GOOD AND CLASSIC VINTAGE FOR BORDEAUX, EXCEEDING 2008 IN MANY PLACES, SOME SENSATIONAL WINES HAVE BEEN MADE
Cécile Montsec opens samples of 2011 and 2010 vintage from Jean-Luc Thunevin's portfolio. Many wines to taste!
It turned out to be very special vintage for Bordeaux because of extraordinary climatical conditions. After mild an dry winter, March surprised anyone with hot and dry weather and temperatures rose to high 20s by the end of the month.
April continued like that with temperatures approaching 30˚ Celsius and this kind of hot and sunny weather lasted through May and June. There was apparent lack of water in the vineyards.
Flowering finished on 20th May, two weeks ahead the normal date. A sudden wave of tropical heat struck Bordeaux on the 26th and 27th June with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius, and literally schorched some bunches of grapes here and there. Rain came in July and this month was mostly cloudy. Change of colour of grapes came early (21st July), two weeks ahead average date. August was rainy but "indian" summer returned in September, particulary from the 21st September.
No rain, no wind, cool nights preserving aromas and sunny/hot weather (30˚ Celsius as in March/April!) assured quiet harvest without interruption. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon took a bit advantage of this and ripened perfectly. The same was the case for Petit Verdot. Merlot was perfect and was harvested during fine weather in the first half of September. Grapes were small and had more tannin than in 2010!
Red wines seem to have more ripe fruit and ripe tannin than 2008, fatter tannin, bigger concentration and longer finish. Some harvested too early (not enough ripeness), some harvested too late (tired fruit, overripe flavours, dry tannin), some had overextracted. This happens however in every vintage nowadays.
Dry whites are stunning in 2011 thanks to excellent acidity, richness and intensity, and worthy competitors to ones in 2001 and 2002 vintage, both fantastic vintages for white Bordeaux. Sweet dry Bordeaux did the trick again and again, producing an exceptional vintage, which may exceed all the recent vintages, except 2001 and 2003. A true attack of botrytis at the lightning speed from the 8th Semptember assured, that harvest lasted only 3 weeks.
I spent almost three weeks in Bordeaux (March-April 2012), tasting app. 350 2011s and additional app. 100-125 wines, divided in several verticals and several wines in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010 vintages. Ratings on 2011s are already posted in here. Here is "short" summary of what I've experienced during my stay in Bordeaux, tasting 2011 primeur and other vintages. Visits are described chronologically, not alphabetically.
Seguin (Pessac-Leognan) – The owner Denis Darriet and his extremely talented winemaker, Xavier, continue to impress and made an excellent 2011, better than 2008. The mineral and fleshy 2008 and full of sweet berry fruit and fine tannin 2009 did taste just great. 2009 Confidence(s) du Chateau Seguin, which is luxury cuvee and made from old vines, was of course more concentrated, deeper and had longer finish than normal cuvee. 2010, already in tank and prepared for bottling in one or two months' time, was a little bit closed.
La Mission Haut Brion (Pessac-Leognan) – 2011 reds here were in my opinion better than 2008, with Haut Brion slightly better than La Mission in terms of strength and concentration. Second wine of both Grand Vins seemed quite successful too. New wine Quintus from Saint-Emilion, made a very successful entrée in 2011. Whites in 2011 are exceptional and going to rival 2010, 2007 and maybe even 2002 and 2001 vintages, the two latter vintages being benchmarks for Bordeaux whites.
Corbin – the owner Anabelle Cruse Bardinet is very satisfied with her 2011. Since 2008 she's worked with oenologist Jean-Philippe Fort who's associated with Michel Rolland and this cooperation has clearly pushed Corbin up in quality level. Great 2008, even better 2009 with great aroma of chocolate, sweet fruit, splendid balance and velvety tannins and excellent 2010, I tasted in September 2011. Corbin is an excellent qpr for money in recent vintages, no doubt about that.
Lafleur – visited twice, first visit on sunny day with 23 degrees C, and then 10 days later at extremely windy day with 11-12 degrees C. Wines tasted exactly the same on both occasions. Jacques Guinaudeau made a fantastic 2011 Lafleur, close to 2010, Extremely dense and tight, full of black cherries, very sophisticated and refined, exceptional balance between fatty, ripe tannins and perfectly ripe fruit, stunning aftertaste that goes on and on. Second wine, 2011 Pensées de Lafleur, is for me one of the best efforts for this wine and clearly eclipses 2008 version. Pensées de Lafleur comes from a triangle plot in the center of Lafleur's vineyard. 2011 G Acte 3 and 2011 Grand Village red/white have done splendidly well for the vintage.
Clinet – made a splendid 2011, more ripe fruit here than in 2008, more fatty tannin and better structure. 2010 Clinet seemed closed and slightly tired due to pre-bottling stay in vat.
Gazin – had vertical of 2011-2009-2008-2007-2006-2005-2004. 2011 was pretty elegant and soft, fine cherry aroma, fine balance and fruity finish. Fine effort for the vintage. 2009, 2008 and 2005 were fine efforts too and my cherry pick among this trio was 2005.
VCC – bumped almost in James Suckling and had to wait until he left tasting room. Met Alexandre Thienpont's son, Guillaume, who worked with his father during 2011 vintage. 2011 VCC was sophisticated, silky fruit and tannin, refined, elegant and round. Excellent wine, but for me it was a bit too easy to taste and lacked some more flesh and concentration. The same story was with 2011 Le Pin, which despite its obvious kinkiness and silky texture, tasted a little bit light. Guillaume Thienpont showed us new cellar of Le Pin, which I think looks better inside than outside. There's a simply spectacular view over Pomerol from terrace of Le Pin!
Jean-Luc Thunevin – many wines to taste, 26 in all, 13 2011s and 13 2010s. Great line-up of 2011s, which I think clearly proved that 2011 vintage has the edge over 2008. Stunning Valandraud red, excellent Virginie de Valandraud, Le Clos de Beau Pere, Clos Badon, Bellevue de Tayac, well-made Domaine des Sabines and Bel-Air -Ouÿ and extremely charming Bad Boy. 2010 versions of these wines showed more concentration, more length and more structure. Whites (Virginie de Valandraud and Valandraud ) are on contrary better in 2011 than in 2010 vintage, due to better acidity and more intensity and more richness.
Tertre Rotebouef – I admit I fell asleep while Francois Mitjavile explained my fellow wine-journalist friend Niko Dukan from Croatia, some things about vinification, etc, as I heard these things many times before. Nevertheless, I was quickly back to total recovery from this, while going into clinch with 2011 Tertre Roteboeuf. Just imagine – no optical sorting here, no double/triple selection table, no pre-fermentation carbonique. Just plain and simple vinification with malo in barrels. While I visited TR in September 2011, he showed me a bunch of grapes with different colours/maturity. He told me – "Izak, I get rid of course of green unripe grapes, but I use raisiny ones, as these give a roasted/grilled flavours to my wine and keep the style intact.. I don't make second wine at TR, so I practically use all my grapes which are ripe." Do I need to state that 2011 TR is simply sensational and sensual, close to 2010 version? Black cherries in Varlhona chocolate all over the place, cocoa flavor. Incredible depth, length and finish. Mid-palate is sensationally intense. Roc de Cambes followed the same pattern and is also simply a sensational stunner for the vintage. 2010 versions of both wines showed of course a bit more intensity and length, but at the same time showed how well 2011s fared!! Tasted also 2011 Domaine de L'Aurage from Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux, which is made by son of Francois Mitjavile, Louis, and it was very well made with black cherry aroma, freshness and fine length.
