On the bright side for 2017 Pomerol, there are some very good wines. In fact, the wine of the 2017 Bordeaux vintage comes from the Pomerol plateau. At their best, the 2017 Pomerol wines are stylish, ripe, texturally sensuous and have the ability to age. They combine aromatic complexities with freshness.
Plus most 2017 Pomerol wines are going to be delicious early in life! With luck, consumers will benefit this year, because hopefully, prices will be dropped for these wines, due to tepid consumer demand. While only a few wines from 2017 have been released so far, the average 20% is not going to be enough to really spark wine buyers interest.
2017 Pomerol started out promising. However, the late April frost left its mark on the appellation. Producers with vineyards on the top of the plateau were spared most of the devastation from the frost. Estates located further from the plateau suffered damage to varying degrees, depending on their terroir.
The frost for many producers will define the 2017 Pomerol vintage. The situation is much worse in Lalande de Pomerol, where several estates were so severely damaged, they were not able to produce any commercially viable quantity of wine.
Once past the frost, the vintage progressed with a dry, cool summer for the most part. June was a bit schizophrenic, offering rain and a torrid heat spell. July and August were cool, though August was warmer than July.
The summer was dry, so the initial rains in September brought life to the vines. Overall, the amount of rain was less than usual`during the growing season. Coupled with a cool summer, frost, drought and an early harvest, 2017 Pomerol proved to be a vignerons vintage.
The harvest was expected to be early, and it was. Some producers were picking by early September. 2017 Pomerol is the smallest harvest in ages. Overall, yields are lower.
Less wine will be produced in Pomerol this year than in most preceding years, including the problematic 2013 vintage. For a detailed look at the weather and harvest that shaped the 2017 Bordeaux growing season 2017 Bordeaux Vintage and Harvest Report
The fruit that ripened features small berries with thick skins and a healthy skin to juice ratio. The wines are fresh, but not overly so. They offer intense aromatic characteristics with a sweetness to the fruits and soft, silky tannins.
The wines offer more dark red fruit character than black fruits. There is also less concentration and lower alcohol levels than you find in the more recently heralded, 2016 and 2015 vintages. Most 2017 Pomerol wines will also offer fairly early drinking windows.
The following 2017 Pomerol wines were tasted in non-blind conditions from March 22 – April 12 in Bordeaux. I was able to re-taste several of the wines on a few occasions, and each offered consistent results.
It should also be noted that I tasted quite a few of the 2017 Pomerol wines in late March for the first time. Those that I re-tasted closer to the middle of April were starting to show even better. This means that the best 2017 Pomerol wines have the potential to score or perhaps surpass the top of my ranges.
2017 Beauregard – With plums and chocolate on the nose, this medium-bodied wine is headfirst, lithe, smooth and fresh. Medium-bodied and open, the focus is on its sweet red fruits, soft tannins and forward nature. 89 – 91 Pts
2017 Bel-Air-Pomerol – Truffle, black cherry and just a hint of cocoa can be discerned in the nose and on the palate. The wine is medium bodied, simple and perfect for early drinking. 85 – 87 Pts
2017 Bon Pasteur – Black cherry, flowers and licorice dominate the wine on the nose and on the palate. Deep in color, the tannins are soft and ripe. There is a distinctive freshness to the wine, which finishes with cocoa, licorice and dark red fruits. Made from a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, reaching 13.5% alcohol. The harvest took place September 20 to October 5. Due to the frost, 60% of the normal harvest was lost. Yields were only 12 hectoliters per hectare. 92 – 94 Pts
2017 Bonalgue – This medium-bodied wine is softly textured and forward, showing a fresh, sweet, charming, red cherry character. This can be enjoyed close to release. 88 – 90 Pts
2017 Bourgneuf – Medium bodied, bright, forward and eager to show its spicy, earthy, red berry-filled slice of Pomerol, this wine should drink well close to its release. 87 – 89 Pts
