Clos Fourtet 2017
#78 of Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2020
The wines of Clos Fourtet, Premier Grand Cru Classé, embody the finest of Saint-Émilion. Smooth, intriguing and seductive, their pure natural aromas are delicately woven together in a charming display of the unparalleled potential of our terroir. Our wines mark the culmination of all of our efforts, unveiling themselves as time passes - alive, developing and maturing.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Checking in as a blend of 86% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2017 Chateau Clos Fourtet comes all from the upper limestone plateau and spent 18 months in 60% new French oak. This deep ruby/purple-hued effort offers a rocking perfume of ripe black raspberries, cassis, crushed stone, chocolate, and flowery incense. Powerful, full-bodied, and concentrated on the palate, it's beautifully done, has ripe, present tannins, and a great finish. It ranks with the gems in this solid vintage and will benefit from just short-term cellaring and cruise for 20-25 years or more in cold cellars.
This dark, smoky wine comes from a vineyard close to the walls of Saint-Emilion. The smokiness goes with the impressive core of dry tannins and concentrated structure that supports the rich blackberry flavors. The wine is going to age well; drink from 2024.
Very pure, with clearly defined plum, blackberry and black cherry preserve flavors gliding through, gently infused with anise and black tea details along the way. The fruit is so seductive you might miss the sneaky, graphite-edged grip that builds through the finish, promising solid cellaring potential. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2038.
This has a level of composure and energetic fruit on the palate that sets it above the rest in 2017. The nose has fresh blue fruit and hints of graphite and slate. The palate is succulent and juicy, right through to the very long finish. Drink or hold.
An impressive Clos Fourtet, delivering in bottle as it did during En Primeur. Plenty of saffron-edged plum and firm tannins, you get the limestone tightness to the texture but it is spliced against fleshy black fruits. I feel pretty sure this will close up tightly over the next few years, and will go the distance in terms of ageing. Extremely precise, clear complexity - another example of how well this estate is performing right now. Drinking Window 2024 - 2040
Barrel Sample: 92-94
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Clos Fourtet is profoundly scented of baked blackberries, plum preserves, mulberries and kirsch with hints of cedar chest, iron ore and tapenade plus a waft of smoked meats. Medium-bodied, the palate is laden with earthy/savory nuances, supported by finely grained tannins and loads of freshness, finishing long and earthy. The blend is 90% Merlot,7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Franc. It was aged for 16 months in french oak barrels, 60% new. Rating: 93+
Clos Fourtet owes its fame to the Rulleau and Carles families. The latter were lords of Figeac. They were the first to grow vines on this barely arable land, which nevertheless has outstanding natural drainage. Clos Fourtet's old vines, perfectly balanced grape varieties, traditional winemaking methods backed up by the most modern techniques, and aging in new oak barrels in underground cellars complement all the gifts that nature has bestowed on this chateau.