The 2017 vintage in Bordeaux

The 2017 vintage was presented to wine professionals during En Primeur week, from the 9th to the 13th of April.

Although 2017 is not as extraordinary across the board as the two preceding years, it is nevertheless successful and promising for many châteaux, especially those that did not suffer from extreme spring weather conditions. It is even said that 2017 is the best year ending in 7 since... 1947!

The most significant feature of the 2017 growing season was undoubtedly a frost of historic proportions comparable to the one that struck in 1991. The 2017 frost affected a large part of Bordeaux, especially Saint-Emilion, the southern Médoc (Margaux), and the Graves region, including Pessac-Léognan – except for the estates closest to the city of Bordeaux.

Damage varied enormously depending on vineyard altitude and aspect. Although this terrible frost had a huge impact on quantity, it did not alter the quality of the crop, and therefore should not diminish the vintage's reputation.  2017 is a year when uncompromising winegrowers – and there are fortunately many in Bordeaux – were richly rewarded.

Wines from the northern Médoc, especially Pauillac, Saint-Julien, and Saint-Estèphe, deserve special mention. These areas were protected from the frost thanks to the tempering influence of the nearby Gironde Estuary. Estates in the Pessac-Léognan appellation located near the city of Bordeaux also presented remarkable red and white wines during En Primeur week.  The estates on the Right Bank that did best were the prestigious châteaux on the Pomerol plateau spared by the frost.

The 2017 vintage was also marked by drought conditions conducive to superb Cabernet Sauvignon.

2017 was unquestionably a great vintage for white wines. The Sauvignon Blanc used to make dry whites was very aromatic, whereas the sweet white wines of Sauternes are quite fresh. Lovers of these fine wines will be delighted.

Everyone in the Bordeaux wine trade is waiting for the prices of the new vintage to be announced by château owners. Will these prices compensate for a small crop by maintaining levels close to those for 2015 and 2016, or be adjusted to satisfy the négociants? All bets are open!

We will be glad to offer you a wide choice of 2017 futures and happy to advise you at both La Cave du Château and on our website:

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