2017 Certan de May – Floral with licorice, truffle, plum and earthy aromatics, the medium-bodied, elegant wine is lambskin polished and seemingly right off the vine. The dark fruits offer sweetness coupled with refined textures in the finish. 91 – 93 Pts
2017 Clinet – The depth of color is impressive and the level of concentration is even better. Full bodied with lush, ripe, juicy plums coupled with spice box, cherry, smoke, licorice and espresso, the wine is elegant, fruity, polished and long. This is going to offer fabulous drinking after seven to ten years of bottle age. From a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 13% alcohol with a pH of 3.74 and is aging in 72% new, oak barrels. The harvest took place September 19 to September 29 and the Grand Vin consists of 70% of the harvest. 94 – 96 Pts
2017 Clos-de-la-Vieille-Eglise – Strawberries and cherries fashioned in a medium bodied, forward, uncomplicated, early drinking style, prepare for a pleasant bit of chocolate in the endnote. 86 – 88 Pts
2017 Le-Clos-du-Beau-Pere – This wine from Jean-Luc Thunevin is all about the smoky black cherries and vanilla bean aromas. Medium bodied with curvy textured plums, cherries, cocoa and dusty tannins resound in the finish. 87 – 89 Pts
2017 Clos du Clocher – Quite floral with black raspberry, cherry and plum notes, the wine is medium bodied, silky and soft with a good-sized jolt of verve in the finish. 90 – 92 Pts
2017 Clos LEglise – Dark chocolate, plum and truffle notes are the first things you notice. Full-bodied, lush, rich, ripe and fresh, the wine offers a lot of minerality, cocoa and ripe, juicy plums. The wine was made from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. 93 – 95 Pts
2017 Clos Rene – The first thing you notice is the raspberry aromatics before moving to the soft, polished textures. The wine is easy to like and easy to drink. Medium bodied, forward and fresh, this experience ends with licorice, red fruits and espresso. 88 – 90 Pts
2017 La Conseillante – Sophisticated, sexy and fresh, the wine is lenient and silky. There is a strong violet sensation along with black cherry, boysenberry, truffle and dark chocolate. The wine is classic in style but in a virtuous way. There is depth and volume. On the palate, you’ll experience sweet, bright, fresh, chocolate-covered, dusty plums. The harvest took place September 5 to September 9. The wine was made from blending 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, reaching 13.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.65. 95 – 97 Pts
2017 Domaine-de-LEglise – Dominated by Merlot with a bend of 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, the wine opens with flowers, chocolate and plums. Medium/full bodied with soft, silky tannins and more chocolate covered plums in the finish, the wine has freshness and should age well too. 90 – 92 Pts
2017 LEgliseClinet – Truffle, smoke, tobacco and red fruits are at the core of this wine. On the palate, there is a concentration of flavor. The wine has lift and power but there is a firmness to the tannins in this vintage that will need time to soften before they will captivate the pleasure-seeking consumer. The wine was made from blending 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.68. The harvest took place September 12 to September 22. Known to be witty, the proprietor Denis Durantou wrote about his frost affected, small production for 2017, “We produced just enough bottles for my friends.” 94 – 96 Pts
2017 LEnclos – Spicy black raspberries, incense and floral scents can be found with ease. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied, bright and focused on its sweet cherries, citrus and thyme. There is a hint of cocoa in the easy to like finish. Made from a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13.5% alcohol. The frost damaged close to 60% of the harvest. 87 – 89 Pts
2017 Enclos Tourmaline – Dark in color, the wine is rich, supple, lush and ripe. The tannins are silky, the wine is full bodied and there is a depth of flavor here. It is easy to sense with all the dark black cherries, plums, and dark cocoa. You can drink this young while waiting for the 2015 and 2016 to come around. But 3-5 years in the cellar is going to add a lot more character to the wine. That is if you can wait that long! The wine was made from 100% Merlot. 94 – 96 Pts
