The Pavillon Rouge 2007 doesn’t even represent half of the crop, barely 48%... With none of the grape varieties having particularly underperformed in 2007, the blend of Pavillon Rouge is made up of its usual proportions: the Cabernets (58%) bringing backbone, power and balance; the Merlot (37%) contributing freshness, lovely fully-ripe fruit characters and a tenderness it didn’t have in the previous vintage. The invasive tannic strength of the Petit Verdot (5%) adds a welcome extra dimension of power to the overall blend; even its slight greenness livens up the soft and subtle characters in the way a spice does. The Pavillon Rouge 2007 is therefore a fine vintage with a level of quality quite close to 2006, of which it does not have the density, but nor the austerity. It is probably more subtle, more tender, perhaps recalling the 2004 which we are already starting to enjoy with great pleasure.
The especially mild and dry winter brought about an early bud-break for the vines, at least two weeks ahead of an average year, such as 2006. Then, the spring was, as usual, a mixture: March was mild and wet, April very hot and very dry, May mild and very rainy and June just about normal, slightly more humid than average. The flowering was therefore staggered, but the incidence of coulure was minor. Many lesser and great vintages have begun in the same circumstances…
From the end of June on, a period of cool weather with relatively little sunshine set in with frequent rain showers which created the general impression of a « lousy summer ». These weather conditions brought about a high risk of downy mildew, which is fortunately much better controlled nowadays than in the past, as well as vine vegetation growth which kept on shooting right up to the end of August. At this stage we were getting a little concerned, though we are always know from experience that a complete turnaround in the situation in the month of September should not be ruled out…
The pleasant surprise of a fantastic hot and very dry month of September therefore should not have taken us aback –so many good and very good vintages, such as 2002 and 2004 very recently, went through the same scenario! This fine, sunny weather even carried on through to October, enabling us to pick plots very late which had finally reached ripeness at the end of a growing season of record length. (Picking began on September 27th)