En Primeur 2017

The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Clos du Marquis St Julien £426 90-92 93-94 91-93 90 91-94 -
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The 2017 Clos du Marquis was cropped at 37hl/ha between 15 September and 4 October during an overall 15 days of actual picking. It is matured in 55% new oak and includes 6.2% vin de presse from 25 different lots. It has a more backward, tightly wound bouquet than I was expecting but it opens up with time. And wow, give it 10 minutes and that estuarine saline scent feels quite pungent. There is impressive density imbued into this Clos du Marquis, if not the detail, the precision of last year’s wine. There is plenty of “rondeur” towards the finish with a pleasant saltiness flanked by a hint of salted liquorice on the finish.

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

Firm and silky wine with very pretty dark-berry and cherry character with currant undertones. Pure quality of fruit is serious. Very salty on the finish. Bright acidity, too.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Medium to deep garnet-purple colored and composed of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2017 Clos du Marquis gives up gorgeous notions of crushed plums, blackberries and cassis with hints of chocolate box, pencil lead, menthol and lavender. The palate is medium-bodied, very finely crafted and refreshing with firm yet fine-grained tannins, great intensity and a long, mineral-laced finish.

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

This takes its time, has a fairly hefty structure and unfurls at its own pace. The last day of harvest was 4 October, but the overall growth cycle was early so they were able to wait for full ripeness, and even though the fruit flavours are savoury, they are intense. It certainly has some bounce and energy, and the balance is there too. An enjoyable wine that should be ready to drink within four to six years, but the low pH and good freshness suggest it should also age well. 55% new oak barrels. 80% of production, with the rest going into the second wine.

Score: 90 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2024-2036

Blueberry, blackberry and plum fruit is lined with graphite, anise and sweet tobacco notes. There's juicy energy and a nice bramble hint at the very end. Has purity and typicity. Well done.

Score: 91 - 94 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2017 Clos du Marquis is fresh, lifted and wonderfully energetic, and yet also has quite a bit of textural depth. The flavors really sizzle in this highly expressive Saint-Julien from Hubert Delon. There is a sense of energy and tension to the 2017 that is impossible to miss. Much of that is attributable to the Cabernet Sauvignon that is the core of the wine this year. Floral notes reappear on the finish, adding lift to the creamy, layered finish. I can’t wait to taste it from bottle.

Score: 90 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

Deepest crimson with black core. Gorgeous dark fruit, with savoury/graphite as counterpoint to the cassis. A hint of oak char but at the right level for harmony at this point. Benchmark Cabernet flavours, pure and refined and fresh. Very precise fruit, long. Firm but dry. Smooth, deep texture and excellent freshness.

Score: 17 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2035

Made from 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, and a splash of Cabernet Franc, the 2017 Clos du Marquis is another beauty from the team at Leoville Las Cases. Offering a deep, concentrated, yet rounded style, as well as terrific ripe fruits, forest floor, and tobacco aromatics, it has a great mid-palate and building tannin, all while staying in the more forward, charming style of the vintage. Give it a few years and enjoy over the following two decades.

Score: 91 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Clos Fourtet St Emilion £882 92-94 94-95 92-94 94 93-96 -
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The 2017 Clos Fourtet has a powerful, almost burly bouquet with upfront, quite bold blackberry, raspberry and strawberry fruit that maybe miss the precision of some of the appellation’s more elegant offerings. There is just a touch of cassis and violet that emerges with continued aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, more rounded in texture than its peers. There is impressive volume towards the finish that is uncommon in this vintage, but you have to just stand back and admire its persistence.

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

A very sexy young wine with a solid center palate and refined, integrated tannins. Medium body. Everything is in the right place.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Clos Fourtet is scented of crème de cassis, blueberry compote and plum preserves with touches of hoisin, truffles and dark chocolate plus a waft of anise. Medium to full-bodied, the generous fruit is plushly textured with great freshness, finishing long and spicy.

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

Good quality with depth of complexity and layers. An excellent Clos Fourtet that really lives up to the success of recent vintages, if not quite at the level of its 2015 and 2016. Damson, dark chocolate and saline notes are bolstered by extremely dark fruits that have the juice to carry them through the mid-palate, the oak supporting rather than overwhelming. There's a slight austerity and savoury edge to the fruit that speaks of 2017, but this is easily hitting the heights of St-Émilion in this vintage.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2025-2038

Intense, with blackberry, cassis and boysenberry puree notes racing through, inlaid with subtle anise and black tea details. Offers a gorgeous feel, with a long, fine-grained chalky spine buried on the finish. A beauty.

Score: 93 - 96 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

This incredible terroir located just outside the village of Saint-Emilion has turned out a spectacular 2017 that has more richness and texture than most in the vintage. A rough blend of 86% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc, brought up in 60% new barrels, the 2017 Clos Fourtet offers a deep, saturated purple color to go with a huge nose of pure red and black fruits, bouquet garni, crushed rocks, and spice box. With medium to full-bodied richness, terrific sweetness and depth of fruit, ripe tannin, and a big finish, it’s a gem in the vintage and a no-brainer purchase. Tasted twice.