2017 LEvangile – Plum liqueur, chocolate, flowers and truffle with Asian spice are at the heart of the perfume. The opulent finish offers sweet fruits with a cocoa and anise character, along with freshness and length. Full bodied, erotic, exotic and unique for the property, due to its blend. The wine is polished, and velvety in texture, but it lacks some of the complexities and width that come with the inclusion of Cabernet Franc. The opulent finish offers sweet fruits with a cocoa and anise character, along with freshness and length. This is the first vintage in the history of the estate made using only 100% Merlot. All the Cabernet Franc and portions of the Merlot were devastated by the frost. Yields were down to 20 hectoliters per hectare. The harvest was long, starting September 4 to October 3. The wine reached 14.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.9. 93 – 95 Pts
2017 Fayat – Wet earth, olives, herbs, thyme and cherry notes open the wine, medium bodied and on the bright, fresh side, there is an energetic red berry character to the finish. The wine was produced from 100% Merlot this year due to damage from the frost and product. 87 – 89 Pts
2017 Feytit-Clinet – Medium bodied, fresh, sweet and already showing off its black raspberry, floral, truffle and licorice filled character. Silky, and sweet, this will show well young and age for 20 years without trouble. The wine is made from a blend of 94% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc reaching 14% alcohol. 93-95 Pts
2017 Les Fillottes Pomerol – Medium bodied, forward, easy drinking, soft and silky textured, this Merlot-driven wine displays an interesting citrus accent with juicy plums, dark cocoa and a sprig of licorice. However, it will be very difficult to find, as only 400 cases were made. This debut vintage Pomerol is a partnership between Francois and Guillaume Thienpont. 90 – 92 Pts
2017 Gazin – Expressive without out much effort, you can easily find the flowers, cherries and wet earth notes. Soft, glossy and fresh, there is sweetness to the fruit, silk on the tannins and a generous blast of cocoa dusted red fruits in the finish. 93 – 95 Pts
2017 Gombaude Guillot – Medium bodied, fruity and offering a plum and chocolate center, the tannins are soft and the wine is fresh with a straightforward character. 87 – 89 Pts
2017 Haut-Maillet – Well-made, easy to drink, forward and fruity, this wine is a lighter styled Pomerol for early drinking pleasure. 83 – 85 Pts
2017 Hosanna – There is a gravity of flavor that does not quit. The dark, juicy fruits are lush, long and sexy. The nose grabs you with its array of truffles, flowers and various dark red fruits. But it’s when you return to the lusciously textured fruit on the palate that you say wow, take another sniff and sip and know this is rockin’! 94 – 96 Pts
2017 La Clemence – A medium bodied, forward, fruity style of Pomerol with an earthy, cherry and espresso character, this wine is round textured and will be easy to drink on release. 87 – 89 Pts
2017 La Croix du Casse – Blending 94% Merlot with 6% Cabernet Franc produced a wine that is medium bodied, focusing on chocolate-covered plums, a fruity mid-palate and a soft textured finish. Due to the frost, the estate lost 70% of their crop. 88 – 90 Pts
2017 La Croix St. Georges – Floral vanilla and ripe cherries arrive immediately, followed by a mid-palate crush of round-textured plum and licorice. The finish is juicy with calm, cushy tannins. Give this seven to eight years for the oak to integrate and it will be even better. The wine was produced from blending 95.5% Merlot and 4.5% Cabernet Franc, reaching 13.5% alcohol. 89 – 91 Pts
2017 La-FleurPetrus – The combination of the luxuriant velvet texture and the cashmere tannins on the palate is a knockout! The truffle, black raspberry, plum, licorice and cocoa nose is incredibly aromatic. But when you go back for more of those sensuously textured fruits, that is when you know you are squarely in Pomerol. 95 – 97 Pts
2017 La Grave Pomerol – A gentle but sleek cherry-centered wine, medium bodied with an earthy complexity that works well on the palate and on the nose, with an easy to like finish. Drink this over its first decade of life. 89 – 91 Pts
2017 La Petite Eglise – Elegant, silky and polished with soft red berries and a juicy mid-palate, this medium bodied, forward styled wine will keep you happy while waiting for its 2017 big brother to mature. 89 – 91 Pts
