En Primeur Bordeaux 2017

Sauternes - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to shopping basket] Coutet Sauternes/Barsac £342 94-96 93-94 95-97 95 92-95 -
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The 2017 Coutet, which was tasted both as a final blend and directly from several different lots in barrel, has a very well defined bouquet with pure wild honey and orange blossom aromas that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is crisp and fresh, underpinned by Coutet’s trademark acidic drive that counterbalances the intense honeyed fruit laced with orange zest and white peach. Superb.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2022-2050

Lots of powdered mushrooms, dried lemons and apricots. Full-bodied, dense and layered. Beautiful finish. A top sweet white for the vintage.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The 2017 Coutet has lovely notions of spice cake, fresh ginger and honeysuckle over a core of lemon curd, beeswax and preserved peaches. Rich, spicy and quite decadent in the mouth, it has wonderful freshness and depth, finishing very long.

Score: 95 - 97 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

Rich sunflower yellow in colour, this has a good concentration of subtle spiced ginger on the nose, followed by rich citrus and apricot tart flavours, going almost as far as white truffles. It's gourmet without being cloying, thanks to those Barsac soils which give a wonderful freshness through the palate. The acidity is not quite as focussed as in classic years for the appellation, but it has zip and personality and is a clear success in this vintage.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2020-2038

Bright pineapple and white peach flavors rush forth, with a zip of tangerine running through the creamy finish. Shows lots of honeysuckle accents on the finish. Youthfully tight, but delivers wonderful length.

Score: 92 - 95 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Unusual aroma – almond paste and something more herbal as well as the rich, spicy citrus. Powerful bitter-orange flavours, deep and long. More power than elegance at this stage. Long, tangy finish.

Score: 17 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2037

Another rocking sweet wine is the 2017 Château Coutet. This big, full-bodied, opulent beauty has serious notes of orange blossom, buttered citrus, and honey, yet also shows the more pure, precise, and elegant style of the vintage on the palate. The cool, overcast summer allowed good ripeness while preserving the purity of fruit and the whites (and dessert wines) from this vintage are beautiful!

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

The 2017 Coutet is very, very good. Nuanced and beautifully textured, throughout, the 2017 has quite a bit to offer. Silky contours add finesse to the orange peel, apricot jam, mint and spice flavors. Above all else, Coutet offers terrific depth while remaining light on its feet.

Score: 91 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

[Add to shopping basket] Doisy Daene Sauternes/Barsac £315 93-95 92-93 92-94 95 92-95 -
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The 2017 Doisy-Daëne is a little richer on the nose compared to recent vintages, quite pure with acacia honey, melted wax and touches of almond filtering through with aeration. The palate is well balanced with a viscous opening, finely judged acidity, borrowing some of the weight usually expressed by Doisy-Védrines to create a very satisfying and opulent finish. It does not give the live-wire tension that is common in this Barsac, but it does give plenty of depth and length.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2022-2050

A fresh and clean young Barsac with honey, dried mangoes and cooked apples that follow through to a medium to full body. Clean and spicy finish.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The 2017 Doisy Daëne has a slightly closed nose with ripe apples and fresh pears accented with sparks of lemon and orange peel plus a touch of fungi. It's very rich and bold in the mouth with balancing freshness and a long earthy finish.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

It's very hard not to be impressed with this wine. Extremely silky, this has an almost pure mandarin flavour, shot through with some lovely blood orange bitterness. Following on are darkly spiced, tightly-expressed stone fruits. I wish there was a touch more lime on the finish, but this is a fantastic example of accomplished winemaking. Extravagant.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2020-2035

A bold, ripe, unctuous style in the making, with lots of spicy orange, tangerine and peach notes that roll through an exotic, hazelnut-filled finish.

Score: 92 - 95 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Ripe and expressive on the nose, already complex with almond, bitter orange, vanilla and spiced pear. Viscous and generous on the palate but still beautifully fresh. Powerful almond-paste flavour on the palate but finishes with citrus and apricot.

Score: 17 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2037

The 2017 Château Doisy Daëne is a seriously decadent, thick, opulent beauty that packs serious sweetness in its canned peach, lime peel, and exotic tropical fruit aromas and flavors. While it’s a big wine, it has terrific balance, good density and concentration, and a huge finish. It’s a potential blockbuster Barsac that’s going to have a long life.

Score: 93 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

A wine of real density and weight, the 2017 Doisy-Daëne is positively stunning. It is also likely to require a number of years to be at its best, given its currently reserved, shy state of mind. The 2017 is marked by an almost phenolic impression of structure. There is so much to admire, including the wine's explosive energy, but the best is very obviously still to come. What a wine!

Score: 93 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

[Add to shopping basket] Doisy Vedrines Sauternes/Barsac £310 92-94 93-94 92-94 93 92-95 -
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The 2017 Doisy-Védrines, which was reduced to 6hl/ha this year, is more like Doisy-Daëne! It feels much more linear and less fatter than previous vintages, notes of apple blossom and wild honey gradually unfurl in the glass. The palate is well balanced with a viscous opening, a fine bead of acidity, quite energetic in the mouth with a persistent, mineral finish. I would swear this was Doisy-Daëne but this year their personalities appear swapped...at least at this early stage!

