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Vintage 2007 by Romanée -Conti / The 2007 harvest is finished. The weather is fine with a wind blowing from the North, which both delights the vigneron and makes him regret that these ideal conditions did not arrive a little earlier! But we have to adapt to the will of the climate and we perfectly know that it is in this difficult context of Burgundy with its tortuous weather, softened by exceptionally micro-climatic conditions, especially at the end of the season, that the Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay grapes can reach the fine maturity that will lead them to their best expression. Even to us, vignerons, this incredible "gift" sometimes seems near-miraculous. We could witness it once again with this vintage that will remain as one of the most outstanding of these last years.


The beginning of the growing season was exceptional.

The bud burst and the bunch setting were extremely early thanks to a summer-like April resulting in a significant advance of the vegetation. Moreover, the famous Palm wind, that blows on Palm Sunday and announces the dominant wind of the year, blew from the North presaging a dry year.

We have then the feeling that the same type of vintage as 2003 was taking shape with harvest starting in mid-August. At the time of the flowering, very early also (around May 20th) the vigneron was rather happy and had all the reasons to hope for a great vintage with an average crop reduced by millerandage. Unfortunately, the flowering spread out over three weeks and had the effect of creating differences in ripeness between the vineyards, between the vines and often between the berries of the same bunch of grapes. As a consequence, we already knew that we would have to do a very selective sorting at the harvest.



These differences in ripeness could also be observed in the vines. The Chardonnay was ten days late compared with Pinot Noir, which is totally unusual. At the time of the "véraison" and of course at the harvest, there was a difference of more than a week. After harvesting the Pinot Noir, we had to wait as long to harvest the Chardonnay.

For once, the Palm wind, as mentioned above, lied and the opposite to what we were expecting happened: from May, the dominant winds blew from the West and the South and the season was often damp with a succession of heat, storms, cold, humidity, all these factors being the friends of our worst enemies: mildew, oïdium and botrytis. Fortunately, thanks to the uninterrupted attention of Nicolas Jacob, our vineyard manager, and his team, we managed to fight them while keeping exclusively to our organic methods.

Under such difficult conditions, as days went by, a good part of the early advance of the vegetative cycle was lost, even if, at this stage, we still thought that the harvest would start around August 20th.Yet, the first part of August turned out to be one of the rainiest in recent years giving one more challenge to the vigneron: botrytis. Luckily, as it was cold, it did not develop as much as we feared and around August 20th, as often in Burgundy, a miraculous change in the weather pattern occurred: sunny days returned in force and set in until the end of September.

This dry fine weather accompanied by the North wind first stopped the attacks of botrytis and dried affected berries. One can say that in this occasion botrytis resulted into a sort of natural "éclaircissage" (thinning) and then accelerated in a totally outstanding manner the ripening of the grapes. Thanks to the reserves of water retained in the soil all through the year, the photosynthesis functioned at full blast and the production of sugar increased very fast. The grapes gained 1° to 1.5° of alcohol per week and acidities remained quite high.

By early September, full maturity was reached in our old vineyards. The harvest began on September 1st and lasted until the 11th for the red wines. Our harvesting team performed once again the "haute-couture" work that we required from them in order to eliminate the botrytis and to sort out the grapes that were bigger or not fully ripe.

As a result of our fine low yielding vines (Pinot fin) in our old vineyards, of millerandage and of severe selection in order to eliminate the dry botrytis and to leave aside the grapes that had not fully ripened, the yields are low and the crop is rather small (22ha to 28ha depending on the "cru").

Fermentations proceeded well under the close watch of Bernard Noblet.
Devatting has just finished. It is too early to give a definitive opinion about wines just released from the "suffering" of fermentation.
The wines are dark red. On the nose, they are very classic. The palate is firm and full. We will have to wait for the malolactic fermentations, that we of course do not want to hasten, before we can have a more precise idea of the characteristics of this vintage.

The fate of the Montrachet vineyards was totally different from that of our Pinots in Vosne-Romanée. As much as our Pinots in full maturity suffered from the eight storms of August and were severely bitten by botrytis, the Chardonnays, thanks to their difference at the "véraison", overcame this obstacle without being hit by botrytis. It was then essential to wait.

The grapes ripened slowly and full maturity was not reached until mid-September. We were the last to harvest golden and ultra ripe grapes on September 17th. There was quantity as well.

