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Bordeaux 2007 - Part III

by Tom Cannavan

Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Margaux and Saint-Estèphe

Pauillac - Saint-Julien - Margaux - Saint-Estèphe


Carruades de Lafite 2007
Sensuous, glossy, ripe berry fruit. Lovely fruit quality on the palate with very silky tannins. Beautiful purity and cherry skin acidity as well as fine, powerful but ripe tannins. 91/100

Château Lafite 2007
Deep, very dark and blue/black fruit quality. A veneer of oak and just a hint of olive and resin. On the palate this has a swinging, tightly-wound core of very serious and structural tannin, though the tannins are ripe and smooth. There is dramatic intensity here, with hints of mocha and liquorice. Quite profound. 94/100

Pauillac (de Château Latour) 2007
Gentle, nice fruit, blackberry. Gentle, softish tannins too, classy but lacking some flesh. 85/100

Les Forts de Latour
More concentration, spice, vinous. Good depth, graininess to tannins, plenty of acidity. Tight and rather lean. 87/100

Château Latour
Sweet, smells assured and fruit forward. Less sweetness of fruit on palate than expected, but plenty of structure, fine grainy tannins. Dense and brooding at this stage, but this sample is not showing a great deal of middle. 91/100

Château Batailley 2007
Vinous, gently earthy nose, with berry fruits and sweet oak in the background. Silky palate, with that red plum fruit quality, and very harmonious. Dries slightly in the finish. 88/100

Château d'Armailhac 2007
Quite solid, plum and blackcurrant fruit, with very nice fruit sweetness. Tannins are ripe and silky, but there is a spicy, powerful edge to them. Fruit is good, and finishes long and spicy. 89/100

Château Duhart-Milon 2007
Quite high-toned, almost minty black fruit. Refined oak quality. Some coffee in the background. The palate has a really juicy quality, with some orangy acidity and a cherry skin bite. I feel this lacks a little charm, but has structure and grip. 88/100

Château Clerc-Milon 2007
Nicely harmonious, creamy black fruit with a suggestion of coffee and the sweetness of the fruit coming through very nicely on the palate. Lovely stylish stuff. 90/100

Château Croizet-Bages 2007
There's a nice perfume here, and a little floral lift to elegant black cherry fruit. Juicy on the palate, the fruit here is really very nice - more towards cherry and raspberry, but really lively and energetic, with svelte, quite chocolaty tannins adding weight and spicy structure. 90/100.

Château Grand Puy Ducasse 2007
Slightly reduced, but a nice ref fruit plummyness comes through. The fruit is bright and sweet on the palate, and the tannins, though liquoricy and grippy, have a suppleness. Good acidity, and broadening into spice in the finish. 90/100

Château Haut-Bages-Liberal 2007
Intense, fragrant, with a hint of minerality. Cedary too. On the palate there is lovely sweetness that comes through, with racy, fine tannins and good balance. Not as big as some, but charming. 89/100

Château Lynch-Bages 2007
Deep, quite coffeed and charry nose of svelte black fruit and just a hint of something herbal and cedary. On the palate this has a lovely balance of juicy freshness with crisp tannins, and a hint of weight and chocolate. 92/100

Château Lynch-Moussas 2007
Slightly subdued, earthy nose. Fruit less intense and vivid than some. On the palate the fruit does have a keen blackcurrant freshness, and the juicy tannins add to a crisp, lively appeal, but perhaps not showing the harmony of some. 87/100

Château Pichon-Baron 2007
There's a very classy layer of cedary oak here, with pure, ripe black fruit and just a hint of grilled meat. On the palate lovely concentration, with a polished, pure core of black fruit and very supple, suave tannins. Acidity is bright and adds length and definition. 92/100

Château Pontet-Canet 2007
Plenty of creamy, slightly resinous new oak is a touch raw at present, with tightly-wound black fruit behind. Is it just a touch green too? On the palate the fruit is ripe and expansive, and just the merest olive touch is in there. Racy and refined tannins, and good length. 88/100


Clos du Marquis 2007
Very refined, intense and pure black fruit, with a cassis quality and a softly creamy, warming earthiness. The palate has a lovely crisp freshness, with juicy plum and blackcurrant skin grip, and a racy finish which is dry but has good, savoury balance. 88/100

Château Léoville-Las-Cases 2007
This has immediate concentration and a sense of finesse, with a blue-black density to the fruit and a layering of sweet oak. The ripeness and sweetness of fruit comes through powerfully on the palate, with a really silky texture and intensity. Lovely tannins and very and juicy in the finish. 92/100

Château Léoville-Las-Cases 2006
Lovely sweet cedar and cassis quality, with lots of intense blue/black fruit and great concentration. Lots of spice and liquoricy depth on the palate, but svelte too, with fine tannins and a kirsch-like, tight character. A more powerful and tightly-wound wine, with the 2007 more open and flattering. 93/100

Château Beychevelle 2007
Nice black fruit purity. A touch of coffee and a little violet fragrance. Very juicy, tight, blackcurranty fruit on the palate with a certain lithe, juicy svelteness. The tannins are refined and ripe, with some spice in the finish. 90/100

Château Branaire-Ducru 2007
Little exotic incense and spice notes over tight black fruit. On the palate that juiciness again, with a squirt of tart cherry acidity and a pure seam of blackcurrant. Tannins here are silky, though maybe doesn't quite have the charm of Beychevelle at this stage. 89/100

