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Bordeaux 2007 - Part II

by Tom Cannavan and Richard Bampfield MW

Graves and Pessac-Léognan

Pessac-Léognan Blanc

Château Haut-Brion Blanc 2007
(RB) More pungent, note of sweatiness, very fine. Full, mouth-filling, good grip and length, fine, warming finish. 91/100

Château Brown Blanc 2007
Very attractive, bright, quite tropical fruit with an Ogen melon fruitiness and some cool orchard fruit character. Just a touch of creaminess in the background. On the palate really juicy acidity, with refined, cool fruit that is quite intense, and lovely freshening acidity. 89/100

Château Carbonnieux Blanc 2007
Juicy, passionfruit nose with a lovely orange and gooseberry punch. The palate has very full, ripe fruit, but the picture is taut, with a nectarine sweetness offset by plenty of juicy citrus acidity. 90/100

Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2007
Quite a full, waxy note here and intense, ripe nectarine skin fruitiness. Just a touch of orange too. On the palate very intense and quite mineral, with a vivid, pithy acidity too. Seems really quite structured and complex. 91/100

Château de Fieuzal Blanc 2007
Tight, quite reserved nose at this stage with quite an intense waxy white fruit. Palate has real juiciness, with a lovely combination of ripe, sweet peach and fleshy plum and a searing core of tangy tangerine fruit and acidity. Very tangy and juicy. 91/100

Château de France Blanc 2007
Passionfruit and gooseberry dominate here. Very fruit-driven, with the palate showing plenty of ripe, very juicy fruit. Acidity buts in rather suddenly, but the finish is quite tangy and reasonably long. 87/100

Château La Louvière Blanc 2007
Flooded with toasty oak at present, with ripe apple fruit beneath. The palate has very pure, intense fruit, with plenty of racy lemon acidity and a hint of minerality. Very oaky, but has balancing fruit and acid. 88/100

Château Latour-Martillac Blanc 2007
Nicely oaked, with plenty of sweet fruit playing against a creamy density, and a lemony note too. On the palate this has a huge core of acidity, with a lemon pith dryness sweeping through. That fruity tang is there in the finish, so very promising. 89/100

Château Larrivet-Haut-Brion Blanc 2007
There's a minty, humbug quality of oak showing at present, with a cool white fruit quality submerged. The palate has a powerful weight and concentration. The fruit is more waxy and intense, and a huge grapefruity core of acidity suggests a structured wine that needs time. 91/100

Château Laville Haut-Brion 2007
(RB) Rich, warming aromas of sweet oak, very pure. Dry, flavoursome, tight, lovely and crisp for Semillon-based wine (83%). Appetising. 90/100

Château Malartic-Lagravière Blanc 2007
Racy, zesty nose with some pungent, grassy qualities and passionfruit beneath. On the palate this is very juicy and concentrated, with a powerful core of skinny, waxy fruit and intense lemon pith acidity. 89/100

Château Olivier Blanc 2007
Intense, quite mineral nose, with a touch of pear and apple skin grip. On the palate a big grapefruity core to this wine, with a fleshier, peachier ripeness of fruit emerging on the mid palate. Finishes with lovely concentration and balance. 91/100

Château Pape Clément Blanc 2007
Hugely toasty nose, with a Jack Daniels whisky barrel note before intense white fruit emerges. On the palate there is plenty of acidity here, with a pithy lemon character and an apple crunch. This has plenty of concentration and power and real length. 91/100

Château Pontac Monplaisir Blanc 2007
Quite subdued, but a sense of concentration. On the palate an orangy tang of citrus, and lemony acidity. Nice balance here, and quite a pure, linear style. 87/100

Château Smith Haut-Lafitte Blanc 2007
Lots of toasty, nutty oak. Melon and juicy ripe pear beneath. A refined little floral note develops. This is powerful, with a grippy, waxy intensity on the palate, with a composed, serious quality and an intensity in its long, tangy, mineral finish. 91/100

Château Smith Haut-Lafitte Blanc 2006
Pretty powerful smoky, honeyed oak nose, before powerful, grippy fruit. The palate has power and intensity, with a lot of grip and intensity. 89/100

Château Smith Haut-Lafitte Blanc 2005
Plenty of powerful, rich, buttery fruit and creamy oak, with ripe, full orchard fruit. There's a minty quality, and very powerful character on the palate, with lower acidity, though there's a nice orangy quality. Ripe and generous, this is much more approachable than the 2006 at this stage, but lacks some of the crispness and raciness of the 2007. 90/100

Pessac-Léognan Rouge

La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion 2007
(RB) Plush, blackberry, savoury, note of creaminess. Black olives. Touch lean on palate, but very clean fruit. Some greenness and hardness to tannins. Firm, refreshing. Tight. 87/100

