Thursday night we continued tasting the 2007 vintage Bordeaux. This week we mostly concentrated on Pauillac, though one wine was from St. Estephe and one, a white wine, was from Pessac-Leognan. George described wines from Pauillac as generally rough when young with big rough tannins. These wines can become wonderfully complex over the years as the tannins fall away. We tasted the white wine last, the point of which was to demonstrate how well white Bordeaux stand up to red wines. Our only assignment for the evening was to choose our favorite wine.
2007 Chateau Andron Blanquet – The color was medium ruby. The nose was closed with a bit of vanilla. There was a bit of dark fruit in the flavor with tannins predominating and good acid. The finish was long with mostly tannins. This wine is from St. Estephe and is a Cru Bourgeois. I didn’t find this wine to be particularly flavorful, though many of the tasters liked it a lot and tasted much more than I did.
2007 Chateau Lacoste Borie – The color was a medium ruby. The nose was slightly stinky initially, but blew off to leave dark fruit. Flavors were more complex with dark, ripe fruit, black pepper and a vegetal character in the background. The tannins were moderate and there was a lot of acid. The finish was long with both flavor and tannins. I liked this wine very much. It is very drinkable now with lots of flavor and tannins. This wine is the second label of Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste. This wine was the #2 favorite of the tasters, but by only one vote over the third place Chateau Andron Blanquet.
2007 Chateau Haut-Bages Averous – This wine had a medium ruby color. Dark fruit was evident on the nose with a bit of vanilla. Flavors tasted of dark fruit with a vegetal character in the background. The tannins were significant and particularly drying with a moderate amount of acid. The finish was very long with tannins and fruit. Though there were a lot of flavors in this wine, the extremely drying tannins were out of balance in this wine. They dominated the flavors and the finish. Maybe with time this will become a well behaved elegant wine, but did not drink as such now. George explained that this is a second label of Chateau Lynch Bages. The fruit that does not make it into the Lynch Bages is used for this wine.
2007 Chateau Lynch Bages – The Lynch Bages had a dark ruby color. The nose was slightly stinky initially, but blew off to leave complex fruit. The flavors were complex with dark fruit, green pepper and a bit of vanilla. There were a moderate amount of grippy tannins with good acid. The finish was very long with both flavor and tannins. The flavors in this wine were complex and complete with well integrated tannins. This wine stood out among the wines in this group. It was unanimously chosen as the #1 wine of the evening. I can’t remember when that has happened. This classified growth (fifth growth) really stood out among the others.
2007 Chateau Latour Martillac – The color was medium yellow. The nose was strong floral, tropical fruits and hay. The flavors tasted like tropical fruit, hay and minerals. The flavors and nose both were very complex. The acid was significant. This white Bordeaux is 47% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Semillon and 3% Muscadelle. It spends 8 months in oak.
I initially thought I tasted tannins in this wine, but probably was tasting the oak. Overall, this is a very interesting wine, though not to my liking. I am not a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, unless they don’t taste anything like a Sauvignon Blanc. That grassy taste that is so common to Sauvignon Blanc does not taste good to me. That kind of grassy flavor is not evident in this wine, but the flavors of hay are not particularly pleasant to me either. I did like the floral and tropical flavors in this wine. I had no problem tasting the flavors in this wine after tasting the four Bordeaux before it, proving George’s point that these white Bordeaux can hold their own with the reds.
Naturally, the favorite wine of the evening was the most expensive, by two times or more. I always hope to like the least expensive wine the best…oh well.
We will be leaving Bordeaux for a few weeks for other wines. George is planning one more “clean-up” Bordeaux tasting for later in April. Next week we will be tasting “Unusual White Wines” and then Pinot Noir the following Thursday. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! Cheers!