Bordeaux 2017’s Best Value

Is there such a thing as a bad vintage? As with growing any other fruit, grape growers aren’t immune from having to manage challenging weather conditions and for Bordeaux producers, 2017 certainly had some challenges! Many estates were impacted by frost damage – one of the worst seen in living memory – and as a result, the crop was down by 45% on previous years. However, despite the much reduced crop, many estates managed to produce some excellent wines showing a lot of freshness and generosity, making them a good buy for those wanting to drink them over the next couple of years and beyond. This guide will take you through our fantastic selection of Bordeaux 2017.

The Harvest

While 2017 will be largely remembered for the frost damage, not all estates were affected in the same way. Those vineyards situated on gravel soils, which retain the heat were less likely to be affected, especially when located near large masses of water which help to regulate the temperature from sudden changes. Vineyards benefitting from the influence of the Garonne River were merely disturbed by the frost. This was especially true in St-Julien, Pauillac and St-Estèphe. Some estates on the right bank under Côtes de Bordeaux and Entre-deux-Mers AOC also escaped most of the frost. St Emilion and Pomerol on the other hand were the most affected with several Grand Cru Classés suffering considerable losses of up to 100% of their crop.

For those who avoided the frosts, and for those who managed to bring in healthy grapes despite the frost, 2017 is now showing some very attractive and approachable wines, full of energy and balance. Vines received plenty of water at the end of June and benefitted from a relatively dry summer with high temperatures in August. The start of September was damp but good weather followed allowing the late ripening varietal Cabernet Sauvignon to achieve full maturity.

The Wines

Leading properties in St Estèphe, Pauillac and St Julien and to a less extent in Margaux produced the best reds of the Médoc. Overall, the wines are fresh with a good concentration of ripe black fruits and well-balanced with chewy tannins. Most critics agree the wines are similar to 2014 in style, and some estate’s wines were compared to the well-rated 2015 vintage.

Where some estates were badly affected by the frost and grapes were destroyed, secondary budding offered an opportunity for a second bunch of grapes, but with the growing season being shorter, most decided not to produce a ‘Grand Vin’. Instead, they focused on making only a second wine and achieved great results.

In short, selecting the right wine in this challenging year is key. Our buying team has worked hard to secure some parcels from 2017’s best values for our cellars, which are now available for home delivery.


Davy’s top recommendations for Bordeaux 2017

St Julien

2017 La Reserve de Léoville Barton, 2nd Wine of Château Léoville Barton St Julien – 93 points, Decanter’s Médoc Grand Cru Classé 2017 Tasting Panel, February 2022
2017 Sarget de Gruaud Larose, 2nd Wine of Château Gruaud Larose St Julien – 93 points, Decanter’s Médoc Grand Cru Classé 2017 Tasting Panel, February 2022
2017 Croix de Beaucaillou, 2nd Wine of Château Ducru Beaucaillou Saint Julien Points – 92 points, James Suckling,, January 2020

St Estèphe

2017 Château Capbern, – 93 points, James Suckling,, January 2020
2017 Château Ormes De Pez, – 92 points, James Suckling,, January 2020


2017 Château Lynch Moussas, 5eme Cru Classé – 93 points, Decanter’s Médoc Grand Cru Classé 2017 Tasting Panel, February 2022
2017 Fleur de Pédesclaux, 2nd Wine of Château Pédesclaux


2017 La Dame d’Angludet, 2nd Wine of Château Angludet
2017 La Sirene de Giscours, 2nd Wine of Ch. Giscours

Other Médoc

2017 Château Caronne Ste Gemme, Haut-Médoc – 15.5/20 Julia Harding,
2017 Château du Moulin Rouge, Haut-Médoc
2017 Château Laujac, Médoc