To conclude, we were close to defeat because of a stormy August, but the efforts that vignerons put in controlling the yields in a natural way as well, of course, as the meticulous sorting, permitted to take advantage of these 5 weeks of fine weather between August 20th and the end of September and even later.

 

 

 

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Vintage Report

Port Vintage Report: November and February were particularly rainy; above average rainfall was registered again in may and especially June, mainly in the Upper Douro. Between May and August, the temperatures were below average, especially in the Upper Douro. Although the viticultural year began with vineyard diseases, the warm August temperatures and a dry and hot September resulted in balanced grapes. Wines with excellent quality, elegant, with fine structure and velvety tannins. The biggest Vintage declaration to date.

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Vintage Report

Rhône Vintage Report by Jaboulet + Germany by Wilhelm Weil

From the North to the South, our Côtes du Rhône vineyards enjoyed excellent weather conditions that allowed our grapes to mature well.After an unseasonably warm spring, meaning that the buds opened early, the weather became less clement over summer 2007. A series of rainy spells allowed us to rebuild water reserves for the vines. With a view to attaining sustainable farming status, we met our aim of avoiding the use of herbicides. Careful work was carried out to ventilate the grapes by thinning out bunches and leaves so as to ensure that the vines remained in excellent health.


The first white grapes were picked on 4th September. The sugar/acidity balance was easily attained. The rigorous selection of grapes on the vine allowed us to put only grapes of exceptional quality into the presses. This vintage will be notable for the exceptional freshness of the Saint Péray, the aromatic richness and extraordinary fleshiness of the Condrieu and the marvellous aromatic intensity of the Hermitage. Both the Crozes and the Saint Joseph look to have great potential as wines that will keep very well.


We had to display great patience in order to produce our 2007 reds, but the harvest allowed us to wait until we had very sound grapes that had reached a perfect maturity. The harvest for the reds began with the Cornas on 21st September. The Domaine de Thalabert followed on 28th September. We began on the Hermitage on 3rd October and did not complete that work until the 9th, the last day of the harvest, when the Domaine de Roure and Domaine de Saint Pierre grapes were to be picked simultaneously.
The 2007 vintage will be notable for the staggering of the harvest over 5 weeks. This risk paid off with the finesse of the wines: beautifully grainy textures enrobed in silky tannins that melt in the mouth, all with a very intense dark colour.

 

Germany Vintage report 2007 / The phenomena of climate change and resultant global warming also affected the year 2007. Once again, weather observations yielded record-breaking data: after a winter that was clearly too mild, spring weather in April and May was extremely warm. Furthermore, even though the summer often did not feel very “summery,” temperatures registered during the growing season were the highest since recordkeeping began (1884), even breaking the record set in 2003.

Naturally, these climatic conditions had a considerable affect on the vines. A very warm April led to an extremely early bud burst. Warm temperatures continued in May, so that vines blossomed during the second half of the month – the earliest blossoming since time immemorial. The warmth lasted through early June and by mid-June, vegetation was more than three weeks ahead of schedule. Rather average weather during the rest of summer reduced this head start. Nevertheless, the grapes began to ripen in the Rheingau on 3 August – precisely as early as in the “record year” 2003. The difference was that the development of the grapes (after early blossoming) continued more slowly and consistently, thanks to a better distribution of sunshine and rainfall than in 2003.

Because of this perfect weather pattern, vines had optimal supplies of water and nutrients, and despite the relatively early harvest (due to early blossoming), Riesling grapes could remain on the vines for a long time – an important factor for this grape variety.
 

Even the grapes harvested the earliest had exceptionally high extract values (even higher than in 2005 and 2006) and showed a perfect physiological ripeness and well-developed aromas. As such, the early harvest yielded fine Kabinett and light Spätlese qualities that will be bottled as Qualitätswein (Gutsriesling).

In all, ideal weather conditions enabled us to leisurely extend the harvest over seven weeks and selectively harvest the best grapes for other Prädikat wines. For the 19th consecutive year we were able to harvest every Prädikat, including Trockenbeerenauslese with up to 256 degrees Oechsle, in our Grand Cru sites Kiedricher Gräfenberg and Kiedricher Turmberg.

In addition to the exceptionally high quality of the 2007 vintage, the wonderful climatic conditions during the year provided us with a higher yield. After five short years, this brings us back to our long-term average.

