An Ample Vintage of Graceful Wines which will offer Immediate Appeal

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After a run of vintages in which quality has been excellent, but quantities challengingly small, nature has finally compensated with a vintage that is not only both generous in size and of very good to outstanding quality, but will offer pleasure from the off whilst also possessing the substance to age gracefully. It is all that cash-strapped producers, with empty cellars and twitchy bank managers, and the wine trade, with no Burgundy to sell much older than the seriously reserved 2015 and ‘16 vintages, could have wished for.


2017 is being spoken of as a year of the vigneron. The year started out with a cold, dry January, but February brought far warmer weather. March saw a little rain, sufficient to replenish the water tables, and April opened warm, bringing an early ‘push’ to the vines. The second half of the month, however, was cold, and there were 10 consecutive nights of frost in northerly Chablis, with serious losses there, as well as pockets in the Chalonnaise and Maconnais regions. On the Cote d’Or, and mindful of the previous year’s disaster, growers turned out en-masse during the early morning of the 28th to light straw bales that had been placed in the vineyards, and the enterprising team at Domaine Leflaive in Puligny -Montrachet arranged a whip-round in the village to provide funds for a helicopter, which duly hovered over 25 hectares of precious 1er & Grand vines, thus serving to raise the temperature from -1 to +1 degree celcius.

Temperatures rose in May, and continued to do so through the month. Flowering took place in ideal conditions, with uniform set. By the end of June daytime temperature records were being broken. July and August continued hot, but more changeable, with cooler periods, intermittent rain showers, and most importantly, cool nights. By the end of August there were signs of hydric stress, with the grapes blocking. However, rain at the end of the month and into the beginning of August allowed the vines to progress towards full phenolic maturity. Picking of the uniformly healthy fruit began in ideal conditions in late August, and, but for some late pickers such as Eric Forest, was largely completed by mid-September.


 The vineyard work in 2017 proved relatively straightforward, with very little and usually no mildew. The dominant problem was that of le phénomène de compensation, the fact that the vines compensated for the growth in 2016 having been constrained by the frosts by splurging forth vigorously in 2017, accentuated of course by the very uniform fruit set and the absence of malady, meaning that the growers had to work hard to remove both excess vegetation and fruit. The latter was mostly done by judicious debudding early on, though numbers of growers resorted to a green harvest during August.

The debate revolving around the use, or not, of whole bunch fermentations and the inclusion of stems in the vat rumbles quietly on. Some growers favour an element of intracellular fermentation as this brings a certain lushness to the wines, though too much and the essence of terroir can be lost, others find that the inclusion of some stems produces an element of grace and finesse as the wines age, albeit at the cost of stimulating a degree of youthful reserve.

The use of the traditional 228 litre Burgundy oak pièce in the cellars is being progressively supplemented by the use of larger maturation vessels, 600 litre demi-muids and foudres, giving the producers more flexibility and choice in terms of exposure to new and young oak, and the concrete eggs and clay amphorae that are evident in many other regions are starting to make tentative appearances in Burgundy. All of this may be seen as playing around the edges, but it increases the palette of choice – and decision – open to the producers.

Perhaps more pertinent is, or has been, the choice of bottling date. There seems to be a consensus that the precocious style of the wines will not benefit from an overly long period in barrel, the preservation of the delightful, forward fruit being prioritised, this accentuated by the warm spring in 2018 having often raised the temperatures in the cellars and hastened maturation. Many growers have already bottled, and most will have done so well before the spring.


Although the record-breaking temperatures might have indicated potential difficulties, the cool night time temperatures held the acidities, particularly the tartarics, to sufficient levels, and contrary to early expectations the wines are fresh, vital and elegant. The whites are already open and appealing, with respectable acidities, great finesse and rounded, quite expressive fruit, and might bear comparison with the 2014 vintage, falling perhaps between that and 2011 qualitatively. Gentle handling in the cellar to avoid over-manipulation and to preserve the freshness of the delicate fruit was essential, and the best reds exhibit pure, precise, elegant, expressive red fruit aromatics, great clarity of terroir expression, with silky textures and great balance, poise and harmony. As with the whites, they are forward and seductively appealing, but the consensus amongst both producers and tasters is that, whilst they will be delicious to drink from release, they also have the potential to gain in weight and complexity in the medium to long term. Comparisons are being drawn to 2012, 2007, 2002, 1999 and even the legendary 1959, a vintage that is of personal interest, should any customers have some in their cellar and a spare place at the dinner table during the course of the year!

