I arrived in Bordeaux this past Sunday. I have been tasting my way through hundreds of 2007 reds, dry whites and sweet wines. It's tiring tasting young wines recently bottled, but the young 2007s are more delicate than other recent vintages. They are perfumed and pretty, with medium bodies, fresh acidities and delicious fruit. They are real clarets, as my English friends and relatives would say.
I just have to wonder if anyone is really interested in 2007 Bordeaux? Am I wasting my time tasting the wines? I am sure that they will be very, very inexpensive when they are finally on U.S. retail shelves. I would guess that they will be sold at or below cost. How would first-growths at $250, or less, be? Or second-growths at under $100?
Just wait and see. 2007 is going to be a claret-lovers drinking vintage.
But it's amusing how producers don't want to speak too much about their most recent wine in bottle. They are obviously more excited about their wines lying in vat and barrel at the moment, their 2009s. As Baptise Guinaudeau, the son of the owners of Pomerol's legendary Château Lafleur, told me today: "I don't need to say much about 2009 since everyone else is already talking so highly about it."
I am sure that you have already heard a lot about the legendary fledgling vintage. I have heard from some people—including those who are usually very conservative in Bordeaux (they do exist)—that it is the best vintage of their careers. They say the wines have amazing fruit, freshness and structure. They do what Bordeaux does best in hot but fresh vintages-apparently no jam juice this year.
I, of course, like the rest of you, have heard this before. In fact, I have tasted many great vintages in my three-decade career—years called the best ever, including the recent years of 2000 and 2005. And they were great indeed. I can't wait to see if 2009 could be even better. I will taste hundreds of young 2009s in March and let you know.
But just for the fun of it, I stopped by and tasted a few samples of Merlots, Cabernet Francs and Cabernet Sauvignons from barrel at Pomerol's Vieux-Château-Certan. And the young wines were really impressive. The Merlots were incredibly structured already and tasted almost like Cabernet Sauvignons in strength, with deep, ripe tannins and bright acidity. The Cabernet Francs were dark colored and racy, with great length, while the Sauvignons were black, chewy and caressing in texture. The latter may have been the best Right Bank Cabernet Sauvignon I have ever tasted.
I am excited. Yes, very excited to see the 2009s this coming spring. VCC's winemaker, Alexandre Thienpont, had a huge smile on his face the whole time we were tasting the baby Bordeauxs this afternoon. He said that they were so good now that they were hard not to drink straight from the barrel.
I must admit that it was hard to spit the young wines, even though they had just finished their malolactic fermentations. I remember having similar impressions tasting the 1982s from barrel at a very early stage. Not surprising some Bordeaux wine producers are already proclaiming 2009 the "Modern 1982."
We will see ...
Mark Railton — Hingham, MA USA — November 30, 2009 5:34pm ET
Steve Kirchner — huntington beach, ca — November 30, 2009 6:44pm ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — November 30, 2009 8:02pm ET
Aaron Meeker — Kansas City, KS — November 30, 2009 8:35pm ET
James Suckling — — December 1, 2009 4:19am ET
James Suckling — — December 1, 2009 4:20am ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — December 1, 2009 8:44am ET
John Lin — TW — December 1, 2009 9:41am ET
James Suckling — — December 1, 2009 11:25am ET
Kevin E Morrissey — Tampa, FL — December 1, 2009 1:50pm ET
James Suckling — — December 1, 2009 2:07pm ET
Charles Leary — North Carolina — December 1, 2009 3:19pm ET
Matt Scott — Honolulu HI — December 2, 2009 1:33am ET
Noel Menan — Downingtown, PA — December 3, 2009 11:54am ET
Greg Pope — Bordeaux France — December 7, 2009 6:03am ET
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