En Primeur 2017

The wines with tasting notes

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[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 shopping basket] Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Dry Whites £827 93-95 96-97 91-93 94 - -
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The 2017 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc was picked from 31 August until 15 September via several tries through the vineyard that yielded 46hl/ha, with 13.5° alcohol. It has a very attractive, estuarine influenced bouquet with scents of cockle and oyster shell infusing the vivacious citrus fruit. This opens up very nicely with aeration in the glass. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity. It feels quite saline and spicy in the mouth with a rather intense citric finish that is very persistent, the aftertaste again, quite saline.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2021-2045

This is a dense and beautiful DC with serious density and a fabulous layering of fruit. Phenolics are there but they melt into the wine already. Love the acid/fruit balance. A solid and serious white.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

A tentative blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon, the 2017 Blanc opens with vibrant notes of freshly squeezed lemons, pink grapefruit and yuzu, accented by touches of lime zest and green apple plus a waft of crushed stones. Medium-bodied with lively acidity and super-intense, wonderfully expressive citrus flavors, it finishes long and chalky.

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

As with the red, this really does punch at the top end of the appellation. It's more herbal than some, showing attractive fresh herb notes of rosemary and sage. High quality white peach and nectarine flavours run though the palate, with slatey edges on the finish that are scraping the sides. It's a great wine that is going to age and develop. Oh - and there was a touch of frost here, but Domaine de Chevalier was, of course, well prepared, being located in a vulnerable spot. One-third new oak.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025-2040

Subtle but complex aroma. There's mealy oak spice entwined with grapefruit and pear, fragrant in a restrained and serious style. Less subtle on the palate in drive and length. Firm texture and still super-fresh. Balance and persistence with a promising future. Cedary/spicy aftertaste. Will probably age a good deal longer if you are willing to be patient. (17.5+ Points)

Score: 17 - 18 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2022-232

I was able to taste the 2017 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc on three separate occasions and it never failed to impress. It should match, if not exceed, the 2015. Gorgeous notes of lemon curd, mint, citrus, white peach, and salty minerality all emerge from this medium to full-bodied white. It doesn’t have the sheer scale or sexiness of a sunnier year, yet its purity is off the charts, it has riveting acidity, and a great, great finish. The blend is currently 70% Sauvignon and 30% Sémillon, and it will spend 16 months on lees in 35% new French oak. Don’t miss it! (95-97+)

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Domaine de Chevalier Rouge Graves £518 92-94 93-94 93-95 - - -
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The 2017 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge was cropped at 34hl/ha between 11 and 29 September and is matured in 35% new oak for 18 months. It has a vivacious bouquet with quite generous black fruit, raspberry, brine and black olive that is well-defined and focused, if not possessing the complexity of the previous two vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, slightly edgy tannin – layers of black fruit interlaced with melted tar and graphite, closing in a little towards the finish with a gentle grip. I appreciate the deft manner in which this fans out and leaves a mineral residue on the finish. A Domaine de Chevalier of refinement rather than power, one with “buvabilité” or “drinkability”.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2021-2045

This is really delicious and round with soft and ripe tannins. Full body and juicy fruit. Shows ripeness and balance. A pretty wine to watch for the future.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Domaine de Chevalier opens with a cedary waft giving way to a good core of crushed black currants, blackberries and mulberries with suggestions of black truffles, tilled soil and black olives plus a hint of smoked meats. Medium-bodied with a good, solid frame of ripe, fine-grained tannins and oodles of freshness, it is elegantly fruited yet well sustained on the mid-palate and long finish. (93-95+)

Score: 93 - 95 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

Tasted no less than four times, the 2017 Domaine de Chevalier is going to be up with the crème de la crème of the vintage. Based on 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot aging in 35% new French oak, its deep purple color is followed by an incredibly classic bouquet of crème de cassis, crushed rock, pipe tobacco, smoked earth, and leafy herbs. Similar in style to the 2008, yet with more generosity and charm, it’s medium to full-bodied, silky, and elegant, with ripe tannin. Give it a few years and enjoy over the following two decades or more.