In short, this is a fine vintage of rather beautiful, precociously appealing wines that will serve to replenish empty cellars, and which can be drunk with enormous pleasure whilst Burgundy lovers await the development of the far more reticent, tightly-structured 2016s, should they be lucky enough to have some, and the darker-tinged, richer and often tannic 2015s.


The wines are offered per case of 6 or 12, In Bond Landed. Duty, VAT and Carriage will be applied at the rates current at the time the wines are released from bond, which will be immediately following shipment either this spring or in the autumn. There will be no carriage charge if the wines are collected from our shop, otherwise onward delivery will be charged pro-rata.  If you have a bonded warehouse account, we can arrange for London City Bond to deliver the wines Under Bond into your account. Transfer fees are £10.50 plus VAT per transfer of up to 240 bottles into LCB Tilbury or Vinotheque, or £12.50 plus VAT for 1 case, £30 plus VAT for 3 cases, and £40 plus VAT for up to 10 cases when transferred to Seckford or Octavian, 1 case being equivalent to 12 bottles.

Minimum order is 12 bottles or 6 magnums (when available), and payment is to be upon receipt of invoice by BACS transfer. The offer is made subject to our allocations remaining unsold.



The domaine is now increased to 6 hectares, all on the limestone Vergisson slopes, some of them very steep. Forest is very intuitive, and chooses picking time by tasting the grapes rather than by analysis. He felt that physiological ripeness was late due to the lack of rain, and didn’t start picking until 7th September, completing Crays on 27th, much later than most growers. The acidities held because the weather was dry, not too hot, and with a breeze that kept the grapes dry and concentrated the aromas, sugars and acidities. He describes the vintage as extremely good, with beautiful, rich textures and good acidity, lots of fruit and freshness, and the wines are drinking wonderfully already.

2017 MACON VERGISSON ‘La Roche’ 12   £170.00
Fine, restrained perfume, subtle white flowers. The oak is sitting astride the fruit at the moment, with a crème-brulée quality. Fine acidity, long. From 2020.    
2017 POUILLY-FUISSÉ ‘L’Ame Forest’ 12   £203.00
Restrained, notes of oak and citrus. Citrus follows on entry, a note of fullness, fine, gentle ripe fruit, good integration, soft, long and forward. From 2020.    
2017 POUILLY-FUISSÉ ‘Les Crays’ 12   £239.00
Restrained, notes of butterscotch. Soft, rounded, gently full, all restraint and harmony. Slightly attenuated at the end. Finely boned and lovely. From 2021.





Francois has been reducing yields, and has improved his barrels. Bud break was at the beginning of April, anticipating an early harvest, with earliest parcels being picked from late August, and concluded on 12 September. The wines have a crisp fruit, with vivacity, weight and balance, and will come forward quite quickly.



Medium colour, bright, limpid showing red and black fruits. Sweet, mineral charming, soft and ripe, creamy, balanced. Ready to roll.    
2017 MERCUREY ‘Vielles Vignes’ 12


This tightens up a fair bit. Clean, ripe, sweet fruit, both red and some black, fine acidity. Not complex, but complete and satisfying. Drink from late 2019.    
2017 MERCUREY 1er Cru ‘Les Veleys’ 12


60 year old vines on high SE facing slope. Fine ruby, some dark glints at centre. Restrained, tense, with a hint of darker, brooding fruit, some oak. Sweet on entry, intense, some black fruits, and red. A note of powdery tannin. Francois will wait for those tannins to integrate, and will bottle in March.    
2017 MERCUREY 1er Cru ‘Les Nauges’ 12


40 year old vines on high marl, limestone and clay. Bright, darker flashes at centre. Dark fruits, a note of coulis. Fine, very well honed, has some fine, assertive black fruits, quite masculine and powerful, long. Some unresolved tannin at the end. Fine, balanced. Will take a bit more élevage, bottling March 2019.





