The best red wines of Bordeaux 2017 under £100 a bottle
Famous for producing some of the world’s highest value and most sought after reds, Bordeaux also inhabits some of the wine world's greatest buys. For under £100 per bottle, Bordeaux can offer wines with amazing ageing potential and complexity.
See below a selection of our red wines of Bordeaux 2017 under £100 a bottle.
In recent years Ch Beychevelle has reclaimed its former glory, re-establishing itself as one of the finest examples of great St Julien. The introduction of their new state-of-the-art winery this year has taken them to new heights. This blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot is full of life. With bright, pure, energetic berry and plum fruits, and a subtle tannic structure sitting underneath, this is a finely balanced wine with excellent ageing potential.
The 2017 Beychevelle was cropped at 54hl/ha between 18 September and 3 October, matured in around 60% new oak with 13.4° alcohol. It has a very ripe blueberry, almost iodine-scented bouquet that is much more extroverted than its peers (like the 2016 last year.) The palate is medium-bodied with sweet black cherry and boysenberry fruit, and plenty of crushed violet. The palate is ripe and succulent; a sweet core of blue and black fruit here although perhaps its neighbor across the road, Branaire Ducru, displays a little more terroir at this early stage. Maybe that is because of the saignée? I would just like to see a little more restraint come through in bottle while I noticed greater precision developing during the 30 minutes the sample spent in my glass. 2021 - 2040
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Beychevelle opens with gregarious cassis and blackberry pie notes with touches of baking spices and underbrush plus a waft of lavender. Medium-bodied with a great core of ripe black fruits, it has a firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins and balancing freshness, finishing long. The final blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4 Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc.
Deep crimson with purple rim. Tangy, slightly wild black fruit, more bramble than cassis. Smooth, rounded and rather gentle but still persistent. Supple tannins already, though they may be deceptive. (JH) Drink 2024-2036
Very fine tannins already with a solid core of blackberry and blueberry character. Hints of flowers. Full-bodied, well-integrated and tight, not to mention fresh and long.
The 2017 Beychevelle is absolutely gorgeous. Creamy and beautifully layered on the palate, Beychevelle exudes exotic richness in its ripe red/purplish berry fruit. Even though the 2017 is rather flamboyant in style, it retains quite a bit of brightness to play off its more extroverted leanings. Beychevelle was impressive on the several times I tasted it.
This is a fine expression of St-Julien, with extremely pretty aromatics and brambly, juicy black fruits that remain soft and persistent through the palate, with the tiniest hint of acidity tightening the tannins. It's not as expressive as in 2016, but that was exceptional, though this is certainly a wine to recommend in 2017. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
A super-fragrant Beychevelle with bright Merlot fruit very much in evidence. Lovely and pure and silky, with little aggression on the finish, this is already a very harmonious wine with buoyancy and charm. There is some spice and warmth on the finish, which gives some richness but all in all this is a forward and luscious wine.
Ch Léoville Barton has continued its winning streak after a fabulous 2016. This 2017 is one of the most muscular and fleshy of the St Juliens, and shows supreme integration of blackberry fruit richness and structural oak. There is a great energy to this wine, which has a punchy density to its weight and a peppery length.
The 2017 Léoville Barton has a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon this year at 93%, the remainder is Merlot. It was picked between 15 and 18 September for the Merlot and 22 to 29 September for the Cabernet Sauvignon, then aged in 60% new oak. It has a perfumed and pure bouquet that demonstrates a little more cohesion and refinement than some of its Saint-Julien peers. Blackberry and touches of bilberry fruit, cedar and crushed stone – this is a knockout nose with bags of potential. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannin, perfectly pitched acidity and beautifully integrated oak. Seriously, this is nudging (not equaling, nudging!) the 2016 in terms of quality and there are just a handful of properties where I can state that this year. 2022 - 2045
The 2017 Leoville Barton is deep garnet-purple in color with a nose of warm cassis, fresh blackberries and blueberries with hints of violets, dark chocolate and licorice. Medium-bodied with a rock-solid frame of grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, it gives a fantastic core of fruit and wonderful length.
