28 Jun

En Primeur – where to start?

The team in the office often ask, what are the hot tips, the top buys, the secret deals this year. This prompted me to write this post. Starting first with; What would be a great set of wines to start with? If you are new to En Primeur and want to give it a go this year, here’s a great way to start, a collection of 6 excellent wines that are not going to need cellaring for 30+ years and will over deliver in quality and value;

Where to start – Bordeaux 2017 selection 



This – ‘Where to start – Bordeaux 2017 selection’ will set you back $288.25 (total first payment for these six wines) with a small second payment due in two years.

Moving onto the next selection, this is the one for those who have a little patience, but it’s not exhaustive. These are wines that with 5 – 8 years cellaring will be fantastic. The fruit will still be there, together with lovely aged characters;

Some patience required – Bordeaux 2017 selection



This pack of ‘Some patience required – Bordeaux 2017 selection’ comes to a first payment price of $338.48

The 2017 vintage is extraordinarily good for white wines and we’ve certainly seen a number of customers stocking up on these. Bordeaux Blanc ranges in price, the top can be at the top end of the spectrum. Collating six of the best 2017 Bordeaux Blanc looks like this;

The best 2017 Bordeaux Blanc



These six wines collectively have a first payment price of $2019.41

Lastly, the all-important, what am I buying this year?


There are six wines from the 2017 vintage that stood out from the crowd and grabbed my attention. They are listed below along with my notes for each, their collective first payment price is $1010.49

 Chateau Prieure Lichine 2017

The 2017 Prieure Lichine has more Merlot than the 2016 – 63% Cabernet, 32% Merlot, the balance Petit Verdot. 50% new barrels, the rest second fill. A very perfumed wine, violets and attractive florals jump out of the glass. This is much finer and more elegant than the 2016 (tasted side by side). A very charming wine, the tannins are very silky and refined. The fruit is very good.

 Le Petit Lion Du Marquis De Las Cases 2017

2017 represents the 10th vintage of this wine, 52% Cabernet, 43% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc. This is very fragrant, with a great strong core of juicy fruit from exceptional Merlot in the blend this year (declassified fruit). A very smart, well priced wine.

 Chateau Montrose 2017

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. 10% more Cabernet this year as Cabernet performed very well for the Chateau and merlot didn’t enjoy the drought conditions mid-season. Very bold in style, intense and then it opens up quickly on the palate to be elegant with lovely balance and finesse. A fresh lively finish. Bold Structured and with more ageing potential than most of the 2017 wines, this is a very smart Chateau Montrose.

 Chateau Cos D Estournel 2017

66% Cabernet, 32% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, there’s more Merlot this year and the blend includes Petit Verdot, which is not usually included, though was in 2010. This is a return to style for Cos, it’s a terroir driven wine, very balance with a super concentrated core of fresh fruit. The tannins are super ripe and well structured. A sensational wine, a candidate for my top wine from 2017 for sure

 Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron 2017

50% of the production went into the Grand Vin this year, the yield slightly lower than normal due to the tight selection and old vines. 79% Cabernet, 21% Merlot (the same as the 2010). Bold, dense and very firm, excellent structure and concentration. This is classic Pauillac Cabernet in the glass, a must for Cabernet fans.

 Chateau Pontet Canet 2017

There was no frost damage at Pontet Canet, Alfred explained that it’s due to the proximity to the estuary and the height of the plateau. The yield was 34.5 ha/hl, which is very stable now, the biodynamics do tend to have settled yields to a consistent level. 64% Cabernet, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 30% Merlot. There’s 5% Cabernet Franc in the vineyard, which generally flows through to the blend. Attractive and approachable straight off the bat, there’s an abundance of black and red fruits. This is certainly more densely structured, with more precision that the last few years. In fact, it’s getting more and more precise. Overlaying this, there’s an ethereal nature, the acidity is fresh and the balance beautiful.

Our 2017 En Primeur campaign is drawing to a close at the end of June, leaving just a few more days to jump online and get amongst it. There you’ll also find a page detailing the advantages of buying this way and all the detail on how to.