A fresh, early spring, some frost at the end of April. “We started harvesting on 18th September” says Marie, “and finished on the 18th September in perfect conditions. We are very happy this year. It gave some great whites and gourmands reds. In spite of the heat, the whites have beautiful acidities and will keep very well. The reds are already crunchy and they will begin to give pleasure rapidly.”



Subtle, restrained, white flowers. Clean and mineral, some citrus. Fills well, charming ripe fruit, just falls a little short at the moment.    
2017 RULLY Blanc 1er Cru Gresigny 6


Planted 1950, limestone. Fine, restrained, elegant. Lemony, mineral, warmly rounded core of very ripe fruit. Carries well. Ready    
2017 RULLY Blanc 1er Cru La Pucelle 6


Planted in 1992. Limestone, with a little clay. Quite rich nose and then tight fruit on the palate. Needs a bit of time to open out but admirably tight and ambitious. Jancis Robinson.    
2017 RULLY Blanc 1er Cru Margotés 6


Fine, rich, steely mineral, pointed citrus, harmonious. The energy builds on the palate, already delicious.    
2017 RULLY Rouge ‘Chaponnières’ 6


Pale colour. Pin-sharp typicity, sweet, gorgeously autumnal. Fills nicely, sweet fruit with a note of spirit, marvellous intensity and style, soft and long. Always a favourite in this cellar.    
2017 RULLY Rouge 1er Cru Les Preaux 6


2.5 ha just below Les Cloux, 1965. Pale. A note of evolution. Immediately gorgeously seductive, soft, fruity, with good flow, tension rising at the end. Some oak, a hint of hedgerow. Rather beautiful.    
2017 RULLY 1er Cru Les Cloux 6


Planted in 1967 on clay/limestone. A perennial favourite. A sense of darkness, yet lighter bodied than Preaux. Notes of black fruits and spice – this is giving less away at the moment, reserved, even brooding. Spice, cinnamon and the end. From 2020.    
2017 MERCUREY Rouge 1er Cru Champs Martin 6


10 year old vines on warm, south-facing slopes. Pale, less evolution, a hint of smoke. A note of spirit again. Some oak, but not new, cinnamon again. A bit unknit at the moment, and difficult to read.    
2017 MERCUREY Rouge 1er Cru Les Nauges 6


Vines planted in 1962. Not tasted.




The next generation, Anne-Cécile and Pierre, are now firmly implanted here. Their father François compares the vintage to the lovely 1999s, and favours the Pinots. “The wines will age well, but don’t necessarily need to.” Up to 70% new oak for the reds here, 30% in the whites. These are highly polished, confident wines.

2017 GIVRY Blanc 1er Cru Petit Marole 6


40 year old vines facing south-east on fine marne & limestone.    
2017 GIVRY Blanc 1er Cru Crausot 6


3 parcels totalling 2.5 ha, south-east facing, 25, 30-40 and over 50 years old on very pure limestone and fine stones. Subtle, note of sweet, ripe fruit, white flowers. Fine, very poised, some warmth, gentle, soft but with plenty of energy, very harmonious.    
2017 GIVRY Rouge 1er Cru A Vigne 6


Two plots totalling 2.5 ha, facing south-east and south-west on clay-limestone with marl & fine stones. 50, 30 and 11-15 year old vines. Fine ruby, some purple. A hint of animal reduction, dark, soaked fruit. Sweet and full, runs across palate and carries beautifully. Just a bit unknit now, so, 2 years.    
2017 GIVRY 1er Cru Petit Marole 6


East-south-east clay/limestone, mostly 40 year old vines.    
2017 GIVRY Rouge 1er Cru Crausot 6


30 and 50 year old vines on south-facing limestone. Medium, with dark core. Fine, heady, dark fruits. Some alcohol and heat. Fine, long, quite rich. But it also exhibits a Chinon-like pencil character. Very elegant. 3-10 years.





An important 15 hectare estate. Laurent’s son, Adrien, made the 2017s, whilst Laurent looked after the vineyard. “A beautiful harvest, without climatic hazards and no spring frosts. Nice weather in May, with regular sun and rain giving homogenous growth. Picking of exceptionally healthy fruit began on 2nd September, and was completed in excellent conditions.” The whites have always been superb here, but the reds have improved enormously during the last few vintages, and in 2017 are gorgeous, ripe and supple.