Score: 94 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Black core with purple rim. Sweet and a little charry on the nose. A little less fruit on the palate than I expected from the aroma. Tannins are chalky but hold a firm grip and this needs time. But there's fruit at the core.

Score: 16 Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2030

The 2017 Clos Fourtet is very good, but also very tightly wound. Powerful and tannic, the 2017 is likely to require many years to come in its own. Today, the 2017 is certainly less charming than some recent vintages and other 2017 Saint-Émilions. There is certainly no lack of depth or concentration. The dark red/purplish berry fruit, rose petal and lavender flavors are very nicely delineated. Clos Fourtet is one of the wines that improved over the two weeks I followed it. I won't be surprised if it is even better from bottle.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Clos l'Eglise Pomerol £685 91-93 92-93 90-92 - 88-91 -
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The 2017 Clos l’Eglise was picked from 6 September to 2 October, the harvest was spread out for almost one month. It is matured in 90% new oak for 18 months. It has a well-defined, very pure bouquet with cranberry, dark cherries, bay leaf and crushed stone. It needs a little time to open in the glass and is not as immediate as the 2016 last year. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, very smooth in texture with a slightly lactic note towards the finish. There is a touch of dark chocolate that infuses the red berry fruit with a subtle liquorice tincture that lingers on the aftertaste. This is a fine Clos l’Eglise although I do feel this year that its stablemate in Saint-Èmilion, Barde-Haut, takes the top honor.

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

This is a very juicy red with blackberries, blueberries and hints of chocolate. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Tight.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Blended of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Clos l'Eglise comes bursting forth with fresh black plums and black currants notions with hints of black raspberries, black pepper and Indian spices plus touches of lavender and roses. Medium-bodied, firm, grainy and with seamless freshness, it fills the palate with spicy black fruits and finishes long and perfumed.

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

Blueberry, blackberry and anise flavors rush forth, with more modest structure behind them. Fresh acidity keeps this honest, but this will likely deliver more immediate appeal.

Score: 88 - 91 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Another pretty, elegant wine in the vintage, the 2017 Clos l'Église (80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc aging in new barrels) offers a forward, medium-bodied, ultra-fine and seamless profile as well as classic Merlot fruit, spice and floral aromas and flavors. It’s not a blockbuster but shines for its purity of fruit, ripe tannin, and impressive length. It’s going to drink nicely right out of the gate yet also evolve gracefully.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

The 2017 Clos L'Eglise is a wine that brings together power, tension and energy. There is quite a bit of richness to the fruit, but also plenty of supporting structure. Beams of underlying tannin give the 2017 its drive and sense of direction, while keeping the flavors perked up. Bright red stone fruit, mint and white pepper lead into a sculpted finish lifted by striking floral notes. This is a decidedly tannic, tightly wound Pomerol that is going to require patience, but it is also hugely promising. The 2017 was done in 100% new 300L barrels.

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

[Add to shopping basket] Conseillante Pomerol £1,476 93-95 94-95 95-97 94 - -
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The 2017 La Conseillante contains a little less Cabernet Franc than usual because four or five rows were damaged by frost. It has a classic Pomerol bouquet with touches of truffle and incense infusing the broody black fruit that take a few minutes to unwind in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, well balanced with a subtle sprinkling of white pepper and fennel. The Cabernet Franc, despite its diminished contribution, is quite expressive towards the balsamic-tinged finish that shows plenty of energy and decent persistence. It is less powerful than the 2016 at this stage but it is clearly a very well crafted, almost sensual Pomerol by winemaker Marielle Cazaux. Tasted twice with consistent notes, this may well settle at the top of my banded score once in bottle.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous Media.com Maturity: 2022-2045

Tight and precise with focused tannins and a lovely texture to this young wine. Medium to full body. Compressed and serious. Some salty and dark fruit at the end.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The 2017 La Conseillante displays a deep garnet-purple color and simply sings of crushed blueberries, mulberries and ripe plums with suggestions of violets, chocolate box, rose hip tea and a waft of menthol. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive richness at this elegant weight coupled with vivacity and supported by plush, velvety tannins, finishing with great length and energy. This is an arrestingly beautiful expression of this vintage!

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

Harvest began with the Merlots on gravel at La Conseillante, on 5 September. The temperature dropped, and they had 30mm of rain on the 9th, so they stopped and restarted in mid-September, not picking the Cabernet Franc until 29 September. With 15% lost to frost (just 1.5ha entirely lost), the final yield was 34hl/ha, with no second generation fruit in the wine. I had the chance to taste through the individual components of this wine as well as the blend, and then retasted it the following week. It's an excellent take on the vintage, the austerity coming through on the attack before it opens to a wonderfully smoky mid-palate with loganberry and blackberry fruit, showing real fullness and volume. This has texture, structure and good aromatics, with a great sense of energy and persistency. The plot affected by the frost was a Duo parcel, so they will make a small amount of second wine but not as much as usual, and the overall production will be 85% grand vin. In organic conversion. 70% new oak. 3.6pH.

