Signs are that this 2008 campaign is really getting going now. This morning, Léoville Barton came out, €27 a bottle from the negociants, 22% down on 2007. Les Forts de Latour has also come out, the day after the Grand Vin went down so well.
This is a signpost to our major coverage of, and 556 tasting notes on, 2008 bordeaux. All of these wines were tasted in Bordeaux at the end of March and beginning of April by Julia and/or me. Tasting notes written by the admirable Julia Harding MW are suffixed (JH).
As usual we tasted as many wines as possible blind, more than once where possible. But, alas, an increasing number of châteaux seem to be withdrawing from the splendidly useful blind tastings organised by the Union des Grands Crus and other official organisations for the various appellations. The first growths have always been unwilling to have their wines tasted blind and now more and more seconds and the like seem to want us to make special appointments to taste their wines in supposedly ideal conditions. Even La Lagune refused to show its wines in the UGC tastings this year, although winemaker Caroline Frey, who (most unusually for a proprietor) actually took part in one of our UGC blind tastings herself, admitted that there was nothing wrong with the condition of samples we were shown.
Bordeaux 2008 TNs - the whites
The Jancis and Staples show (video)