It still seems that the Rheingau will be one of the regions to benefit from increasingly warmer weather. In the future, despite higher temperatures, it will still be possible to produce wines with an ideal Riesling profile – finesse, mineral character, and fine acidity – particularly in the stony soils in the higher sites in the foothills of the Taunus Hills. In addition to these natural advantages of terroir, with God’s blessing we were able to harvest our grapes over a long period of time, after a picture-perfect growing season in 2007.

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Vintage Report

BORDEAUX Vintage Report by Château Haut-Bailly / Flowering took place more than three weeks earlier than usual thanks to an early spring and a very warm April. However, more than average rainfall in May caused a high risk of mildew. This called for constant attention and quick reactions from the vineyard workers.

Furthermore, cool overcast weather during the summer slowed down grape growth and caused the vines to lose their initial advance. Fortunately, though, the weather throughout September and October was ideal, with beautiful sunny days and cool nights.

 

A late harvest

The harvest began on 21st September with the picking of a plot of young vines. This was followed by the magnificent Merlot grapes between 27th September and 2nd October. Our best Cabernet Sauvignon waited until the second week of October before they reached optimum maturity.
Thanks to a series of anticyclones in late summer, the grapes had a total of 130 days to ripen after flowering instead of the usual 100. This long growing season compensated for an unusually chilly August.

 

Magnificent Cabernets

Thanks to careful winemaking and gentle extraction, wines of great balance and structure, with an excellent polyphenol content, were produced. At the end of malolactic fermentation, the wines were very smooth and round.
The deeply-coloured, concentrated, and powerful Cabernet Sauvignon wines constitute the backbone of this year’s wine. Together with the softness of the Merlots, they are sure to form a very balanced and elegant blend. 

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Napa Valley Vintage Report By Colgin: The 2007 vintage was defined by an exceptionally good growing season from beginning to end. The Napa Valley received just 60% of normal rainfall, encouraging our vines to begin bud break a week ahead of schedule. A mild spring followed, with several light rains that helped the vines to cope with the mild drought. Sunny, beautiful weather during bloom resulted in fruitful clusters that were uniform in size and maturity.

 

A wonderfully moderate summer followed, with cooler than average temperatures, allowing for slow, even development of the berries. By late August, the berries were intensely pigmented and showing signs of outstanding quality. A short heat wave around Labor Day resulted in our earliest picking of Merlot ever at Colgin. But cool weather soon followed, allowing the Cabernet to hang longer, and to develop ripe tannins, at lower sugar levels, with great natural acidity. Overall, the 2007 vintage was truly a winemaker's dream. The wines are defined by their intense color, their deep aromatics, and their coating and supple tannins.

 

Vintage Report by Tb

This was a vintage of contrasts: contrasts from previous vintages, and contrasts from early predictions to final outcome, yet winegrowers adapted to changing conditions all along the way to finish with what was an outstanding vintage.

The year began dry with some very cold days and single-digit nighttime temperatures around the New Year holiday, and continued dry, with about 60% of normal precipitation throughout the appellation. Temperatures were warmer than normal as winter continued into spring with resulting earlier budding, bloom and set in the vineyards across all varieties. 

The summer growing season continued on the mild to cool side, with few days topping 100 degrees, even in the warmest locations in the appellation. There were also notably fewer days in the 90s, and harvest followed a traditional, even relaxed, pace. There was a brief period of heat that spiked around Labor Day, but the temperatures cooled after several days. This heat spike added the boost of sugar development that growers were looking for to complement the excellent acid structure developed in the white varieties. Clusters, as well as individual berries on the clusters, though set at a normal quantity, were notably smaller in all varieties due to the dry season. 

 

Harvest of Chardonnay began in early to mid-August in Carneros and southern Napa, followed by Pinot Noir. The timing was just a little ahead of normal. The first rounds of thinner-skinned white varieties like Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and then Chardonnay for still wines began in late August and continued into mid-September. In September the region saw a couple of periods of brief precipitation. Nearly all white varieties were already picked and the thicker-skinned black varieties like Cabernet and Merlot were unaffected by the rain. 

The valley floor crop, including most of the black varieties, was almost fully harvested when unseasonably cool and wet weather arrived the second week in October, with nearly an inch of rain falling in parts of the appellation. The hillside and higher elevation vineyards still had anywhere from 25-50% of their crop on the vine, but while the rain was just enough to penetrate several inches into the soil, not enough to get to the root zone of most vineyards. Indian Summer returned with warm, clear days and vineyard crews sprang into action to finish harvest for what appears to be a vintage of exceptional quality from all points around the Napa Valley.

