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james suckling uncorked

Hello, Hello … 2007 Bordeaux


Posted: Feb 22, 2008 4:03pm ET

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.

Robert R Mascialino
NY, NY —  February 22, 2008 5:36pm ET
James, a follow up from previous blog on a question someone asked - Pavie is not included in your 2005 report. Any insight?
Luciano Gaja
February 22, 2008 5:41pm ET
Hello James, I have a question, maybe you know it.Do you think that 2007 vintage i¿ts gonna be expensive as 2006 or not?My best regards!
James Suckling
 —  February 22, 2008 5:46pm ET
I think Pavie 2005 is going to be superb. But I have to wait to review it in bottle! The 2007s should be substantially less expensive than 2006, and, of course, 2005.
Michael Green
San Diego, CA —  February 22, 2008 7:00pm ET
James, I've been interested in 2007 ever since last summer (July 2007) when I got married and decided to pick up a few bottles of the vintage when available as a keepsake to open on special dates. Very Hallmark, I know, but that's the plan. Anywho, it looks like the prices will be lower than 2005 so thanks for the heads up!Mike
Brent L Pierce
St. Helena, CA —  February 22, 2008 7:02pm ET
James - what do you know about 2005 Aromes de Pavie? (second wine) Tasted it?
Bill Whyte
Yardley Pa —  February 22, 2008 9:20pm ET
James, What are your thoughts on the 2005 Leoville Poyferre ? Bill
Karl Mark
Geneva, IL. —  February 22, 2008 10:55pm ET
James I will be interested. Perhaps 2007 will be a year that we can drink early while waiting for our 2005 to mature. I will be more selective with my purchases in 2007 than I was in 2005, so your barrel reviews are important to me.
Jim Nuffield
Toronto —  February 23, 2008 12:27am ET
James, at this point, unless prices are a LOT lower, I don't think I'll find any reason to buy 2007. I stocked heavily in 2000, moderately in 2003 and have bought as much 2005 as I can afford. That's 10 cases in the cellar. Until the next BIG vintage!!
Sam Chanhao
calgary —  February 23, 2008 5:33am ET
James, I will wait for your 2007 barrel tasting, and go from there. I bought (future) a lot of 2005 based on your barrel tasting. I think I stocked at least 16 cases each of Puygueraud and Caronne-ste.-Gemme plus few each on Malescot-st.-Exupery, Pavie-Macquin, Pontet-Canet, Cannon La Gafferie, Ruzan Segla, Hosanna up to some of the super seconds. Thank you very much, James, for all the wonderful tasting you have done. Much appreciated!! One question, James. Are these 2005 mentioned above drinkable when they arrive in the Fall? Always enjoy your blog. Sam.
Steven Balavender
Tampa, Fl —  February 23, 2008 10:01am ET
What 2007's???????????????
James Suckling
 —  February 23, 2008 11:41am ET
Sam. You should really hold back on popping the corks on those babies! The only ones you can take a serious look at would be Puygueraud and Caronne-Ste-Gemme. I would decant them a couple hours before. Be patient! You got some good wines.
David A Zajac
February 23, 2008 11:42am ET
Pity the poor retailer that has to buy this stuff year in and year out, for fear of losing their allocations. I would think its a safe bet that there will be absolutely no interest in the 2007's with the dollar being so weak and the wines being so mediocre.
James Suckling
 —  February 23, 2008 11:43am ET
Steve. I think most consumers are thinking the same as you...
Scott Siegner
sacramento, ca —  February 23, 2008 1:59pm ET
James, when do you think you will review Pavie, Pavie-Decesse, Bellevue-Mondotte and Laville Haut Brion in bottle format?
James Suckling
 —  February 24, 2008 3:17am ET
Here is the note for Laville 2005:Mineral, flint, green apple skin and citrus fruit on the nose. Very intense and focused. Racy. Full body, powerful palate with a thick and layered structure with fabulous acidity and subtle ripe fruit. Very long and present yet tight and reserved. This needs time. 95 points.The others from Gerard Perse should be reviewed in March.
Fili Perez
February 24, 2008 11:14am ET
Which and how they tasted? About the 2005 Bordeaux you tasted a couple of nights ago.
Troy Peterson
Burbank, CA —  February 24, 2008 6:33pm ET
James, that 2005 Caronne-Ste-Gemme is drinking well right now and I'm glad I bought a 6 liter of it for our 25 year anniversary (to be celebrated in 2015). Thanks for the final scoring on the 2005's as it helped me to bag another couple cases with confidence these past two days. I didn't buy a SINGLE bottle of 2006 en primeur because the QPR just isn't there, but I plan on buying some when they come out on fire sale at retail next year. As for the 07's, I think I'll follow my '06 plan again. Keep up the great work! Remember, if you can give me a few days heads-up the next time you're in LA we can definitely arrange for a nice meal and wine in clean glassware!
Niall Cosgrove
Ireland —  February 25, 2008 7:16am ET
Reading between the lines, everyone including myself are buying up the 2005's before the final rating come out and before they go up even more in price. I am toying with the idea of selling my 2006 Ausone, my big spend of last year, so that I can buy more 2005's. I wonder, with the way things are going is the 2005 prices going to eclipse 1982 or 1990 within a few months not to mind years. 2007 will it be even noticed ? I think people people have brinkers on for 2005's and will totally ignore 2007.
Aidan Campbell
Calgary, AB, Canada —  February 29, 2008 3:41pm ET
Seems more likely the wine DRINKERS will buy 2007. Speculators need not apply. There will have to be some good deals on top wines.
Frank Scheldeman
Belgium —  March 2, 2008 5:34pm ET
I found no tasting of chateau soutard 2005(st emilion) in any location. I have 12 bottles in my cellar, and did not open a bottle. Does anyone know if its good? I bought blind... hope i dont regret... James???
Don Noone
March 5, 2008 5:43pm ET
All-This Monday at a tasting of top 2004s in NY, Jean-Marc Quarin brought along some 2007 barrel samples of Leoville Poyferre. Actually quite delightful - bright fruit and modest structure. Hopefully these will be priced right for immediate drinking, but after the run we've had, I doubt any of this stuff will get bought en primeur. Still, if the competition isn't too intense from other major regions, the 2007s could wind up being a decent option when they hit the shelves.

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