8 sites totalling 2ha, 1987 to 2006. 25% new oak for 11 months. Fresh, mineral, energetic. Soft, round, forward, good typicity, balance. Not complex, but rich, forward and appetising. All there. From 2020.    
2017 CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET ‘Noyers Brets’ 6


50 ares. Close to Batard-Montrachet, but not on my Pitiot & Poupon map. Quite rich soils, so probably in the dip. 1989. 25% new oak, 12 months. Really racy nose. Seems better value than the Joseph Colin Puligny. Smooth as a baby’s bottom and with well-judged, particularly open fruit. Very approachable – good for restaurants? 2019 – 2024 Jancis Robinson MW OBE    
2017 CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1er Cru Vergers 6


91 ares, planted 1955,65 and 84, very stony soils straight onto limestone. Always a great personal favourite.    
2017 CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1er Cru Morgeot 6


62 ares, planted 1954, 72 & 86, upper slopes, fine, light, shallow soil. 40% new oak 11 months. Complex aromas, subtle citrus, clear minerality, core of greengage, note of gentle oak, full, soft, rich. Fills out and runs to good energy.    
2017 POMMARD 1er Cru Rugiens 6


6.5 ares 1964-1980. 100% new oak for 18 months, 25% whole bunches. Medium pale, primeur, attractive, bouncy minerality. Much more solid on palate than colour would indicate. Chewy, well filled, fruit is sweet with a rich core, and promising too, fine acidity, excellent length. From 2021 to 2030.





Joseph Colin is one of the 4 children of Marc Colin, and his long experience at the famous family domaine has informed his decision to fashion a low intervention regime now that he has branched off on his own. Everything on this 6 hectare domaine is done manually, with grass between the rows, no herbicides and a reasoned organic approach to viticulture. Fermentations are under autochthonous yeasts, and he uses very little SO2.

2017 ST.AUBIN Blanc 1er Cru En Remilly 6


56 ares 30 year old vines on limestone, tucked in on the turn right against Chevalier Montrachet. Lots of air and lift here. Lovely citrus, very pure, good oaking. Terrific drive, energy and minerality, balanced, long, effortless and lovely.    


32 ares of 40 year old vines on deep clay-limestone soils. 25% stems, fermented on indigenous yeasts in vat without crushing. 12 months 15% new oak, bottled witout fining or filtration. Very pale, charm and delicacy with a hint of hedgerow fruit. Runs clear across palate, very fresh, sweet, effusive, fine acidity, long, energetic and lovely. Good value too.






10 hectares of beautifully-sited vines in Meursault, of which the jewel in the crown is this 2.5 hectares in Genevrières Dessus. Elegance and precision in 2017.

2017 MEURSAULT 1er Cru Genevrières 6


Lots of green, citrus on nose. Intense and beautifully refined, taught and rich, long and fresh, lots of ripe citrus. 2-12 years.



COMTE ARMAND Clos des Epeneaux


Paul Zinetti was delighted with the results at this top domaine « One of the reference vintages of the last decade. Extraction was carried out very gently, and macerations were extended for 5-7 weeks so that the terroirs could fully express themselves. Oak ageing was shortened to preserve better the fresh and digest character of the vintage. Un millesime très Bourguignon, and the wines have a pure, precise, salty profile.”

2017 AUXEY-DURESSES Rouge 1er Cru 6


1.08 ha, light, white soils on Les Breterins and south-east facing brown clay on Les Duresses. 18 months 25% new oak. Restrained to a fault, muted red cherry. Spice on plate, rich and taught, sweet red fruits, quite chewy, long.





According to Gilbert Felettig “in 2017 there was no frost and the vintage is about the same size as, but much better than, 2014. It was an easy, ideal, classic vintage – with maturity, succulence, sufficient acidity, no solaire aromas and very healthy fruit, which hardly needed to be sorted. The wines have taken on even more precision during élevage.” Gilbert destemmed entirely in 2017, looking to preserve the seductive succulence of the fruit. This is now one of the finest sources in Chambolle.