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

One of the sure bets in the vintage is the 2017 La Conseillante, which sports a vibrant ruby color and a deep, concentrated, beautifully layered personality. Black cherries, currants, violets, Asian spice, and truffle all flow to a full-bodied 2017 that has terrific depth of fruit, ripe, sweet tannin, and a great finish. It's an undeniable success in the vintage, if not the wine of the vintage in Pomerol. The blend in 2017 is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, from tiny yields of 34 hectoliters per hectare, aged in 70% new oak. Tasted twice.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

The 2017 La Conseillante is a wine of total finesse and class. Bright, floral and beautifully lifted, the 2017 is exceptionally polished and nuanced from start to finish. Despite its mid-weight, gracious personality, the 2017 has real staying power. Technical Director Marielle Cazaux gave the fruit about 2 days on the skins, with no SO2 at crush. Cazaux added that the malos were quite fast. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Frost reduced production by around 15%, while drought further reduced yields in the Franc by a further 10%. As for the wine, well, the 2017 was magnificent on each of the three occasions I tasted it.

Score: 94 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.com

[Add to shopping basket] Cos d'Estournel St Estephe £1,300 94-96 97-98 97-100 94 - -
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The 2017 Cos d’Estournel is matured in 60% new oak and comprises 13% alcohol, approximately the same as the 2016. It has a more expressive and welcoming bouquet than usual, maybe more indicative of how this wine will mature in bottle, less opaque than the 2016. A common theme throughout the range from Cos d’Estournel is a Pauillac-inspired backbone/tannic structure coupled with an attractive scent wafting over from the estuary...think mudflats, oyster shells and the tang of sea spray. It gains a little intensity with aeration but never fully lets go. The palate is very well balanced with filigree tannin, rendering this one of the most approachable barrel samples from the estate in recent years. The coolness of the latter part of the season defines this Saint-Estèphe more than the precocity of June: streamlined, cool and linear with a velvety finish that feels sleek, to the point of being understated, though that belies its length and focus. This is simply a very classy wine in the making and typical of the more recent sophisticated style pursued by the property in recent years.

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

Love tasting this wine. You almost want to drink it for its harmony and balance. Full-bodied and so complete with cloves, spices, dark berries and hints of chocolate. Wonderful integration on the finish.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

The final blend of the 2017 Cos d'Estournel is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Very deep purple-black in color, it offers up intense scents of crushed blackcurrants, blackberries and black cherries with touches of incense, spice cake, star anise and plum preserves plus a perfumed hint of potpourri. The palate is medium-bodied with very firm yet wonderfully ripe, "sweet", fine-grained tannins at just 13% alcohol—something of a miracle in our modern times. The palate sports fantastic freshness and tons of energy emitted from the intensely perfumed black fruit layers, finishing on an epically long-lingering mineral note. Truly profound.

Score: 97 - 100 Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, robertparker.com

This is exceptional, if a touch below the intensity and harmony of 2016. I love the density that's displayed in this wine, showcasing luxurious, well-enrobed tannins. The complexity steals up on you little by little, the dark cassis and plum fruit character deepening through the palate with flashes of sage, charcoal, cigar box, graphite and taut tannins. The colour difference is marked between the grand vin and second wine, with the Cos extremely deep damson in colour following a one-month maceration at 30 degrees and clever use of the press. Harvested 12- 30 September. 40% of production went into the grand vin. 3.7pH. IPT68. 60% new oak.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026-2040

The 2017 Cos-d'Estournel grand vin is 66 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 32 Merlot, 1 Petit Verdot, 1 Cabernet Franc, and comprises just 40 percent of the crop, a slightly stricter-than-usual selection. It's nicely built, with a still-compact core of damson plum, cherry and cassis fruit laced liberally with very fine iron and lilac notes. The pure finish has a lovely pitch, with the sheen and gloss of the house style but a lingering tug of minerality running along as well.

Score: - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 2017 Cos d'Estournel is a sleek, polished wine built on finesse more than power. Sweet, perfumed aromatics and silky tannins add to that impression. In 2017 the Grand Vin shows a distinctly red-fruit and floral character that matches its mid-weight personality nicely. The blend is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. New oak is around 60%.

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

Inky with black core and purple rim. Dark-fruited and lightly charry to give a savoury/fruit complexity. Extremely pure cassis. A little more chewy than the Pagodes but still remarkably silky, with clarity, precision and length but without excess richness. Deep and long. Amazing balance already. Great precision, helped by a decade of experience in the new chai, says technical director Dominique Arangoits. Opens in the glass to reveal a hint of something floral. Plenty of depth but no excess weight, and modest alcohol. (17.5+ Points)

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

A wine that might surpass the 2014 and 2015, the 2017 Cos d'Estournel checks in as a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, harvested between the 12th and 30th of September, and brought up in 60% new French oak. While it’s not a huge wine, it has incredible purity and precision as well as terrific notes of crème de cassis, graphite, damp earth, and crushed rock. Possessing ultra-fine tannin, beautiful balance, and again, awesome purity of fruit, it’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and cruise for two decades in the cellar.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

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