Philip Blanc, General Manager at Ch Beychevelle explained that 2007 was an expensive year to produce in terms of number of man hours in the vineyard that was required. The wet conditions during the summer encouraged the development of rot in the vineyard which necessitated additional spraying (2 to three times more than usual against Downy Mildew and Botrytis). In order to limit foliage growth and enable aeration it was necessary to carry out many ‘travaux en vert’ such as leaf plucking and bunch thinning. He hoped to recoup some of these costs in the price but was aware of the fragility of the markets against the strong Euro. Mother Nature helped to save the day with the sunshine that arrived, at last and fortunately not too late, at the very end of August. Fifteen days later and it would have been a disaster.
In 2007 the level of ripeness that was achieved was higher than in 1989 (considered a ripe year than!). It is a fresh year with late ripening (fresher than 2004) – conditions well suited to the Cabernet Sauvignon. More went into the blend this year. Harvest started on 22 September, similar date as 2005 and 2006. It is a vintage for consuming rather than speculating.
2007 Beychevelle, 4th Growth St Julien
62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
Took time to open up and then displayed herby, fragrant aromas with black cherry fruit. Silky smooth with high levels of acidity almost more like a Pinot Noir with its elegance. Light and fresh in style. Slightly sour, slightly vegetal finish.