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Bordeaux 2007 UGC Tasting

Over on Winedoctor today, harvest/vintage reports for the Loire from Charles Sydney, and for Bordeaux from Richard Bampfield and Jean-Christophe-Mau. Meanwhile, my thoughts have been on Bordeaux 2007, following yesterday’s tasting of the vintage with the Union des Grands Crus in London. Pictured below, four chateau representatives, pouring from left to right; Haut-Bailly, Haut-Bergey, La Louvière and Larrivet Haut-Brion.

I will publish a full report on the tasting and the wines next week, but for the moment just one soundbite. I spoke to one négociant who described the vintage as “une patate chaude“, a hot potato. Nobody wants to be lumbered with what is a poor vintage characterised by red wines that display leanness and lack of concentration, especially with the potentially more desirable 2009 on the way.

That’s true of the red wines at least. The white Pessacs were better, although a little variable, whereas the Sauternes were uniformly delicious and fresh. Like 1997 (although in a very different style), 2007 is a great vintage for Sauternes when the red wines are largely dismal failures.

2 Responses to “Bordeaux 2007 UGC Tasting”

  1. Chris,

    Nice write-up. You’d never have thought that 2007 was as you described from the well known critics. I hope to have the chance to taste these at UGC this January.

    On eRP the hype of 2009 has already started. Another VOTC I fear. I’m sure prices will reflect that even if there is still a poor economy. I think the article sums up the problem/issues quite nicely.

  2. Hi Gary

    I find the reds to be lean early-drinkers, which have freshness on their side in many cases, but not a lot else. I’ve just gone back to read my introduction to the 2007 vintage which I wrote after the primeur tastings in Bordeaux in April 2008 (you might think I would have read this before the recent UGC tasting but I don’t revisit my old opinions before tastings like this, in order to avoid prejudices and to approach the wines in a fresh manner). I see that I wrote pretty much the same thing then – lean, lacking substance, but fresh and clean. So I’m surprised if anyone else is trying to sell the vintage as anything else.

    When I suggested to the négociant who I mention in the article on the main Winedoctor site that I thought the only way the 2007s will be shifted by merchants is if they are sold at a loss, he agreed. I wouldn’t pay more than 2002 prices for these wines though, and even then only for a very select handful.