Saturday, January 30, 2010

UGC Bordeaux - 2007 In Review


So, after 67 wines tasted, what have we learned about Bordeaux 2007? As I was discussing with Comtes Stephan von Neipperg above, the vintage was not without its successes. But they were far and few between, in my opinion. I understand we're all being far too premature in passing judgement on this vintage, but there were clearly star appellations who were more successful than others. The dry white wines were a revelation - all the producers did well. I can't see anyone being disappointed, if they bought any of these wines. They need at least 7 years of age, but are all very, very delicious. I can't wait to start drinking these wines.

The Sauternes were showing only primary characters, and need time. The best ones show good botrytis, but again, not as successful across the board as I had thought. I'm uncertain about how these wines will evolve. We'll see, but these wines need many years of bottle age.

The red wines are another matter. Maybe it's an indication of Bordeaux as a whole, but I just could not distinguish difference in appellation. There were no clear markers that we had moved on to a different appellation - maybe that's because of the infancy of the wines, but more cynically, that may be due to the intense enology applied to the wines. Merlot was awful across all producers. Many wines were so tannic...over-extraction was an issue, even in a vintage such as this. The problem isn't so much the austerity of the wines - on the contrary, Bordeaux is supposed to be well-structured. The issue is whether there's anything behind the wall of tannins that so many of the wines had. I doubt many of the wines have any complexity able to emerge after the tannins have softened. Overall, I don't see these wines evolving and improving beyond 10 years. Not that these are bad wines. Just don't expect too much out of them. If the prices were reasonably low, would we even be debating the issue of value?

Having said that, I enjoyed the tasting very much. Attending these huge tastings is an exercise in endurance. I was hit by palate fatigue about 1/3 of the way through. I need to be honest with that. My tasting notes began becoming more elementary as we kept tasting. It took about 2 1/2 hours to get through all the wines, and I'm very happy that we got through the wines we planned for. Towards the end, my mouth and palate was a mess of stained tannins and acidity. Good thing I wasn't there with my beloved.

My tasting notes, by region:

Pessac-Léognan Blanc
Pessac-Léognan Rouge
Saint-Émilion Grand Cru