It might be hard to find the bright spots in 2017 Bordeaux En Primeur. No, not the wines themselves - we’ll help you find them, and there will be plenty. I mean literally...look at this forecast:
Still, in the middle of all the rain, tasting notes, predictions, rain, and rain there is a vintage that should be carefully considered by any Bordeaux enthusiast. Why? Simply said, prices will inevitably go down because of the challenging conditions of the vintage, but many of the top communes were unaffected and have the potential to make brilliant wines.
2017 has a tough act to follow - 2015s are starting to hit the market and although prices are rising, they still deliver with some truly memorable wines. 2016s were pricey for sure, but it is easy to see why - it has all the signs of a tremendous vintage alongside a return to a classic, restrained profile. It had many Bordeaux collectors reminiscing about the kind of wines they fell in love with in the first place. So how does 2017...shine?
The trick is going to be, like any other vintage that has its challenges, to have someone on the ground and get a perspective that goes beyond region generalities, and hones in more on a specific chateau and bottling. St Julien, St Estephe, and Pauillac avoided most of the issues with hail - perhaps like St Estephe in 2014, they have the potential to produce some under the radar goodies for those in the know. That said, plenty of early reports are showing that what survived in the right bank produced some tremendous wines as well.
The real story will unravel over the upcoming month. We’ll get a first hand perspective about the wines and bring it back to K&L. Beyond that, we will have to see about pricing. Bordeaux overall will sustain heavy losses due to overall low production, but that narrative won’t shake the fact that an affordable set of wines at rates significantly below 2016s will be needed for En Primeur to take off in any real way. We’ll be here to guide you through it either way...rain or shine.