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Bordeaux 2007: In bottle review

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UGCB Tasting 2007 Report (October 2009)

2007 was a very tricky vintage influenced by rain saved only by goodish weather during September. These conditions have resulted in light to middle weight red wines which are generally rather narrow. The dry whites are actually surprisingly good [it looks a good year in Pessac-Léognan and Graves] and there are some excellent, refreshing sweet wines from Sauternes and Barsac which [at the time of writing] has probably had its best year since 2001. Amongst the reds St Emilion and Pomerol offer the most pleasurable wines, though having said that there are some good wines in all the appellations. However, far too many wines feel narrow, angular and short, especially on the Left Bank. These latter wines may fill out in bottle but that’s not certain. There was a hollowness to many and drying tannins and quite a few, in the left bank in particular, lacked mid palate richness.

Generally amongst the reds those who faired best didn’t try and push things too much and have made fine wine with reasonable intensity and character. The best wines are already quite attractive and will drink well early. Maybe we are now so used to richer, riper wines after a string of warm vintages in Bordeaux and the pursuit of riper more alcoholic wines the world over, which makes these 2007s wines feel weedy and angular. Few wines will need much age but acid levels may mean that these wines will keep. Widely seen as over-priced when first released on the market, 2007 will suffer by comparison to 2008, a better and cheaper vintage, and the already much heralded 2009. For the reds it’s tricky to see this vintage offering the consumer much value unless prices drop substantially. If it did 2007 could be a useful vintage for elegant early maturing wines.  Dry whites from Pessac and Graves looked very nice indeed. The one exciting area is the sweet wines from Sauternes and Barsac which were wonderfully elegant and refreshing with real race and beauty. All the wines were drunk at the UGCB tasting in London in October 2009.

ST ESTEPHE

037

Chateau Cos Labory

Mid red; strawberry and roses on the nose; some spice; high toned palate; some fruit but feels a little angular and lacking flesh. 82/100

Chateau Lafon-Rochet

Mid red; resin and some blackcurrant and perfumed elements; good concentration; blackcurrants; quite elegant and austere but flesh is there. Tannins dry. Should round out? 86?/100

Chateau Ormes de Pez

Mid red; stone fruits and minerals; had expected a bit more; fairly angular palate, fruit subdued and lacks mid palate richness. May fill out but bit hard at present. 84?/100

Chateau Phélan-Ségur

Mid red; some stalky blackcurrant fruit; some spice; fresh blackcurrants with some spice; tannin and acid. Density here but still feels angular. 86?/100

PAUILLAC

Chateau Batailley

Mid red; blackcurrants; some spice; chewy but clean fruit on palate and quite precise; tannic but pure; lacks mid palate richness but fresh. 84/100

Chateau Clerc Milon

Mid red; little dumb; some spice and blackcurrant; palate a bit closed and mean; blackcurrants but quite dry and tannic. Tannins dry. Bit narrow. 84?/100

Chateau d’Armailhac

Mid red; some feral savoury notes and blackcurrants; still quite hard though; fresh but angular and tannic; little more round on the palate than Clerc Milon but still feels pretty angular. 84/100

Chateau Grand-Puy Ducasse

Mid red; some of the rose hip; blackcurrants, stones and minerals; some cream but palate tough and tannic. 84/100

Chateau Lynch-Bages

Mid-red; some purple; dense on the nose with some tar; well hung meat; quite pure palate; quite extracted and tannic but flesh is here on this one; Needs time – 10 years. Good 87+/100

Chateau Lynch-Moussas

Mid red; some stalky blackcurrant fruit; not that fine; also angular and tannic. 82/100

Chateau Pichon-Longueville [Baron]

Mid red; classy nose; this is excellent, wonderful nose of roses, violets, blackcurrants and tar woven together with classy oak; palate wonderfully layered and well bred; good poise and length. Wine fresh with tannic twist. Very good. One of the wines of the tasting.  92+/100

Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Mid red; some creamy notes; less expressive on the nose than Baron; fresh and clean; quite tannic and angular [this is Pauillac after all]. Good length and class with grip – may very well fill out. 86/100

Chateau Pontet-Canet

Mid-red; lots of resin here plus strawberries; not as evolved as Pichon Baron; palate roses with tannin and acid. Mid palate in need of filling out but early days. Good intensity. Tannic. Long-haul wine here. 86/100

ST JULIEN

Chateau Beychevelle

Mid red; elegant nose; some red fruits; quite attractive; some resin; palate attractive; little on the dry side; lacks flesh and a little angular. May fill out. 86/100

Chateau Branaire-Ducru

Mid red; nicely integrated nose; creamy blackcurrants; good; palate stalky blackcurrants; softer on the palate and less angular than Beychevelle. OK. 88/100

