Skip to main content

Funky Bordeaux 2007 primeur words

One of the best conversations I had during the primeurs, apart from the one about some of the Margaux 2007's smelling of old socks, was about wine words.

This year I tasted blind for the second time, and decided somewhere about half way through the first tasting that I would, in revolutionary manner, write down what the wine actually tasted like to me.

I could, I decided in a blinding flash, do this because, a) no one has so far checked my notes from any of the four previous primeur tastings I've done, or given me a telling off for using the wrong words. And b) I do not actually write about the taste of wine, so my words, are in fact, only for me.

Please try to overlook the fact it has taken me four primeurs, i.e. four years, to actually realise this, but until now I was searching faithfully for those flavours that everyone seems to talk about, thinking that if I didn't find them it 'my bad' as the rappers say.

You know the flavours I mean, 'dark fruits', 'red fruits', 'floral notes' and so on. I can never, or at least only very occasionally, actually, find those. And if I do I am not always 100% sure of what I am talking about. The problem, I now think, is that I just don't eat enough fruit. I eat, and have eaten in my life, lots of sweets, lots of chocolate and the obligatory once-a-day-when-I-remember apple.

Living in France I realise that here is a whole nation that actually eats fruits at least three times a day. And not just apples either. Plums, pears, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, red currants, black currants and so on. I have eaten them, just not very much. The staples in Ireland were gooseberries and rhubarb – so I am a little better when it comes to whites.

But anyway, having had this revolutionary thought, tasting suddenly became fun. When I tasted tequila, I wrote down 'tasted of tequila' instead of trying to think of some kind of fruit, red or black, that tasted of tequila and then writing that down.

When I tasted, or smelt, tobacco I wrote that one down, although that was not so revolutionary as things like tobacco, leather and chocolate are actually OK to talk about in wine terms.

More pleasing was the writing down of 'butterscotch Lifesavers on Saturday afternoon in sunny garden' – that was a red by the way.

Or 'old socks'. And my old new favourites 'flat' and 'energetic'. I also took great pride, as a former house painter – as in I did it for a living – in identifying hints of turpentine in one or two. I also, gaining confidence, tried out a few more, 'wouldn't mind it for lunch on a rainy Monday' sort of comments.

Naturally I didn't actually talk about any of this – the impossibility of suggesting – in Bordeaux and during primeur week – that I had just tasted a potentially nice rainy, Monday lunchtime wine was too, well, too impossible.

Then, it happened. At a press lunch. I overheard another journalist, who turned out to be bilingual French/English, talking about how he was better at describing a wine in English, when he could say things like 'funky teatime wine', than in French. And indeed, 'fétide (my online dictionary's translation of funky) vin pour l'heure du thé' is just not the same thing.

After that everything fell into place. I still did not have the courage to actually talk about my new vocabulary out loud, but that was fine, I had found it.

At least it was fine until the end of the week, when I whizzed though one tasting describing at least a quarter of the wines as FBD (flat, dull, boring – because the tastes, if there were any, were too inconsequential to go looking for), and then, went to the closing press lunch. Where, after a glass of really fantastically good Rauzan-Ségla 1999, and another of Kirwan 1998 I told everybody about FBD and old socks. Something I now regret.

You see, writers are writers for many reasons. Partly because being a painter can be hard on the back. But also partly, because they learn early in life, that writing things down, and having a moment to consider them, is generally preferable to saying things out loud and then being unable to edit them. But there you go. It happens.

As to the rest of the 2007's I can honestly write down that the whites were mainly very good. Fresh, crisp and clean. Like good shirts.

The sweet whites were instantly likeable, though none that I tasted had that searingly fresh finish that I once had from a glass of Château Nairac sauternes, but maybe it was colder and/or older. These were after all primeurs.

And the reds, well as you know. The reds were either really bad, FBD or genuinely good, funky, picnic slash teatime wines. Voilà.

Voilà, by the way and just to even up the 'what language is good for what' score, is an unbeatable way of ending almost anything, and untranslatable, in English anyway, in less than three words. So French.


