Decanter consultant editor Steven Spurrier has slammed the Cru Bourgeois 2007 vintage, calling it ‘lean, green and turgid’.
Spurrier’s comments came during a Decanter panel tasting of the 164 wines from the vintage, to be published in the February issue of Decanter magazine, out now.
The panel consisted of eminent and experienced tasters: Spurrier himself, David Peppercorn MW, Susan Hulme MW, Patricia Stefanowicz MW, Andrew Hawes and Margaret Rand.
Most of the panel thought the wines were not spectacular, but were charming and drinkable.
Referring to the wines’ lightness, Peppercorn quipped, ‘I didn’t realise it was possible to make Beaujolais in the Médoc’, and Hulme thought there were ‘some very attractive and appealing wines’. Rand considered them ‘nice little luncheon wines’.
But Spurrier exploded. ‘I think I must be on another planet,’ he said. ‘This is probably the most disappointing tasting I’ve ever been to at Decanter. They lack freshness of fruit, character and expression. They lack life and they lack lift.’
He accused his fellow panellists of giving Bordeaux the benefit of the doubt, asking, ‘Why are we excusing Bordeaux? They are hugely rich and they should be making better wines.’
The rest of the panel responded with gusto. While admitting that she was tasting ‘within the context of Bordeaux’, she insisted many of the wines were enjoyable, and offered value for money.
Simon Staples, wine director for Berry Brothers, who was not at the tasting, told decanter.com the 2007 vintage would always suffer ‘because the prices were wrong and not for the quality’.
He added, ‘It really will be a very soft and upfront vintage to quaff, reasonably simple but generous. I have only tasted a handful … but have enjoyed what I’ve tasted.’
There were no five-star awards at the panel tasting, which took place in November.
Out of 164 wines there were 15 ‘Highly Recommended’, 96 ‘Recommended’ and 49 ‘Good’.
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Written by Adam Lechmere