"I just finished my first day in Bordeaux and I am happy. Sure, 2007 is not a great vintage. It could never be exceptional, considering the wet and gray weather in Bordeaux for most of the summer growing season. Thank God for a relatively sunny September and October last year.
But the Bordelais managed to produce some very good, even excellent reds. I tasted a number of the top names from the Médoc including Latour, Lafite, Mouton, Cos, Léoville-Las-Cases, Léoville Barton, Ducru-Beaucaillou, Montrose, and others, and the wines were pleasantly fruity, with pretty perfumes, fine tannins and clean finishes. There was nothing aggressive or herbaceous in the wines, which is surprising, considering the bad weather in 2007. I remember tasting, at this stage, numerous other difficult vintages, from 1984 to 1992 to 2002, in which the young reds were much more aggressive and disappointing than the '07s."
So, it looks as though '07 has thrown up a drinkers' vintage, as opposed to an investors' one. I hope to be posting every night on my blog to fill you in on what I've been up to during the day and include some photographs.
And an event I have omitted to relate:
Who would have thought that one's buttocks could stand 6 hours of theatre in one afternoon/evening? I anticipated that mine would develop flat spots before the end of the second quarter and require serious massage during the break to bring them back to their full magnificence. As it turns out, if the brain is sufficiently distracted, the backside can endure quite substantial periods of immobility: a case of mind over gluteus maximus.
Tickets to see the Shared Experience Theatre Company's production of War and Peace had been booked back in November and they needed to be; these babies are in serious demand. It is quite possible to split one's attendance and take in the play over two days, but the friends who had booked our seats were coming from some distance away, so we decided to bite the bullet and do it in one lump.
In effect, this is like seeing two plays back-to-back, with a break in the middle for dinner. We managed to get into a restaurant next door to Theatre Royal in Bath. The place was packed, but we enjoyed a bottle of Barolo and some excellent pizzas. If you're in Bath and hungry, head for La Strada. You won't be disappointed, unless you're allergic to Italian food.
The play itself? An absolute masterpiece, by turns dramatic, operatic, funny and extremely moving. It sounds ridiculous, but I could see myself going again. If you have the chance, beg, steal or borrow a ticket and let this epic story wash over you in all its colour. I can assure you, the combination of Tolstoy and Shared Experience somehow contrive to leave one's buttocks intact.