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Will Bernard Margrez acquire Chateau Latour?

It is Jane Anson who alerted me, through her blog, that the Médoc Premier Grand Cru Classé Château Latour might be for sale. It seems that the crisis is also starting to hit rich châteaux owners, and a change of ownership of one of Bordeaux's most prestigious estates would be... quite something.

Interesting, and perhaps worrisome, is the rumour that Bernard Magrez might be looking at this treasure prey. Magrez is a modernist in Bordeaux, making polished and perfect wines. Another way of describing the style of his wine: he teams up with consultant Michel Rolland. Together they modernised the monumental classic Château Pape Clément. The result is good, but so was the original − it is like someone buying a 17th century canal house and replacing the original interior by some contemporary design...

I rather see Magrez and Rolland restoring the quality of a Saint-Emilion like Château Fombrauge − with very good result. Modernism and Right Bankishness seems a better couple, also.

But Magrez…

Dutch authority on Burgundy Gert Crum speaks out

People who follow this blog will remember that I have written before about David Clark and his wines (a/o about the visit that Jan van Roekel and I brought to his domain in December 2007, and last month about the first impressions from bottle).


Last November, after a year of waiting, the 2006s finally reached Amsterdam. I sent a bottle of the Passetoutgrains (very much à point at this moment) to Dutch Burgundy guru Gert Crum. Crum published his findings in De ProefKrant from December 2008/January 2009 and these I need to share with you.

Crum's article is titled Een balans opmaken. At the end of 2008 he is drawing up the balance, highlighting the year in four points. Two of these points concern individual wines, noticeable wines. The first is the white Château Rives-Blanques "La Trilogie" 2006 (AC Limoux), the second one − indeed − the Passetoutgrains 2006 from David Clark. Let me translate his praise.

"The other wine that made me happy seems a simple red Burgundy. It i…

Bling barrels at Vinitech

There are the most amazing 'destockages' going on in Bordeaux at the moment, as merchants rush rid themselves of whatever wines they can bear to part with, and many that they can.

As the new head of the local wine merchant's union told the local paper, Sud Ouest, 'getting rid of stock is a priority at the moment'.

Auctions seem to be the simplest way, at least there are plenty of ads for them in the local paper. If I had any cash, instead of the several thousand euro loan I had to take out to get the house in rent ready mode, I would be buying. But it is not to be. Instead I must just cling to my 12 bottles of Pontet-Canet 2007 (as yet unbottled) and hope for the best.

Just for the record, a loan in France for house works is readily obtainable, at 5% interest, if you already have a 27 year mortgage. Credit crisis?

Even at Vinitech last week − the bi-annual wine equipment trade held in Bordeaux − you might have thought the credit/global financial crisis was all slightly…

Inniskillin Sparkling Icewine 2006

Although sparkling icewines have been made in Canada since the late 1990's, they are still a rarity. I only first heard about them this past Spring while researching this article (in Dutch) I wrote on ice wines in general.

Because of their high sugar levels, Canadian icewines were forbidden in Europe until 2001. The concern was that a second fermentation could occur in the bottle. As was the case with the monk Dom Pérignon, the resulting sparkling wine would be seen as a fault, a hazard which could break the bottles.

But refermentation is precisely what Canadian icewine producers like Inniskillin are doing now, only the second fermentation takes place not in the bottle, but in a steel tank (Méthode Cuvée Close). In reality, it is difficult to ferment ice wine grapes because of their high sugar content; inducing a second fermentation is even more difficult. Vinification lasts seven months and the wine is aged on the lees, then filtered and bottled under pressure.

The idea of combining…

Expected: flavoured barrels!

Flavoured barrels, that's what winemakers, and fussy drinkers, will be picking over next. So just when you thought it was safe to concentrate on soil, the vineyard, the vines, the terroir, and let the whole winemaking process settle back into its place, along come these barrels.

Examples of actual flavours that might potentially be available currently include spicy, tannic and red fruit.

The barrels are the idea of Seguin Moreau, a leading French cooper. Currently the intelligent barrels are still in the research phase, with Seguin Moreau busy working out how different wood molecules react to, and with, the wine stored in them. The current expectation is that they will be ready for commercial sale by 2010/11.

Their potential use will no doubt be controversial and will reignite the whole wood chip discussion, because the ordinary barrels v. flavoured barrels arguments are already similar to the chips v. barrels ones.

