En Primeur Bordeaux 2017

St Emilion - The wines with tasting notes


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[Add to shopping basket] Angelus St Emilion £3,360 94-96 96-97 94-96 96 - -
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The 2017 Angélus has a crisp, direct and very pure bouquet that is almost Burgundy-like in style. Crushed blackberry, hints of cassis, just a suggestion of bell pepper emanating from the Cabernet Franc and a faint estuarine scent all come through although unusually for this Saint-Émilion, they take three or four minutes to coalesce. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, but quite firm in the mouth. There is a marine-influence to this Saint-Émilion with a chalky, lightly spiced and, relative to 2015 and 2016, quite conservative and linear style. It feels very saline on the finish, perhaps more than I have encountered in recent years. It foregoes the roundness of recent vintages, perchance an Angélus that will be best shown on the dinner table instead of on its own. That's not a bad thing. Excellent.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2022-2045

This is a centered and deep red with blueberry, raspberry, mineral, stone and lemon aromas. Full-bodied, focused and polished. Lovely length. Gentle yet structured. Supple.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the deep purple-black colored 2017 Angélus is a little closed to begin, opening out beautifully to notes of baked plums, fresh blackberries and chocolate-covered cherries with hints of mocha, bay leaves, beef drippings and wood smoke plus a touch of roses. Medium to full-bodied with a great density of mid-palate fruit and firm, fine-grained tannins, it finishes long and earthy with a compelling lift.

Score: 94 - 96 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

Emmanuelle has been making wine here for 22 years now. The freshness of the Merlot in 2017 reminds her of 2001 - I would certainly agree, and maybe with a hint of 2014 too. It's a beautiful wine, voluptuous but elegant. These vines were not frosted, but the Cabernet Franc produced less than usual, and they also made an extremely careful selection overall, leading to a yield of 30hl/ha. The wine has great complexity, which is a standout character in 2017, with bilberries, charcoal and plush damson - the Angelus signature of power and glamour. There is good tannic density here and it will clearly merit long ageing. 85,000 bottles of Angelus produced, representing around 80% of total production. Matured in 100% new oak.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027-2040

One of the darkest colored wines in the vintage is the 2017 Angélus. Its final blend is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, which includes more Cabernet Franc than usual. It's a polished, elegant, layered wine that has beautiful notes of crème de cassis, spice, graphite, and minerality. It has medium to full-bodied richness, fine, silky tannin, beautiful purity and more elegance and charm than normal. I suspect it will put on weight with time in barrel and have two decades or more of longevity.

Score: 94 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Inky crimson. Redolent of classy and spicy oak but the fruit fragrance is there too, waiting to emerge after the chocolate dies back. A fine note of graphite and Cabernet Franc leafy (but fully ripe) freshness. Spicy and fresh on the palate. Rich and finely textured, with the oak giving way to the fruit on the palate. Very good balance even at this early stage. Savoury dark-chocolate, clean finish. (17.5+ Points)

Score: 17 - 18 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2040

The 2017 Angélus is impeccable. Bright and energetic, with terrific lift from the 30% Cabernet Franc, Angélus is super-expressive today. There is lovely depth and density to the fruit, even if the finish narrows just a touch. In 2017 Angélus is less powerful than it typically is, with less overt oak influence. Whether or not that is a reflection of the vintage alone, or indicative of a slight evolution in style is a question that can only be answered in the future. In the meantime, there is plenty to like about the 2017. The Merlot saw 3-4 weeks on the skins, while the Cabernet was macerated about a week longer. Aging is in 100% new French oak, with slightly lower toast levels than in the past. Production will be about 20% less than normal because of frost damage.

Score: 92 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Ausone St Emilion Unreleased 94-96 96-97 97-99 97 - -
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The 2017 Ausone was cropped at 35hl/ha between 23 and 25 September with respect to the Merlot and 28 and 29 September for the Cabernet Franc. It is aged in 100% new oak as usual for 20 months. It has a crisp, precise, mineral-driven bouquet with slightly more red fruit than black this year: crushed strawberry, hints of cassis, blueberry and traits of freshly tilled loamy soil. The palate is medium-bodied with cashmere tannin and a fine line of acidity. It is very harmonious and already quite seductive. I admire the depth of this Ausone, the sensuality that is conveyed towards the sustained, glycerin-tinged, peacock’s tail finish that lingers for more than 45 seconds. What a great Ausone this is destined to be.

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

This is a centered and deep red with blueberry, raspberry, mineral, stone and lemon aromas. Full-bodied, focused and polished. Lovely length. Gentle yet structured. Supple.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Blended of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Ausone offers up slowly emerging notes of crushed black plums, blackberries and mulberries with nuances of anise, violets, new leather and unsmoked cigars plus suggestions of black olives and truffles and a touch of cast iron pan. Medium to full-bodied with firm, very finely grained, super ripe tannins and an uplifting backbone of freshness perfectly supporting the profoundly layered, tightly wound yet incredibly intense fruit, it finishes very long with mineral accents and compelling tension.

