Bordeauxtheatre

And so they're off. After months of speculation it's finally time for the global fine wine trade to descend on Bordeaux for the annual en primeur orgy of sniffing and spitting. Today marks the start of the Union de Grand Cru tastings, where many of the top wines from the 2007 vintage are available to taste. By the end of the week we should have a pretty good idea as to the quality (and commercial potential) of the 2007 vintage.

Following a disappointing growing season partially saved by a hot autumn (see Bill Blatch's excellent report here) expectations for the vintage were low. Unfortunately, early reports suggest the wines are perhaps even worse than we had feared, with the Left Bank particularly badly effected. James Suckling of the Wine Spectator has been less than enthusiastic, comparing it to vintages such as '1984, 1987, 1993, 1994, 1997 and 1999':

'The 2007 vintage will never be remembered as a serious vintage, or even a good year. It's average quality at best, producing aromatic, lightly fruity and finely tannic wines. They will be quickly drunk and forgotten.'

Of course, Liv-ex has its own 'man on the ground' at the UGC tastings this week, so look out for further news as the week progresses.