Basically you have, on one side, those that say barrels are for slow …

Arrived: David Clark

People who follow this blog might recognize the name: David Clark. The first time that I met David was in December 2007, when Jan van Roekel and I visited him in Morey-Saint-Denis. I wrote a posting about that visit, and so did Jan (you will have to scroll down a bit to find it).

DAVID CLARK'S IRRESISTIBLE PASSETOUTGRAINS 2006. ORGANIC OF COURSE. YIELD: ONLY 30 HL/HA − MORE OR LESS THE YIELD ONE SEES AT DOMAINE DE LA ROMANEE-CONTI

At our visit we tasted 2006 from tank, in which it was stabilizing prior to being bottled − the tank just an intermediate step between barrel and bottle. In barrel: 15 months, and then in bottle for most of the year 2008 at the domain. David insisted on waiting with the shipment, and I was only allowed to collect my share (6 cases) recently. Note that we are not dealing with some very special grand cru, but simply with a − very special − ordinary Bourgogne Rouge and Bourgogne Passetoutgrains. This is a good example of Slow Wine.

I was very curious to taste …

NY wine lover has Pétrus label tattooed

Nothing so frivolous as a champagne tasting, this week in Bordeaux. This week it was all about CO2, with the Bordeaux Wine Board (CIVB) announcing it will reduce emissions by 15% in the next five years. And by 75% by 2050.

The CIVB announced the reduction measures after it spent the last 10 months measuring total wine industry output, estimated to produce 200,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

The most immediate CO2 culprits are glass bottles, which are to be made lighter, and road transport, which is to be reduced. How exactly all this is to be done, and enforced, is not yet clear, but another announcement is due in February next year.

Apart from that good news, foie gras and tattoos both made it to the top of the news list.

I went to Périgord to interview foie gras producers, checking if the credit crunch was rippling their way yet. It will, but not till after Christmas, they say.

The French can't imagine a Christmas or a New Year without either foie gras or oysters. I don't eat foie gr…

Avoiding Champagne breath

After two weeks in South Africa and many others spent agonising over whether to move to Peru or not, I finally had to face up to the pressing matter of discovering a champagne that doesn't make you stink.

Bordeaux wine merchant Millésima held its annual pre-Christmas wine tasting this week, and champagne was the theme. No one was drunk or disorderly, no one was even giggling. A few elegant chortles, one or two high pitched laughs, but no actual rowdiness.

Funny that, after South Africa where drinking and being drunk is all much more relaxed. The extreme downside is that Foetal Alcohol Levels in the Western Cape continue to be one of the highest in the world. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), is a form of physical and mental damage that happens when pregnant women drink too much. It is permanently disabling for the baby and the particularly high levels of FAS in the Cape are a hangover, literally, from the days when the dop system − paying a part of a vineyard labourer's wages in wi…

Tenuta Montanello: Barolo 2001

Yesterday I had a lucky hand in picking a wine from the cellar. A delicious discovery: the Barolo 2001 from Tenuta Montanello. My experience with Barolo's is very limited, but this is the finest I have tasted so far. I hardly dare to say, but it reminded me of a great Burgundy. Let's say Premier Cru level.


The wine has a lovely nose, reminiscent of a rich and ripe Burgundy, and clearly matured on oak. But not the new American type of oak. Some leather.

In the mouth, on the tongue: pure velvet. Intense and soft, hint of sweetness. And that combined with a beautiful line, slightly slender, vital. This makes the wine so drinkable: its relative lightness. The finish is tender, also. Hint of bay leaves there. This is a very harmonious and intelligent wine. A truly joyful discovery.

Château de Beaucastel 1969, 1970, etcetera

This week I received a very friendly invitation to join a special dinner at Christie's Amsterdam, a dinner featuring the renowned wines of Château de Beaucastel (Châteauneuf-du-Pape). Fifth generation winemaker Marc Perrin would be hosting the evening.


I didn't have to think very long about accepting this invitation or not.

So yesterday, surrounded by classic paintings, I tasted a flight of Beaucastels together with some twenty other lucky winelovers. Hence: this was yet another memorable wine evening to add to my list: extraordinary wines, great atmosphere, delicious food, and a unique place. The event was a warming-up for the auction to be held Tuesday 25 November, with an unusual number of wines from Château de Beaucastel, from the vintages 1962, 1966, 1967, 1969 (many), 1970 (also many), 1990, 1995 and 2005, all red - plus a small number of whites.