L'Eglise Clinet – I haven't visited this property for a while, but this time I managed to arrange visit at the property. And I've to say I was greatly impressed with the line-up of 2011s! Saintayme (St-Emilion GC), Montlandrie (Castillon), La Chenade and Les Cruzelles (both from Lalande de Pomerol) and La Petite Eglise (Pomerol) were extremely impressive for the vintage. L'Eglise Clinet was very distinct, classy, stylish and rich wine with myriad of nuances and excellent length/aftertaste. Full-blown ripeness of fruit and tannin and beautiful balance. Wow stuff from Denis Durantou!
Francois Estager - nice line-up of 6 2011s - Domaine des Gourdins (St-Emilion), Domaine de Gachet (Lalande de Pomerol), La Papeterie (Montagne Saint-Emilion), Plincette (Pomerol), Haut Maillet (Pomerol) and La Cabanne (Pomerol). My cherry pick was La Cabanne with fine aroma of black berries, elegant style and fine length. I did also taste 2010 La Cabanne which offered more sweet fruit and longer finish than 2011 vintage.
Bourgneuf - I asked for a vertical of this property to see how its wines performed. Vayron family prepared for me an impressve tasting of 15 vintages - 1985-1989-1990 (magnum)-1995-1999-2000-2001-2003-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011. Bourgneuf vineyard is situated close to Trotanoy and has same soil conditions. Frederique Vayron, daughter of Dominique and Xavier Vayron, started to make wine her in 2008 vintage with help and advice of her father, but since 2009 vintage it's her who takes all decisions. It was very interesting to taste the change of style towards more ripe fruit/tannin, round corners, more precise vinfication resulting in more complex and richer wine from 2009 vintage. I was very, very impressed by 2011 vintage of Bourgneuf, which I tasted on three different occassions; at property (warm sunny weather), Cercle Rive Droite a day later (same weather) and during tasting of Jean-Pierre Moueix wines 9 days later in cold weather.
All my three TNs of Bourgneuf are the same and give impression of an extremely well-made wine - very, very captivating aroma of crushed black cherries mixed with cocoa and grated chocolate, strong and refined on the palate, great length and formidable finish. Close in quality to stunning 2009 and 2010 and real surprise. Classy wine-work, distinct wine, which proudly represents terroir of Pomerol.
However, Frederique's father didn't take prisoners and made an excellent 1985 (no oak here), splendid 1995 with truffles everywhere, a super duper 2000 for long cellaring and surprisingly successful 2003 with very much truffle aroma on the nose, captivating and delicate, supple and velvety on the palate with lovely elegance, complexity and caressing aftertaste. No sign whatsoever of excessive heated fruit in this wine which is so typical for 2003 vintage. 2005 had years and years to go, while 2008 circulated between traditional and slightly modern style. I can't and won't hide that I'm great fan of Bourgneuf and I'm also aware of that some of my collegaues in wine writing business aren't that impressed with Bourgneuf. Still, Bourgneuf is a great value for money, be sure of that.
Vertical of Bourgneuf in April 2012 - 15 vintages lined up - 1985, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011
Beausejour - I had an interesting vertical there which spanned over 7 vintages - 2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011.
For 2009 vintage, there was a change of consulant and winemaker. Nicolas Thienpont and his assistent, David Suire are responsible for vinification, while Stephane Derenencourt is consultant. Robert Parker gave 2009 vintage 100p, which imho is too high rating. 2010 was much better than 2009 for my taste. Fabulous intensity of aromas of black cherries on the nose and palate, excellent purity, structure and length. Excellent effort. Nicolas Thienpont and David Suire shared my opinion of 2010 Beausejour being better wine than 2009!
I liked 2008 a lot - aromatic and deep nose of red fruit. More intensity, more depth, better ripeness of the fruit. Very sappy, long and complex. 2005 gave the impression of a wine in deep sleep and therefore was difficult to assess. I think however, there was more of sleeping giant than an fine wine. 2011 Beauséjour made a great impression on me and I felt it even surpassed 2009 version! Strong, robust and powerful, a lot of ripe black fruit, excellent intensity and depth on the nose, very long aftertaste, pure and hedonistic. A great success of the vintage. Kudos to Nicolas Thienpont and David Suire!
Also tasted other 2011s which Nicolas Thienpont & Co are involved in - very well-made.
Puygueraud Francs Cotes de Bordeaux – very fruity, very nice tannins and balance. Spicy and with undertones of earth. Nice wine.
La Prade Francs Cotes de Bordeaux – more intensity and length here than in Puygueraud. Longer aftertaste and better quality of fruit. Fine effort.
Alcée 2011 Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux – like La Prade but more spicy fruit and longer on the palate. Firm aftertaste. Fine black fruit. Fine effort.
Trimoulet St.E.G.C. – elegant, very nice fruit, aromatic, gentle, fine length, maturity of fruit is excellent for the vintage. Lingering aftertaste.
Berliquet St.E. GCC. – intense and concentrated, lot of black cherries, sappy, splendid depth and length. Splendid wine.
Larcis Ducasse St.E.GCC. – like Berliquet but more concentration and length.
Pavie Macquin St.E. PGCC. – strong and powerful, fruit is ripe á point. Lot of extract – modern style.
Les Charmes Godard Francs Cotes de Bordeaux white – fresh, fine acidity, fine aromas of apple and pear. Fine length and caressing aftertaste.
Cercle Rive Droite - more than 130 wines to taste, but I managed to taste more app. half of these. Mixed bag with some excellent and splendid wines, but also some overextracted and overripe wines. My cherry picks were: Clos L'Eglise, Bourgneuf, Barde Haut, Boutisse, Ampelia, Veyry, CarlMagnus, La Dauphine, Barrabaque, Haut Carles and Bon Pasteur.
Le Gay - tasted the usual "menu" of five wines - La Graviere (Lalande de Pomerol), Montviel, Manoir de Gay, Le Gay and La Violette. All wines presented themselves extremely well and seemed to have more ripe fruit and tannin compared to 2008 vintage.
Domaine de Chevalier/Guiraud/wines from Neipperg - highligts of this evening tasting before primeur week were Domaine de Chevalier red and white, La Mondotte, Canon-La-Gaffeliere and Guiraud. Lespault Martillac in red and white, plus D'Aiguilhe and Clos de L'Oratoire didn't disappoint - well made wines.
Canon - 2011 showed silky fruit and tannin, elegance, fine smoothy structure and length. Smooth aftertaste. 2010 vintage had of couse more intensity and depth, was richer and longer on finish.
Petrus - Olivier Berrouet told me that it was impossible to obtain better ripeness of fruit at Petrus in 2011 vintage due to challenging weather conditions in spring/summer. According to him, the key in this vintage was not to overextract, do gentle maceration and use gentle amount of new oak. 2011 had fresh acidity, fine berry fruit, discrete oak and excellent balance. Lighter and elegant style in 2011.
