Climatic conditions

The season opened with dry feet. Only in February did rainfall return to normal. As a result, soil was hot and humid, conducive to over-early, over-rapid budburst. The end was generous indeed, but then temperatures dropped on April 16th, well before the notoriously chilly “ice saints” cold snap period.

The Médoc was hit by two cold snaps. On the evening of April 29th, Hanteillan suffered 6 hectares of frost damage.

We realised how lucky we were compared to other vineyards in the area. May and June brought no surprises with fine, concentrated flowering. The Hanteillan took time to warm up and the vine cycle took longer than usual.

Despite a troubled summer, ripening went smoothly; tannic potential was set to be good, without any excesses. The harvest was healthy, but rather late.

Vintage presentation

The vintage was characteristic of that of a cold year, with no major high points. Clay soils were not at their best, while lighter soils were packed with surprises up to bottling.

Beautiful, shiny, deep colour. The tannins are ripe with a slightly granular touch, to be further polished in the bottle. The expression of a cool year, characterised by floral aromas. The palate is well rounded and slightly creamy, length is medium and well supported by barrel maturing. The wine already offers fine fullness. The vintage is ready to go.

From the vine to the glass

Full maturity was not reached at Hanteillan. From this point, the winemaker had to take action.

The harvest was healthy, but with less generous extraction potential than in 2016. Vinification was gentle, with pumping over tailored to tank potential. Extraction was reduced in order to capture fruit and ripe tannins. This meticulous approach was effective, but maturing had to support and enhance the wine.

Wood, used for many years and always chosen with great precision, would help us. Structure was required, but without going off kilter in aromatic terms. We know our coopers well, and their handicraft takes turns to appear in our cellar.

Selection was stringent at time of bottling: not everyone can be a Hanteillan! Many batches gained extra tone during the 12-month maturing period, and acidity faded. 2017 is a vintage of freshness, with that touch of cold limestone, so characteristic of Hanteillan. So yes, definitely yes: 2017 was a good year in Hanteillan!

Tasting Notes

“Good, deep colour, more depth and grip than 2016 and extra smoothness, needing 12 months to become a seductive wine.”
Steven Spurrier’s Tasting Notes, Wine Critic.

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