Following the brilliant 2015 and 2016 harvests, Bordeaux’s 2017 was a challenge from start to finish. Severe frosts in the spring, a cool summer and then challenging conditions during the harvest all combined to slash yields and prevent any “great vintage” claims.
But. There are some terrific wines and even better values to be had in 2017, especially on Bordeaux’s Right Bank. As Neal Martin of Vinous writes,
“The wines frequently have a floral element, violets but quite often, more iris-like scents. The 2017s boast plenty of freshness with crisp acidity, noticeable but not strong or grippy tannins, more black fruit compared to recent vintages… I like this vintage. I am not saying it is the best, but they were mostly a pleasure to taste and fascinating to learn about.”
An Example from Chateau Moulinat
Unlike the “big boys” that won’t be in the market for another year or two, we’ve been able to taste the 2017 Ch Moulinat from bottle already. And, we think you’ll agree – this is a charming wine that actually may give more immediate pleasure than the fine 2015!
Moulinat is a true family estate in Entre Deux Mers, currently run by the fifth generation of the Sage family who have owned the property since the early 1800s. The vineyard is first rate, with calcareous limestone soils leavened by gravel and sand for excellent drainage. The vines average 25 years old (with some 45 years of age), giving deep roots and naturally moderate yields necessary for excellent ripeness and flavor.
Like most Right Bank wines, it’s mainly Merlot (about 60%) for plump, generous, fruitiness with a dash of Cabernet Franc for pretty notes of tobacco and herb. But almost 40% of the wine is Cabernet Sauvignon, giving this “little wine” raised all in tank an extra gear of structure and refinement to go with the ample blackcurrant and black cherry fruit.
If you want to cellar this, you can do that for a few years (maybe 5?) and it will certainly be even better next year than this. But the wine’s delicious right now, with a plump, velvety, mouthfeel and a finish supported by a just-right dash of tannins and herb/tobacco complexity.
In short, it’s a very tasty 2017 Bordeaux you can drink this weekend and all year long. So come in on Friday, April 12, from 3-7 and Saturday, April 13, from noon-4 and try it for yourself! (Available only in store as a Carryout Case Special from $9.98/ea this weekend)