The fine wine trade view on 2017: A Mid vintage whose top performers could be key diversifiers

The end of April sees the remaining key critics’ reviews of the 2017 vintage hit the trade press and Liv-ex has published the opinions of the exchange’s trade members on the in-barrel tastings of what many are referring to as a ‘heterogenous’ year for Bordeaux.

The critical view:

Suckling was the first critic of note to publish his in-bottle scores, and recognised as normally being quite generous, he rated none of the latest crop as having sufficient quality to award the perfect 100 point score:

James Suckling Top 2017 Wines En Primeur:

  1. Yquem                           98 – 99
  2. Latour                           98 – 99
  3. Cheval Blanc               97 – 98
  4. Cos d’Estournel           97 – 98
  5. Lafite Rothschild         97 – 98
  6. Lafleur                          97 – 98
  7. Margaux                      97 – 98
  8. Mouton Rothschild    97 – 98
  9. Palmer                         97 – 98
  10. Petrus                           97 – 98

 

Jeff Leve noted that,  in his view, “Pauillac showed the best this year … at the top end some of the wines [of the Left Bank commune] are not far off the extremely high level of quality found in the 2016, 2015, 2010 and 2009 vintages.” His top wines of the vintage were Mouton Rothschild and Right Bank icon, Petrus. He went on to comment that “the success of the 2017 Bordeaux campaign will come down to the prices being asked for the wines.”  

 

Jeff Leve Top 2017 Wines En Primeur:

  1. Mouton Rothschild  98 – 100
  2. Petrus                           98 – 100
  3. Latour                           97 – 99
  4. Lafleur                          97 – 99
  5. Ausone                          97 – 99
  6. Montrose                     97 – 99
  7. Angelus                        96 – 98
  8. Cheval Blanc              96 – 98
  9. Haut Brion                 96 – 98
  10. Margaux                      96 – 98

 

The Wine Advocate’s Editor-in-Chief and Bordeaux expert, Lisa Perroti-Brown MW, states that “2017 is not nearly consistently great as 2015 or 2016 but this vintage did produce some extraordinary wines.” Again she points to the fact that the best wines are coming from the top Bordeaux brands, and goes so far as to say that some wines from the lower end of the market are “pretty dire”. Interestingly, she joins a number of critics who have recognised good performances from the dry whites of the region.

Lisa Perotti-Brown MW Top 2017 Wines En Primeur:

  1. Cos d’Estournel          97 – 100
  2. Haut Brion Blanc       97 – 100
  3. Ausone                           97 – 99
  4. Lafite Rothschild       97 – 99
  5. Latour                            97 – 99
  6. Mouton Rothschild   97 – 99
  7. Pavie                               97 – 99
  8. Montrose                      96 – 99
  9. L’Eglise-Clinet            96 – 98+  
  10. La Mondotte                96 – 98+

 

Liv-ex Members Survey findings:

Liv-ex members ranked the best wines of the vintage at this stage with an even split between Right and Left Bank wines, with the obvious top brands currently scored as the leading wines of the vintage including Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Lafleur, Margaux, Petrus,  and Vieux Chateau Certan. Right Bank Petrus has been ranked the overall wine of the vintage. 

 

Overall, the 2017 vintage was rated an average 92.6 points (out of 100) ranking it a Mid-vintage just above 2014, a little ahead of 2008, 2011 and 2012, significantly better than 2007 and ’13, but a long way off the top Prime vintages of 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2016.

 

The Liv-ex Members Top Wines of 2017 En Primeur:

  1. Petrus
  2. Vieux Chateau Certan
  3. Margaux
  4. Latour
  5. Lafleur
  6. Mouton Rothschild
  7. Cheval Blanc
  8. Haut Brion
  9. Ausone
  10. Lafite Rothschild

The trade view is  currently leaning towards lower demand for the 2017 vintage in light of its more complicated ‘sell’, no doubt there are some very good wines but the price will have to be right. The Liv-ex Merchant Members are predicting prices will be released,  on average, 11.5 per cent lower than last year. Chateau Palmer was the first to release its 2017 to the market and at a 20 per cent discount to 2016 – will it be enough to get the market going?

We will be watching the Bordeaux 2017 releases as they hit the market and selecting the wines we believe offer the best opportunity for growth. For more information call us now on 0203 384 2262