2017 Lafleur – This is a majestic blend of sensuous textures, rocks, stones, ripe, sweet, dark red fruits, intensity, depth, length and purity. This is an intellectual vintage of Lafleur. The wine will need time to express its true intricacies and essences. The fruit is there, you’ll find the depth and layers of velvety tannins, but it is easy to see that most of the future magic is still held in reserve. The wine was produced from a blend of 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot. The Merlot was harvested September 8 and September 12. The Cabernet Franc was picked September 28 and 29. The wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.78. 97 – 99 Pts
2017 Pensees de Lafleur – Floral in nature, maraschino cherries, silky tannins, wet earth and juicy plums come to front promptly. Soft, seductive, sweet and fresh, give this a few years to age so the wine can expand and soften. Made from a blend of 52% Merlot and 48% Cabernet Franc. The harvest took place for the Merlot on September 16 and the Cabernet Franc on September 29. 91 – 93 Pts
2017 Lafleur-Gazin – Medium bodied, soft, elegant charmer with sweet red fruits, licorice and earth in an open, early drinking style. 89 – 91 Pts
2017 Lagrange-Pomerol – Truffle, thyme, herbs and red fruits stand out on the nose. Medium bodied and soft with gentle tannins, this ready-to-drink wine has a sweet, fruity finish with a touch of herbs and olives on the back end. 87 – 89 Pts
2017 LatourPomerol – If you’re not familiar with this wine in its current incarnation, you’re missing out. Starting with 2009, this wine has been on a tear, progressing and improving with every vintage. Even in a difficult year of devastating frost, this is a beauty. There is a silky, plush, velvety quality to the fruit, paired with purity and sweetness that stands out. You should give this 3-5 years or more in the cellar and the wine should hit the top of my range. 92 – 94 Pts
2017 Le Gay – Opaque in hue, lusciously textured, the wine is rich, supple and fresh with a strong, dark chocolate, plum liqueur and licorice character that stays in the mouth throughout the finish. Aging will add even more to this wine. Made from blending 90% Merlot 93 – 95 Pts
2017 Le Moulin – The nose, with its oak, earth and red fruit is what stands out here. Medium bodied with roundness, this wine’s basic nature will make it more appealing to those tasters who are not oak adverse. 85 – 87 Pts
2017 Le Pin – Produced from 100% Merlot, this wine evokes licorice, flowers, truffle, plum, rainforest and cherries in the bouquet. From there you’ll discover the exotic, silken feel and perfectly sweet red fruits, which lead to the decadent, sensuously textured finish. 96 – 98 Pts
2017 Maillet – With a dark hue, the wine readily opens its big personality, which is rich with chocolate-covered cherry, smoke, licorice, earth and coffee bean. Medium bodied, finesse in style, the brushed cotton tannins and fresh, dark plums fill out the finish. 91 – 93 Pts
2017 Mazeyres – A medium bodied, fruity, plummy, chocolate-centered wine with a straightforward, soft-textured, early-drinking, pleasurable approach. 87 – 89 Pts
2017 Nenin – With an over-riding floral character, the wine also displays cherry, plum and truffles. Elegant and nuanced, there is a beautiful purity in the fruits and silkiness in the tannins. The finish allows you to savor the sweetness of all the soft, red fruits. 91 – 93 Pts
2017 Petit Village – One of the top vintages of Petit Village in recent years, the wine offers ripe plums and floral aromatics. Medium/full bodied, round and soft in texture, the finish carries the ripe, juicy fruits quite well despite falling a tad short in the endnote. – 90 – 92 Pts
2017 Petrus – Truffle, Cuban cigar wrapper, exotic spice, licorice and lilacs create the complex set of aromatics. Powerful yet poised, rich and fresh, dense and velvety, the finish remains with you for close to 60 seconds. The end notes deliver spicy, silky, creamy tannins, ripe, dark plums and darker red fruits that fill the palate. The wine is structured with all the right stuff to age for decades. Produced from 100% Merlot, the harvest started September 8, finishing September 28. The wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.6. This is the wine of the vintage. 98 – 100 Pts
