Four weeks ago, in our first guest post, I was about to head to Bordeaux, with WineOwners.com founder and CEO, Nick Martin. We promised to report back with our views on what’s hot and what’s not. Et voilà…
For six days in early April, Nick Martin and Jonathan Reeve abandoned the relative safety of Wine Owners’ HQ and headed to Bordeaux, to tackle several hundred young (unfinished) Bordeaux wines of the new 2017 vintage. Bristling with tannins, these wines were as primal and raw as they will be at any point in their life. Top-end Bordeaux wines are extremely structured (charpenté), full of acidity and tannins. They’re built for the long haul, not for early consumption. Most of the 2017 we tried won’t be drinkable for another six years at least. When we tasted them they were just six months old.
The goal of this apparent masochism? To evaluate the future quality of the 2017 Bordeaux vintage, and the investability of its top wines. Below are a few top wine investment tips we’re happy to share with you. For finer-grained commentary, and up-to-date information on the current en primeur campaign, try one or more of the below.
- Follow us on Twitter
- Skim-read our article on: Protoprices
- Call our office and ask for James Sowden: +44 (0)20 7278 4377.
While in Bordeaux, I hunted for patterns – something on which to build en primeur purchase recommendations. It wasn’t until day three that something useful emerged…
At a collective tasting of Saint-Julien wines, hosted by Chateau Beychevelle in their super-modern winery, we noticed a clear pattern in the fifty-or-so wines: consistent quality. There didn’t seem to be a dud among them. Saint-Julien was the first appellation where quality seemed reliably high across all the wines we tasted. Other appellations were patchy, and required a lot of work to separate out what was hot and what was not.
What’s our tip here? Invest in Saint-Julien 2017 and you probably won’t be disappointed. For a higher-end, investment grade wine, look for anything with either Barton or Leoville in the name: Leoville Barton, Langoa Barton, Leoville Las Cases, Leoville Poyferre. For excellent value, we found Chateau Lagrange to be both under-rated and under-priced. In a blind tasting of the five 2008 Bordeaux wines, Chateau Lagrange came out victorious, against some pretty expensive competition. If the 2017 is anything like as good (which it seemed to be), it’s worth looking at.