Château La Mission Haut Brion 2007
(RB) Bright fruit, really lush and expressive, very confident. Good mouthfeel, bright, vivid fruit, more substance than most, whilst retaining structure. Fine finish. Excellent, without being overexciting. 89/100

La Clarence de Haut-Brion 2007
(RB)This is the new name for the second wine of Haut-Brion, replacing Bahans from the 2007 vintage - as Prince Robert of Luxembourg said, not even the French, could pronounce 'Bahans'. Intriguing, already a leafy note, otherwise quite closed. Good sweetness of fruit and flavour, but note of bitterness to the tannins. 88/100

Château Haut-Brion 2007
(RB) Fine, scented, almost floral, some raspberry notes, faintly reminiscent of Burgundy. Lots of fruit and substance, serious tannins, definitely the structure to keep and improve. Very bright fruit, long. 93/100

Château Brown 2007
Quite earthy and leathery, perhaps very slightly rustic, but this has real character. There's a robust fruitiness, and on the palate a combination of cedary, quite robust tannins with powerful, quite sinewy fruit and acidity is mouthfilling and rich. Good balance here. 88/100

Château Carbonnieux 2007
Quite an intense red fruit character here, with an almost kirsch-like cherry brightness. The palate has dry, quite rustic tannins, with a leathery grip. Fruit is good, and length moderate. 88/100

Domaine de Chevalier 2007
Quite forward, gamy nose, with solid, sweet black fruit. The palate has a silky weight, with quite a refined tannin structure. Quite dark, juicy plum and cherry skin fruit. Good quality. 89/100

Château de Fieuzal 2007
50/50 blend cabernet and merlot, with a big, opulent nose, showing plenty of minty, charry new oak and bright blackcurrant fruit. The palate has intensity and a certain suave richness quite perfumed and refined. 89/100

Château de France 2007
Very pretty fruit here, with blackcurrant and cherry clarity. The palate is fairly lean and sinewy, but I like the racy freshness and the balance of this. 89/100

Château Haut-Bailly 2007
Lovely meaty fruit, with very nice bramble and black berry fruit. There's an earthiness and richness here, with the mid palate maintaining that rich fruit quality. There's real backbone here, but supple, with spice and grip, and some length. 91/100

Château Haut-Bailly 2006
This has a lovely plummy and gamy character with some reduction from recent bottling, but a purity and silkiness of fruit comes through. There is beautiful, pure fruit here. Very firm and dense on the finish, with a certain silkiness. 91/100

Château Haut-Bailly 2003
Massively ripe and sweet nose, with masses of black fruit like plump damson plums and blackcurrant. This is so plump and alluring, yet there is a real structure too, with a touch of liquorice and lovely tannin structure with no lack of acidity. Forward and easy, but has structure. 92/100

Château Haut-Bailly 2002
Lovely nose, with plenty of game and truffle, and a perfumed richness. There is really nice black fruit, and the palate has a delicious intensity and richness. 91/100

Château Larrivet-Haut-Brion 2007
A touch of charcoally minerality here, and refined, ripe black fruit beneath. The palate is a little on the dry side. 87/100

Château Latour-Martillac 2007
Nice fruit here, quite fresh and with a certain dusty blackness. The palate has a racy character, with tight, linear tannin structure and some real elegance. 89/100

Château Malartic-Lagravière 2007
Bright, lipsticky dry fruitiness. Nicely bright cherry character. On the palate very pure too, with a tight, focused quality and very tight tannic structure. Lovely stuff with good length. 90/100

Château Olivier 2007
Slightly gamy character and a touch reduced, with rounded plummy fruit coming through. The palate has taut, creamy tannins that are ripe but grippy, and the finish has a nice energy about it. 90/100

Château Pape Clément 2007
Like the white, hugely charry and dominant oak at this stage, with toast and coffee to the fore. On the palate real fruit sweetness, with the supple, fine tannins pushing through and very nice balance and harmony. Big and showy, but very good. 91/100

Château Smith Haut-Lafitte 2007
Big, meaty nose with plenty of toast and creamy depth, and a nice gamy perfume complementing black fruit. On the palate there's a grippy edge to this, with roasted meats and plum, though a fine cherry acidity and good tannin structure adds elegance and tension. 90/100

Château Smith Haut-Lafitte 2006
Very gamy, animal perfume, perhaps a touch of Brettanomyces, but sweet, ripe black fruit beneath. There is very good fruit on the palate with a tangy juiciness and racy black cherry finish. Tangy and crisp, with a lithe tannin structure. 91/100

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