodied with dry tannin, masculine and rather austere towards the finish where I would have liked more flesh. A second showing towards the end of my tasting did indicate a wine developing more fruité towards the finish and my score reflects anticipated amelioration during its barrel maturation.

Score: 87 - 89 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2020-2027

This is very cabernet sauvignon with a tight palate of ripe fruit and firm and chewy tannins. Medium-to full-bodied, compacted and driven. All the merlot was hurt by the frost here. Juicy finish.

Score: 90 - 91 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

This displays a fairly high level of oak toasting, but grilled cedar rather than vanilla in character, making it more classically Médoc. It is sombre, tightly-knit and handles the mid-palate well. It's not exuberant but has menthol and slate notes, providing good Médoc signature. It offers enjoyment but will take its time to relax.

Score: 91 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2024-2036

This has a fleshy feel, with red and black currant fruit melding nicely with singed vanilla and tobacco notes. Offers modest tannins and fresh acidity.

Score: 88 - 91 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Offering lots of black (and some blue) fruits, charcoal, and graphite, the inky-colored 2017 Château Belgrave is firm and tannic on the palate, with nicely integrated acidity. I’d like a touch more flesh on these bones, but it’s certainly a serious effort that I suspect will benefit from short-term cellaring.

Score: 87 - 89 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Deep crimson with black core. Sweet black damson fruit. Lots of rocky graphite flavour giving a dark elegance on the palate, and the tannins are supple and add to the freshness. Just a little bit herbaceous on the finish, perhaps?

Score: 16 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2030

The 2017 Belgrave is laced with inky dark fruit, charcoal, spice, new leather, earthiness, licorice and crème de cassis. Super-expressive and fleshy, the 2017 is endowed with plenty of character and personality.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

[Add to shopping basket] Cantemerle Haut Medoc £246 88-90 93-94 89-91 92 87-90 -
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The 2017 Cantemerle has quite a sultry bouquet with blackberry, damp earth and tobacco scents that reluctantly unfurl in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin that frame quite voluminous black dusky fruit. There is a powdery texture to this Cantemerle, quite long on the finish even if it is missing the refinement of a top vintage.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2021-2032

This shows a polished yet encompassing structure of solid tannins, which support flavors of mulberries and black cherries. Medium-bodied, velvety with rather chewy. Long finish.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Cantemerle gives up lovely crushed black and red currants notes with hints of kirsch, underbrush and cinnamon stick plus a waft of roses. Medium-bodied with plenty of freshness and a fine-grained frame, it is elegantly expressed and finishes with beautiful harmony.

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

This is a very attractive wine that has been carefully extracted in this vintage. It has a damson fruit expression with real elegance and restrained power, followed by a dusting of cocoa powder and cinnamon (more evident on the second tasting). A little shorter than in 2016, but full of elegance and fine tannins.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2022-2038

Lively, featuring a slightly crisp hint to the red currant and pomegranate fruit, with savory and iron notes. Open-knit finish.

Score: 87 - 90 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Impressive notes of cassis, blueberries, violets and cedary spice emerge from the 2017 Château Cantemerle, which shows the focused, mid-weight, yet balanced style of the vintage. It's nicely balanced, moderately concentrated, and has a good finish.

Score: 87 - 89 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Deep crimson. Sweet plum and vanilla on the nose. Like cherry ice cream. Balanced but without great depth. Tannins are well handled for the fruit weight – light and dry.

Score: 15 - 16 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2022-2027

The 2017 Cantemerle is deep, fleshy and wonderfully expressive. Savory herb, tobacco, menthol, licorice, dark red cherry, smoke and incense run through this super-expressive, pliant Haut-Médoc Grand Cru Classé. All the elements simply meld together effortlessly. Rose petal, lavender and a host of floral notes add perfume to the finish. The 2017 should be one of the finer values of the year. Tasted two times.

Score: 89 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2020-2037

[Add to shopping basket] Cissac Haut Medoc £95 89-90 88-89 - - - -
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The 2017 Cissac has a well-defined bouquet with red cherries, crushed strawberry and light rose petal scents. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, crisp acidity, vivid red berry fruit with a fresh and quite minerally finish. This is a very commendable Haut-Médoc from Cissac and it should give 12 to 15 years of drinking pleasure.

Score: 89 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2020-2030

A tangy and fruity red with chocolate, berry and currant character. Some orange peel. Medium body and a solid core of fruit. Fresh finish. Nicely done for the vintage.

Score: 88 - 89 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

[Add to shopping basket] Lagune Haut Medoc £378 90-92 89-90 88-90 92 - -
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The 2017 La Lagune was picked from 12 September until 30 September at 31hl/ha, matured in 50% new oak. It has a very clean and pure bouquet, quite floral in style, with scents of raspberry confit, crushed stone, a touch of mint and pressed flowers. This is precise and focused, one of the most refined bouquet that I have encountered on a La Lagune at this early stage. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chalky tannin on the entry that presage a tensile, mineral-driven La Lagune. There is almost a flint-like element to this wine, like the nose, the palate extremely precise with a sustained Pauillac-inspired finish with pencil lead on the aftertaste.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2022-2036

Slightly reductive and herbal at the moment, but shows a good concentration of fruit and relatively ripe tannins.

Score: 89 - 90 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The deep garnet-purple colored 2017 la Lagune has wonderful black raspberries, black cherries and mulberries scents with an earthy undercurrent and a waft of bay leaves. The palate is medium-bodied with lovely freshness, a soft texture and plenty of poise.

Score: 88 - 90 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

This has clear damson flesh to the fruit, a good plummy wine with an elegance and freshness to the tannins. It's good, linear with a precision that you don't find everywhere. This is still not quite at the 2015/16 level of completeness, but delivers from start to finish, and is a wine that should age well. It has a 2001 type of elegance and lift with a tension to the tannins that gives confidence in its ageing ability. Now certified organic, in conversion for biodynamics.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025-2038

A brilliant Haut-Médoc, the 2017 Château La Lagune has impressive density and depth as well as medium body, a straight, tight, focused texture, a big mid-palate, and classic dark fruits, tobacco, and earth aromas and flavors. It’s well worth seeking out and will keep for two decades.

Score: 88 - 91 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Deepest cherry red. Lots of peppery spice over the nicely dusty cassis aroma. That same dusty note on the palate, relatively lightweight in the middle but the tannins are extremely fine to keep it in balance. Fresh and persistent with a gently leafy finish.

Score: 16 - 17 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2022-2035

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