Domaine de Chevalier - very interesting vertical of red spanning over three decades (1983-2011). My cherry picks were 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2000 and 1998. Big surprise was 1984, still very well alive and kicking!
Climens - did quick harvest in three weeks in September. Tasted several barrels/lots and 2011 has h... a lot of promises. It may eclipse 2010, 2009 and 2005, but can it challenge the otherworldy 2001? I did also taste 1982, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 vintages, and especially 2009, 2007 and 2005 vintages were extremely impressive.
Sauternes & Barsac - first UGC tasting (blind) - 25 wines tasted.Over all very high quality and many wines reminding both 2007 and 2009 vintage, some close to 2010 vintage. I'm not sure however, if 2011 vintage can challenge 2001, as I heard it from some wine-people in Sauternes & Barsac. Leaders of the pack -Clos Haut Peyraguey, Coutet, Fargues, Lafaurie Peyraguey, Rieussec, Suduiraut and La Tour Blanche.
Medoc, Listrac, Moulis & Margaux - second UGC blind tasting. Wines showed pretty well and the stars were: Fourcas Hosten in Listrac. Maucaillou in Moulis, Cantenac Brown, Dauzac, Kirwan, Labegorce, Monbrison and Rauzan Segla.
Pontet Canet - this property produced an elegant wine in 2011. Not quite in the legaue of 2010, 2009 and 2005 vintages, but you can't take away finesse, refined touch and silkiness from this catchy wine.
Pichon Baron - tasted Pibran, Les Tourelles de Longueville (Pichon Baron's second wine), Pichon Baron, Petit Village and Suduiraut. Pibran was lovely wine with its flowery aromas and meaty palate, Pichon Baron showed power, excellent length and structure, Petit Village was faultless wine with fine fruit although a bit light, while Suduiraut showed extremely well and identically impressive as the day before at Coutet.
La Lagune - I was able to taste 2011 and 2010 vintages. 2011 had splendid nose of black cherries, deep and intens, strong structure and backbone, excellent acidity and long finish. 2010 tasted more powerful with sweeter fruit, fatter tannin and longer finish.
Haut Medoc, Saint Julien, Pauillac, Saint-Estephe - third UGC blind tasting. Wines showed quite well and the stars were: Malescasse and La Tour Carnet i Haut Medoc, Leoville Barton, Leoville Poyferre and Beychevelle in Saint Julien, Lynch Bages and Pichon Comtesse in Pauillac, plus Cos Labory and Les Ormes de Pez in Saint Estephe. In the afternoon, I did a "Grand Tour", which included same chateaux for the past 8 years primeur visiting, Lafite, Latour, Margaux and Palmer.
d'Yquem - it was an evening tasting with 2011 and 1997 vintages. 2011 showed fantasticly but 1997 bearing 15 years on its shoulder was outstanding as well.
Graves/Pessac Leognan - fourth UGC blind tasting. Very fine reds and great whites among majority of wines. Certainly better vintage here compared to 2008, more homogeneous and with higher scores on wines.
La Confession - Jean-Philippe Janoueix makes semi-modern wines with lot of fruit, oak and extraction. 2011s tasted better than 2008s as many other places in Bordeaux. La Confession, La Croix St.Georges, Sacre Coeur, 20 Mille, Le Conseiller and Croix Mouton showed excellent ripeness of fruit, freshness, well-integrated oak and fleshy texture.
Balestard La Tonnelle - final accomodation arranged by UGC on Thursday night. I thought Troplong Mondot had the best view of Saint-Emilion village, but I probably did seen nothing yet, since view from Balestard La Tonnelle is simply as spectacular or better! The chateau itself, garden, cellar and surroundings look stunning. 2011 wines from CapdeMourlin family, Balestard La Tonnelle, Cap de Mourlin and Petit Faurie de Soutard are healthy and correctly made wines in traditional style. For my taste they lack a bit of freshness and acidity, which could be explained with late harvesting, especially in very good vintages. I wonder if wines would improve dramaticly by harvesting earlier?!
Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle
Ausone - tasted the usual 6 wines line-up. Nice Simard, de Fonbel and Haut Simard, step up in quality then while tasting Moulin St. Georges and Chapelle d'Ausone, and exceptional Grand Vin, very concentrated, refined, sophisticated and with persistent finish.
Cheval Blanc - Grand Vin had silky fruit and silky tannin, excellent intensity of fruit and great complexity and persistent though caressing finish. Le Petit Cheval was great second wine, lighter of course than GV, but with same characteristics. La Tour du Pin and Quinault L'Enclos were well made wines.
Jean-Pierre Moueix - there were 14 wines to taste - Puy Blanquet (Saint-Emilion), La Serre (Saint-Emilion), Magdelaine, Belair Monange, Plince, Lafleur Gazin, Bourgneuf, La Grave, Latour-á-Pomerol, Certan-de-May, La Providence, Hosanna, La Fleur Petrus and Trotanoy. Puy Blanquet, La Serre, Magdelaine, Plince, La Grave and Lafleur Gazin were well made, while Belair Monange, Bourgneuf, Latour-á-Pomerol, Certan de May, La Providence, Hosanna, La Fleur Petrus and Trotanoy impressed a lot.
Pavie - I tasted the usual line-up of wines - Lasseau (St.Emilion), Monbousquet red and white, Clos Lunelles, Pavie Decesse, Bellevue Mondotte and Pavie. I thought Pavie, Pavie Decesse and Bellevue Mondotte weren't overripe and overextracted. Yes, there were some extraction but Perse wines are made in modern style and you can't just disqualify these wines because of that style. Barrel samples were fresh enough for me. While all three wines expressed great complexity, richness, great length and finish on the palate, I found the first two wines strong and fleshy with big concentration, while Pavie for me was more elegant. I quite liked Monbousquet in both colours.
Certan de May - Jean Luc Barreau-Badar, owner and winemaker, prepared four vintages for me to taste, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008. All four vintages were impressive - 2010 and 2009 in close run with ripe black fruit + cocoa, fleshy, very complex, great balance and great finish. 2010 seemed however more concentrated with fatter tannin and longer aftertaste. 2011 was not far behind 2010 and 2009, with its splendid structure and strong backbone, while 2008 oozed of truffles, fine aroma of black cherrries and fine complexity/length.
Mouton Rothschild vertical - Philippe Dhalluin, managing directeur, prepared 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006 vintages of Mouton Rothschild. Before this vertical, I tasted Petit Mouton, d'Armailhac and Clerc Milon in vintage 2011. Same line-up of 2011s I did taste one week before. It seemed that 2009 Mouton Rothschild had the edge over 2010 at the day of tasting, but I'm pretty sure that 2010 Mouton Rothschild will be better wine. Both were very rich, sophisticated, with great deal og finesse and elegance, stunningly balanced. 2008 had excellent nose of blackcurrants, very long on the palate and with persistent aftertaste. Not it full blossom yet, but have patience. 2007 was excellent for the vintage with captivating nose of black cherries, round and elegant, lighter than 2008, and had fine fruit ripeness for the vintage. 2006 was closed but had many similarities to 2008. 2011 was only 30 hl/ha. Finesse, very long on the palate with silky tannin, elegant and with great balance. Clerc Milon was impressive.
