Saint-Émilion & Pomerol, 1997

1997 was an irregular Bordeaux vintage and a wine drinker’s vintage rather than a speculative one for investors, with a wealth of soft, attractive user-friendly wines.

1997 experienced unstable weather across all appellations. Uneven flowering resulted in unequal ripening, followed by early summer rains and a humid August. There were many problems with rot, and those who picked early harvested dilute, unripe bunches. The news was not much better for those who picked late, and generally the wines had little concentration.

There were some good wines made in 1997, the finest wines being light and charming and a refreshing change to the backward tannic wines of much of the 1990s. However, their immediate appeal was scuppered by inflated pricing, as growers sought to continue the upward scale of 1996. But, with hindsight, 1997 does offer some real bargains for early consumption.

There were some very good whites made in the Graves and Sauternes, and once again d’Yquem was the star sweet white. 

The wines

Saint-Émilion and Pomerol fared slightly better than the Médoc, at best producing forward, fleshy fruity wines for nice early drinking. Those producers that picked late (at the end of September) generally cropped riper fruit and made more concentrated wines. Those that picked earlier tended to be more dilute from grapes swollen by the rains.

Saint-Émilion & Pomerol, 1997

1997 was an irregular Bordeaux vintage and a wine drinker’s vintage rather than a speculative one for investors, with a wealth of soft, attractive user-friendly wines.

1997 experienced unstable weather across all appellations. Uneven flowering resulted in unequal ripening, followed by early summer rains and a humid August. There were many problems with rot, and those who picked early harvested dilute, unripe bunches. The news was not much better for those who picked late, and generally the wines had little concentration.

There were some good wines made in 1997, the finest wines being light and charming and a refreshing change to the backward tannic wines of much of the 1990s. However, their immediate appeal was scuppered by inflated pricing, as growers sought to continue the upward scale of 1996. But, with hindsight, 1997 does offer some real bargains for early consumption.

There were some very good whites made in the Graves and Sauternes, and once again d’Yquem was the star sweet white. 

The wines

Saint-Émilion and Pomerol fared slightly better than the Médoc, at best producing forward, fleshy fruity wines for nice early drinking. Those producers that picked late (at the end of September) generally cropped riper fruit and made more concentrated wines. Those that picked earlier tended to be more dilute from grapes swollen by the rains.

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