Bordeaux 07 – Berrys’ Buying Team Arrive



It has not been an auspicious start to the 2007 Bordeaux En Primeur tasting week. After a Saturday of glorious sunshine, Berrys’ Buying Team arrived in Bordeaux to cold, driving rain. Certainly there is little evidence of the global warming that was discussed (and slightly worryingly, rather welcomed by some) at the Climate Change and Wine conference in Barcelona in January.

Having arrived a day earlier from a sunny Paris, I had spent the night in Bordeaux at a friend’s house. All had gone very well until I broke his 19th century blind in typically clumsy English fashion (sorry Bernard and Sophie). As we drove through the Médoc the skies were forbiddingly grey with any sunny breaks swiftly replaced by yet more rain. And of course the tasting week was starting on the 1st April. It was all very symbolic.

Berrys’ Buying Team is stronger than ever this year with the welcome return of Wine Director Alun Griffiths MW and a new addition, leading wine journalist and head of the The Fine Wine School in Hong Kong, Jeannie Cho Lee. I would like to think that the views of Berrys’ 8 Bordeaux experts with, well, let’s just say a lot of experience between them, will offer a balanced and well-informed report that will be hard to beat. To add a touch of spice to proceedings we are also being accompanied by a TV crew working on a documentary about wine for the BBC (to be hopefully aired in February 2009). In other words, it is definitely time to remember what our parents taught us, and mind our Ps and Qs.

So, despite the phenomenally strong euro, despite a lousy summer, and even despite the unhelpful pricing of so many Bordeaux châteaux last year, reports from the Bordelais seemed to show an admirable bullishness about their 2007s. Certainly, an early foray by Sales Director Simon Staples and Oliver East a few weeks ago had revealed a handful of surprisingly attractive, soft and succulent wines including 2007 Ch. du Tertre, but this week would be the real acid test. Could 2007 Bordeaux be the sexiest thing to come out of France since Carla Bruni-Sarkozy or would it be more like, err, a piece of lettuce: green, thin and not very fruity?

As we criss-cross Bordeaux this week tasting as many wines as we can from the 2007 vintage, I will be publishing regular reports on this blog (notwithstanding biblical floods, hypothermia and technology meltdowns) along with full tasting notes and as many podcasks as we can manage. I hope you will join us for the ride.