Deepest crimson. Dark, savoury and spicy black fruit with a lovely balsamic note but also a light vanilla sweetness and a more subdued graphite layer. Complex already. On the palate, this is succulent, firm but polished. Tannins are very fine, definite. A harmonious whole and a juicy finish. (JH) Drink 2025-2037
This is a really excellent Leoville-Barton with wonderful cabernet sauvignon character of blackberries, blackcurrants and flowers. Full body, firm and lightly chewy tannins and a long and beautiful finish. This has tension and brightness.
One of the few truly exceptional Left Bank wines of the vintage, the 2017 Léoville-Barton is simply fabulous. The 2017 also has the distinction of having a very high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. Inky crème de cassis, white flowers, lavender, crushed rocks, menthol and spice give the 2017 a distinctly layered, resonant feel. The 2017 offers fabulous density and structure, although the tannins need time. The blend is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Merlot. The September rains were especially challenging for the Merlot and Cabernet Franc. As a result, Cabernet is pushed up in the blend, while there is no Franc at all. Tasted two times.
This has a stronger, tighter and more concentrated expression in this vintage than its sister property, although it's not as concentrated as its last few vintages. It's back to a more old school expression for the appellation, suiting the vintage, and it's one of the better-framed wines on display here. Good quality, with ground coffee, dark chocolate and tight cassis notes, all subtly and harmoniously put together. Drinking Window 2024 - 2038
Rather more structured than Langoa, as usual, but also a little more feisty, dense and rather more tannic and active on the palate, too. There is the traditional cassis theme and the tannins and oak are not dominant, allowing the fruit to expand and develop during the experience. There is some tension with the tannins but they do not shut the wine down as I have seen in other properties. I expect it to age slowly and incrementally, waiting some time before it softens - perhaps a decade or more.
This Lynch deserves special attention; it was one of the most exciting wines we tasted all week. The texture of its tannins is distinctly layered: silky and fine, they build in momentum. Accompanying these are elegant aromatics of violets and dark berries, with a concentration of inky cassis fruit and a creamy freshness on the palate. It is a highlight of the vintage, and once again far outpaces its fifth growth classification.
The 2017 Lynch Bages was picked from 18 September with the young Merlot vines and finishing on 30 September. It was cropped at around 50hl/ha. It is aged in 75% new oak for 18 months. It offers good intensity on the nose, not as precise or as mineral-driven as the 2016 last year, with cedar and pencil shaving infusing the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, very refined, a touch of white pepper and cedar with impressive depth on the finish. This will be an approachable Lynch Bages, probably pre-destined to be overshadowed by the magnificent (if nascent) 2016 but it will certainly give 20 to 25 years of drinking pleasure. Tasted four times with consistent notes. 2022 - 2042
Deepest crimson. Lovely classic aroma of cassis and graphite with an attractive dusty/mineral overlay. Deep and still elegant, with refined dark fruit, super-fine tannins and a long harmonious finish. Shapely and elegant. (JH) Drink 2027-2040
This is an excellent Lynch that starts off slowly and then drives at the end with dark fruit and hints of hazelnuts. Strong and focused tannins. A beautiful young wine.
The 2017 Lynch-Bages is a wine of impeccable balance and class. Deep, fleshy and inviting, the 2017 should be ready to deliver pleasure with minimal cellaring. All of the Lynch-Bages signatures come through in a very pretty, deceptively medium-bodied wine loaded with personality. Lynch-Bages is never a huge wine, but like most of his colleagues, proprietor Jean-Michel Cazes opted for especially delicate extractions.
They've had their foot on the extraction pedal here, but the extremely dark fruit has great finesse. It is broad-shouldered and savoury-edged, and each time I tasted this wine it seemed a little richer and more complete, over-delivering for the year. This is going to age extremely well. 2% Petit Verdot makes up the blend. 75% new oak. Drinking Window 2025 - 2038
A stunning nose which combines density and also exuberance, this is a lovely if full wine with bold richness and also length and complexity. The detail is superb and there is impressive control on the finish, too. Superb.