Chateau Gruaud Larose

Mid red; typically earthy and meaty GR notes here; meats and animals; some tar and intensity; some meat on the palate and nicely done. Roundness to the tannins and silky quality to the palate. Good. 88+/100

Chateau Lagrange

Mid red; little dumb; some creamy blackcurrant, some resin and tar but subdued; quite tannic and dense at present on the palate; chewy. Needs a few years here to soften. Clean and precise flavours. Tannin high though high feels ripe. 88/100

Chateau Langoa Barton

Mid red; stone mineral quality here; red fruits; some resin; intense; good palate quite dense and tannic; needs time. Clean flavours and tannic. 87/100

Chateau Léoville Barton

Mid red; creamier; more blackcurrants and lead pencil note; quite tannic but slightly rounder and less dry than Langoa. Quite intense and clean with some oak at the back. Very good. 90+/100

Chateau Léoville Poyferré

Mid red; sturdy savoury notes but cleaner than Gruaud Larose; followed by blackcurrants and spices; palate creamy and layered; blackcurrants. This is good to very good. The best wine so far from the commune [Las Cases and Ducru not tasted]. 92+/100

Chateau Saint Pierre

Mid red; some stalky notes on nose; sturdy; quite dry and stalky feel; will need time; feels backward; Palate dry and tannic. Some coffee and Italianate notes. Not bad but need 5-10 years to come together. 86/100

Chateau Talbot

Mid red; some red fruits; not as attractive as stablemate Gruaud Larose or as good as the Leoville Poyferre. Palate elegant and fine; good blackcurrant fruit and some spice. Some herbal notes. Tannins quite dry. Goodish. 86/100

MARGAUX

Chateau Brane-Cantenac

Mid red; perfumed nose; quite Margaux like; quite forward and inviting nose; some blackcurrants and perfumed violet notes; quite light on the palate but not over extracted. Quite fine in a light, early drinking style. 88/100

Chateau Cantenac Brown

Mid red; more leaf and blackcurrant; some cream; slightly leafy, weedy flavours; quite tannic and lacks flesh. 82/100

Chateau d’Angludet

Mid red; bit lightweight and angular; lacks flesh and quite dry and tannic and feels hollow. Acid and tannins stand out. May come together and put on weight but a disappointment. 82/100

Chateau Dauzac

Big colour; almost as bright at the Chateau’s yellow label; quite dense and intense big nose; very big palate; fruity and intense but big dry tannins here too suggesting it might have been over-extracted. Unusual in the context of the tasting.  May settle down into an interesting wine. 85/100

Chateau Desmirail

Mid-red; some blackcurrants and spices; herbal and fruity, quite forward nose; lacks a bit of stuffing on the palate and concentration; may put on more weight; spice and pepper also on palate; Bit ‘high’toned and tannins need to resolve. Not bad though. 84/100 15.5/20

Chateau du Tertre

Mid red; attractive, slightly stalky note; blackcurrants; palate some silky notes along with strawberries and red fruits; well balanced palate. Nice. Slightly old fashioned style. Good. 87+/100

Chateau Durfort-Vivens

Quite deep; up to edge; some candy; ripe; good palate, blackcurrants; quite supple and nicely layered palate; depth and concentration with tannins on the finish. Pretty good. 87+/100

Chateau Giscours

Mid-red; leafy blackcurrants; quite elegant; creamy note on the nose; palate intense and good initially but quite extracted; quite dry tannins and quite present on the finish. Some greenness here? May settle down. 86?/100

Chateau Kirwan

Mid-red; attractive, perfumed nose; violets and perfume; attractive palate – well done in terms of mid-weight and layers of fruit without the over-extraction. Coffee and mocha notes. Pretty good.  89-90/100

Chateau Labégorce

Mid depth; attractive silky nose with some perfume; palate has satiny quality. Not at all bad and playing to the strengths of the vintage – elegance and finesse. 87/100

Chateau Lascombes

Mid red; big sexy nose here; lots of extract and oak; quite seductive; big palate – violets and damsons here. Good. Quite big but still a feminine quality to the wine. Silky. Extracted yes but it does in this case all add up. 90-92+/100

Chateau Malescot Saint-Exupéry

Mid red; some ripe notes with some tar and ripeness; quite tannic but fruit appears to be sufficient. Bit awkward at this stage. 86?/100

Chateau Monbrison

Mid red; quite elegant nose; some violets and perfume and spice; palate well structured and quite soft. Attractive and well styled, elegant and balanced. 88/100

Chateau Priéure-Lichine

Mid depth; quite extracted look; creamy note to nose; some stalkiness on the palate but with intensity; little hardness to the tannins. Grippy. 86/100