Popular posts from this blog

Bordeaux 2017 aanraders - de grootste wijnen

Evenals vorig jaar geven we met plezier onze volstrekt subjectieve lijst met gaafste rode wijnen van het jaar. We hebben bijna alles geproefd van Bordeaux 2017, maar geen Petrus en Lafleur. Binnenkomen bij Petrus is zo'n gedoe dat we dat na jaren proeven maar laten voor wat het is. Lafleur pakken we volgend jaar graag weer mee. Maar zoals is te zien hebben we toch wel weer ons best gedaan.

Cheval Blanc 2017
Latour 2017
Léoville-las-Cases 2017
Palmer 2017
Vieux Château Certan 2017

Ausone 2017
Canon 2017
Haut-Bailly 2017
Lafite Rothschild 2017
l’Eglise-Clinet 2017
La Conseillante 2017
Le Pin 2017
Léoville Barton 2017
Margaux 2017
Montrose 2017
Pontet-Canet 2017

Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse 2017
Clos Fourtet 2017
Cos d’Estournel 2017
Domaine de Chevalier rouge 2017
Grand Puy Lacoste 2017
Haut-Brion 2017
l’Evangile 2017
l’If 2017
La Mission Haut-Brion 2017
Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2017
Lynch Bages 2017
Mouton Rothschild 2017
Pavie Macquin 2017
Rauzan-Ségla 2017

Calon Ségur 20…

Bordeaux 2017 - het herrezen jaar

We zijn terug van vijf dagen proeven, een dikke 8 uur per dag Bordeaux 2017's proeven. Een ervaring rijker, zeker als je de wijnen meetelt die we in de avonden proefden, en dronken. Het meest bijzonder waren wel de Poujeaux 1928 en de Domaine de Chevalier rouge 1928. Ongelofelijke wijnen en een ongekende tijdreis van 90 jaar. Een bijkans mystieke ervaring.

Of wat te denken van de witte Latour Martillac 1948. Toen we een paar dagen later op het château de 2017's proefden hoorden we van de keldermeester dat er die week 2 van de 6 nog aanwezige flessen Blanc 1948 uit de kelder waren gehaald - zelf had hij deze jaargang nooit geproefd. De avond waar al deze bijzondere flessen werden ontkurkt was het jaarlijkse diner van de Académie du Vin de Bordeaux.

Het thema die avond: wijnen uit jaren eindigend op 8. Dus dronken we bij het eten achtereenvolgens Latour 1978, Mouton 1988, Lafite 1998, Haut-Brion 2008 en Yquem 2008, deels uit magnums en dubbele magnums. Het was een leerzame avond…

Bordeaux 2017 vorst slachtoffers

Het Bordeaux 2017 verslag komt eraan. Er wordt aan gewerkt. In de vorige posting noemde ik al de vorst die eind april 2017 heeft toegeslagen. Bij de volgende domeinen was de schade zo groot dat de wijnen niet en-primeur zullen worden aangeboden.

• Côte de Baleau 2017 • Dassault 2017 • Larmande 2017 • La Tour Figeac 2017 • Montviel 2017 • Siaurac & Plaisir de Siaurac 2017 • Doisy Védrines 2017 • Nairac 2017 • Brun 2017 • Clos du Jaugueyron 2017 • Chantegrive Blanc & Rouge 2017 • Fieuzal Blanc & Rouge 2017 • Fleur de Boüard 2017 • Fugue de Nénin 2017 • La Pointe 2017 • Mauvesin Barton 2017 • Retout Blanc 2017 • Bolaire 2017 • Arsac 2017 • Camensac 2017 • Climens 2017 • Fleur Cardinale 2017 • Fonbel 2017 • Haut Bergey Blanc & Rouge 2017 • Laroze 2017 • Chauvin 2017 • Marjosse Rouge 2017 • Mille Roses 2017 • Arums de Lagrange 2017 • Corbin 2017 • Gironville 2017 • Grand Corbin 2017 • Grand Corbin Despagne 2017 • Chante Alouette 2017 • Des Annereaux 2017
Van sommige wijnen …