Phelan Segur - little vertical of 2011-2010-2009-2008-2007-2006-2005. 2010 and 2009 were stars of this vertical with chocolate and black cherries, great aromas, splendidly structured and harmonious. I thought 2009 had more fruit sweetness and was longer on the palate. 2005 was very well knitted and aromatic. 2011 offered freshness, fine aromas, spicy fruit and fine balance. Wines from this property is good value for money.
de Pez - tasted Bernadotte (Haut Medoc), Haut Beausejour (Saint Estephe), de Pez (Saint Estephe), Reserve de La Comtesse and Pichon Comtesse in vintages 2011 and 2010. All 2011s were very well made, particulary Bernadotte, Haut Beausejour, de Pez and Pichon Comtesse. 2010s displayed of course more ripeness and sweetness of fruit, fatter tannin and more length.
Calon Segur - very interesting visit at the property I visited last time 22 years ago. I tasted 2011, 2010 and 2009 vintages of Calon Segur and Capbern Gasqueton. Very characterful wines with power, depth and minerality. Same pattern as several other places on Left Bank by 2010 and 2009 being better than 2011. However, there's nothing to complain about 2011, as wines here are extremely well made.
Montrose - all four 2011 wines presented, Tronquoy de Saine-Anne, Tronquoy Lalande, La Dame de Montrose and Montrose, were faultless ones, very characteristic for the district, but somewhat lighter than usual.
Lamothe Cissac - I decided to visit this property during primeur to see if my enthusiasm for this wine from tasting of several vintages in Copenhagen in winter 2012 was justified. Yes it was. 2011 is a splendid vintage here for both normal and luxury cuvée, however not challenging 2010 and 2009 vintage. Excellent qpr for money.
Yquem vertical - first vertical of the day, which was my last tasting day during primeur stay in Bordeaux. 2009-2008-2007-2006 and 2011 to round the tasting off. Sandrine Garbay, Yquem's winemaker, was on hand to answer all questions. 2011 was again a shining star, 2007 very close to 2011 with incredible botrytis and richness, 2009 even richer and mega intense, and more down to earth 2006 which was very captivating, refined and with excellent honeyed finish. Extremely memorable tasting! Starting with 2007 vintage, the period of time spent in barrels was shortened from 3 to 2 years in order to give more freshness to the wine.
God's nectar in sight
Raymond Lafon vertical - second vertical of the day - vintages 2011-2010-2009-2008-2007-2006-2005-2004-2003-2002-2001 in great company of Jean-Pierre Meslier. 2003 and 2001 were simply exceptional, 2010 seemed to have edged 2011 at the time of tasting (April 2012), 2009, 2007 and 2005 were beautiful wines, while 2008, 2006, 2004 and 2002 represented their respective vintages with great success. Very impressive showing.
Clos Haut Peyraguey vertical - third vertical of the day and same line-up of vintages as at Raymond Lafon. I've to say I was very impressed and stunned by the style, character and class of wines from this property. Normally, I taste Clos Haut Peyraguey from barrel and then nothing, as this wine isn't exported to Denmark. That particular day I'd a chance to learn if wines from this property are as stunning after bottling. Yes they are! 2003 and 2001 were sensantional. 2010, 2009, 2007 and 2005 were slightly behind, while 2011 looked like big prize in Lotto. 2004 and 2002 seemed like great successes, and 2006 and 2008 were impressive too.
Spectacular view from Clos Haut Peyraguey to Yquem!
Nairac vertical - fourth vertical of the day and line-up was 2011-2009-2008-2007-2006-2005-2004. 2009 and 2007 were the best ones, 2005 seemed quite closed, while 2011 had a great potential. Excellent showing.
d'Aiguilhe Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 88 Aile d'Argent 91 Alter Ego de Palmer Margaux 90-91 Alcée Castilllon Cotes de Bordeaux 88-89 Ampelia Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux 91 Angélus St-Emilion GC 92-93 d'Angludet Margaux 89 d'Arche Sauternes & Barsac 91 d'Armailhac Pauillac 89-90 Ausone St-Emilion GC 96 Bad Boy Bordeaux 88 Balestard La Tonnelle St-Emilion GC 90
Barde-Haut St-Emilion GC 93 Barrabaque Canon-Fronsac 91 Bastor Lamontagne Sauternes & Barsac 87 Batailley Pauillac 92 Beaulieu Comtes de Tastes Bordeaux Superieur 86 Beau-Séjour Bécot St-Emilion GC 90-92 Beaumont Haut-Médoc 91 Beauregard Pomerol 90 Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse St-Emilion GC 94-95 Beau Soleil Pomerol 87 Belair-Monange St-Emilion GC 93 Bel-Air Ouÿ St-Emilion GC 88 Belgrave Haut-Médoc 90 Bellegrave Pomerol 87 Bellevue St-Emilion GC 90 Bellevue de Tayac Margaux 90
Bellevue Mondotte St-Emilion GC 95 Berliquet St-Emilion GC 89 Bernadotte Haut Medoc 87 Beychevelle St-Julien 93 Bon Pasteur Pomerol 92 Bonalgue Pomerol 87 Bourgneuf Pomerol 93-94 Bouscaut red Pessac-Léognan 88 Boutisse St-Emilion GC 91-92 Branaire St-Julien 90 Brane-Cantenac Margaux 92 Broustet Sauternes & Barsac 90 La Cabanne Pomerol 91 Cantelauze Pomerol 90 Caillou Sauternes & Barsac 91 Calon Segur St-Estephe 93 de Camensac Haut-Médoc 90 Canon St-Emilion GC 92-93
Canon-La-Gaffelière St-Emilion GC 91-92 Cantemerle Haut-Médoc 91 Cantenac-Brown Margaux 92-93 Capbern Gasqueton Saint-Estephe 90 Cap de Mourlin St-Emilion GC 88-89 Carbonnieux red Pessac-Léognan 91-92 Carbonnieux white Pessac-Léognan 92-93 CarlMagnus Fronsac 90 Les Carmes Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 92 Le Carrilon de L'Angelus St-Emilion GC 87 Carruades de Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 89-90 La Carte de Haut Brion (white wine) Pessac-Leognan 91 Certan de May de Certan Pomerol 91-92
Chadenne Fronsac 88 Chantegrive red Graves 91 Chantegrive white Graves 92-93 Chapelle d'Ausone St-Emilion GC 90 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 90 Les Charmes Godard white Francs Cotes de Bordeaux 91 Chasse Spleen Moulis 88 La Chenade Lalande de Pomerol 91 Cheval Blanc St-Emilion GC 96 Citran Haut-Médoc 90 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 90 Clarke Listrac 87 Clerc Milon Pauillac 91 La Clemence Pomerol 88-89 Climens Sauternes & Barsac 97-98 Clinet Pomerol 94-95