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2022-2050

This is very oily and rich with loads of dried mangoes, sliced apples and peaches. Full-bodied, very sweet and honey-like.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The 2017 Doisy-Vedrines gives up pretty lime cordial and lemon pie notes with a touch of mandarin peel and hints of chalk dust and ginger ale. The palate features super intense citrus fruit with great purity and depth, matched by wonderful freshness and a long finish.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

A well judged wine with a good attack, showing nectarines, tinned peaches, lemongrass, white pepper and touches of truffle. The acidity could be a touch higher, but this is a very well-handled wine that delivers clear minerality, freshness and citrus fruit. Just not as concentrated as in some years.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2020-2038

A nice, unctuous version in the making, with apricot, melon and peach flavors laced with hazelnut and almond cream notes. A flash of green tea adds intrigue.

Score: 92 - 95 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Doisy-Védrines is absolutely lovely in 2017. Fresh, nuanced and super, expressive, Doisy-Védrines is all class. Lemon confit, chamomile, white flowers, mint and lime are all laced together in this delicate, understated Barsac. The 2017 will drink well early, although Doisy-Védrines ages beautifully and has a way of gaining depth in bottle.

Score: 91 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Fargues Sauternes/Barsac Unreleased 94-96 - 92-94 96 94-97 -
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The 2017 de Fargues has a pure, quite opulent bouquet with wild honey, orange zest, apricot and light minty aromas that feel powerful and dense. The palate is well balanced with rich botrytized fruit, a little spice on the back palate with orange zest and ginger towards the voluminous and sustained finish. This will be a long-term de Fargues that will require (as usual) a decade in bottle to really show what it can do.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2024-2050

The 2017 de Fargues is slightly closed on the nose, offering subtle glimpses at ripe apricots, guava and green mango with touches of allspice and clover honey. The palate is elegant, fresh and clean with plenty of tightly furled layers and great length.

Score: 92 - 94 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

As ever, the complexity and raciness of this wine just stands out. Its flavours of mandarin, lime, saffron and slatey minerality are extremely elegant, and really utterly delicious. It has enough concentration to satisfy true Sauternes lovers, but manages to be deft and delicate for those who don't want an overly rich rendition of this area's wines. Silky and persistent.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2020-2042

Very intense, with rich, creamy layers of pear, apricot, yellow apple and hazelnut backed by a long toasted coconut and macadamia nut finish. Reveals a flash of honeysuckle at the very end. A rather powerful young Sauternes in the making.

Score: 94 - 97 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Creamy pear and apricot aroma. Tangy and rich in botrytis orange flavours. Spicy and mealy in the mouth, the oak adding texture and spice. Rich and golden.

Score: 17 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2038

One of the more rich, unctuous Sauternes is the 2017 Château de Fargues. This puppy is loaded with huge notes of caramelized fruits, canned peach, and exotic flowers, and it doesn’t pull any punches on the palate either. While it lacks some elegance at present, it tightens up nicely on the finish and has some obvious minerality. It’s impressive, but I suspect will need some time.

Score: 94 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Guiraud Sauternes/Barsac £388 91-93 94-95 91-93 94 92-95 -
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The 2017 Guiraud has a pretty and comparatively light bouquet compared to de Fargues, missing some of the complexity demonstrated by its peers at this early stage. The palate is medium-bodied and showing more class: viscous honeyed fruit, a touch of spice and mandarin. The finish feels elegant and quite long although it does not quite provide the riveting experience of some of the best Sauternes released this year.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2022-2042

This is very sweet and spicy with lots of dried lemons and pineapple as well as mangoes. Full body, a dense palate and a flavorful finish. Phenolic and chewy.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The 2017 Guiraud gives notes of baked apples, crème brûlée and preserved mandarin peel with touches of crushed rocks and fungi. It delivers great elegance in the mouth with loads of spicy apple and savory flavors, finishing on an earthy note.

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

Silky and concentrated, this is one of the successes of the appellation for me. It has lovely zest and zip, with touches of candied ginger and a fresh lift on the finish. It manages to give shade and light more than most in the vintage, but is just a little shorter than in some previous years. Very good quality, reminiscent of the 2009.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2020-2032

Lively, featuring orange peel, white peach, almond cream and apricot flavors that stay juicy and brightly defined. Elegant overall, with power in reserve.

Score: 92 - 95 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Relatively closed on the nose at first but opens to both fruit and flowers and a strand of creamy oak spice. Rich and sweet and juicy at the same time, the acidity providing a fine spine to a well-built body. Long, bitter-orange finish. Impressive balance and intensity.

Score: 17 - 18 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2040

Another rockstar Sauternes is the 2017 Château Guiraud, which has the freshness and purity of the vintage, yet ample depth and richness. Caramelized limes, citrus, and ample minerality all emerge from this full-bodied, impeccably balanced dessert wine. Its acidity is present yet integrated, and it has a great mid-palate and a big finish, all pointing to this being a beautiful Sauternes with a long life.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

The 2017 Guiraud is one of the more bold, unctuous wines of the year. Orange marmalade, apricot jam, honey, flowers and sweet spices fill out the wine's unctuous frame effortlessly. Beautifully textured and ample on the palate, with tremendous resonance, has so much to offer. It will especially appeal to readers who appreciate the richer side of Sauternes.

Score: 91 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

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