Score: 97 - 99 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

This is totally stunning, demonstrating depth, texture, salinity and flesh. It manages to be both austere and generous at the same time, pushing and pulling. It's a totally different conversation to many others wines this year. There was no frost effect here, although some of their other estates were fully wiped out. Harvested 23-29 September from 7.25ha planted at densities ranging between 6,500-12,600 vines per hectare. 100% new oak.

Score: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027-2043

Darkest purple crimson. Smoky, lightly charry aroma from the oak and an inviting mineral/dusty quality and fresh, pure cassis fruit shines out. Succulent, the oak swallowed by the fruit on the palate. Concentrated and so full of fine, pure dark fruit. The tannins are compact but also somehow sweet, giving a firm but very smooth framework for the fruit. Long and fresh. Very good, and impressive harmony already.

Score: 18 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2040

The 2017 Ausone is without question one of the wines of the vintage. Stunning in its grandeur and presence, the 2017 possesses marvelous depth and remarkable aromatic intensity from the very first taste. Dark red and blue stone fruit, licorice, menthol, lavender and sweet spice build into the rich, flamboyant finish. The 2017 is 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot with the Franc very expressive today. The fruit saw about 30 days on the skins, including a week of cold soak. But those are mere details. The 2017 Ausone is a total stunner. That's all there is to it.

Score: 95 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

[Add to shopping basket] Barde Haut St Emilion £308 92-94 93-94 91-93 - 90-93 -
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The 2017 Barde-Haut was picked from 18 September to 2 October, matured in 80% new oak for 18 months. It has a sensual bouquet with black cherries, a touch of oyster shell and iodine, well defined and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity, more volume than the Poesia, especially towards the finish that exerts a gentle grip in the mouth. It feels very silky in texture with a persistent finish. This is a really excellent Barde-Haut, in my opinion, with the upper hand over the Clos l’Eglise this year, frankly not far off the 2016 in quality. Bravo Hélène et Patrice Garçin-Léveque.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2022-2042

Very tight and direct with lots of limestone and salt aromas and flavors. Full body and firm and silky tannins. Tightly wound. Impressive.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Barde-Haut didn't see any frost this year due to the altitude of the vineyards. Composed of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Barde-Haut gives notions of baked blackberries, blueberry compote and Black Forest cake with touches of potpourri, dusty soil and cast iron pan. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a firm frame of grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing long and minerally.

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

Lovely plum, cassis and boysenberry fruit flavors glide through here, with polished toast and a bright red licorice accent on the finish. Nice energy.

Score: 90 - 93 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The deep, inky-colored 2017 Barde-Haut is a seriously good 2017 from Hélène Garcin-Lévêque that offers tons of kirsch, ripe black cherries, and spice aromas and flavors in a rounded, silky, sexy style. It has wonderful purity of fruit, no hard edges, and a great finish. I suspect it will be reasonably approachable on release yet capable of lasting for 10-15 years. The blend is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc which will spend 18 months in 80% new French oak.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

A rich, unctuous wine, the 2017 Barde-Haut is endowed with magnificent concentration and richness. Inky black fruit, chocolate, menthol, licorice and spice infuse this spectacularly rich, voluptuous Saint-Émilion. The 2017 saw 4-5 days on cold soak about four weeks on the skins, with no SO2 during fermentation. Most of the wine is aging in 300L barrels, which is a bit larger than the norm in Bordeaux.

Score: 92 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

[Add to shopping basket] Beausejour Duffau St Emilion £930 92-94 95-96 94-96 95 93-96 -
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The 2017 Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse was picked at 38hl/ha from 22 September to 2 October for the Merlot and 29 September to 2 October for the Cabernet Franc. Around two-thirds of the crop entered the Grand Vin and 55% is matured in new oak. It has a not dissimilar bouquet to the Pavie-Macquin (also overseen by Nicolas Thienpont) perhaps showing a little more volume and decadence: macerated small dark cherries, fig, black plum and a touch of marmalade. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannin, a fine bead of acidity, closing in a little towards the second half compared to the Pavie-Macquin that remains open throughout. There is a fine mineral core to this Saint-Émilion with a sappy, saliva-inducing finish. This will require four or five years in bottle and I wager that it should be consumed after the Pavie Macquin.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2023-2045

This is very driven and intense with so much limestone and salt character on the palate. Dark fruits, too. Linear and chewy, especially on the long finish. Beautiful center palate of fruit.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Beausejour Heritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse is slightly closed, revealing glimpses at bright, cheery black cherries, black berries and wild blueberries with very serious preserved plums, licorice and mocha in the background and a waft of fragrant soil. Medium to full-bodied, it has a firm frame of ripe tannins and seamless freshness supporting the subdued, earthy layers, finishing long and minerally. It should be wonderfully long-lived but will need time to enjoy!