2017 Plince – The whisper of chocolate preceding the plums works well here. Medium bodied, forward and soft, you can enjoy this elegant Pomerol with just a few years of age. 89 – 91 Pts
2017 Plincette – Forward and soft, round and fruity, this medium-bodied wine displays ripe red fruits and a hint of chocolate. 85 – 87 Pts
2017 Rouget – Juicy bright cherries, plum and thyme create the main theme here in this medium-bodied wine. You’ll find this is soft, round and polished with fruits that speak to you from start to finish. 90 – 92 Pts
2017 Sacre Coeur – Medium-bodied with ripe, red fruits, earthy, black raspberries and soft textures, this wine has an overly oaky mouthfeel which undermines the fruit and limits the potential for finesse. 87 – 89 Pts
2017 Saint-Pierre-Pomerol – Flowers, licorice, wet earth and plummy fruits delivered in a medium bodied, soft, polished manner. On the backend, you’ll enjoy silky, ripe, earthy plums. 89 – 91 Pts
2017 de Sales – Light in color and in fruit, the wine is unfussy, bright and easy to drink. This will be best in its youth. 83 – 85 Pts
2017 Taillefer – This medium-bodied wine with its soft earthiness, red fruit and spicy accents will be best in the first decade of life. 87 – 89 Pts
2017 Trotanoy – A star of the vintage, this is a stunner. If you are a Pomerol lover and you are not intimately familiar with Trotanoy, put it on your priority list. They have been on a hot streak for over two decades! And this one is pure decadence. Velveteen textures with a purity of fruit that remains on your palate for at least 40 seconds and you still want more. This is a textural experience. The fruit is sweet, pure, fresh and complex, but it is the opulence on your palate that steals the show. 96 – 98 Pts
2017 Vieux Chateau Certan – Deep in color, the wine pops with the perfume of cocoa, flowers, black plums, truffle and licorice. From there you’ll find depth and concentration of flavor. The fruit is dark, polished, sensuous, velvety and long. There is vibrancy, florality, old vine intensity and chocolate coated cherries in the finish — a denouement that goes on for 50 seconds or more. Blending 81% Merlot with 14% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 14.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. Picking took place September 12, September 17, September 18 and October 2. It is interesting to note the picking dates and blends are quite similar to 2017. Sixty-seven percent of the harvest was included in the Grand Vin, which is much higher than usual. 96 – 98 Pts
2017 La Violette – Deep in color, the nose opens up with licorice, espresso, dark red berry and plum aromatics. Full-bodied, opulent, silky, sweet and fresh, the wine shows a bit more purity and freshness than you’ll find in Le Gay this vintage. Give it six, eight or even 10 years in the cellar and this could be sublime! Produced from 100% old vine Merlot, the wine reached 13.5% alcohol. The harvest took place September 19 to September 25. 94 – 96 Pts
2017 Vray Croix de Gay – Silky, soft and smooth with chocolate dusted, black cherries on the nose and palate, you’ll also find licorice and floral notes adding complexity to the medium bodied, earthy, juicy character. 91 – 93 Pts
The following wines are from Lalande de Pomerol
2017 Chambrun – Soft and fruity, medium bodied, forward, light and fresh with an earthy, cherry character, this is a wine you can enjoy on the young side. 86 – 88 Pts
2017 La Chenade – Medium bodied and forward, this wine is soft, sweet and quite likable.
86 – 88 Pts
2017 La Fleur de Bouard – Black cherry, cocoa, truffle and licorice are omnipresent here. On the palate, the wine is already delicious. A medium-bodied set of satin sheets, this will be a good romp upon release. Due to the frost, only La Fleur de Bouard was produced this year generating 1000 magnums. However, as 2017 marks their 20th anniversary, those magnums will be sold in a celebratory box with a one-time-only label. 90 – 92 Pts
2017 Les Cruzelles – Soft, silky, juicy plums create a forward styled Romeo with earthy, dark red fruits and back notes of licorice. To be enjoyed on release, the wine was made from blending 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. – 89 – 91 Pts
Next up, the best 100 wines from 2017 Saint Emilion. Or is that the top 150 wines? Regardless, there are a lot of them.