Before I return to the Beaucastels... I must say there are some pretty exciting lots that are going to be sold at this upcoming a…

Bordeaux 2008 - overview of the new vintage

A first glance at the baby Bordeaux 2008 vintage
Harvest has ended, all grapes are safely in. Time to look back at the completed 2008 growing season.

April − June 2008
With a cold spring the 2008 vintage doesn't have an ideal start, with even some frost in the beginning of April, diminishing the crop in the Graves region. During flowering (mid-May) and fruit set (end of May) there is lots of rain: mildew threatens the grapes (possibly leading to rot, and demanding a lot of work in the vineyard) and there is millerandage (uneven berry set); especially merlot is affected. This grape variety is struck precisely during its flowering, which is a vulnerable stage. It implies − in the end − a lot of extra work during harvest when the selection is done − all the tiny green bullets (undeveloped grapes) need to be removed from the bunches. As a result there are only small quantities of merlot in 2008.

July − September 2008
Finally good weather arrives, it is hot and sunny, and this weather remai…

Château Filhot 1935

Yesterday evening was one of those evenings where you get a glance at wine heaven. My friend Job Verhaar from one of Amsterdam's best wine shops De Gouden Ton brought together five wine enthusiast, all of them submitting one or two grand bottles. Restaurant Spring took care of the matching food. Foie Gras bonbons, those kind of irresistible things. But my handicap is that I am too focussed on the wines to remember the exact culinary details. I realise I am not doing honour to the meal, but let's go to the wines.


The appetizer: Von Schubert's Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Superior 2006 from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region. A mouth full, this name, and such is the wine itself. What a start: this typical Riesling is a textbook example of an elegant yet intense and beautifully balanced white. Mineral an refreshing pink grapefruit. Lovely.

Then we tasted two Champagnes. First the blanc-de-blancsDiebolt-Vallois 1999 "Fleur de Passion" (Brut). A lively Champagne, a nos…

Ticino - Europe's best kept wine secret?

If you've never been to Switzerland, you've probably tasted few Swiss wines. Since foreign wines are heavily taxed in Switzerland, local wines remain the favourite and the vast majority are consumed by the Swiss in their own country.

It's the way it's always been in Switzerland, small production for a limited, receptive market and it's a pity for the rest of us because there are admirable Swiss wines.

Ticino, Switzerland's southernmost canton on the border with Italy, has produced wines since the 1500's, but things get interesting after the phylloxera plague from 1870-1900, when the first Merlot vines were planted. It was obvious immediately that Merlot was well suited to the sub-tropical climate of Ticino, but only in the last twenty years have certain producers gained a reputation for excellence, paying close attention to grape selection and the Merlot's expression in each of Ticino's many varied terroirs.


Valsangiacomo Vini 1831

One of these producer…

Ambitious Vincent Mulliez to Lilian Ladouys?

One of my favourite affordable top Bordeaux's is Château Belle-Vue, lead by Vincent Mulliez who acquired the Haut-Médoc property in 2004 − together with neighbouring-and-related Château de Gironville. The former banker is leaving nothing to chance, and with his very skilled team he is simply trying to make the Best Possible Wine from his near-Margaux terroir (Belle-Vue is located next to Château Giscours).

For a change I quote Robert Parker (talking about the Belle-Vue 2005): "A terrific over-achiever located just outside the Margaux appellation." Anyway, a very popular item within my selection (both 2004 and 2005).


Very recently I picked up the rumour that Mulliez will soon take up the management of Château Lilian Ladouys (Saint-Estèphe). Apparently appointed by the new owner, an undisclosed French business man.

The recent history of this estate is quite turbulent, at least since 1985 when Christian Thiéblot got in charge, and a/o upgraded the name of the Château to Lilian…

Mouton Rothschild 1994 Jeroboam signed by Karel Appel found in odd circumstances

People know I'm into wine, so you get to hear and see things. Stories about special wines, in a private cellar, or not anymore, − well some stories are better than other stories. Last week I got to see something. In an Amsterdam cellar-less house owned by an art-dealer who used to be friends with the Dutch painter Karel Appel (1921-2006).

JEROBOAM (5 LITERS) CHATEAU MOUTON ROTHSCHILD 1994 SIGNED BY THE DUTCH PAINTER KAREL APPEL

He first showed me a virgin wooden case with 12 bottles Château Mouton Rothschild 1994. Not perfectly stored, but not terribly either. I would say a case to crack now, my guess is that these so-so kept wines should be perfectly drinkable now. Then he presented a double magnum. Beautiful! But... he said there was yet another bottle in the house, an even bigger one, but where was it...?