Château Gruaud-Larose 2007
More oak here, with toast and char, and trademark gamy, slightly sauvage quality as well as copious black fruit. Oak is quite powerful and resinous on the palate, but that juicy fruit core powers through. Good energy here, and through it lacks a little polish quite complex and expressive. 90/100

Château Lagrange 2007
Quite earthy, quite rounded character with smoky notes over black berry fruits. There's a little hint of something meaty. On the palate quite silky and mouth-filling, with ripe tannins and good acidity, and a nicely rounded, harmonious wine. 90/100

Château Langoa-Barton 2007
Quite a lot of creamy new oak and a touch of resinous quality. Deep-set, rich black fruit, with Fine, ripe, supple tannin structure. Becomes quite creamy and opulent into a long, pure finish. 92/100

Château Léoville-Barton 2007
There's a suggestion of minerality and earthy terroir here, and lots of pencil-shaving and blackcurrant finesse. On the palate copious, sweet, rich chocolate-tinged fruit with silky but grippy tannins and fine balance. 94/100

Château Léoville-Poyferré 2007
Quite gamy and animal, with a meaty fruit character intense black fruit and nice perfume. On the palate there is a lovely fruit-powered density here, with tannins perhaps a touch more dry than some, but sweet fruit and powerful concentration. 90/100

Château Talbot 2007
Lovely, sweet, pure cassis fruit. Delightful little cedary notes, but very focused on pretty black fruit. Rich, liquorice and black cherry tannin and acidity, with that seam of dusty, pure black fruit persisting. 89/100


by Richard Bampfield MW

Some good, but not outstanding wines. If Margaux stands for lightness, freshness, perfume and harmony, then this is a pretty decent Margaux vintage.

Alter Ego de Château Palmer 2007
Fine cassis aromas. Good flesh, soft tannins, but quite short and not as clean as normal. Light, refreshing, soft acidity, needs to develop, will make good drinking. 86/100

Château Palmer 2007
Perfumed, but gently so, black cherry, ripe, quite tight. Fine fruit and sweetness on front of palate, good grip, fine and harmonious in a lighter style. 89/100

Pavillon Rouge de Château Margaux 2007
Really aromatic, perfumed. Primary aromas, reminiscent of chais at vintage time, note of green pepper, fine. Sweet, supple, very charming and pleasing. Tannins and acidity appear soft. Most attractive. 89/100

Château Margaux 2007
Intense, ripe, cassis, somehow rather impenetrable at first, but opens out well. Plenty of fruit sweetness, moderate tannins. Not a blockbuster, perfectly in tune with the vintage and the Margaux terroir, very fine. 93/100

Château Brane Cantenac 2007
Some good fruit, but some pretty chunky tannins too. 86/100

Château du Tertre 2007
Lovely texture, soft acidity, delightful, early drinking. 89/100

Château Durfort-Vivens 2007
Crisp, crunchy, refreshing, rounded, very good. 89/100

Château Giscours 2007
Bold, serious, firm tannins. 87/100

Château Lascombes 2007
Plenty there, but this sample was a bit too heavy on the oak. 87/100

Château Malescot St Exupery 2007
Lovely balance, harmony. 89/100

Château Rauzan-Gassies 2007
Lacks the purity of the best, but lovely flavour and balance. 88/100

Château Rauzan-Ségla 2007
Assured, fine, lovely fruit texture, sympathetic oak, excellent. 90/100


La Dame de Montrose 2007
Cabernet Sauvignon 68%, Merlot 32%. 15% new barrels. Dark, meaty and earthy character with sinewy black fruit. On the palate quite juicy, but tending towards a dry, slightly inky extraction. Has sweet fruit there though, though maybe slightly harsh on the finish. 87/100

Château Montrose 2007
Cabernet Sauvignon 64%, Merlot 30%, Cabernet Franc 5%, Petit Verdot 1%. 60% new barrels. Deep, powerful, plum and spice nose with notes of dark soy and a background of charry toast. Lovely sweetness to the fruit on the palate, with those big tannins coating the mouth, but they are quite silky and the ripeness and richness is there. 93/100

Château Cos Labory 2007
Ripe, rich, red plum and cherry fruit, with a layer of sweet, creamy oak. On the palate very racy and tight, with that plumskin, grippy tannin and more of that lively red fruit quality. Lovely. 89/100

Château Lafon - Rochet 2007
Lovely suggestion of depth and layered complexity here with blackcurrant, coffee and a hint of soy. On the palate lovely fruit sweetness, with attractive, racy tannins, that are grippy but fine. Good balance here, and a juicy energy. 90/100

Château Ormes De Pez 2007
Composed, tight, harmonious character with good berry fruit and a certain elegant restraint. I like the juicy, cherry skin tang of fruit and acidity on the palate too, in a lighter, but savoury and delicious style. 89/100

Château Phélan Ségur 2007
Nice sense of fatness to the rich black fruit. Subtle, smoky cedar behind. Quite grippy, with tight, grainy tannins and a very juicy fruit quality. Not big wine, and fairly straightforward, but lovely. 89/100

Tronquoy de Sainte-Anne 2007
33% of production, 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot. Vinous, pure black fruit nose. A tiny note of game. The fruit on the palate is sweet, though the tannins are dry and quite chewy. Bright, with good acidity and a very solid, supple structure. 88/100

Tronquoy-Lalande 2007
Cabernet Sauvignon 30%, merlot 58%, Petit Verdot 12%. More spice and more earthy, cedary quality. Deep, dark, with soy and beef-stock notes and plenty of muscular black fruit. Palate is robust and mouth-filling, but very nice structure and plumpness of black fruit. Ripe and sweet tannins and very harmonious. 90/100

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