Chateau Rauzan-Gassies

Mid depth; quite light but soft nose; some ripeness and herbs and spices; quite elegant palate with the bones poking through the flesh. Feels narrow. 84/100

Chateau Rauzan-Ségla

Mid-depth; intense nose and fine Margaux perfume of violets; good intensity on the palate; concentrated wine with depth; still elegant but with some tobacco characters. Elegant but had depth. Good. 88+/100

Chateau Siran

Mid red; some stalky blackcurrants – but a rather raw, green tinge to the fruit. Tannic and angular. 82/100

MEDOC

Chateau Greysac

Mid-red; good blackcurrant aroma; crisp palate; some depth and quite fresh. OK 80/100

Chateau La Tour de By

Mid red; slightly stalky angular quality; lacks richness and concentration. 78 /100

HAUT-MEDOC

Chateau Beaumont

Mid-red; stalky note; blackcurrants; palate has some polish again with blackcurrant fruit; lacks depth or layers. Quite simple. Fresh. 82/100

Chateau Belgrave

Mid-red; some depth; stone elements; quite minerally; palate has some softness and texture but lacks mid-palate richness. 84/100

Chateau Cantemerle

Mid-red; stalky, quite angular; some blackcurrants but a hint of greenness; palate relatively soft and quite attractive; but still some firm rather angular tannins at the back. 84?/100

Chateau Citran

Mid red; fresh, strawberry  notes with some spice; palate mid-weight; some tannins and again a little angular. 80-82/100

Chateau Coufran

Mid red; some layers to the nose [85% Merlot]; good palate; some intensity and guts; sturdy and attractive. Quite tannic but okayish. 82/100

Chateau La Lagune

Mid red; some stalky fruit with strawberry notes; good layers and extract on the palate. Tannins not over done. Good. 88/100

MOULIS

Chateau Chasse-Spleen, Moulis

Mid red; quite serious red wine nose here; fresh palate, slightly angular and tannic at this stage. Many flesh out? 85?/100

PESSAC-LEOGNAN

Chateau Carbonnieux [Red]

Mid red; some depth; some red fruits and tannin on the nose; mid weight palate; OK some acid and depth. Lacks some mid-palate richness here. Fresh and good acids however. 86+/100

Domaine de Chevalier [White]

Pale straw; some apples and cashew; length and good acid. This is very fine. 88-90/100

Domaine de Chevalier [Red]

Mid red; some depth; substantial wine here; polished; red fruits with nice concentration; some earth, gravel and tar; palate ripe and sweet and nicely lifted quality; very good. Tannins quite round. Intense wine with density. Some chocolate and espresso on the finish. Showing very well. 90+/100

Chateau de Fieuzal [White]

Pale straw; quite appley; mid weight with some cream; will fill out. Mellowness of Semillon evident. Very good. 88/100

Chateau de Fieuzal [Red]

Mid red; some lifted herbaceousness but also intensity; quite precise and clean flavours on the palate; also chocolate and mocha notes; attractive wine with a real earthy note. 87/100

Chateau Haut-Bailly

Mid red; good density; creamy on the nose; attractive; palate mid-weight; layered and good depth with chocolate and earthy notes; attractive layered wine. Good. 88+/100

Chateau La Louvière

Mid red; quite lifted attractive nose; some plums; again quite polished and layered. Good intense wine showing well. 88/100

ST EMILION

Chateau Beau-Séjour Bécot

Mid red; quite dark at centre; ripe, slightly figgy, toffee nose; quite old fashioned; bit tannic and chunky; palate quite chewy. Needs time to round out.  82/100

Chateau Canon

Mid red; depth and dark at core; little dumb at first; some stone and mineral quality here; spice and tobacco at the edge; palate quite tight and intense; fine wine with good depth; not that showy but good seam of fruit; good depth and length. Quite fine. 90/100

Clos Fourtet

Mid red; nice attractive nose with some tobacco, leaf and creamy notes; also mocha and espresso; good. Palate has good structured wine. Good sturdy palate. Very good. 90/100

Chateau Canon-la-Gaffelière

Mid red-black; ripe more upfront fruit; some meat and almost new world notes here; some resinous nose from the oak; almost in Napa Valley on the palate; big and ripe; this wine is seemingly from a different region [or country]. Attractive wine but not much like Saint Emilion. 88/100

Chateau Figeac

Mid red; nice attractive nose with some tobacco, leaf and creamy notes; also mocha and espresso; good; palate has good structure; and maybe a fraction short but rather good. Sturdy.

