Almost perfectly ripe bunch of Cabernet Sauvignon at Château Latour waiting to be harvested. October 2007.
The weather hasn't been Bordeaux's best friend through the growing season, causing an outbreak of mildew that damaged Bordeaux vineyards after the first part of early and successful flowering. April was hot and dry; May looked more like late autumn with a lot of rain and low temperatures, June was rainy as well, the coldest July for many years, and a cloudy August with big differences in temperature but little sunshine. Weather Gods treated Bordeaux people very harshly.
But as it usually happens in Bordeaux, all the good, sunny, warm, and dry weather returned. Apart from a day's showers which didn't mean a thing to grapes, the fine weather continued throughout September until the middle of October.
White grapes were harvested in excellent condition, and white Bordeaux 2007 is probably the best vintage since 2002.
Merlot and Cabernet Franc were brought in in good conditions on the Right Bank, but the phenolic ripeness was only optimal in some places due to a lack of sunshine and warm weather through the growing season. Cabernet Sauvignon had big problems to be ripe on time, but those who waited until 12-15 October, can be very happy indeed because their grapes got the best phenolic ripeness of all.
Sauternes & Barsac continued its hot streak of fine vintages. Long harvest, however, and the quantity is small. It looks like a vintage reminiscent of 1988, even if some are speaking of a vintage close to 2001, which doubts very much.
Generally, the 2007 vintage will provide us with plenty of quickly maturing wines with a lot of charm, round, silky, and tasty. Apart from the very big names, which won't lower the prices compared to 2006, I'm hopeful that the others will reduce the costs considerably so that many good buys will be available.
The following TNs come from tastings arranged by Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, tasting at Circle Rive Droite, and visits I arranged by myself. I've rated all wines according to 100 points scale.
Please notice that Leoville Las Cases and Ducru Beaucaillou in Saint-Julien, Haut Batailley, Mouton Rothschild and Pichon Baron in Pauillac, Calon Segur, Cos d'Estournel and Montrose in Saint-Éstephe, L'Eglise Clinet in Pomerol plus La Mondotte in Saint-Émilion, were not tasted for various reasons, mainly because of very tight tasting schedule.
Haut Brion - 43% Merlot + 44% C.Sauvignon + 13% C.Franc, which corresponds precisely to the percentage of planted grape varieties in the vineyard! Only 43% of the harvest survived the severe selection for Grand Vin. Deep dark red. Denser and more concentrated than La Mission, otherwise same style. Strikingly well-balanced and classy wine. 94p.
La Mission Haut Brion - 43% Merlot + 48% C.Sauvignon + 9% C.Franc, which corresponds precisely to the percentage of planted grape varieties in the vineyard! Only 36% of the harvest survived the severe selection for Grand Vin. Deep dark red. Aromatic cherries and blackcurrants on the nose and palate. An extremely elegant and seductive wine with fine structure and length. Finishes soft and round. Splendid effort for the vintage. 93p.
Domaine de Chevalier - 60% Cabernet Sauvignon + 30% Merlot + 5% Cabernet Franc + 5% Petit Verdot. Harvest finished in mid-October with excellent quality Cabernet Sauvignon. An elegant wine with silky cherry/raspberry fruit and silky tannins. Very tasty and enjoyable. It's not another 2005 or 2006, but it will provide great pleasure in the coming years while we wait for 2005 and 2006 vintages. 91-92p.
Pape Clement made an oaky and meaty wine with enough ripe, aromatic, fresh red-/blackcurrants to balance tannins. A fine effort for the vintage. 90p.
Respide Medeville was very successful for the vintage, with cherry fruit finely balanced by silky tannins, fine structure, and soft finish. 88-89p
Carbonnieux, de Chantegrive, and de France made well-balanced, round, and aromatic wines, light but extremely pleasant. 88-89p.
La Chapelle de La Mision Haut Brion and Le Clarence de Haut Brion offered aromatic cherries, some fine intensity of fruit, and a lot of charm. Delicious on the palate with tasteful cherries, no hard edges, nicely balanced, ripe tannin, and soft finish. 87-89p.
Ferrande, de Fieuzal, Haut Bailly, Haut Bergey, Les Carmes Haut Brion, Latour Martillac, and Picque Caillou were in the same league as the three previously mentioned wines. 87-88p.