We walked around and he looked in different places. He said he really wanted to show me that monster bottle, as it had Karel Appel's autograph − a true collector's item!

Preview: Bottle Shock

Today is the first day that the film Bottle Shock will be shown in Europe. Yesterday night was the preview in Tuschinski, Amsterdam's most beautiful movie theatre.

The movie: isn't shocking. But it's quite OK, provided that you are interested in wine. It isn't as vigorous as Sideways, not as surprising or funny, but it definitely entertains, and the photography is beautiful. The makers have been flying over the Napa vineyards a lot, and these decorative scenes are delicious. The true story (the famous Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, a.k.a. the Judgement of Paris) in itself is a small story (yes, with an enormous effect), and presented around that is a little family drama at eventual contest winner Chateau Montelena.

I like the fact that with this film the person Steven Spurrier gets the deserved attention. Instead of Robert Parker, who is always in the spotlights. But in 1976 the world hadn't heard of Parker yet (he entered the scene together with the Bordeaux 1982 vinta…

Arrived: Tardy and Verdet

Two days after our return from Italy 'my' first Burgundies arrived: the domaines Tardy and Verdet.

Tardy is hard to find, and hard to get. It is sold in the Far East, in the U.S. (if they can still afford it) and in the U.K. at Berry Bros. and Rudd. On continental Europe it is only to be found at Alain Ducasse's three star restaurants in Paris and Monaco. And since this week also in Amsterdam. At Bolomey Wijnimport.

VOSNE-ROMANEE "VIGNEUX" 2006 FROM DOMAINE JEAN TARDY & FILS (THE SON IS GUILLAUME, AND HE'S THE ONE IN CHARGE NOW)

For more details about this wine I refer to an earlier posting.

The other wines come from the Hautes-Côtes village of Arcenant. Beautifully balanced organic whites. The last days I threw two tastings (that's also why I keep it short this time) and it was great to see customers react to the Burgundy blanc. Then it almost seems that one is doing good (just) by selling wine.

BOURGOGNE HAUTES-COTES DE NUITS FROM AURELIEN VERDET, THE BI…

Visit to Grattamacco

Back in Amsterdam. Experiencing a tiny post-vacation dip. No hills at the horizon. No rolling vineyard covered hills.

I think about our visit to Grattamacco, in the Southern part of the Tuscany coast, the Maremma; the Bolgheri wine region. Relatively young, absolutely beautiful.

The view from Grattamacco is simply stunning: at the one side woolly hills with trees, and just here and there grown with vines. At the other side the lowlands, eventually running into the azure blue sea.

THE VIEW FROM GRATTAMACCO

Tonight we will – undoubtedly effectively – fight our dip with good pizza and the second wine from Podere Grattamacco: Bolgheri Rosso. Grattamacco is one of the so-called Super Tuscans. But Grattamacco is also small, and not as well-known as neighbouring Sassicaia and Ornellaia.

The rise of Bolgheri as a wine region started with Sassicaia (meaning "stony soil"), the wine created in the mid 20th century by Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, a marquis from the Northern (wine) region Pi…

Visit to Tuscany's Maremma

Dear readers, give me a break. The next two weeks me and my computer will be separated, as much as possible at least. I think that's healthy. But the thought of doing no postings also gives me a somewhat uncomfortable feeling: maybe readers will walk away from a blog that remains idle for more than two weeks. But well, I will have to take that risk.

I will be visiting the Maremma. Tuscany's fascinating young wine region near the sea (sea is mare in Italian). With the renown production area Bolgheri, named after the tiny little village in the plains. But I rather visit neighbouring picturesque hillside village Castagneto Carducci. There I will find some great bottles at my favourite enoteca − later I will share with you name and address.

Besides being a wine region, this part of Italy is one of the most beautiful and heavenly places in Europe. I can't wait to go. And luckily I don't have to.

