James Suckling publishes 2017 Bordeaux vintage scores

Author: Peter Shakeshaft

Suckling is generally the first of the top wine critics to publish his ratings of the latest Bordeaux vintage each Spring and as the trade is currently supping its way around the region’s chateaux a critical pointer is of interest.

It is no surprise that Suckling refers to the reduced supply caused by the Spring frosts last year and that he has categorised 2017 as an average, Mid-‘Quality’ vintage, stating also that the “top wines of the vintage should add to the reputation of this unique year”.

Suckling is perhaps more generous than most critics with his perfect 100 point scores but no Bordeaux 2017 wine achieved that accolade at his in-barrel tastings. Yquem and Latour stand out as his top two wines, both awarded 98-99 points. Given Sauternes was one of the hardest hit regions by the frosts last year the achievement of Chateau Yquem’s team is considerable. Led by Pierre Lurton, cellar master Sandrine Garbay and Technical Director Francis Mayeur have done a spectacular job to create a wine described by Suckling as “Such clarity. Extreme but wonderful style.”

First Growth Chateau Latour, he describes as “Superb. Classic great Bordeaux. Wow.” Having exited the en primeur system six years ago we won’t expect to see Latour 2017 hit the market for a number of years.

Yquem stable mate Cheval Blanc, also owned by LVMH, scored highly at 97 – 98 and was the only St Emilion Grand Cru Classe A to be rated this highly. St Emilion was also particularly hard hit by the frosts.

Suckling’s top 2017 scores are set out in the table below:

Wine Appellation Score
Yquem Sauternes 98 – 99
Latour Pauillac 98 – 99
Cheval Blanc St Emilion 97 – 98
Cos d’Estournel St Estèphe 97 – 98
Ducru-Beaucaillou St Julien 97 – 98
L’Eglise Clinet Pomerol 97 – 98
Lafite-Rothschild Pauillac 97 – 98
Lafleur Pomerol 97 – 98
Margaux Margaux 97 – 98
Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 97 – 98
Palmer Margaux 97 – 98
Pape Clement Blanc Pessac-Léognan 97 – 98
Petrus Pomerol 97 – 98
Suduiraut Sauternes 97 – 98
Pavillion Blanc Margaux 97 – 98
Vieux Chateau Certan Pomerol 97 – 98

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