With ripe, perfumed aromas and lively acidity, the 2017 Bordeaux vintage is shaping up to be a very approachable release for collectors. It’s true that these wines aren’t quite as exciting and sumptuous as the recent 2015 and 2016 vintages, but 2017 Bordeaux is still worth consideration. This vintage is perfect for early to mid-term drinking, with a great expression of terroir. However, before you invest in 2017 Bordeaux wine futures, keep in mind that quality varies in this vintage and many producers had to overcome poor weather conditions. You’ll need to choose your bottles carefully, but if you do, you can expect to find supremely drinkable, fresh-tasting wines that you can enjoy while your more legendary bottles mature.
Top Vineyards Overcame Difficult Weather in 2017
One of the challenges of investing in 2017 Bordeaux wine futures is that it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff—some of the top producers succeeded in creating excellent wines, while other Bordeaux producers struggled. The region was beset by a number of issues that year; in late spring, frost severely damaged about 70 percent of Bordeaux’s vineyards. Additionally, dramatic swings in temperature throughout the summer resulted in uneven ripening and a decrease in overall grape quality. When harvest arrived, so did a number of fall rain showers, which threatened to dilute the fruits’ concentration.
However, not all vineyards in Bordeaux were negatively affected by 2017’s tumultuous weather. According to critic Neal Martin, the spring frost only significantly affected the quality of vineyards operating at lower levels of the Bordeaux hierarchy. In other words, the Left Bank inland vineyards, the plains of Saint-Émilion, and the lower appellations of Pomerol were most impacted by frost, while Bordeaux’s top estates managed to escape the worst of what the weather had to offer. Generally, these high-ranking estates have more resources and experience to draw on when the weather conditions are poor, which may have helped Bordeaux’s top producers mitigate the impact of frost, uneven summer temperatures, and a wet harvest season. You can see this effect in wines from top producers like Léoville-Barton, Pichon Lalande, and Pavie, who all had great success with their 2017 vintage.
If you intend to purchase 2017 Bordeaux wine futures, consider the top Bordeaux estates first, as they will be the best representations of this vintage. James Suckling notes that this has been an ongoing trend in the wine industry for the past few years. He says, “The 2017 vintage underlines that vintage variations among the top wines of Bordeaux—like most key wine regions in the world—are much less than in the past.” You can safely rely on these reputable estates to offer quality wine year after year, even when the weather conditions are less than ideal.
Who Should Invest in 2017 Bordeaux?
It’s only natural that Bordeaux lovers are comparing the 2017 vintage to the legendary, age-worthy 2015 and 2016 releases from the region. However, it would be a mistake to assess the 2017 Bordeaux vintage solely in terms of how it stacks up against these two very successful past vintages. You can find delicious red and white 2017 Bordeaux that will add value to your collection this year, and most critics who tasted 2017 Bordeaux en primeur were pleasantly surprised by its quality. Possibly the biggest reason this vintage is garnering less enthusiasm than usual is because of the inevitable comparisons to the legendary 2015 and 2016 releases. Certainly the 2017 won’t go down in the history books alongside the 2015—Vinfolio’s CEO Don St. Pierre said 2017 was looking like a “good” vintage, but not a “great” vintage—still, most collectors will want to try at least a few bottles of this interesting vintage.
Wines from the 2017 vintage feature lofty aromatics, refreshing acidity, soft tannins, and ripe fruit flavors. In other words, these wines won’t require a great deal of time in a cellar to soften or mature. You’ll be able to enjoy them in just a few years, rather than a dozen or more. This is one of the qualities that makes 2017 Bordeaux wine futures worthy of an investment; you can enjoy these wines early while you wait for your 2015 and 2016 investment wines to fully mature. Not every collector needs to invest exclusively in legendary, age-worthy bottles. If you love drinking Bordeaux, you can, and should, have a few mid-drinking vintages in your cellar that you can open soon after release. Many 2017 wines also feature an unusual grape blend because the weather impacted growing conditions for grape varieties differently. Some collectors may find these blends fascinating to try.
Moreover, the 2017 vintage features a number of wines that are perfect expressions of terroir. Edouard Moueix explains that the tumultuous weather conditions resulted in something like an overexpression of terroir across Bordeaux. He says, “For the curiosity of the wine consumers today, it will be quite fascinating.” When you invest in 2017 Bordeaux wine futures, you’ll get to taste a very distinct difference between each vineyard. For Bordeaux aficionados, this could make your investment in 2017 Bordeaux wine futures well worthwhile.
Your Guide to Investing in 2017 Bordeaux Wine Futures
Once you decide to invest in 2017 Bordeaux wine futures, you’ll want to choose your wines carefully since quality varied widely among estates. However, as critic Roger Voss points out, just because 2017 wasn’t a great year for every producer doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a great year for some producers.
These châteaux made some of the best Bordeaux of 2017:
- Pape Clément
- Cos d’Estournel
- Léoville-Las Cases
When you buy 2017 Bordeaux wine futures, remember that yields were lower than usual in 2017, which means that bottle availability may be limited. For this reason, if you’re interested in the 2017 it’s a good idea to begin investing in futures now, especially if you’re seeking bottles from a top producer. Vinfolio currently offers several quality 2017 wines from Bordeaux as futures, which are expected to ship in the summer or fall of 2020. That should give you ample time to prepare your cellar for a few of these aromatic, approachable wines.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.
At Vinfolio, we help our clients buy, sell, store, and manage their most
treasured bottles of wine. But in our spare time, we’re just a group of
passionate and slightly obsessed oenophiles–we love sharing a great
glass of vintage Champagne, followed by a Burgundy, and then a
Bordeaux, to get things started. We’re always obsessing over the latest (and oldest) vintages, and we want to share that knowledge and passion with our readers.