Andy Frieden - Observations in Bordeaux

by Chuck Hayward

By Andy Frieden - JJ Buckley Sales

The 2007 Vintage – A fruity vintage of elegance and refinement.

Over dinner at Latour–Martillac, owner Tristan Kressmann and I were talking about the concept of the individuality and uniqueness of each vintage and what it brings to the table, so I want to share with you what I see are patterns from all the wines I have tasted and the people whom I have been privileged to meet and to taste Bordeaux wines with.

In 2007, the vintage got off to a HOT start in April, May, and June, which sort of slowed the vines' development and set the ripening back a couple of weeks. Then, to complicate matters, there were tremendous rains in late July and all of August, creating what the owner from Chateau Tournefeuile-Emeric Petit from Lalande de Pomerol confirmed was “a desperate situation!" People were asking: will the vintage be saved by good weather? There certainly is a lot at stake here in Bordeaux.

With prices soaring high for the iconoclastic 2005 vintage and the arcane network of courtiers and negociants vying for the sought after classified growths, pricing needs to be justified with quality wines. Fortunately, the story gets better with a happy ending for those select passionate (and wealthy) winery owners and their staff who managed the vineyards well. This meant rigorous selection, dropping lots of fruit, and severely cutting back on production which helped to resolve the ripeness issues and achieve success in the end!

In 2007, I believe the wineries that had the 'chutzpah' to have waited out the difficulties in the vintages are the ones who will be rewarded with high scores from the cognoscenti of coveted wine writers like Robert Parker and Steven Tanzer (whom we have seen while tasting through the vintage here in Bordeaux!).