This wine stopped us in our tracks. I was seduced by the quality, harmony and sheer class of this stunning wine! This Pichon Lalande exemplifies the supremacy of Bordeaux’s two most famous grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Merlot (23%). Beautifully perfumed with hints of violets and dark cherries. It caresses the palate with its sweetness, charm and tenderness, slowly building in energy and intensity, finishing with Pauillac drive and depth. A real highlight of the vintage with a great life ahead. This is a totally brilliant wine.
The 2017 Pichon-Lalande was picked from 7 September to 2 October and underwent a 23 day cuvaison period. It is intense on the nose, the new oak coming through a little strongly since the sample came from a new barrel, the final blend consisting of 60% new wood. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, the Cabernet Sauvignon driving this alone with layers of black fruit laced with cedar and graphite. It is a very “Pauillac” Pichon Lalande, less opulent and giving than recent vintages and more in the style of say, the 1996 or 2010. There is very good persistence on the saline finish but it is clearly a wine that is going to require more cellaring than its peers. Tasted four times in total, each time this gained more substance and density. 2022 - 2045
This barrel sample is 100% new oak, whereas the final blend will be only 60% new oak. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the 2017 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is very deep garnet-purple in color with an incredibly fragrant nose of roses, lavender and baking spices over a core of crushed blackcurrants, wild blueberries and fresh plums plus touches of iron ore and underbrush. Medium-bodied and elegant with firm, grainy tannins, it's quite taut and muscular, with lots of perfumed and mineral layers and a long finish with lingering cinnamon and anise notes.
Dark crimson with soft pink rim. Lightly leafy dark fruit. Super-smooth texture and some fruit sweetness on the mid palate. Firm, dark and elegant on the finish. Sinewy and quite supple and long even without huge intensity, showing the charm of Comtesse and still clearly revealing its Pauillac origins. A smart, elegant wine reflecting the vintage. Tannins are tender – if more serious than on the Réserve de la Comtesse – and fruit just right. (JH) Drink 2027-2042
This is a really fascinating young Pichon Lalande with a dense center palate of currants, crushed stones, salt and seashells. Really long and intense. Wonderful energy. Showing character of some of the top years of the 1980s.
The 2017 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is gorgeous, but it is also going to need time to come together. The sensuality and allure typical of so many Pauillacs is not at all evident here. A rush of dark cherry, plum, smoke, charcoal and exotic spice make a strong opening statement in a powerful Pichon Comtesse that is not ready to show all of its cards. The 2017 was incredibly reticent in several tastings, which is probably a very good thing for its long-term potential. Today, though, the 2017 is dense, powerful and closed in on itself, without the layers that define the 2014, 2015 and 2016.
If you just taste the big name Pauillacs, you would be hard-pressed to understand that 2017 has been a challenging year. This is one of my wines of the vintage, no question. It's from 21ha, biodynamically farmed, with Vincent Masson as consultant. Just a few plots further away from the river were affected by frost. The slight austerity of 2017 is evident, with a savoury quality to the fruit, but this is exceptionally good, with plenty of stunning fruit and well defined tannins. The aromatics are very refined, and the intense cassis fruit doesn't sacrifice any intensity or power. It demonstrates the energy that Comtesse has displayed so consistently in recent vintages, with gorgeous finesse and structure to the tannins. The new cellar has raised the level of Cabernet from 65% to 70+%, with 12% press wine. This is going to age extremely well. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
Very clean and firm, there is a singular theme here. The Cabernet Sauvignon is so pure and dominant that while the other varieties clearly add detail, they are lined up behind the silhouette of the Cabernet and for the time being, they have to wait to add their voices to the experience. Very satisfying and very clean, this is a wonderful expression of this property and also the vintage.