Score: 94 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Deep crimson. A little leafy, fragrant in a herbaceous style. Firm and chewy. Tongue-tied at the moment but there's finesse in the dark, dusty fruit and tender graphite notes. Smooth and polished yet compact tannins. Savoury, dry, subtle aftertaste. (17+ Points)

Score: 17 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2037

The 2017 Domaine de Chevalier is rather dense and powerful, but it is also not quite put together. Specifically, the focus and delineation that are such signatures of this wine are not present today. There is something about the wine's balance that is just not right. The coarse tannins and disjointed feel suggest fruit that may have been shocked during the April frost. Tasted three times.

Score: 88 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

[Add to shopping basket] Ducru Beaucaillou St Julien £1,488 93-95 97-98 95-97 96 93-96 -
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The 2017 Ducru Beaucaillou was picked from 18 to 23 September for the Merlot, and from 25 to 30 September for the Cabernets. It is matured in 100% new oak over 18 months. It offers copious black fruit, violets, bay leaf and Asian spice notes on the nose that gathers momentum in the glass after a deceptively understated opening. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannin, the oak nicely integrated, not quite as harmonious as the 2016 but then again, few 2017s are. There is a rigid structure to this Ducru Beaucaillou underneath the carapace of ripe black fruit with touches of tobacco and spice lingering on the aftertaste. It is probably going to require more cellar age than many of its peers but it will be worth the wait.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2024-2045

Holy.... This is so powerful and dense with amazing depth of fruit and beautifully ripe tannins tannins. Full body, layers of fruit and tannins. It’s has a long finish but then kicks off at the end. Remains classic in style.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

There was no frost at Ducru-Beaucaillou in 2017 due to its proximity to the estuary. This barrel sample comes from the final blend, which was made in early 2018. Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot and sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2017 Ducru-Beaucaillou is intensely scented of blackcurrant cordial, blackberries and lavender with hints of crushed rocks, iron ore, rose hips and Provence herbs plus touches of wood smoke and sandalwood. Medium-bodied, very firm and grainy in the mouth, it possesses lovely freshness, lifting the intense flavors, finishing long and minerally. Sporting an incredible core of muscular mid-palate fruit, this wine should age incredibly. (95-97+)

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

A little less intense and concentrated than the 2016, this focusses more on rich, smoky, finessed aromatics. The overall feel is gourmet and well textured, with some welcoming rich spice. A serious contender for the top St Julien in 2017, this has wonderfully fleshy blackberry fruits, a screech of graphite adding some mineral overtones, and a great dash of grilled oak. 7,500 cases of Ducru this year instead of 10,000 - they weren't affected by frost, but the Cabernets were just less generous this year, down to around 30hl/ha. This is accomplished winemaking, with great energy and poise. 100% new oak. 3.79pH.

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

This has a warm and inviting feel, with mocha, Christmas pudding and blackberry and plum compote aromas and flavors flowing through atop fleshy, velvety structure. There’s a graphite edge along with some alluring spice accents, and this stays polished and lengthy in the end.

Score: 93 - 96 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Unquestionably one of the successes in the vintage is the 2017 Château Ducru Beaucaillou, which reminds me of the 2014, with perhaps a touch more oomph. As always, it’s a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend (90/10 Cabernet and Merlot) brought up in new barrels. Its vibrant purple color is followed by a terrific bouquet of crème de cassis, blueberries, violets, and exotic flowers. It has medium to full-bodied richness, plenty of mid-palate, and fine tannin as well as a great finish. It’s going to need 3-5 years of cellaring and keep for two decades. Count me in as a huge fan.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Very dark with black core. Super-refined dark fruit on the nose, ripe but not overly. Just a touch – and nicely – smoky. Chewy, deep tannin texture shot through with lovely juicy fruit, red and black. Lots of energy and the oak well in the background. Firm and chewy tannins and needs time but has a long fresh finish – lovely fresh fruit to the end that is entwined with the tannins to keep them moving across your palate.

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

The 2017 Ducru-Beaucaillou is distinctly sleek and polished, with a real air of sensuality. Finessed and racy to the core, the 2017 is all about elegance rather than the power that informed both the 2015 and 2016. Red-toned fruit, plush texture and silky tannins all contribute to the wine's restrained feel. A host of floral notes add brightness as the wine opens up in the glass. There is so much to like in the 2017. The blend is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot.

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

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