Does anyone out there care that I tasted a couple of 2007 barrel samples from Bordeaux? Yes. I tasted them in my kitchen Wednesday morning. It was about 30 minutes after my cappuccino and sweet roll at my local bar called Bar Marisa. No problem there.
Alex Van Beek of Chateaus Giscours and du Tertre had been for dinner at my house in Tuscany, and he left me some half-bottles of his 2007s. Alex also oversees the Tuscan estate of Caiarossa, which is located in the hills overlooking the Mediterranean. It has the same owner as Giscours and du Tertre. So I invited him over to my house for dinner with Francois Thienpont, a Bordeaux negociant whose family members make a number of high-end Pomerols including Le Pin and Vieux-Chateau-Certan. They also make Puygueraud, which was one of my best values in 2005 Bordeaux. Francois had been in Milan doing a tasting.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised with the 2007 barrel samples of Giscours and du Tertre. They both showed clean fruit, with medium to full bodies and medium tannins. I was impressed that they didn’t have any herbal character or unripe tannins. They were perfectly clean. Sort of reminded me of some 2001 barrel samples that I tasted in 2002.
2007 was a very difficult vintage in Bordeaux. The weather was awful until September. Most vintners there admit that if the Indian summer hadn’t arrived it would have been a complete washout. For some, the good weather was too late as their grape crops were devastated by disease and water damage. Many of the small producers (most vine growers in Bordeaux) just didn’t have the financial means or the know-how to cope with all the effects of the bad weather.
The only exception was Sauternes, which reportedly made excellent wines. And I am sure that some of the top names in the region made very good wines after taking draconian steps to select the best possible grapes and wines for their blends. We will see.
But I imagine very few of you out there are interested. Everyone seems focused on the 2005s right now, and rightly so. I assume it will be the same when the futures campaign, or en primeur, starts at the end of March. I will be there, regardless.