Clos Badon Thunevin St-Emilion GC 90-91 Clos des Baies St-Emilion GC 89-90 Le Clos de Beau Pere Pomerol 92 Clos de l'Oratoire St-Emilion GC 89-90 Clos Fourtet St-Emilion GC 92 Clos Haut Peyraguey Sauternes & Barsac 94+ Clos l'Eglise Pomerol 92-93 Clos les Lunelles Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 88 Clos Romanile St-Emilion GC 88 La Confession St-Emilion GC 94 La Conseillante Pomerol 94 Le Conseiller Bordeaux Superieur 89 Corbin St-Emilion GC 92+ Corbin Michotte St-Emilion GC 91
Les Cruzelles Lalande de Pomerol 91 Coufran Haut-Médoc 91 Cos-Labory St-Estèphe 92 La Couspaude St-Emilion GC 88 Coutet Sauternes & Barsac 94+ La Croix Saint-Georges Pomerol 93-94 La Croix de Gay Pomerol 89 Croix Mouton Bordeaux Superieur 89 Croizet-Bages Pauillac 91-92 Dalem Fronsac 89 La Dame de Montrose St-Estèphe 88 Dassault St-Emilion GC 92 de La Dauphine Fronsac 91 Dauzac Margaux 92-93 Desmirail Margaux 91 Doisy Daene Sauternes & Barsac 93-94
Doisy Vedrines Sauternes & Barsac 94 Domaine de l'Aurage Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 88 Domaine de Chevalier red Pessac-Léognan 92 Domaine de Chevalier white Pessac-Léognan 96+ Domaine de Gachet Lalande de Pomerol 86-87 Domaine de la Solitude white Pessac-Léognan 88 Domaine des Cambes Bordeaux 87 Domaine des Gourdins St-Emilion 86 Domaine des Sabines Lalande de Pomerol 89 La Dominique St-Emilion GC 91-92 Le Dragon de Quintus St-Emilion GC 86 Duhart-Milon-Rothschild Pauillac 90-91
L'Eglise Clinet Pomerol 96 L'Esprit de Chevalier white Pessac-Léognan 88 de Fargues Sauternes & Barsac 95+ Fayat Pomerol 87 Ferrande red Graves 91 Ferrande white Graves 88 Ferrière Margaux 92 Feytit-Clinet Pomerol 87 de Fieuzal red Pessac-Léognan 92 de Fieuzal white Pessac-Léognan 93 Figeac St-Emilion GC 91 Filhot Sauternes & Barsac 91 Fleur Cardinale St-Emilion GC 90-91 La Fleur de Boüard Lalande de Pomerol 88 La Fleur de Gay Pomerol 90 Les Plus de La Fleur de Boüard Lalande de Pomerol 89
La Fleur Petrus Pomerol 93 de Fonbel St-Emilion GC 88-89 Fonreaud Listrac 87 Fontenil Fronsac 90-91 Les Forts de Latour Pauillac 91 Fourcas Dupre 89 Fourcas Hosten 88 Franc-Mayne St-Emilion GC 87 de France red Pessac-Léognan 91-92 de France white Pessac-Léognan 91 de Francs Francs Cotes de Bordeaux 87 G Acte 3 Bordeaux Superieur 89 La Gaffelière St-Emilion GC 90-91 Le Gay Pomerol 93-94 Gazin Pomerol 91 Girolate Bordeaux 86 Giscours Margaux 92-93 Gloria St-Julien 91-92
Grand Mayne St-Emilion GC 91-92 Grand Ormeau Lalande de Pomerol 87 Grand-Puy-Ducasse Pauillac 91 Grand Puy Lacoste 92 Grand Village red Bordeaux Superieur 88-89 Grand Village white Bordeaux Superieur 89 La Grave Pomerol 88 La Graviere Lalande de Pomerol 89 Greysac Médoc 89 Gruaud-Larose St-Julien 92 Guiraud Sauternes & Barsac 93-94 Haut Bages Liberal 89 Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan 91-93 Haut Beausejour St-Estephe 87
Haut-Bergey red Pessac-Léognan 91 Haut-Bergey white Pessac-Léognan 92 Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 96-97 Haut-Brion white Pessac-Léognan 97-98 Haut Carles Fronsac 90 Haut Maillet Pomerol 89 Haut Simard St-Emilion GC 88 Joanin-Bécot Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 91 Hosanna Pomerol 93-94 Kirwan Margaux 93 Labégorce Margaux 92 Lafite-Rothschild Pauillac 95+ Lafleur Pomerol 97 Lafleur Gazin Pomerol 90 Lafon-Rochet St-Estèphe 92-93 Lafaurie Peyraguey Sauternes & Barsac 94+
Lagrange St-Julien 91 Lamarque Haut-Médoc 91 La Lagune Haut Medoc 92-93 Lamothe Sauternes & Barsac 89 Lamothe Guignard Sauternes & Barsac 91 Lamothe Cissac Haut Medoc 89 Lamothe Cissac Vieilles Vignes Haut Medoc 90-91 Langoa-Barton St-Julien 91 Larcis Ducasse St-Emilion GC 91-92 Larmande St-Emilion GC 90 Laroze St-Emilion GC 90 Larrivet-Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 93 Larrivet Haut Brion white Pessac-Léognan 93 Lascombes Margaux 92 Lasseau St-Emilion GC 88 Latour Pauillac 96-97
Latour-Martillac red Pessac-Léognan 92-93 Latour-Martillac white Pessac-Léognan 94 Latour-á-Pomerol Pomerol 92 de Laussac Cuvée Sacha Castillon/Côtes de Bordeaux 88-89 Lécuyer Pomerol 87 Lespault Martillac red Pessac-Léognan 88 Lespault Martillac white 89-90 Léoville-Barton St-Julien 94-95 Léoville-Poyferré St-Julien 93 La Louvière red Pessac-Léognan 92+ La Louvière white Pessac-Léognan 92 Lune d'Argent white Bordeaux 87 Lynch Bages Pauillac 92 Lynch-Moussas Pauillac 87
Magdelaine St-Emilion GC 92 Malartic-Lagravière red Pessac-Léognan 89 Malartic-Lagravière white Pessac-Léognan 92 Malescasse Moulis 91 Malescot-Saint-Exupéry Margaux 92-93 de Malle Sauternes & Barsac 91-92 Manoir de Gay 88 Margaux Margaux 95-96 Marquis d'Alesme Margaux 92-93 Marquis de Terme Margaux 91 Maucaillou Haut Medoc 88-89 La Mission Haut-Brion red Pessac-Léognan 95-96 La Mission Haut-Brion white Pessac-Léognan 96-97
Monbousquet St-Emilion GC 92 Monbousquet white Bordeaux 92-93 Monbrison Margaux 92 La Mondotte St-Emilion GC 93-94 Montlandrie Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux 89-90 Montrose St-Estèphe 91-92 Montviel Pomerol 88 Moulin Haut-Laroque Fronsac 90-91 Moulin Pey-Labrie Canon-Fronsac 90-91 Moulin Saint-Georges St-Emilion GC 90 Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 95-96 Myrat Sauternes & Barsac 93-94 Nairac Sauternes & Barsac 92-94 Olivier red Pessac-Léognan 88 Olivier blanc Pessac-Léognan 92-93
Les Ormes de Pez St-Estèphe 92+ Palmer Margaux 95 Pape Clément Pessac-Léognan 93-94 Pape Clément blanc Pessac-Léognan 93-94 La Papeterie Montagne St-Emilion 87 Pauillac de Château Latour Pauillac 88 Pavie St-Emilion GC 95-96 Pavie-Decesse St-Emilion GC 94-95 Pavie-Macquin St-Emilion GC 92-93 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux Margaux 91-92 Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux Bordeaux 94+ Penin Bordeaux Superieur 86 Pensées de Lafleur Pomerol 91 Perron La Fleur Lalande de Pomerol 87
