The 2007 En Primeur Season. An Introduction

We were first to bring you the results of the India Wine Challenge and we’re the first to bring you highlights of Bordeaux En Primeur 2007. Your Sommelier India Team was invited to Bordeaux for the second year running to participate in these exclusive tastings. Bordeaux En Primeur 2007 was officially kicked off on March 31st with a welcome dinner with representatives from the Chateaux of the Union de Grands Crus (UGC). bordeaux2007a.jpg

In what has become a tradition, many Chateaux owners personally attended the dinner so that they could mix with the journalists and talk about their wines and the vintage. Earlier in the day, tastings of the Sauternes and Barsac wines were held at Chateau Doisy Verines. Those tastings were followed by a special one at Chateau d’Yquem which is an honorary member of the UGC. Continue reading.
For more on En Primeur click here and watch the blog for updates on each appellation.

The formal dinner was hosted at Chateau Guiraud, a 1st Grand Cru Classe in the Sauternes. It was a sumptuous affair with delicious food, fantastic wine and exceptional company to match. The Agneau de lait de sept heures was especially good. Several wines were served including Château Guiraud 1998 en imperiale, Chateau Lafon Rochet 1996 and Chateau Gisconne 2000.
For the Sommelier India team, the evening flew by as we caught up with friends from the wine trade, journalists that we had met at Bordeaux En Primeur 2006 and Chateau owners whom we’ve gotten to know over the years. Our hosts from Chateau Brane Cantenac were exceedingly kind in introducing us to several other important Bordeaux professionals too.
But needless to say, the buzz was about the wines itself. How good the vintage is and what the prices will be like. Early indicators are that it is a mixed vintage for the Bordeaux Reds and a very strong one for the Whites. This doesn’t mean that the vintage is mediocre (as some feared) but rather that in this vintage there are some absolutely exceptional wines as well as some weak ones with little consistency between the Chateaux in each appellation. Difficult weather in September prevented the reds from doing better but fortunately dry winds and warmer weather towards the end of the month helped rescue the vintage. For more on the wines, watch the Sommelier India website as we publish results of the tastings.
But as always is the case with Bordeaux, there was other buzz too. Foremost this time was the issue that Wine Spectator’s James Suckling had conducted private tastings of the vintage the previous weekend. While that’s rare, it does happen sometimes with publications as influential as Wine Spectator. The problem was that Suckling had published his tasting notes of the wines prior to the En Primeurs week. He believes that the vintage is weak. While the Chateaux may not necessarily agree with his ratings, people are understandably upset that he published his results ahead of the official tastings – influencing the perception of the wines before others in the trade and the media had begun their own tastings. Journalists from leading publications around the world are justifiably irritated too.
However, all of this was soon lost as the conversation at the dinner turned to other more pleasant topics. At our table, we were seated between Steven Spurrier of The Judgement of Paris fame and Alexander Van Beek, Director General of Château Giscours and Château Du Terte. Over the course of the evening, among the many tidbits that we picked up, we learnt that Spurrier’s grandparents spent a decade in pre-independence India which could account for his current interest in India as an emerging wine producing country.
Watch this space for more coverage of Bordeaux 2007.

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