Bouscaut, Larrivet Haut Brion, La Louviere, Malartic Lagraviere, Olivier, Rahoul, and Smith Haut Lafitte were either too oaky, unbalanced, or had weak flavors. Some of these will improve later. 85-86p
Dry white wines:
Haut Brion blanc – 55% Sauvignon Blanc + 45% Sémillon. Intense aromas of pear, pineapple, and acacia flower, formidably knitted together, impeccable balance, and long, caressingly soft aftertaste. Exceptional wine and a well-worth rating of 97-98p.
Domaine de Chevalier blanc - 85% Sauvignon Blanc + 15% Semillion. Very intense aromas of acacia flower, pear, and pineapple on the nose, deep and refined. Exceptionally structured, excellent acidity, long and deep on the palate, excellent balance and aftertaste. Olivier Bernard believes this one is even better than 2002 vintage (counted as one of the best white vintages in the last 20 years) with better structure, and I agree with him. 96+p.
Laville Haut Brion – 83% Sémillon + 17% Sauvignon Blanc. Green yellow. Acacia flower, citrus, and apple on the nose, aromatic and intense. Splendidly balanced on the palate with fresh acidity and an excellent effort for the vintage. 96p.
Carbonnieux and La Louviere impressed a lot. Very complex on the nose with many aromas (grapefruit, pineapple, and peach), deep and refined. Great acidity, splendid balance, and long aftertaste. A splendid effort from both wines! 93-94p.
As splendidly did Latour Martillac – a bit subdued on the nose, but the palate was singing well. Dense, well-knitted wine with fine acidity and a strong finish. 92-93p.
De Chantegrive, Haut Bergey, Malartic Lagraviere, and Smith Haut Lafitte were successful with strong aromas of acacia flower, pineapple, and pear, powerful and intense, fine concentration and fine balance. Favorable promise for the future! 91p.
Bouscaut, de France, and Larrivet Haut Brion made themselves very interesting with nicely fresh on the nose, acacia flower aroma, and like that too on the palate with fine balance and tasty fruit. 90p.
Pape Clement didn't show its usual power and zest. It tasted quite subdued. 88+p?
Ferrande, de Fieuzal, Olivier, Picque Caillou, and Rahoul were light regarding intensity and concentration. Anyway, they tasted reasonably fruity with good balance and a soft finish. 86p.
SAUTERNES & BARSAC
d'Yquem was a refined, sophisticated, and beautifully structured wine with great intensity of aromas, great structure, and striking length. 97+p.
Climens offered a fabulous showing of breathtaking elegance, purity, and wonderful balance. 96p.
Nairac has not put a foot wrong since the 2001 vintage and is making great strides to reach the top 5 wines of the district, thanks to its extremely gifted winemaker, Nicolas Heeter-Tari. This wine showed a big nose of intermixing grapefruit, apple, and pear flavors. Full-bodied, with great depth on the palate, splendidly balanced, and full of fresh fruit scents. Extremely well-made wine. 94+p.
Botrytis in the vineyard of Nairac
Raymond Lafon showed an elegant and sophisticated side of itself, with acidity matching fruit sweetness perfectly. This was a wine with a lovely structure and great style. 93p.
Clos Haut Peyraguey, Coutet, Filhot, and Rayne Vigneau followed closely after, with delightful sweetness and acidity, passion fruit, mango, and dry apricots. Long and smooth finish. 92-93p.
De Fargues and Rieussec were somewhat closed and showed only some moments of their fine quality. I bet, however, they will vastly improve when in the bottle. 91-93p.
Les Justices was an extremely catchy wine with well-tuned noble rot flavors, aromatic, tasty, and charming. A real heartbreaker wine. 91p.
Caillou, Doisy-Daëne, Lafaurie Peyraguey, and La Tour Blanche were good wines but seemed light. I'm convinced, however, that at least three last-mentioned wines will take on more weight when in the bottle. 90-91p.
De Malle, Doisy Vedrines, Guiraud, Sigalas Rabaud and Suduiraut. Rather lean at the moment (April 2008), but there's room for improvement later. 87-89p.
OK wines. D'Arche, Bastor Lamontagne, Broustet, Lamothe Despujols, Lamothe Guignard, de Myrat, Rabaud Promis, Romer, Romer du Hayot and Suau. 86-87p.