2017 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Vieilles Vignes 6


40, 50 and 60 year old vines from 20 different parcels. 30% new oak. Bright and clear. Perfumed, elegant. Real grace and red fruit charm, perfect balance, with intense core of ripe fruit. Very pure, very Chambolle. To 2028    
2017 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Clos Le Village 6


A 0.5 ha monopole. Thin topsoil over limestone bedrock, vines planted in 1973. 50% new oak. Bright, clear, black notes. Red fruits, all grace and elegance, so refreshing. More intensity on nose and palate than Vieilles-Vignes, but the same purity and fine-textured elegance. 2020-2028    
2017 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY 1er Cru Combottes 6


.25 ha, calcaire, 60 year old vines, 70% new oak. Mid-crimson, more weight and black fruit, but still all elegance and charm. Fresh, lifted and intense red fruits, supple and so long. 2020-2028.    
2017 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY 1er Cru Les Feusselottes 6


Stony limestone soils. 1956, 70% new oak. Crimson with black glints. Brooding perfume. Elegant, intense confit red and black fruits, a marked minerality, fine acidity, juicy, so refined. Beautiful. 2020-2028.



DOMAINE LIVERA Gevrey-Chambertin


Damien Livera began picking on 8th September, and finished 5 days later. The following day, it rained. “Very healthy grapes, no rot – but we always sort every grape. No problems with blocked maturities.” 100% destemming . Another domaine very much in the acsendency.

2017 BOURGOGNE Pinot Noir 6


1 ha from several parecels around Gevrey and Brochon, average age 50 years.    


Stony, mineral soils in Brochon, planted 50s and 60s, 20% new oak. Medium to deep cherry, black tints. Tight, dark, lifted and full of seductive promise, spice. Lovely sweet, bright, intense red and black fruits, with a ripe tannic structure, long. Already lovely, will run, say 2019-2025.    
2017 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN ‘En Champs’ 6


Just below 1er Cru Champeaux. Thin topsoils directly onto limestone bedrock. Dark cherry red, some black. Lush, open aromas. The palate reveals some fine-grained tannins to the fore, quite tight and typically mineral, harmonious and balanced, well-framed. 2020-2025.    
2017 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN ‘Clos Village’ 6


1.5 ha 70-75 and 83 year old vines just below Clos St.Jacques.
Bright, dark black centre. Tightly but beautifully perfumed, with a hint of stone. Again, some fine-grained tannins, and a quite rich lushness of bright, dancing cherry fruit, sweet and long, all elegance. 2021-2028.    


Uniform, glinting dark crimson cherry red. Quite dark and brooding, with a sweep of sweet fruit a note of well judged, spicy oak. Lush, rich, complex, very finely balanced, finely structured, so elegant and so long.



DOMAINE MARC ROY Gevrey-Chambertin


“The beginning of April was warm. The end of the month was cooler, but there was no frost. May, June and July were warm but regular, with some rain in July. August was super-hot. There was no blockage of maturation, because my vines have very deep roots,” says Alexandrine Roy, “there was no disease, no rot, no green or burnt grapes. 35hl/ha, 100% destemming, 50% new oak for the Gevreys. Much more forward, open and attractive than the reticent 2016s were at this stage. A lovely range.

2017 MARSANNAY Blanc ‘Champs Perdrix’ 6


Greeny colour, limpid. White fruits, blossom. Rather beautiful, complete. Not mineral, but complex, balanced, long and gentle.    
2017 BOURGOGNE Rouge 6


Singe bloc of 50-60 year old vines from the Gevrey commune. Pale, medium bright, scented, some charcoal, lots of charm. Soft, round on entry, very lovely, with good stuffing, lifts and fills towards the finish. From 2020    
2017 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN Vieilles Vignes 6


70 year old vines from a number of parcels. Gently charming, softly seductive red fruits with a sweet, confit ripeness. Super concentration of red and black fruits, silky, with a fine acidity, balanced, intense and long.    
2017 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN ‘Justice’ 6


Perfectly sited block of 45 year old vines on well-drained, textured little stones. Paler than VV, but still with black tints. Perfumed, brooding, some animal reduction. Fine, sweet red fruits, with charm, freshness, elegance, really elevates, great length, purity and richness.    
2017 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN ‘Clos Prieur’ 6


60 year old vines on iron-rich clay over limestone just below Mazis-Chambertin. Medium to pale, bit with dark glints. Dark and brooding, with a lovely minerality. Intense red fruits with a brooding complexity, dense and spicy, full but ripe, plush tannins. Very long.