The 2017 Vintage in Bordeaux
The birth of a top-quality and surprising vintage
The 2017 vintage was announced in Bordeaux as the year of all challenges. And yet, after the two excellent 2015 and 2016 vintages, the 2017 looks like a very good vintage that confirms the constancy of the great terroirs while highlighting unexpected discoveries. The 2017 vintage brings racy and fresh wines without the structure of the two previous vintages, yet these wines will definitely remain memorable because of their aromatic, pure and concentrated fruit, elegant and silky tannins, and well-balanced acidity.
A vintage between delicacy and rarity
With the exceptional weather conditions, 2017 was a harsh reminder that viticulture is closely linked to the risks that nature exposes. Indeed, the year had begun under optimum conditions signalling an early vintage. The growing season started out ahead of schedule with February and March promoting the rapid growth of the vines. Yet, the four-night freeze at the end of April was lethal, wiping out more than 40% of the harvest in the entire Bordeaux region with major disparities in damage across the appellations. The vineyards that had escaped the frost experienced an early and even flowering due to unusually high temperatures in May, while thunderstorms at the end of June avoided any chance of water stress for the vines. After an exceptionally hot and dry summer, the early September rains caused fears of a grey rot outbreak. This signalled the need for an early 2017 harvest with picking starting as early as the second week in September with the Merlots. Later, the Cabernets enjoyed a well-timed period of high temperatures from September 20 that allowed them to finish ripening in prime conditions. As for the white varieties, the berries were in excellent health and had ideal phenolic ripeness when harvested, which preserved their beautiful acidity and great aromatic freshness. The following rainy weather interrupted with dry spells favoured the late development of botrytis in the season, allowing the grapes to concentrate their sugars and aromas and giving the prefect conditions for making top-quality sweet wines.
"This is not a sunny vintage, so we will notice a little more tension, a little more acidity, a little more firmness, but it is a vintage with lovely, fruity characteristics"