I thought the '97 Barton was one of the stronger efforts for the vintage.
As to '97 as a whole, I think that terms like "vilified" and "written off" are probably harsher than most people's views. I don't remember anyone calling it a truly bad vintage. I think of '91 & '92 are rather bad vintages (though Ill happily drink '92 Haut-Brion or LLC, to name a couple). I think of '97 as maybe a step ahead of '93, and a half-step behind '94. I think that '97s - if restaurant bought on closeout and passed along savings, and if bottles were well stored- would be good restaurant wines right now.
My problems with 1997 Bordeaux, is that for a middling vintage, it has problems with:
1) Price. Most of these came out at prices about the same as the much superior (for my tastes) 1996s and 1995s. I like "luncheon claret", but felt no need to pay high prices for it.
2) Storage: Because of high prices, a ton sat in pipeline too long. By the time wholesalers starting offering deals to try and move these (as 2000's rep grew) a whole lot of 1997s were fried. I'd say that 75% of the wines I've sampled from "deals" friends have gotten on 1997 Bordeaux in the last 3 years have shown prematurely old.
3) Ageability- I can believe the Barton is getting better, and maybe a few others can use a couple more years (10+ in the case of Lafleur, I hope- tannic beasts now). But most are at or past peak, so better as a restaurant wine than taking up cellar space.
4) Style: while I prefer more structured vintages, I can appreciate fruit-driven low-acid wines as earlier drinkers. But for the most part 1997 seemed to be low-acid yet without really deep fruit. There are exceptions, and I'm glad the Barton is one.
All I think I have left is a Poyferre, a Forts de Latour, a Pavie_Macquin, and a few Lafleur. I'll happily try any 1997, but temper my expectations.