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Bordeaux 2007 four years on: St Estèphe & Pauillac

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Terrific effort by Cos d’Estournel in 2007

Only four wines were shown from the St Estèphe appellation at the MW Institute tasting but Chateau Cos d’Estournel has turned in an excellent effort in 2007. Chateau Montrose meanwhile felt much more backward and Chateau Cos Labory and Chateau Lafon Rochet both felt light and lacking in depth. It’s really worth searching out their 2006s, 2008s and 2009s instead.

Chateau Cos d’Estournel

Deep and arterial looking; legs; ripe and plush nose; satin and surprising ripeness and lovely black fruits and wet stone elements; density and layers; palate ripe and fleshy with ripe and nicely handled tannin; dense and ripeness and not at all over-extracted. Very good length. Excellent effort 93+/100

Chateau Cos Labory

Some depth; red at edge; some oak resin and wet stone alongside leaf and tobacco notes; palate lacks depth and feels light, though not extracted at least and better now for some time to round out. 86/100

Chateau Lafon-Rochet

Mid red; some depth; tobacco, spice some resin; light effort on the palate and lacks depth; some structure and grip. Chewy finish. Not a bad effort. 86+/100

Chateau Montrose

Deep and dense looking; still youthful at the edge; strong minerality; little unyielding but lots of cool Cabernet fruit; some leaf and lift on aeration; layers revealed; palate pretty dense and structured as you’d expect and feels a little austere on the finish. Lots of structure and grip but density here too. Very good but pretty backward effort. 90+/100

PAUILLAC

Great effort from Pichon Longuevelle

For me Pauillac vies with Pessac-Leognan in producing  the best red wines of this tricky vintage. The first growths live up to their reputations. Lafite and Mouton, though chalk and cheese, have made very strong wines. For me Mouton, the more flamboyant of the two, has the edge but both these wines defy the vintage vicissitudes as have Pichon Longuevelle, Lynch Bages, Pontet Canet and Pichon Lalande. Grand-Puy-Lacoste and stablemate Haut Batailley also seemed very successful efforts. Where the price is right all these wines bear consideration, and if you can find them at a significant discount to 2008, 2009 and 2010, they could be shrewd buys for drinking [Mouton & Lafite excepted].

Chateau Batailley

Mid depth; fraction short; weedy, leafy blackcurrant notes; feels quite light; light and lifted palate; not unattractive but an early maturing style; some oak; earthy blackcurrants on the palate; has come round in bottle. 87/100

Chateau Clerc Milon

Mid depth, some red; blackcurrant and minerals; quite tight but feels polished; fresh blackcurrants on the palate; quite angular and boney but with density. Quite structured and rather angular tannins but otherwise pretty correct and feels fresh. 87/100

Chateau Croizet-Bages

Mid red; lacks depth; some tobacco and leaf; palate lean and lacking in fruit with dry tannins. Pretty unappealing. 78/100

Chateau d’Armailhac

Mid depth; some red at rim; that meaty, rose hip d’Armailhac style present even in this vintage; blackcurrants too, some layers here in fact; attractive leafy, spicy blackcurrant palate, quite open and easy with round tannin and a reasonably generous palate; some grip on the finish. Pretty good and more come-hither than stablemate Clerc Milon. 88+/100

Chateau Duhart-Milon

Mid red; some development at the edge; earthy blackcurrant nose; quite weedy and leafy, not unattractive [reminds me a little of the ‘97] some spice too; polished palate, blackcurrant, leaf and undergrowth. Fairly lightweight overall. Not a bad effort. 88/100

Chateau Grand-Puy Ducasse

Mid depth, red at edge; pure blackcurrant fruit nose, little additional development and feels fresh, though lacking complexity; palate full, rocks, wet stones and dusty tannin, a little angular overall. Maybe needs another year or two? 86+/100

Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste

Mid red, depth; earthy feral lift initially with leafy blackcurrant behind; layers here; palate feels fresh with some herbal blackcurrant notes and nicely handled tannin. Elegant, harmonious and nicely proportioned. 89+/100

Chateau Haut-Batailley

Quite deep; not dissimilar to GPL; some mineral and leafy blackcurrant tones; earthy and attractive; elegant and harmonious on the palate with blackcurrant, tobacco and undergrowth tones. This works well in 2007. 88+/100

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild

Deep looking; pretty saturated in colour; cooler and calmer than Mouton; very pure blackcurrants here alongside the tell-tale lead pencil/graphite accent; layers and depth here; leafy and tobacco on further aeration; lots of harmony and typicity here; pure blackcurrant fruit on the palate, very clear and precise flavours; a little austerity to the tannins but lots of material and extract perfectly focused. Very good length too. Excellent effort in this tricky vintage. 95+/100

Chateau Lynch-Bages

Deep and saturated looking; deep nose; blackcurrant cassis and real polish; sweet attack reveals surprisingly ripe blackcurrants on the palate; tannin here too but plenty of material and fruit; quite grippy on the finish but has nice length. Excellent effort. 91/100

Chateau Lynch-Moussas

Mid red; lacks a bit of depth in the glass; some leafy tobacco notes; feel warm and fully mature if lacking in obvious fruit; palate light and lacking density but pleasant enough in a ‘charming’ if light style. 85/100

Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Deep and dark; wonderfully decadent nose of Asian spices, blackcurrants and espresso notes; real sweetness here; very attractive; leaf and tobacco come later; sweet and ripe blackcurrant fruit on the palate; terrific purity; some earthiness but layers and layers of flavour suggest a much better vintage than ’07. Excellent. Wine of the vintage at this tasting. 96+/100

Chateau Pedesclaux

Mid depth; dub, some wet rock, some oak; simple and almost Rioja like; some blackcurrants on the palate but a bit minimal and tannins hard and palate angular. Dry finish. 82?/100

Chateau Pichon-Longueville (Baron]

Deep, dark and dense looking; equally saturated in aroma too; lots of blackcurrant cassis; very deep and layered; satin palate of blackcurrants, earth and tobacco notes; very promising nose; nice entry on the palate, deep, layered and quite open; real ripeness, best Pauillac outside the first growths; this is very good wine. Fruit and tannin feel ripe and there is remarkable concentration which has been achieved without extracting bitterness. Very good length too and an excellent effort. Worth serious consideration if you’re tempted to take a dip into 2007. 94+/100

Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Mid red; some depth and darkness at centre; real beauty and polish to the nose; graphite and cool blackcurrant here on the nose; good palate; blackcurrant fruit that feels elegant and charming; little dryness towards the finish. Classis Pichon Lalande though dips a fraction compared with Pichon-Longueville. 90+/100

Chateau Pontet Canet

Deep and dark; red at edge; very inky, intense and resinous nose; meaty tones and cassis along with a creamy character; big, bold explosion on the palate, minerality, blackcurrants and herbal tones; chewy and dense. I prefer Pichon-Longueville in ’07 but this is a very good effort too. 92+/100

The flamboyant Mouton 2007

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