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St- Emilion by Cheval Blanc: This year was marked by regular rainfall all summer long and a beautiful month of September. The wines are aromatic and have retained great freshness.

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

After an exceptionally warm month of April, the weather deteriorated starting in May. July was cool and wet, followed by a dry spell in early August, then showers at the end of that month. Fine weather returned in September, with three weeks of ideal conditions: hot days and cool nights.  The weather was more variable by the end of the month, with a few showers, although none were heavy or long-lasting.

WATER BALANCE

In order to grow well, the vine needs for water stress to set in slowly so the grapes to ripen well and become concentrated. Due to regular precipitation in the summer of 2007, there was an average water deficit this year.

 

 

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The best wines of the 2007 vintage

Name Tb Producer Location
1 Bâtard-Montrachet 97.0 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
2 Dana Lotus Vineyard 96.9 Dana Estates Napa Valley, United States
3 Hommage à Jacques Perrin 96.7 Château de Beaucastel Rhône, France
4 Montrachet 96.4 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
5 St. Eden 96.2 Bond Estate Napa Valley, United States
6 Chambertin 96.0 Domaine Leroy Burgundy, France
7 IX Estate 96.0 Colgin Cellars Napa Valley, United States
8 Riesling Icewine 96.0 Inniskillin Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
9 Bienvenue-Batard-Montrachet 96.0 Domaine Leflaive Burgundy, France
10 Sorí San Lorenzo 95.8 Angelo Gaja Barbaresco, Italy
11 Musigny Vieilles Vignes 95.8 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Burgundy, France
12 La Joie Sonoma County 95.8 Verite Wines California, United States
13 Romanee Saint Vivant 95.7 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
14 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 95.7 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac Leognan, France
15 Sori Tildin 95.7 Angelo Gaja Barbaresco, Italy
16 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 95.6 Lokoya Napa Valley, United States
17 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Pignan 95.5 Château Rayas Rhône, France
18 Proprietary Red 95.5 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley, United States
19 Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrieres 95.5 Domaine Guy Roulot Burgundy, France
20 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Cras 95.5 Domaine Georges Roumier Burgundy, France
21 Romanée Conti 95.4 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
22 Chardonnay Three Sisters Vineyard 95.3 Marcassin Sonoma, United States
23 Barolo Riserva Villera 95.3 Vietti Piedmont, Italy
24 Harlan Estate 95.1 Harlan Estate Napa Valley, United States
25 Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95.0 Domaine du Pegau Rhône, France
26 Rare Rose 95.0 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, France
27 Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain District 95.0 Lokoya Napa Valley, United States
28 Masseto 95.0 Ornellaia Tuscany, Italy
29 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 95.0 Penfolds South Australia, Australia
30 Querciabella Batar 95.0 Querciabella Chianti, Italy
31 Chambolle Musigny 95.0 Domaine A.F. Gros Burgundy, France
32 Batard Montrachet 95.0 J.M. Boillot Burgundy, France
33 Parmelee-Hill Vineyard Stone Flat Chardonnay 95.0 Kistler California, United States
34 L'Extravagant de Doisy Daëne 95.0 Château Doisy-Daëne Bordeaux, France
35 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 95.0 Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley, United States
36 Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 95.0 Lokoya Napa Valley, United States
37 Puligny-Montrachet 95.0 Domaine Leflaive Burgundy, France
38 Chablis Grand Cru Valmur 95.0 Domaine Raveneau Burgundy, France
39 Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95.0 Château de Beaucastel Rhône, France
40 Reserve des Célestin CNP 95.0 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf du Pape, France
41 Kiedricher Gräfenberg Riesling TBA Goldkapsel 316 95.0 Weingut Robert Weil Rheingau, Germany
42 Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain 95.0 Lokoya Napa Valley, United States
43 Abercrombie Cabernet Sauvignon 95.0 Howard Park Wines Western Australia, Australia
