2007 Bordeaux Tasting Part Un

We tasted wines from the 2007 Bordeaux vintage this week. Bordeaux tasting will continue for the next two Thursday Night tastings. Next week will be Margaux, not the Chateau unfortunately, just the area.

Every spring George goes to France for the big Bordeaux tasting that all of the big wine buyers and critics attend. He tastes all the wines available and decides which he likes well enough to import. The wines also need to be at a price point that he can sell at Fine Wines of Stockton. Wines in this and the next two Thursday Night tastings will be a result of George’s great “sacrifice” in tasting hundreds of Bordeaux in order to select the best tasting wines for the price.

Four of the wines were from St. Julien, one was from Medoc and there was one white, a Sauternes (actually from Barzac). I had a cold so I was not able to get much of a nose from any of these and I am sure the flavor was affected too. The descriptions given below are from Nancy who was not sensory impaired. The group did not vote on favorites tonight. We just enjoyed the tasting without ranking the wines. Because these wines are relatively young, and to develop the flavors for tasting, George double decanted all of the wines–except for the Sauturnes.

2007 Chateau Potensac Medoc – The color of this wine was dark ruby. The nose was obvious with dark fruit and a vegetal quality. The flavors tasted of fruit and were very complex with a bit of wood. The tannins were at least moderate in amount with good acid. The finish was moderately long. This wine is a well integrated combination of fruit, vegetal character with a bit of wood. Overall a very elegant wine most agreed is drinking well now, and will be excellent over the next few years. This Chateau is owned by the same family that produces Ch. Leoville-Las Cases.

2007 Sarget De Gruard Larose St. Julien – This wine had a dark ruby color. The nose was stinky initially, but blew off to cooked sugar and fruit. The flavor was vegetal with dark fruit, licorice and spice. There were significant bitter tannins and good acid. The finish was moderate in length with tannins dominating. The bitter tannins are a bit off-putting in this wine, but there are a lot of fruit and other flavors as well. The tannins may smooth out over time and there is probably enough fruit here to have an interesting wine over time. It was not as well balanced as the Potensac at this point.

2007 Chateau Gruaud Larose St. Julien – The color was dark ruby. The nose was stinky initially (but in a really pleasant way), and blew off to dark fruit with a little vanilla. The flavors tasted of berries, dark fruit and cedar with a vegetal character. The tannins were significant and grippy, but without any bitterness. The acid was adequate. The finish was moderately long. This wine tasted complex and well balanced even though the tannins were significant. This wine is drinking very well now, but could develop into a really special wine over time – 5 years or more. This wine is the first label, the Sargent being the second label of this Chateau.

2007 Chateau Du Glana St. Julien – The color was a bright ruby color. The nose smelled of dark fruit and jalapeno peppers. The flavors tasted of dark fruit and spice with vegetal qualities. The tannins were moderate in amount and grippy. The acid was adequate. The finish was moderate in length, finishing mostly with tannins.

2007 Chateau Croix De Beaucaillou St. Julien – The color was dark ruby. The nose was slightly stinky with rich dark fruit and barrel toast. Flavors tasted like ripe dark fruit with a definite depth of flavor including a vegetal quality and spice. This wine had lots of flavor with significant smooth tannins and good acid. The finish was long with flavor and tannins. This wine tasted like a bigger version of the Ch. Gruaud Larose. It was excellent, and costs significantly less per bottle! What a deal.

2007 Chateau Doisy Daene Sauternes – The color was dark yellow. The nose was floral with apricot and grapefruit. The flavors followed with grapefruit predominating for most tasters. There was also some minerality in the flavor. The mouth feel was lighter than many Sauternes with excellent acidity, as usual, leaving the finish very clean. Although this is a sweet wine, the acid nicely balances the sweetness. This wine had an interesting and unusual combination of grapefruit, minerals with a bit of spice (nutmeg) that developed over time. George noted the flavor profile of this wine may be due to a decreased amount of Botrytis in the wine for this vintage. Producing Sauturnes is always a tricky process–depending on dampness and the development of the Botrytis cinerea mold. Overall, this is a very complex and wonderful tasting wine. If you have never tasted (or infrequently tasted) Sauternes or Barsacs, you should give them a try. They are complex and luscious. They become more complex in the glass and are a real treat. Take you time savoring a glass, it is so worthwhile!

Overall, we liked these wines very much. The first label Gruard and the Croix De Beaucaillou were our favorites. They had the most complex flavors, drank well now and will likely only get better with time.

Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for more 2007 Bordeaux tastings. They are always interesting.

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