Greysac and La Tour de By tasted rather anonymous and short. 85p.
Fourcas Dupre and Fourcas Hosten had aromatic cherry fruit on the nose, some nice flavors, quite intense on the palate with tasty fruit, soft, round, and soft finish. Both were quite good for the vintage. 87p.
Fonreaud and Clarke were lighter and more straightforward than the above wines. 85-86p.
Chasse-Spleen, Maucaillou, and Pojeaux were reasonable on the nose and palate, pleasant and round, but sadly quite short. Will mature rather quickly. 85p.
La Lagune was the best wine of this flight, with a fine combination of red fruit and oaky flavors on the nose and palate. It was well-knitted on the palate and finished with a fresh and smooth aftertaste. Splendid effort for the vintage. 89-90p.
Cantemerle resembled La Lagune in a way, just in a lighter version. 89p.
Beaumont, Camensac, Lamarque, La Tour Carnet, and Malescasse all had fresh red-/blackcurrants flavors on the nose, medium-bodied on the palate, good balance, and soft and round finish. Good and enjoyable wines for early consumption. 87p.
Belgrave, Citran, and Coufran were round and pleasant but light and uncomplicated wines to be drunk very early. 85-86p.
Chateau Margaux - many wine journalists describe wines from this property as feminine compared to beautiful women. Always gracious, always stylish, always extremely elegant and sophisticated. I agree with this description. For me, Margaux 2007 was like that: silky fruit, silky tannins, and silky finish, despite containing 87% Cabernet Sauvignon. 93p.
Palmer expressed the seductive aroma of dark cherries, soft texture, silky tannins, and soft finish in its special way. Very stylish and gracious wine, and therefore so typical for the commune. 92p.
Cantenac Brown, Malescot St.Euxpery, Marquis de Terme, Siran, and du Tertre showed fine fruit with fresh flavors, silky tannins, fine balance on the palate, and a reasonable finish. All these wines will provide nice drinking in the next ten years. 88p.
Pavillon Rouge was charming, seductive, and round and will provide great pleasure early on. 87-88p.
Alter Ego provided very delicate, round, and extremely charming drinking. 87p.
Dauzac was a tad lighter and less harmonious than the wines mentioned above. Oaky flavors. 86p.
D'Angludet, Brane Cantenac, Desmirail, Durfort Vivens, Giscours, Kirwan, Labegorce, Lascombes, Monbrison, Prieure Lichine, Rauzan Gassies, and Rauzan Segla, tasted all light, subdued and only with little fruit. Will aging in oak help these wines significantly? We have to wait and see. For the moment (April 2008), my rating is only 85-86p.
Leoville Poyferre shined a lot. Very refined wine with deep structure and big intensity and concentration. All ingredients were in pretty balance, with silky fruit and tannins. Terrific effort for the vintage. 91-92p
Gruaud Larose was almost as fine as Leoville Poyferre, with broad shoulders and a more spicy character. 91p.
Beychevelle offered a great treat for your senses with exquisite, round, and charming wine with seductive cherry fruit aromas on the nose. Branaire was seduced in the same way as well. 90p.
Talbot was very much in the style of Branaire, with silky tannins and a very approachable attitude. Yet another fine effort for the vintage. 88p.
Langoa Barton seemed to have more of everything than Leoville Barton, especially on the palate with tasty, fresh fruit, nice length, and structure. Nice wine. 87-88p. Leoville Barton tasted quite closed and oaky. 87p.
Lagrange and Saint-Pierre were round, uncomplicated, and with reasonable length. Good wines but no more than that. 85-86p.
Lafite offered great intensity of aromas and flavors, robust structure, excellent balance, and depth. Certainly, this one is among the best wines of the vintage. 93-94p.
Latour was silky in fruit and tannins with exquisite balance. On the elegant side, very seductive with a soft and long finish. It shows its feminine side! 92p.
Pontet Canet and Haut Bages Liberal impressed me quite a lot. Both are dark red. Aromatic red-/black cherries, fine intensity on the nose, meaty on the palate with fresh fruit, and delightful fruity aftertaste. Pontet Canet had slightly more depth and concentration than Haut Bages Liberal. Terrific wines, both of them. 91-92p.