Chateau Franc-Mayne

Mid red; some depth and intensity to the nose; attractive palate; quite seductive and intense with good structure with some attractive red fruits on palate and nicely integrated oak. Very good. 90-92+/100

Chateau Grand-Mayne

Mid red; quite dark; tar and figs here; gutsy with some cream; palate dense and chewy; not flattering or especially seductive but with soft tannins and good concentration. 88/100

Chateau La Couspaule

Mid depth; some coffee and mocha; bit light; some oak notes; soft, slightly herbal palate; easy going with nice fruit. Not complex but very agreeable and soft. 86/100

Chateau La Dominique

This is it! Mid red; good colour; tight to the rim; very attractive nose with real ripeness and some intensity; well integrated oak; spicy; very attractive; good palate; intense and quite balanced; layers of fruit here; nice attractive palate with some extract but not extracted. Rather well done. Very good. 92+/100

Chateau La Gaffelière

Mid red; bit dull; tarry element; more figs; less of the perfume and balance; bit tough at the end and hollow in the middle. Disappointing. 84/100

Chateau La Tour Figeac

Mid red; gutsy rather raw fruit; some leaf at edge; not terribly exciting. 82/100 15/20

Chateau Larcis-Ducasse

Mid red; attractive fruit nose; some raspberry and strawberry notes; moderate intensity; attractive sweet fleshy palate; soft finish with some acidity. Well balanced. Good. 88/100

Chateau Larmande

Mid red; sweet fruit; some plums and spice; attractive palate; some density; plums again lacks a little mid palate and finishes a little short. Not bad. 86-88/100

Chateau Pavie-Macquin

Mid depth; slighthy stone fruit nose, some red fruits and strawberry notes; opens up; some floral notes too; palate attractive; sweet fruit; less extracted than Troplong Mondot but very good balance. Nice. 90/100

Chateau Troplong Mondot

Good colour; quite intense; attractive plumy nose; soft with well integrated oak. Quite seductive. Dense palate; well done; quite chewy but not over extracted; more powerful than the Trottevielle but not overblown. Very good. 92+/100

Chateau Trottevielle

Mid red; some development; nice attractive nose; well done; some plums. Quite satiny palate; fine with good potential and attractive now; not overdone. Good stuff. Attractive. 92/100

POMEROL

Chateau Beauregard

Deep, quite deep; sturdy and attractive wine with good density; attractive palate with structure and substance. Not bad. Grippy wine on the more substantial side of Pomerol. 88+/100

Chateau Clinet

Mid red; less purple than the Gazin; soft, attractive nose, some sweetness; nicely perfumed; perfumed palate with medium weight; lacks a bit of depth and chew but quite fine. 88+/100

Chateau Gazin

Good colour; tight to rim; sweet attractive nose; plums and some seductive oak; soft sweet fruit; quite nice acid – attractive wine; maybe a trifle short but will fill out. Attractive wine with good concentration.  88+/100

Chateau La Cabanne

Mid red; simple nose; gutsy slightly tannic palate; somewhat coarse tannin. 80-82/100

Chateau La Conseillante

Mid red; leaf and tobacco [some Cabernet Franc influence]; attractive nose; quite meaty; palate similarly so with meat, leaf and some mint; layered palate. Attractive. 88+/100

Chateau La Pointe

Mid red; some development; soft attractive nose; quite simple; some vanilla tones at the back; soft.  85/100

Chateau Petit Village

Mid red; attractive nose of truffles, violets; perfumed and precociously attractive; some tarry notes too; good concentration on the palate; finishes quite light but nicely perfumed and attractive wine. Very fine. 90+/100

SAUTERNES & BARSAC

Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne

Pale gold; clean, slightly taut and fresh; some Semillon notes; medium sweet and fresh. Very good. 90+/100

Chateau Broustet

Mid straw; fresh; some apricots; clean – in the line of Liot. Mid weight and elegant. 87/100

Chateau Climens

Mid gold; more butterscotch and crème brulee and apricots; very attractive; more sweetness here but balanced and lively. Good acid. Good 92+/100

Chateau Coutet

Mid gold; more apple and freshness with some botrytis; clean and very elegant. Good. 88-90/100

Chateau de Fargues

Mid gold; quite luscious with real richness here; some butterscotch; apples and very attractive. Good to very good 90/100

Chateau Doisy-Daene

Mid straw; quite elegant with some Sauvignon Blanc elements; palagte elegant and fresh. Will fill out. Goodish. 88+/100 

Chateau Doisy-Védrines

Mid straw/gold; clean; some honey and butter with some resin and lift; pure, elegant but also quite round. Good 88+/100

Chateau La Tour Blanche

Mid straw; fresh, some honeysuckle; elegant. 88/100

Chateau Nairac

Pale straw; more butterscotch notes; quite forward and rich. Pretty good effort. 88+/100

Chateau Sigalas Rabaud

Golden; mid-weight; apricots; quite elegant and clean; not oversweet. Excellent balance. 88-90+/100

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