Score: 94 - 96 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

This is one of the best examples of this wine that I have tasted, reaching the same heights as some of the biggest names in this vintage, and barely a step down from 2016 - great stuff from these guys this year. It's firm, bright, intense and deep, with salinity, grip and a lovely seam of freshness. It has a really excellent, juicy character and good persistency, with notes of liquorice and dark chocolate.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025-2040

Intense, with juicy layers of fig, boysenberry and blackberry compote coursing through. Bramble and spice notes fire up on the finish, which kicks in with an extra bolt of energy at the end. A showy wine that pulls it off.

Score: 93 - 96 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Of the three properties under the helm of Nicolas Thienpont, the 2017 Beausejour Duffau-Lagarrosse offers the most richness and depth. Blueberries, crème de cassis, graphite, violets, crushed rocks, and spring flowers notes all give way to a structured, vibrant, fresh, yet tannic red that's going to need 3-4 years of bottle age but might end up being one of the top wines of the vintage. Tasted twice. This beauty is made from 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc that was brought in between the 22nd of September and 2nd of October, with yields of 38 hectoliters per hectare (this is 64% of the production). There’s roughly 1,500 cases produced.

Score: 93 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Very dark. Ripe, dark black plums and just a touch of red cherry. Then quite oaky on the palate, rich, firm, smooth, with chocolate on the finish from the oak. Needs quite a bit of time. Chewy on the second taste. No lack of fruit but the structure dominates at the moment. (16+ Points)

Score: 16 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2034

A rich, explosive wine, the 2017 Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse hits the palate with serious depth and intensity. Charcoal, smoke, crushed rocks, lavender, incense and blackberry jam are all beautifully delineated in a vivid, arrestingly beautiful Saint-Émilion of the highest level. Huge, searing tannins are going to need many years to soften. Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse is one of the most structured, tannic Saint-Émilions of the vintage. Tasted three times.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Bellevue Mondotte St Emilion £1,296 Low Stock 89-91 92-93 96-98 93 91-94 -
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The 2017 Bellevue-Mondotte was picked on 27 September like the Pavie-Decesse. It has a very deep color, almost opaque. The bouquet is difficult to fathom, inky and high-toned, nothing volatile but it feels rather monotone. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin, quite bold and assertive in style, impressive in depth but it is missing the finesse and refinement I would seek on the creamy-textured finish. In an odd way I find this reminiscent of how Pavie used to show a decade ago, but whereas Pavie has moved on, Bellevue-Mondotte seems unwilling to just take its foot off of the accelerator.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2024-2038

A chewy 2017 with lots of wet-earth and dark-berry character. Some bark, too. Full body, a medium center palate and a flavorful finish. Wait and see how it comes together.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

There was no frost in this vineyard in 2017, due to its elevation. Made up of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the very deep purple-black colored 2017 Bellevue Mondotte has a seriously earthy character—molten rocks—with suggestions of truffles and fertile soil over a core of crème de cassis and plum preserves, plus a hint of camphor. The palate is medium to full-bodied, concentrated, intense and powerful with firm, grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing long.

Score: 96 - 98 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

Up on the plateau, this was spared the ravages of frost but still only yielded 16hl/ha. It has the Perse signature punch of fruit, then the limestone breaks through (there is also a touch more clay here than at Pavie Decesse). The punch almost hides the fruit at first, but it really does finish beautifully and has amazing persistency. The 50-year-old vines have produced a wine that will age extremely well. Tasted several times. 3.58pH.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026-2038

An enticing red, with succulent fig and blackberry compote flavors at the core, this has a shot of flashy toast, which is well-integrated. A neat graphite streak shows on the finish.

Score: 91 - 94 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Coming from older vines east of Pavie Decesse (in slightly more clay soils), the 2017 Bellevue Mondotte is a powerful, concentrated 2017 that offers fabulous notes of blueberries, flowers, and violets. One of the more broad, expansive, and sexy wines in the vintage, with terrific purity of fruit, it should round into form with just short-term cellaring and cruise for two decades.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Totally opaque dark purple crimson. There's a little bit of greenness on the nose, and then it is just so extracted and dense on the palate, it's hard to taste now. Bitter, like 100% dark chocolate. Very thick and chewy tannins but not hard, just really dense. Not my style but it has freshness and should come round given enough time in bottle.

Score: 16 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2040

Powerful, dark and explosive, the 2017 Bellevue Mondotte bristles with the energy and tension that is such a signature of this tiny 1.5 hectare Saint-Émilion cru. Graphite, smoke, crème de cassis and menthol race out of the glass. As always, Bellevue Mondotte is a tannic, searing Saint-Émilion with bracing acids and tons of structure. It is also one of the most fascinating wines in Gérard Perse's lineup.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

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