Lynch Bages was almost as impressive as Pontet Canet and Haut Bages Liberal. Great complexity on the palate and fine balance. 90p.
Les Forts de Latour charmed everybody all the way to Gironde. 88-89p.
D'Armailhac, Batailley, and Grand Puy Ducasse were all well-knitted on the palate with tasty, fresh fruit, excellent length, and structure. Well-made wines. 88p. Carruaders de Lafite was strong, well-knitted wine with a fine grip on the palate, a fine concentration of red-/blackcurrants, and a fine firm finish. Duhart Milon presented itself just as fine. 88p here too.
Pichon Comtesse was different from the wine I expected from this property. Charming, round, and with nice tasty fruit, but lacked grip and intensity. 87p.
Clerc Milon and Lynch Moussas offered wines on the light side but reasonably well-made, round, well-balanced, and charming. 87p.
Bernadotte and Croizet Bages produced uncomplicated, light, and charming wines for early consumption. 85p.
Ormes de Pez was a real heartbreaker wine with a very fine intensity of red & black cherries, delightful on the palate with seductive fruit and a soft fruity finish. 88p.
Phelan Segur had dark berries in fine form on the nose and palate, meaty and well-balanced. Cos Labory showed a more obvious oak flavor than Phelan Segur, while Lafon Rochet offered a firmer grip on the palate and spicier fruit. Very nice wines, all three. 87p.
Ausone was one of the best showings of the vintage, with a wonderful merge of silky tannins and silky fruit, wonderful balance, powerful structure, and long finish. 94-95p.
Pavie impressed with the same fine qualities as Ausone but was slightly less intense and silky. 93-94p.
Bellevue Mondotte showed a full range of extremely aromatic berries well supported by ripe tannins, while Pavie Decesse was a beautifully crafted wine with cherries, silky tannins, and perfect structure. 93p.
Larcis Ducasse performed as real da bomb, as fine as several PGCC'er. Cherry drops, quite intense aromas, quite powerful on the palate with big depth and great length. Long and firm finish. Simply an excellent effort for the vintage. 93p.
La Confession made from grapes harvested at Jean-Philippe Janoueix's new property, Haut Pontet (bought in May 2007), situated on the plateau, on the left side of the road to Saint-Émilion, opposite Grand Pontet and close to Fonroque, produced powerful, superbly concentrated and aromatic wine and with some splendid length. A strong and stunning effort for the vintage. 92-93p.
Angelus had very ripe fruit on the nose (black cherries), fine intensity, extracted on the palate but still fine balance and length. Quite a long finish. 92p.
Beau Sejour Becot, Beausejour (Duffau-Lagarrosse), and Cheval Blanc were in the same league with cherry and raspberry drops on the nose, fine aromas and fine intensity, fine depth, concentration, and length on the palate. A fine effort for the vintage. 92p. Pavie Macquin joined the group but tasted a bit too oaky. 92p.
Tertre Roteboeuf, Troplong Mondot, and Valandraud were aromatic, round, showing silky fruit and tannins and finishing soft and tasty. Very seductive wines with delightful balance. 92p.
Jean Philippe Janoueix in Haut Pontet's vineyard (left/up) All is clear to taste three vintages at Troplong Mondot (right/down)
Gracia was a heartbreaker wine with fine aromas of black cherries, meaty on the palate, and a nice balance. 91p.
Balestard La Tonnelle was nicely made with a fine and aromatic scent of red berries. This wine concentrated on the palate with silky tannins, sappy and fine length. Surprisingly fine quality. 90p.
Dassault, La Dominique, Grand Mayne, Larmande, and La Tour Figeac were all well-made wines, oaky on the nose but with aromatic fruit of red cherries. Quite concentrated and meaty on the palate with ripe tannins, fine balance, and fine fruity and fresh aftertaste. 90p.
Canon, Clos Fourtet, Croix de Labrie, Figeac, La Gaffeliere, and Trottevieille were of the same fine quality as Dassault but quite oaky. Looked promising. 88-89p.
Chapelle d'Ausone had a lovely balance, silky fruit and tannins, very aromatic black cherries, and a soft finish. 88-89p.
Moulin St.Georges had more stuffing than Fonbel, with more intense flavors and concentration. 88p.