La Petite Eglise Pomerol 90-91 Le Petit Cheval St-Emilion GC 91 Le Petit Mouton de Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 88-89 Petit Village Pomerol 89-90 Petrus 95 de Pez St-Estephe 91 Phélan-Ségur St-Estèphe 91-92 Pibran Pauillac 90 Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillac 92+ Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac 92+ Picque Caillou red Pessac-Léognan 91-92 Picque Caillou white Pessac-Léognan 93-94 Le Pin Pomerol 95 Plince Pomerol 88 Plincette Pomerol 88 La Pointe Pomerol 88 Pontet-Canet Pauillac 94
Poujeaux Moulis 88 La Prade Francs Cotes de Bordeaux 88 Prieure Lichine Margaux 91 La Providence Pomerol 91 Puy Blanquet St-Emilion GC 88 Puygureaud Francs Cotes de Bordeaux 87 Quinault l'Enclos St-Emilion GC 88 Quintus St-Emilion GC 90-91 Rabaud Promis Sauternes & Barsac 93 Rahoul Péssac Léognan 91 Rahoul white 91 Rauzan-Gassies Margaux 90-91 Rauzan-Ségla Margaux 92-93 Raymond Lafon Sauternes & Barsac 92-94 Rayne Vigneau Sauternes & Barsac 94 Reignac Bordeaux Superieur 87
Reserve de La Comtesse Pauillac 87-88 Rieussec Sauternes & Barsac 95+ de La Riviere Fronsac 89-90 de La Riviere Fronsac Aria 90-91 Roc de Cambes Côtes de Bourg 93 Romer Sauternes & Barsac 90 Sácre Coeur 92 Pomerol Saintayme St-Emilion GC 89 Saint-Pierre St-Julien 91 Sansonnet St-Emilion GC 87 Sergent Lalande de Pomerol 87 Seguin Pessac-Léognan 92-93 La Serre St-Emilion GC 89 Sigalas Rabaud Sauternes & Barsac 94 Simard St-Emilion GC 87 Siran Margaux 91
Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan 92 Smith Haut Lafitte white Pessac-Léognan 95 Soutard St-Emilion GC 93 Suau Sauternes & Barsac 89 Suduiraut Sauternes & Barsac 94+ Taillefer Pomerol 88-89 Talbot St-Julien 93 du Tertre Margaux 91 Tertre-Roteboeuf St-Emilion GC 97 Thieuley Bordeaux 86 La Tour du Pin St-Emilion GC 89 La Tour Carnet Haut-Médoc 91 Les Tourelles de Longueville Pauillac 88 Tour de Mirambeau Cuvée Passion Bordeaux 86-87 Trimoulet St-Emilion GC 88-89 Tournefeuille Lalande de Pomerol 87
Les Trois Croix Fronsac 89-90 Tronquoy-Lalande St-Estèphe 88-89 Troplong-Mondot St-Emilion GC 93 Trotanoy Pomerol 95 Trottevieille St-Emilion GC 90-91 La Tour Blanche Sauternes & Barsac 94+ La Tour de By Medoc 88 Valandraud St-Emilion GC 95-96 Valandraud white Bordeaux 92 3 de Valandraud St-Emilion GC 88 Val de Roc Bordeaux Superieur 88 Veyry Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 91 La Vieille Cure Fronsac 88-89 Vieux Château Certan Pomerol 94-95 Villars Fronsac 88
Vingt Mille Bordeaux Superieur 89 La Violette Pomerol 94 Domaine Virginie Thunevin St-Emilion GC 87 Virginie de Valandraud St-Emilion GC 91 Virginie de Valandraud white Bordeaux 90 d'Yquem Sauternes & Barsac 98-99
TASTING NOTES - DISTRICT BY DISTRICT
SAUTERNES & BARSAC
d'Yquem showed multiple botrytised aromas, a lot of sweetness and corresponding acidity, sophisticated touch, fabulous intensity, stunning balance, length and finish. Exceptional stuff. 98-99p.
Climens was tasted as usual from different barrels and blends. Incredible purity of botrytised flavours, richness, acidity, fabulous intensity and finesse. This is heavenly thrill. For me, it may develop to be better than 2010, but I doubt it will compete with 2001. 97-98p.
De Fargues and Rieussec had extremely intense nose of acacia honey and apricot, strong and full-bodied palate, excellent acidity and balance. Killer wines. 95+p.
Clos Haut Peyraguey and Coutet had plenty of botrytised flavors, like pineapple, lemon peel and grapefruit, excellent acidity, myriad of nuances, strong structure, superb balance and long honeyed finish. Fabulous wines. 94+p. Lafaurie Peyraguey, Suduiraut and La Tour Blanche were as impressive as Clos Haut Peyraguey and Coutet with great depth, lot of sweetness and long, long lingering aftertaste. Simply stunning wines. 94+p.
Doisy Vedrines had very expressive nose of acacia honey and apricot, was very powerful on the palate with excellent acidity and corresponding sweetness of fruit and displayed excellent depth and honeyed aftertaste. 94p. Rayne Vigneau and Sigalas Rabaud impressed with loads of grapefruit, pear and dried apricots on the nose, delightful sweetness and acidity on the palate, great balance, Lingering finish. 94p. Fabulous wines, all three!
Doisy Daene offered intense flavours of acacia honey, orange peel and pear, great combination of sweetness and acidity, superb concentration of candied fruits on the palate and honeyed finish. 93-94p. Guiraud and de Myrat followed in same style as Doisy Daene. 93-94p. Raymond Lafon appeared as very elegant wine with much finesse, rich, with excellent acidity, exquisite balance, great complexity and honeyed finish. A bit lighter than previous vintages. Nevertheless, it's terrific wine which can only be better with time. 93-94p.
Nairac offered a big range of botrytised flavours like grapefruit, lemon peel, pineapple and pear. Distinguished and long on the palate with great sweetness, acidity and graceful aftertaste. Silky texture. 92-94p. Maybe my rating is a bit too conservative.
Rabaud Promis offered refined nose with great intensity of flavours like grapefruit and orange peel, excellent balance, length and honeyed finish. Stupendous effort from this property. 93p.
De Malle came up with a well-crafted wine nose, offering wide range of flavors like pineapple, acacia honey and pear. Elegant on the palate, fine acidity and balance, with smooth aftertaste. Lighter than usual. 91-92p.
D'Arche, Caillou, Filhot and Lamothe Guignard did show splendid intensity, pear and sweet oranges, a lot of sweetness and corresponding acidity and smooth finish. 91p.
Broustet and Romer made almost as fine performance as Caillou & Co, just slightly less intense and less concentrated. 90p.
Lamothe and Suau showed pretty much as tastefully and impressive Broustet and Romer. 89p.
