Pierre-Olivier Clouet

2007 Vintage by Pierre-Olivier Clouet, Technical Director from Château 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. 

WEATHER CONDITIONS AND VINE’S GROWING CYCLE

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

fter 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.

GROWING SEASON

Bud break were early for Merlot (20th of March) and average for Cabernet Franc (2nd of April). The high temperatures in April accelerated vine growth and brought about early flowering:  the 21st of May for both Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Véraison (colour change) was also early, occurring on the 22nd of July for Merlot and the 31st of July for Cabernet Franc.  The harvest began on the 19th of September and finished on the 6th of October (18 days).
The weather in 2007 called for careful attention in the vineyard at all times, as well as green pruning.  Mildew was kept under control and despite the major risk of grey rot in late August, fine September weather, with cool nights, stopped the fungus from spreading.  That made it possible to wait for the grapes to ripen fully.

Phenological stage  Merlot
2007
Average 1994-2014 Cabernet franc
2007
Average
1994-2014
Bud break March, 20th March, 28th April, 2nd April, 2nd
Flowering May, 21st May, 30th May, 21st June, 1st
Véraison July, 22nd August, 2nd July, 31st August, 8th
Beginning of the Harvest September, 19th September, 19th September, 25th September, 27th
End of the Harvest September, 28th September, 27th October, 6th October, 5th
Number of days between...
Bud break and Flowering 63 days 63 days 50 days 60 days
Flowering and Véraison 63 days 64 days 72 days 68 days
Véraison and Harvest 59 days 48 days 56 days 50 days

 

FEATURES OF THE VINTAGE

RIPENING AND YIELDSING

Summer rainfall was greater than average. This resulted in larger-than-average berries, especially for Merlot. 
Merlot had low sugar levels, whereas Cabernet Franc was sweeter than usual. Acidity was lower than the ten-year average for both varieties. This reflects a good degree of ripeness, but also a certain amount of dilution in Merlot. 
Hopes for a fine year were thin at the end of August. However, ideal weather in September saved the vintage.  The harvest was long in order for Cabernet Franc to ripen. The grapes were balanced and aromatic. However certain lots of Cabernet Franc displayed herbaceous aromas.

2007 yields    (hl/ha) Average from 1996 to 2014
Merlot 35.4 38.9
Cabernet Franc 37.2 34.2

 

CELLAR WORK

Maceration varied from 15-26 days. The blend contained 6% of press wine, and 1.5% of the wine was bled off from fermentation vats. Ageing took place in 100% new oak barrels for 16-17 months.
Traditional fining with egg white was done in order to settle particles in suspension in barrel. Two egg whites were used per barrel. These were later eliminated by filtration.

 

BLENDING

> Zoom plots

 

Date of bottling : April 17th, 2009.

Degree of alcohol 13
Total acidity (g H2 S04/L) 3.0
Volatile acidity (g H2 SO4/L) 0.59
pH 3.84
Total SO2 (mg/L) 94
Reducing sugar content (g/L) 2.2
IPT (DO280) 64

 

2007 is a well-balanced wine with great freshness 

 

TASTING NOTES

Fresh, elegant, and well-balanced, this vintage features certain vivacity as well as mint and roasted aromas.

The colour is a dark ruby-red with mauve highlights.

The nose is fine, fruity, and vivacious, with hints of black fruit that is just ripe as well as roasted nuances.

2007 Cheval Blanc is rich, silky, and caresses the palate. The full, fresh flavour develops beautifully, and the elegant tannin and aromatic richness complement one another from beginning to end.

Fresh and well-balanced, this vintage will age gracefully, but can also be enjoyed as of now.