Barde Haut, Bellefont Belcier, Clos Dubreil, Destieux, Fleur Cardinale, La Gomerie, Grand Corbin-Despagne, and Lynsolence, tasted at Cercle Rive Droite, presented themselves with aromatic berries, nice concentration, and good grip on the palate. 87-88p.
Monbousquet was, for my taste, a bit over-extracted and had slightly dry tannins. But there was a good portion of fruit too. 87-88p
Canon La Gaffeliere, Fonbel, and Franc Mayne tasted fruity and round, with reasonable length and concentration. 87p.
Belair and Figeac didn't make a big fuzz of themselves and tasted close in style to Canon La Gaffeliere and Franc Mayne. 87p.
Cap de Mourlin and Franc Mayne tasted subdued with weak and simple flavors. 85p.
Magdelaine had a little substance and seemed quite light and simple. Just OK wine with some fruit and good balance. 84-85p.
Certan de May impressed me with an aromatic wine full of dark cherries (cerise griotte), splendidly concentrated and balanced, beautifully constructed, and with a long finish. Great effort for the vintage and clear proof of advantageous influence from Michel Rolland. 92-93p.
La Croix St.Georges was another proof of great winemaker skills of Jean-Philippe Janoueix. Impeccably made wine resembling Certan de May in style. 92p.
Lafleur tasted tight but with a splendid force of black cherries beautifully balanced by silky fat tannin, stunning structure, and long finish. 92p.
La Conseillante was very aromatic on the nose with cherries and raspberries, graceful and stylish on the palate, and silky tannins. It was impressively seductive and charming wine and a great effort for the vintage. 91-92p.
Le Gay was almost the same quality as La Conseillante but more concentrated and less elegant. Intelligent winemaking. 91p. Le Pin is also fitted in here. 91p.
Bon Pasteur, Clos L'Eglise, and Violette made themselves available with a nice combination of oak, round tannins, and aromatically scented black cherries. 90-91p.
Petrus and Trotanoy didn't make the headlines this time. Rather subdued and oaky. Adding press wine will do these wines a great favor. 90+p?
La Clemence, Le Moulin, and Rouget had a catchy fragrance of black cherries, round shapes, and charm. 88- 89p.
L'Evangile didn't ring the bell either. It was oaky, rather unharmonious, and showing not enough intensity and length. 88-89p.
Hosanna needed very much this already famous press wine! Help! 88p.
VCC was light and straightforward. You could smell and taste that much of grapes from young vines found the way to Grand Vin. A let-down here! 87-88p.
Clinet, La Grave, Latour-a-Pomerol, and Pensees de Lafleur were dark red, and were very fine on the nose with intense black cherries. Meaty on the palate, medium weight, round, and with silky tannins. These are pretty nice wines for the vintage. 87p.
Beauregard, Bourgneuf Vayron, La Cabanne, Certan Marzelle, Gazin, La Fleur Petrus, La Pointe, and La Providence were charming on the nose with aromatic red cherries, nice balance, and quite a good length but light and straightforward. 85-86p.
La Croix de Gay, Lafleur Gazin, Petit Village, and Plince tried very hard to charm themselves to my wine heart, but being charming and round and showing at the same time weak flavors, short palate, and little substance, it simply wasn't enough. 84-85p.
L'Ambroisie du Chateau La Croix des Moines, La Fleur de Bouard, Grand Ormeau, Perron La Fleur, La Sergue, Tournefeuille, and de Viaud, were all quite successful for the district, showing large amounts of ripe and tasty fruit, charm, roundness and very good balance. 88-89p.
Fontenil. It was aromatic on the nose with black cherries, strong, fine balance, and depth. 88-89p.
Barrabaque and Du Gaby had a distinct fragrance of dark berries and a nice structure. 87-88p.
Beautiful view from the top of the hill in Fronsac down to Dordogne river
BORDEAUX/BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR/PREMIÈRES CÔTES DE BORDEAUX
20 Mille from super duper winemaker Jean-Philippe Janouiex (La Confession) is 100% Merlot from 7 years old vines planted close to Croix Mouton. 20.000 vinstokke per ha. Meaty wine with fine tannins, splendid balance, and long aftertaste. 88p.
