Oh oh Seven

I visited the Union des Grands Crus tasting at the Opera House this morning. This is the first mass outing of this vintage since it was bottled earlier this year. This is the biggest tasting of the year in London, and is more than an opportunity to taste the wines; half the point of going is to catch up with friends and customers in the trade, and most of the fine wine trade follow it with what we’d call a rather good lunch.

No fine wine benders for me this year, so the emphasis is all on the wines. The summer of 2007 in Bordeaux was pretty similar to 2007 in Basingstoke. Which is to say pretty much non-existent. And wet and dreary and by no means conducive to making blockbuster clarets. But difficult vintages give good winemakers the opportunity to shine and there are some 2007s which are rather good. I rated Larcis-Ducasse from the start, and they have done an excellent job with a pure, fruit-driven wine. Likewise big brother Pavie-Macquin: less seductive, more serious. Conseillante was rather good too. On the left bank things were a little more tricky but St Julien was the clear winner for me amongst the appellations (it is generally the most consistent) with the two Bartons, Langoa and Leoville, performing well and neighbour Leoville-Poyferre impressing. Domaine de Chevalier Rouge is another winner, and their white is a cracker in 2007, as are the Sauternes. These are excellent: not quite up to the almost perfect 2001s, but not far off.

In retrospect, this vintage was too expensive, and it didn’t sell well. The wines are decent, but 2007 may always (rather unfairly) have a bit of a 1997-esque stigma. In truth, the best wines will make cracking drinking in only a few years’ time, while we’re still waiting for our 2000s, 2005s & 2009s to mature, and while we’re still wondering if our 2008s are as good as Baltimore Bob reckons…

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