Maybe I will share some wine experience with you in the coming weeks. I'm sure…

Ranking the First, and some Second Growths

Belgium Wineblogger Peter Vergote from Wijnblog performed a small research around the ratings for the Médoc First Growths (Lafite, Haut-Brion, Margaux, Latour and Mouton) and a few "Super Seconds" (Léoville-las-Cases, Cos d'Estournel and the Third Growth Palmer). He looked at the vintages 2000 − 2007, took the ratings from six journalists (Parker, Robinson, Bettane & Desseauve, Wine Spectator, Decanter and La Revue du Vin de France) and basically started ranking the châteaux. After recalculating a journalist's rating, the maximum score a wine could receive (from one journalist) was 10. Thus 60 points is the maximum for a vintage. Here's the list with the average scores over the last eight years:

1. Château Latour (53,50/60)
2. Château Margaux (50,65/60)
3. Château Lafite-Rothschild (49,30/60)
4. Château Mouton-Rothschild (46,95/60)
5. Château Léoville-las-Cases (45,65/60)
6. Château Haut-Brion (45,30/60)
7. Château Cos d'Estournel (39,83/60)
8. Château Palmer (35…

Domaine de Chevalier 2003

The hot Bordeaux 2003 vintage. I will never forget our visit to Saint-Emilion on 8 August 2003, when the thermometer rose up to 43 degrees Celsius (almost 110 degrees Fahrenheit). We made a short walk through a vineyard close to Château Matras, and I remember feeling sorry for the vines − it was so shamelessly hot in those shadeless fields...

SAINT-EMILION 2003: SHRIVELLED BERRIES AROUND CHATEAU MATRAS (AND ALSO A HEALTHIER BUNCH ON THE RIGHT)

The hot Bordeaux 2003 vintage. More popular in the US than in Europe it seems. From ripe and round and Mediterranean, to cooked and green and unhealthy. Green? Yes. A vine seriously lacking water locks up, and the berries don't properly ripen anymore (called water stress). You end up with green stuff that gets sunburnt. Very different from the taste of physiologically ripe fruit.

This week I experienced (again) how wonderful a 2003 can be. The money that I had earned from working at Château du Tertre in 2006 I fully 'reinvested' in a pi…

Château Labégorce-Zédé 2005 and Château Malescot Saint-Exupéry 2005

The grand Bordeaux 2005 vintage is much talked about. But in most cases the bottles themselves are quietly asleep in the many cellars around the world. While their value increases, or at least has increased. I had a customer who was looking out for Malescot Saint-Exupéry 2005, a lesser-known Margaux cru classé. In April of this year Robert Parker has given his final judgement on this wine: he adjusted his temporary 93-95 rating into 97. My customer hoped to find some last affordable bottles, but the price for this wine has now about tripled in comparison to the primeur price two years ago...

Michel Rolland (consulting at Malescot Saint-Exupéry) and Margaux: not everyone is happy with this combination. But not just Robert Parker is enthusiastic about this Malescot. This summer the (British) Decanter panel tasted all Médoc cru classés blind, and − among 24 other wines − Château Malescot Saint-Exupéry 2005 ended up with a Decanter award, i.e. 5 stars. Well, I hope to taste this wine soone…

Visit to Burgundy, day III

Our last day in Burgundy was also the longest day, with four domain visits. But what a reward: dinner at Caves Madeleine, my favourite restaurant in Beaune.

1. Domaine Philippe Garrey, Saint Martin sous Montaigu (Mercury)

PHILLIPE GARREY'S BLUE VAN

Saturday morning we drove up to the appellation Mercurey, part of the Côte Chalonnaise, just South of the Côte d'Or. Côte Chalonnaise: the first region that falls off most Burgundy maps. The good news: the region has just been taken up in Clive Coates' brand new The Wines of Burgundy: Revised Edition (this was not the case for its famous predecessor Côte d'Or).

PHILLIPE GARREY'S CAVE CONSTRUCTED IN THE LATE 17TH, EARLY 18TH CENTURY

Phillipe took over in 2002 from his father Pierre. Mr Garrey senior is currently observing his son converting the family domain to biodynamic principles − he is a little sceptical now and then, but then again, he realises it's his son's turn now, and Phillipe seems determined to produce gre…

Visit to Burgundy, day II

(Part II. See the previous posting for Part I.) This second day, the shock was directly at the first visit. We went to Thévenet in the little village Quintaine between Viré and Clessé in Southern Burgundy. Indeed, in the appellation Viré-Clessé (Mâconnais). I have published before about a wine from Thévenet, an aged Cuvée Tradition (13 years old) from their Domaine de la Bongran, a wine I was completely thrilled about.