La Croix Mouton and Le Conseillier showed fresh cherry flavors, silky fruit, tannins, and fine length. 87p.
Made by Jean-Luc Thunevin, Bad Boy was a fruity, tasty, harmonious, round wine. 87p.
Reynon was quite a nice and attractive wine and what you could expect from its owner Denis Dubordieu. 86-87p.
Pavillon Blanc de Margaux confirmed with aplomb greatness of 2007 vintage for white Bordeaux. Very intense flavors of acacia flower, citrus, and mango, great acidity, formidable structure, and long finish. 91-93p.
Grand Village white, made by Sylvie and Jacques Guinaudeau (Lafleur), was splendid wine with intense acacia flower flavors, fresh acidity, and lovely balance. 88-89p.
CÔTES DE BOURG
Roc de Cambes. It had nice aromas of black cherries and blackcurrants and a nice structure and was well-balanced. Very seductive and charming wine. 88p.
CÔTES DE CASTILLON
Clos Les Lunelles provided aromatic black cherries, fine structure, balance, and a fine finish. An extremely seductive wine. 88-89p.
Clos L'Eglise had the same splendid quality and was equally seductive as Clos Les Lunelles. 88p.
Joanin Becot, Sainte Colombe, and Veyry. Pleasant wines with perfumed and tasty dark berries, well-composed and with a round aftertaste. 87-88p.
UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE, ALL WINES LISTED BELOW WERE TASTED IN SEPTEMBER 2009 IN COPENHAGEN
D'Aiguilhe 2007 – soft, tasty, and round wine which will mature quickly. 86p.
Angelus 2007 - had very ripe fruit on the nose (black cherries), fine intensity, extracted on the palate but still delicate balance and length. Less flamboyant now when in the bottle. 91p. Tasted in September 2010.
Canon La Gaffeliere 2007 – soft, tasty, round wine that will mature quickly. 87p. Same impression in September 2010.
Cantemerle 2007 – fruity, tasty, reasonable intensity and length. Already drinkable. 86p. Same impression in September 2010.
Les Carmes Haut Brion 2007 – light, soft, and round wine. Barely exciting. 86p.
Chasse-Spleen 2007 - fruity, tasty, reasonable intensity and length. Already drinkable. 86p. Tasted in September 2010.
Clementin blanc du Chateau Pape Clement 2007 - second wine to Pape Clement white and a real delicacy. This wine shows how stunning the 2007 vintage in white is. Very tasty, aromatic, finesse, and beautifully balanced. Its freshness, elegance, and charm are captivating. 91-92p. Tasted in November 2009.
Clos L'Oratoire 2007 is a soft, tasty, round wine that will mature quickly. 86p. same impression in September 2010.
Ferriere 2007 - fruity, tasty, reasonable intensity and length. Already drinkable. 86p. Tasted in September 2010.
Gazin 2007 – quite downscaled wine but round, soft, and tasty. Very nice to drink now. 87p.
Guiraud 2007 – a bit leaner than 2008 but better than I tasted in April 2008. 91p
Haut Bailly 2007 – very tasty and pleasant, already drinkable because of good balance. 87p. Same impression in September 2010.
Labegorce 2007 - nice and fruity wine, tasty and with good balance, nice depth, and attractive. Drinks very nicely. 87p. Tasted in September 2010.
Latour Martillac white 2007 - dense, well-knitted wine with fine acidity and a strong finish. Very complex on the nose with many aromas (grapefruit, pineapple, and peach). 93p. Tasted in September 2010.
Marquis d'Alesme 2007 - very aromatic, elegant, pleasant wine, soft texture, and nicely balanced. Joyful. 88p.
Smith Haut Lafitte red 2007 - delicious and pleasant, soft, round, and balanced wine. 88p. Same impression in September 2010.
Smith Haut Lafitte white 2007 – strong, aromatic, splendid depth, length, and balance. An excellent example of white Bordeaux. 93p.
La Tour Carnet Blanc 2007 (1/3 S.Blanc + 1/3 S.Gris + 1/3 Semillon). 6 years old vines. Bought by B.Magrez in 1999. Apple and pear flavors mixed with oak flavors on the nose with fine intensity. Fine depth, structure, and length on the palate with substantial acidity. This wine has yet to develop fully but has a really promising future. 90p. Tasted in November 2009.