Graves 2007 a year for the dry whites and a lot of work in the vineyards
Dominique Hervlan, President of the Syndicate of Graves explained that white wines were uniformly successful if not lacking a little volume. For the reds as long as a lot of work was done in the vineyard this year (spraying, removing leaves and green harvest), producers were able to wait late into the autumn and harvest grapes with good ripeness benefitting from the autumn sunshine.
Tasted first range of wines from the 2007 vintage today at the Maison des Graves at Podensac. At the end of March the en primeur tastings for real with the world’s wine trade and press descending on Bordeaux – or perhaps not! Many apparently not coming this year due to the weather conditions during 2007 compounded by the weak pound and dollar against the euro.
Blind tasted a range of 100 wines from the Graves, half white and half red. Tasting blind gives interesting results – cannot help being affected by the label and our preconceptions. This way one just focuses on what our senses tell us at that moment.
White Graves: Sauvignon, Semillon, Muscadelle
Found the quality of the white Graves to be more uniform than the reds. High levels of acidity but in the best the sharpness is rounded off with a weight of fruit to balance. Predominantly citrus fruits (lemon and grapefruit), very fresh and full of vivacity. Many wines lacked volume. Careful use of oak not to overpower the fruit helped to round some of the aggressive acidity but best wines emphasized the freshness and pure fruit flavours of these taste-bud popping wines.
I found the best White Graves to be; Clos Floridene, de Fougeres, M de Malle, Tourteau Chollet, Beauregard Ducasse, Rougement, Pouyanne, Navarro, de Seuil
White Graves Coup de Coeurs were Duc d’Arnauton (fresh and zingy) and Château Callac (more complex with successful use of oak)
Red Graves: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot Quality is very uneven. Some producers tried to produce supple fruity wines but the lack of ripeness was very apparent. Green tannins and vegetal (IBMP in the Cabernets) notes all too often. Some overextraction. Very difficult tasting. Very few stood out. Many appalling.
I found the best Red Graves to be; de Castre, Pessan, Tour Bichan, Rahoul, Lahoul, de Cerons, Fleur Jonquet, Tourteau Chollet, Clos Foridene
Red Graves Coup de Coeur was Vieux Chateau Gaubert by far the best