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Bordeaux 2007 - a poor vintage?

The Bordeaux 2007 en primeur campaign drew to a close last week with the vintage generally seen as overpriced and best for early drinking.

The prices of the first growths (bar Chateau d’Yquem, which was up about 9%) were down by about a quarter compared to 2006, which was also a difficult vintage. However, others released with little or no change on 2006. This means, with exchange rates, price hikes over last year on a vintage with questionable quality. As merchant Berry Bros & Rudd said of the wines, ‘The majority are either dilute, lack weight or are over-extracted.’

The stars for 2007 are a long list of sweet wines, a reasonable number of dry whites and a relatively short number of reds, according to critic Jancis Robinson MW.

Influential American critic Robert Parker concurs, judging by his scores. And, on his website, he summed up the reds by saying, ‘There are certainly plenty of green, thin, herbal, herbaceous wines that lack mid-palates as well as fat, but the top terroirs, the finest addresses, and the most committed chateaux owners, by doing extensive work in the vineyard and taking advantage of the Indian summer, have produced endearingly fruity, soft, silky-textured clarets that are filled with charm and purity.’

He added that, ‘The most famous chateaux are liquid and sitting pretty after the successful sales of recent vintages.’ This means that even if prices are seen as high and people are slow to buy, they aren’t going to be too worried. He said the chateaux, ‘can afford to wait for the 2007s to be sold after bottling. Pity the consumer.’