OK wine: Bastor Lamontagne. 87p.
Haut Brion was more tannic and stronger than La Mission Haut Brion. Exceptional wine. 96-97p.
La Mission Haut Brion - clearly more ripe fruit in here than I remember from 2008, more concentrated, very long, rich, great complexity and with fabulous balance. Nose reminds me of incredibly aromatic 2004 vintage. Excellent stuff. 95-96p.
Pape Clement had deliciously intense fruity nose with cherries, strong structure, excellent depth and length. Persistent and firm finish. 93-94p.
Larrivet Haut Brion followed in the track of Pape Clement with slightly less intensity. 93p.
Latour Martillac and Seguin offered splendid nose of ripe cherries, splendid depth and intensity. Silky on the palate with splendid structure, fine length and smooth aftertaste. Fine effort for both wines. 92-93p.
La Louviere also had very intense nose of cherries and blackcurrants and fine concentration of same on the palate. This combined with fine structure and backbone, and persistent finish, made this wine very impressive. 92+p
Haut Bailly was a rich wine with really fine black fruit intensity, complexity, depth and length. Fine future in sight. 91-93p.
Les Carmes Haut Brion, Domaine de Chevalier, Fieuzal and Smith Haut Lafitte had intense nose with oak and black fruit, splendid depth and length, strong structure, meaty texture and smooth aftertaste. 92p.
Carbonnieux, de France and Picque Caillou offered fine nose of ripe cherries, splendid depth and intensity. Silky on the palate with very good structure, fine length and smooth aftertaste. 91-92p.
Chantegrive, Ferrande, Haut Bergey and Rahoul were close in quality and style to above mentioned trio of wines. 91p.
La Chapelle de La Mission Haut Brion and Le Clarence de Haut Brion offered seductive touch, aromatic and fresh nose and silky palate with splendid length and balance. Firm aftertaste. 90p.
Malartic Lagraviere had catchy flavourful nose of black and red berries, meaty texture, very appealing minerality and quite nice concentration. 89p.
Bouscaut, Lespault Martillac and Olivier were pretty elegant and fruity wines with roundness and fine smooth aftertaste. 88p.
Dry white wines:
Haut Brion had more intensity and richness than La Mission Haut Brion. Breathtaking effort. 97-98p.
La Mission Haut Brion was very intense, pure and refined on the nose, full of apple, pear and lemon grass, penetrating aromas, lot of freshness, great acidity, balance, depth and length. Smooth and caressing aftertaste. Stunning effort for the vintage. 96-97p.
Domaine de Chevalier acted strong and powerful, lots of acacia flower, apples and citron grass. Great structure, depth and length on the palate, rich, great balance and strong finish. As always an utterly impressive stuff from this property! 96+p.
Smith Haut Lafitte was similar to Domaine de Chevalier in style but not as rich and sophisticated. Nevertheless, this wine is impeccably made and displays beautiful acidity, balance and long finish. 95p.
Latour Martillac was oaky with lot of acidity. Great intensity of apples and citron grass, freshness, great length on the palate and long finish. Terrific wine. 94p.
Pape Clement followed in Latour Martillac's tracks with equally impressive wine. 93-94p. Picque Caillou continues to improve vintage by vintage and was a big surprise with similarly rivetting wine. 93-94p.
Fieuzal and Larrivet Haut Brion were elegant and refined on the nose and palate with lot of finesse. Splendid acidity, great aromas of pineapple, apple and acacia flower, stylish and classy. 93p.
Carbonnieux, Chantegrive and Olivier were also very impressive wines with lot of freshness and aromas of apple and acacia, splendid acidity, fine structure and fine balance 92-93p.
Haut Bergey and La Louviere displayed intense acacia flower and apple, great acidity and splendid concentration. Long finish. Stylish wines with finesse and elegance. 92p.
de France, La Clarte de Haut Brion and Rahoul offered fine acidity, intensity and structure. Nicely put together and with fine balance. Apple, pineapple and pear. Very fine effort. 91p.
Lespault Martillac brought fresh, aromatic, well-knitted wine with fine acidity and firm finish. 89-90p. Malartic Lagraviere was as well made but slightly less intense.
Domaine de La Solitude, Ferrande and L'Esprit de Chevalier displayed fresh and aromatic apple, grapefruit and lemon peel aromas, attractive, round and smooth approach. Tasty and very enjoyable. 88p.
Greysac showed fine intensity of spicy black fruit with fresh flavours, silky tannins, fine depth and length, fine balance and firm finish. Splendid wine for the vintage. 89p.
La Tour de By had same qualities as Greysac, but with less concentration and depth. 88p.
La Lagune had splendid nose of black cherries, deep and intens, strong structure and backbone, excellent acidity and long finish. 92-93p. Terrific effort from this ever stable property.
Malescasse displayed splendid aroma of crushed berries on the nose and palate, was robust and complex with impressive length and long finish. Splendid effort from this property. 91p.
Beaumont, Cantemerle, Coufran and de Lamarque were as impressive as Malescasse with same intensity and complexity, but they had more silkiness of fruit. 91p.
Lamothe Cissac Vieilles Vignes had catchy and seductive aromas of black cherry fruit and grated chocolate, silky fruit and silky tannin, fine balance and fine fruity finish. Great qpr for money. 90-91p.
Belgrave, Camensac, Citran and La Tour Carnet were all four fruity on the nose, aromatic, sappy on the palate, harmonious, fleshy, with very nice acidity and nice length. Well-made wines. 90p.
Lamothe Cissac was slightly less intense and concentrated as Vieille Vignes cuvée. Captivating wine as well. 90p.
Bernadotte: OK wine. 87p.
Fourcas Hosten had fine blueberry nose with very fine intensity. Sappy and fruity on the palate, fine structure. Persistent fruity finish. 89p.
Fourcas Dupre tasted in same style as Fourcas Hosten, but displayed less concentration. 88p.
Clarke and Fonreaud - OK wines. 87p.
Maucaillou had very attractive nose of cherries and blueberries, velvety tannin on the palate, very nice balance and smooth finish. 88-89p.
Chasse Spleen and Poujeaux were less intense and slightly more dry on the aftertaste than Maucaillou. 88p.
Margaux had elegance, finesse and refinement to very high degree, velvety black cherry fruit and fat tannin, and long, long caressing finish. Once again an essence of class and style. 95-96p.
Palmer was aristocratic, powerful though refined with fabulous balance and fabulous finish. Stunning effort. 95p.
Kirwan had chocolate, mocha, dark cherries, seductive on the nose. Potent on the nose, elegant with spicy black fruit, robust and sappy. Superb long finish. 93p.
Cantenac Brown, Dauzac and Giscours showed cocoa mixed with black cherries, were subtle and elegant, fresh, sweet fat tannins and sweet fruit, full-bodied, excellent structure, depth and long finish. Very succesful for the vintage and well deserved 92-93p.
Malescot Saint-Exupery, Marquis d'Alesme and Rauzan Segla offered very much oak and fat tannin in addition to splendidly scented nose of black cherries and blueberries, but balance wasn't harmed, fine complexity and long, firm aftertaste. 92-93p.
