2007 Bordeaux wines, Chateau Margaux, Margaux, Harvest chronicles, 2007 vintage


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2007 Bordeaux wines, Chateau Margaux, Harvest Chronicle


> Although it is premature to assess the quality of the vintage at this early stage, producer's harvest reports let us better understand how the wineries foresee the 2007 vintage.

> Chateau Margaux

The 2007 Harvest Chronicles at Château Margaux - Margaux

2007 Bordeaux wines, MargauxSeptember 18th 2007
The harvesting of the Sauvignon Blanc began yesterday after an initial selective picking at the end of last week to bring in those grapes with the most golden colour. It is already guaranteed that 2007 will be an excellent year for white wine: the relatively cool temperatures during the summer preserved all of the finesse of the aromas and then the dry and warm weather of the last three weeks intensified the concentration of the berries. It is hard to believe, but in fact, we have the same sugar levels as last year.

The picture of this 2007 vintage (rather than its potential quality) has been tarnished by the less than sunny weather conditions, which have been much less rainy than some have reported and which people end up believing: 50mm (less than 2 inches) in July and 80mm (3,15 inches) in August - exactly the same amounts as in 1996. Will the beautiful weather we have been enjoying for the last three weeks produce the same successful scenario for the red varietals, and in particular for the Cabernets ?

September 20th 2007

The harvesting of the white grapes is done very carefully. The wonderfully consistent sunny weather and the superbly healthy grapes are providing us with the rare luxury of being able to pick and select with painstaking precision. For each plot we have been able to go through each row on three separate occasions.. And there is more good news: we also believe that this year's crop of Pavillon Blanc will be the normal size.

The ripening of the Merlot is quite slow, which is not a problem since we wish to let the grapes benefit for as long as possible from this lovely sunny weather which has at last arrived. Maybe we'll only start the picking of the Merlot when the bigger harvesting team arrives in a week's time.

So the most exciting moment of the year has arrived, when the harvest is about to be picked and when hopes and expectations rise and doubts begin to surface..

September 25th 2007

Yesterday we finished picking the white grapes. This long period of harvesting was made possible by the magnificent health of the grapes. It also reflects our eagerness to get the very best out of this year's crop. The Abel Laurent cellar, where the Pavillon Blanc is fermented and aged, is already filled with the lovely aromas that are so characteristic of the fermenting musts of Sauvignon Blanc. Let's hope that our yeasts will be able complete the job of transforming the berries’ exceptionally high levels of sugar.

Today and tomorrow there will be no picking; it will only resume on Thursday with the arrival of our larger harvesting crew. The weather continues to be quite nice, and the Merlot grapes are gaining in concentration. In any case, they cannot lose any, as they are in perfect condition. And when you look at them, they even appear to be less ripe than they probably are in reality.. Who can tell?

September 28th 2007

("...") Today's short working day was immediately followed by a long rest, because we have only decided to resume the picking on Monday so as to allow the grapes to take advantage of the three days of fine weather that have been forecast and to finish off the laborious ripening of the Merlot grapes.. The Cabernets and the Petit Verdot have just about caught them up. We should be able to harvest straight after the Merlot, towards the middle of next week.

October 1st 2007

So here we go again, this time for good. We're starting with our emblematic plot (L’Eglise) nearby the church, which, if not the best of our plots, is generally the one that produces some of our best Merlot gapes. The weather was still quite cool on Saturday but then changed dramatically on Sunday with a sudden increase in temperatures, moving up to 25°C and 26°C today. This warm weather should allow the vines to add the finishing touches for a perfect ripening of the grapes. A few raindrops fell on Sunday, and again today, barely 3 or 4 millimetres (0,1 or 0,15 of an inch), nothing really to worry about.

We are going to continue picking the Merlot until Wednesday, and then we'll start the Cabernets which are also ripe and should be of great quality.

October 3rd 2007

Today we are starting the picking on the lovely gravel outcrops where the Cabernets have reached perfect ripeness and thereby become more and more prone to an attack of botrytis, especially with the present hot and humid weather conditions, although it has not been raining. We have great hopes for these grapes whose ripening process took full advantage of superb weather conditions throughout September.

We still have almost half of the merlot grapes to pick, which are both later-ripening and less prone to rot because of their clay-limestone soils. We think we will pick them towards the end of this week, but there is no hurry.

The harvest is therefore in full swing, and although we do not know the final results yet, we can already say that 2007 will be a very good vintage. Might I claim an even higher rank? We will only have the answer to that question when we start tasting the first vats.

October 8th 2007

The harvest continues with the same hot, sunny and humid weather conditions, but still without rain. Our pickers haven't had to put on their rubber boots once!

All the Cabernets planted on gravel soils, more prone to botrytis, have now been brought in. The Petit Verdot grapes remain to pick (a particularly good year for this varietal) and the late-ripening Cabernet planted on less gravely soils.. And almost half of the Merlot, which has remained in perfectly healthy condition. We are going to try and see this year if the Merlot's quality, which is often disappointing, might be enhanced by a longer than usual ripening.

And to think that we have only one crop per year to do this kind of trial! That only adds up to forty or so possible experiments in a lifetime. We enjoy the privilege though of having 400 years of accumulated experience here at Château Margaux - another advantage of having a great terroir.

Chateau Margaux



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