I revisited Bordeaux’s 2007 vintage this Christmas, opening Chateau Pichon Baron 07 and Leoville Poyferre 07 for Christmas Dinner. Both wines were brilliant – Sue preferred the Pichon Baron, the family preferred Leoville Poyferre . . . and I enjoyed both very much indeed! There has been much written about the 2007 vintage and in my opinion the year has been much under rated. The 2007 vintage was born of a difficult year, poor bud break and too much rain at the wrong point in time – but it was saved by a glorious Indian Summer.
The 2007s are not going to suit people who like the big, bold heavy style of red wine – these are more elegant, have more finesse and are full of fruit. It’s a vintage that is soft, with the harsher tannins disappearing over time – the wines probably ought to be drunk earlier than in previous years.
At the end of the day the 2007 vintage does have a lot to offer devotees of Bordeaux. It’s you, the wine lover, who makes the final verdict – and like most things in life you have to cut through the hype to get to the truth of the matter. There are some great, soft, seductive wines to be had at bargain prices and the vintage should not be dismissed.
Robert Parker’s panning of the vintage and subsequent low scores due to his belief that they were overpriced (see his vintage review titled “2007 Bordeaux: Who Will Buy Them and at What Price?”) did not help matters. Hindsight is a great thing – with the 2009 vintage prices going through the roof the 2007s look positively cheap in comparison.
There is a trend with wine critics to be rather harsh with the 2007 vintage. This is nothing new – 2006 was underrated in my book and I said so. A couple of years on and some people are doing a U-turn. I think that when the critics come to taste the 07 again they will be surprised by the quality of the wine.
Writing at the time I thought that the 2007 vintage would be popular in more ways than one – it should appeal to younger drinkers. The wines are uncomplicated and are easy drinking and I’d recommend people who haven’t tried a Bordeaux before to try the 07s as it is a good year in which they can appreciate what Bordeaux can offer. The 07s hark back to the classical Bordeaux of 20 years ago which were very popular in the UK.
In recent years too much emphasis has been placed on the investment value of Bordeaux Wines forgetting sometimes that these wines have been produced with the pleasure of drinking. As a vintage 2007 didn’t give those who invested in it great returns, if any at all, but the returns will come many fold when this vintage starts to be drunk. To appreciate this vintage you have to rise above the snobbery of fact that 2007 was dubbed a poor vintage. To me it’s only failing was a high Ph level which will effect the longevity of its life. Poor for investors may be but for the average lover of good Bordeaux wine I think it’s a God send! It can be drunk early, it is favourably priced and will offer much pleasure – bearing in mind that great vintages such as 2000, 2005, 2009 probably will not reach their optimum drinking level for decades.
2007 was a great year for the Merlot grape and wines blended with it have shone out against the rest. The appellation I was most impressed with was Pomerol, bearing in mind that it is renowned for its Merlot. 2007 was also a great year for White Bordeaux. The whites are really lovely – clean, fresh, crisp and fruit driven – in fact they are everything you would want from a white wine.
If you would like to learn more about the 2007s and find out my top picks of the vintage check out my Blogs below. My personal selections of the best of the wines can be found at www.interestinwine.co.uk .
My Blogs on 2007: