Haut Brion have delivered once again with a “hugely captivating” (JA) 2017, released today at GBP 4055. Few addresses will better display the cool, mineral-infused fruit that characterises the 2017 vintage.
Whatever the vintage brings, Haut Brion finds a way to express it with panache and clarity. Where 2015 was powerful and intense, and 2016 was cashmere-smooth and pure, 2017 is positively crackling with latent energy and remarkably expressive fruit. We have long considered this spot to have the finest terroir in the whole of Bordeaux and the 2017 makes the case again: Lisa Perrotti-Brown admires its “compelling mineral and perfumed layers”and Decanter’s Jane Anson calls it “one of the contenders for red of the vintage.”
“A wine of total finesse and class”is how Antonio Galloni introduces the 2017 La Mission Haut Brion, which has been released this morning at GBP 2760.
The divergence of Haut Brion and La Mission is quite pronounced in this vintage, with the opulent, dense style of La Mission very much to the fore – whilst its neighbour Haut Brion is more mineral-driven and austere. There is an intensity to the fruit in this La Mission which not only defies the cool nature of the vintage but also suggests the potential for serious longevity, which is only enhanced by the quite startlingly juicy acidity. That said it still packs a stunning Pessac punch of warm, earthy mineral notes and a saline, oyster shell character – the clarity of which is certainly a hallmark of this most unusual vintage.
Another release is the high-scoring, “Masterful” La Mondotte at GBP 1428.
Saving the best for last - almost the last major release of the campaign - we have Lafite at GBP 4980. This absolutely blew us away at the En Primeur tasting and in our view comes as close to the 2015 and 2016 as any of the First Growths. In time we do not feel that there will be much, if anything, between these three wines – and the release price for the 2017 sits 14% below the current price for the 2015 and 20% below the 2016.
Demand for Lafite remains immense throughout the world and, driven by consumption-led desire from Asia, price growth shows little sign of abating. With the critical reception equaling that for the very best Lafite vintages from the last decade, it is unsurprising that this release offers extremely compelling relative value, the best of the entire En Primeur campaign to date.
We will continue to take orders for Lafite for now but please be aware that the wine will certainly be on allocation so we cannot guarantee that every order will be fulfilled - that said we will do our level best to do so.
UPDATE: Lafite is sold out at GBP 4980. We are now taking orders at GBP 5200.