DOMAINE DE LA BONGRAN OF JEAN AND GAUTIER THEVENET IN QUINTAINE

And now Gautier Thévenet introduced us to his young Bongrans. Well young, these wines are only sold after a ... slow ... fermentation (about 2 months), a subsequent vat ageing (about 18 to 22 months), and an ageing in bottle for another 2 years. The youngest vintage for sale now is the 2003.

This wine is a true example of a slow wine (to pair slow food). All is done manual, of course viticulture is organic, there are no tricks whatsoever, for example no chaptalisation (adding sugar), only natural yeasts are us…

Visit to Burgundy, day I

As I wrote in my previous posting: last Thursday Jan and I left early in the morning, and before we arrived at our first date − Chenu at Savigny-lès-Beaune − we perched down on the heavenly terrace of La Miotte in Ladoix-Serrigny to refuel with an Andouillette sause moutarde à l'ancienne (chitlings) − which I washed down with a slightly cooled Ladoix 2005 from Capitain-Gagnerot. A mediocre wine, but fine for this honourable purpose.

AUBERGE DE LA MIOTTE IN LADOIX-SERRIGNY, THE ONLY UN-PEACEFUL THING ABOUT THIS PLACE IS THE PASSING TRAIN... BUT WELL, THAT'S OF COURSE QUITE A ROMANTIC NOISE

Domaine Louis Chenu et Filles, Savigny-lès-Beaune

Then off to our first visit in Savigny-lès-Beaune. Where the two daughters of Louis Chenu run the family domain: Caroline is the winemaker, and Juliette does the commercial part of the business.

The domain, like most serious domains these days, is transferring to organic viticulture. A process that takes about five years, and it is done step by st…

Trip to Burgundy!

Tomorrow at 05:00h in the morning I am leaving for a short trip to Burgundy, together with Jan van Roekel. At 14:00h we have our first visit in Savigny-lès-Beaune. After which another eight visits will follow the coming days. Exciting visits, a/o to "superstar" (quoting Serena Sutcliffe MW) Jean Thévenet. Tomorrow evening we will have dinner at Ma Cuisine, with David Clark, the magical winemaker from Morey-St-Denis. (And in the weekend we will certainly go to my favourite restaurant in Beaune: Caves Madeleine.) Enough to be thrilled about. It will just take some time before I publish my next posting − probably somewhere next week. Just for the feeling I post below the classic (or classy) label of Thévenet's stunning Tradition. The bottle was from 1995, and we opened it in 2008 − one of those unforgettable wine experiences...!


By the way, if you were looking for something to read, today Sophie Kevany happened to have published a short article about Burgundy on Wine Busines…

No one ever crashed a car after drinking too much Petrus

I have been gripped by the new, first ever, French anti-binge drinking campaign. I had to watch the TV spot, launched the day before yesterday (July 17th) at least four times. My god. The tagline is 'excess of alcohol results in comas, violence, accidents and sexual abuse'. There, but for the grace of my guardian angel, went I. And not on a tropical sandy beach either.

The thing was that in the roaring 90's in Dublin, the more money there was, the more we drank. Nights out. Weekends gone. Restaurant bills one couldn't quite remember paying. Tabs for champagne run up and forgotten until someone was kind enough to remind you.

I was not surprised in fact to read that 'drink related liver disease' as it is called – used to be cirrhosis – in Ireland was up 234% in the last seven years, which falls in nicely with the rise of the Celtic Tiger. Let's hope the fall does us all good.

The thing is, in Ireland you tended to drink the money in your pocket and since we neve…

Couhins 2007, Roquefort 2007 and some more white Bordeaux 2007

The 2007 vintage seems to have been more successful for the white wines than for the red wines. I am using the word "seems" because eventually time will tell. As Beverley Blanning MW comments in Decanter: "The wines certainly have lovely pure and delicate Sauvignon-dominant fruit - perfect for early drinking - but it's not clear if they have the acidity or fruit concentration to be long-lived."


This week I tasted four white 2007s, some meant to be drunk early (or at least not after a long period of cellaring), some also fit for the longer term. And yes, all four showed "Sauvignon-dominant fruit".

1. Château Roquefort 2007, Bordeaux blanc sec. Meant for early drinking (2008 - 2010). A very good continuation after the delicious Roquefort 2006. The 2007 (still) comes across lean and clean - especially compared to the somewhat broader 2006 - and with a little youthful sweetness in the nose. In the mouth the 2007 is very refreshing showing a little more acid…