44 Diana Madeline 95.0 Cullen Wines Margaret River, Australia
45 Caro 94.9 Bodegas Caro Uco Valley, Argentina
46 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 94.7 Quilceda Creek Washington, United States
47 Hourglass Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 94.7 Hourglass Estate Napa Valley, United States
48 Richebourg 94.5 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
49 Chateauneuf du Pape 94.5 Domaine Charvin Rhone Valley, France
50 Barbaresco Asili 94.5 Bruno Giacosa Barolo, Italy
51 XXL Chateauneuf du Pape 94.5 Domaine de la Janasse Rhone Valley, France
52 Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts 94.5 Domaine de Montille Burgundy, France
53 Cuvée L'Àrtiste 94.5 David Léclapart Champagne, France
54 Montrachet 94.5 Domaine Ramonet Burgundy, France
55 Pavie 94.5 Château Pavie Bordeaux, France
56 Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 94.5 Kistler California, United States
57 Screaming Eagle 94.4 Screaming Eagle Napa Valley, United States
58 Château Haut-Brion Blanc 94.4 Château Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
59 Sapience 94.4 Marguet Champagne, France
60 Steinberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese Goldkapsel 94.3 Kloster Eberbach Rheingau, Germany
61 Vintage Port 94.3 Dow's Portugal, Portugal
62 Blankiet Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Paradise Hills 94.3 Blankiet Estate Napa Valley, United States
63 Colombis Châteauneuf du Pape 94.1 Domaine Isabel Ferrando Rhône, France
64 Bressia Conjuro 94.1 Bodegas Bressia Mendoza, Argentina
65 Vosne-Romanée 1er cru Aux Reignots 94.0 Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Burgundy, France
66 Chardonnay, Kistler Vineyard, Sonoma Valley 94.0 Kistler California, United States
67 Late Bottled Vintage 94.0 Niepoort Douro, Portugal
68 d'Yquem 94.0 Château d'Yquem Bordeaux, France
69 La Carrière Chardonnay 94.0 Peter Michael Winery Sonoma Valley, United States
70 Château Laville Haut-Brion 94.0 Château Laville Haut-Brion Pessac Leognan, France
71 Barolo Sperss 94.0 Angelo Gaja Barbaresco, Italy
72 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos Saint Jacques 94.0 Domaine Fourrier Burgundy, France
73 Chateau Vignot 94.0 Chateau Vignot Saint-Emilion, France
74 Corino Barolo Vigna Giaschini 94.0 Corino Piedmont, Italy
75 Cuvée des Ambassadeurs 94.0 Comtes de Dampierre Champagne, France
76 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 94.0 Moss Wood Western Australia, Australia
77 Grands-Echezeaux 94.0 Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Burgundy, France
78 Zieregg Sauvignon Blanc 94.0 Tement Steirmark, Austria
79 Château Climens 94.0 Château Climens Bordeaux, France
80 Meursault Perrières 94.0 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Burgundy, France
81 Catena Malbec 94.0 Catena Zapata Mendoza, Argentina
82 Scharzhofberger Spätlese 94.0 Weingut Egon Müller-Scharzhof Saar, Germany
83 La Romanée 94.0 Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Burgundy, France
84 Brunello di Montalcino Altero 94.0 Poggio Antico Tuscany, Italy
85 Les Alliées 94.0 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne, France
86 Barolo Bricco Rocche 94.0 Ceretto Piedmont, Italy
87 McCrea Vineyard Chardonnay 94.0 Kistler California, United States
88 Vine Hill Chardonnay 94.0 Kistler California, United States
89 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Embrazees 94.0 Domaine Leroy Burgundy, France
90 Chevalier-Montrachet 94.0 Domaine Leflaive Burgundy, France
91 Volnay 1er Cru En Caillerets Clos des 60 Ouvrées 94.0 Domaine de la Pousse d'Or Burgundy, France
92 Corton-Charlemagne 94.0 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Burgundy, France
93 Mineral Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 94.0 Agrapart & Fils Champagne, France
94 ILR Reserve Semillon 94.0 Brokenwood Hunter Valley, Australia
95 Vintage Port 94.0 Fonseca Portugal, Portugal
96 Alain Graillot Crozes Hermitage 94.0 Alain Graillot Rhône, France
97 Grüner Veltliner Lamm 94.0 Schloss Gobelsburg Kamptal, Austria
98 Grüner Veltliner TBA 94.0 Schloss Gobelsburg Kamptal, Austria
99 Roses de Jeanne Lieu-dit La Haute Lemble 94.0 Cedric Bouchard Champagne, France
100 Chambertin Clos de Bèze 94.0 Domaine Joseph Faiveley Burgundy, France

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Tocai Friulano 2013, Miani
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