Brane Cantenac, Ferriere, Labegorce, Lascombes and Monbrison were tight and intense wines with dense structure, fine concentration of dark fruit, fat tannin, harmonious and with firm finish. Superb quintet of wines. 92p.
Pavillon Rouge de Margaux was made from a very strict selection of grapes, which resulted in 40% less quantity than in 2010! Velvety texture with silky fruit and tannin. finesse and long smooth aftertaste. 91-92p.
Desmirail, Marquis de Terme, Prieure Lichine, Siran and du Tertre were subtle and intense with dense structure, fine concentration of dark fruit, fat tannin, with fine balance and persistent fruity finish. 91p.
Alter Ego and Rauzan Gassies displayed some power, good quantities of fat ripe tannin and long aftertaste. 90-91p.
Bellevue de Tayac had fine nose of of red + black berries, fine structure and fine complexity. Caressing and long finish. 90p.
D'Angludet was quite a pretty wine with nice aromatic nose, elegant and harmonious on the palate and lingering aftertaste. 89p.
Leovile Barton had excellent black fruit intensity on the nose, deep, powerful and full-bodied on the palate, excellent backbone, length and aftertaste. 94-95p. Fabulous effort.
Beychevelle, Leoville Poyferre and Talbot offered aromatic fruit (black cherries), were quite intense and powerful on the palate, with fine structure, balance and finish. 93p.
Gruaud Larose was captivating on the nose, long on the palate with plenty of aromatic black berries, well-structured, harmonious and firm finish. 92p.
Gloria impressed with silky fruit and tannin, fine balance, length and smooth aftertaste. Seductive wine. 91-92p
Lagrange, Langoa Barton and Saint-Pierre were intense on the nose with black berries, with good grip on the palate with splendid fruit and persistent aftertaste. Very well made wines. 91p.
Branaire Ducru tasted somewhat light than usual, but complemented for it with silky fruit and tannin, fine balance and smooth finish. 90p.
Latour was powerful and tight but at the same time refined and sophisticated. Exquisite depth, complexity, richness and balance. As always this is awesome stuff from this property. 96-97p.
Mouton Rothschild displayed sublime touch, lot of elegance and finesse, silky cherry fruit and silky tannin combined with very impressive structure and finish. Low yield in 2011 - only 30 hl/ha. 95-96p.
Lafite was strong, chewy and robust wine with awesome structure but had walls of tannin. Tannin and fruit weren't perfectly integrated yet. Needs a lot of time to develop rounder texture. 95+p.
Pontet Canet produced an elegant wine in 2011. Not quite in the legaue of 2010, 2009 and 2005 vintages, but you can't take away finesse, refined touch and silkiness from this catchy wine. 94p.
Pichon Baron showed power, lot of black cherries and strong tannin, excellent length and structure. 92+p. Pichon Comtesse was made in another style with more fruity approach and with more silkiness. 92+p.
Batailley, Grand Puy Lacoste and Lynch Bages wereseductively aromatic, full-bodied and had strong backbone. Persistent aftertaste. A lot of style and terroir here. 92p.
Croizet Bages surprised big time in this difficult vintage with fine intensity and concentration of dark fruit, fat tannin, tight structure, fine balance and firm finish. 91-92p.
Clerc Milon, Grand Puy Ducasse and Les Forts de Latour had the fine qualities tasted in Croizet Bages. 91p.
Duhart Milon displayed lot of fruit hidden behind walls of tannin. Needs time to soften. 90-91p.
Pibran offered flowery nose and meaty palate, fine intensity of blackcurrants and black cherries. Lovely fruity finish. 90p.
d'Armailhac had very fruity nose of black cherries, fine intensity, bite and balance, and smooth finish. 89-90p. Carruaders de Lafite was in different corner of style with plenty of oak and tannin. 89-90p.
Haut Bages Liberal had oaky undertones, quite intense fruit, nice backbone and structure, and persistent finish. 89p.
Le Petit Mouton offered fine aroma of black fruit, freshness, good acidity, fine balance and smooth aftertaste. 88-89p.
Les Tourelles de Longueville resembled a lot of Le Petit Mouton. 88p.
Pauillac de Latour offered good concentration, good grip, nice balance and smooth aftertaste. Not bad at all for 3rd wine. 88p.
Reserve de La Comtesse was nice wine with seductive aroma of crushed black fruit, nice balance and length, and smooth aftertaste. 87-88p.
Lynch Moussas - OK wine. 87p.
Calon Segur displayed great characteristics of soil, power, minerality, copious amount of ripe fruit and tannin, great depth and complexity, excellent length on the palate. Classic stuff and classy one, without all the modern gimmics. Long life waits ahead. 93p.
Lafon Rochet offered intense spicy fruit, power, excellent structure and backbone, fine balance and firm long finish. Great effort for the vintage. 92-93p.
Les Ormes de Pez surprised being almost as impressive as Lafon Rochet. Copious amount of black cherries and velvety texture. 92+p.
Cos Labory followed in same track as Les Ormes de Pez with more tannic approach and firm finish. Terrific stuff. 92p.
Montrose wasn't a blockbuster wine in 2011. Elegant with finesse, silky fruit and tannin, fine length and smooth aftertaste. Lighter than usual. 91-92p. Phelan Segur was fresh with aromatic and spicy fruit, splendid structure, quite complex and with long finish. 91-92p.
de Pez offered fine acidity, large portion of black cherries and fat tannin, fine structure and persistent aftertaste. 91p.
Capbern Gasqueton resembled in many ways its brother property, Calon Segur. Same style of winemaking, but less concentration and length here. Well made wine. 90p.
La Dame de Montrose was elegant, sappy, round and supple. 88p.
Tronquoy Lalande displayed fine flavours of cherry fruit, silky texture, nice intensity and concentration, and very nice finish. 88-89p.
Haut Beausejour - OK wine. 87p.
Tertre Roteboeuf - do I need to state that 2011 wine here is simply sensational and sensual, close to 2010 version? Black cherries in Varlhona chocolate all over the place, cocoa flavor.Incredible depth, length and finish. Mid-palate is sensationally intense. Incredible effort and yet another bull's eye from the magician winemaker, Francois Mitjavile. 97p.
Ausone and Cheval Blanc were silky with excellent intensity and complexity, fabulous structure and depth, lot of richness, finesse and sophisticated touch. Great persistent and caressing finish. 96p.
Pavie and Valandraud offered extremely complex nose of black cherries with great intensity, length, depth and structure on the palate. Very rich and complex wines. 95-96p.
Bellevue Mondotte was very potent, strong and tight wine with richly scented fruit, deep and with stunning finish. Great stuff. 95p.
Beausejour (Duffau-Lagarrosse) made a great impression on me and I felt it even surpassed 2009 version tasted side by side! Strong, robust and powerful, a lot of ripe black fruit, excellent intensity and depth on the nose, very long aftertaste, pure and hedonistic. A great success of the vintage. 94-95p.
Pavie Decesse was strong, fleshy and very concentrated, lot of black fruit and fat tannin, perfectly balanced and with very long and persistent aftertaste. 94-95p.
La Confession offered very ripe and fresh black cherries, great intensity, fat ripe tannin, superb structure and strong meaty finish. Excellent stuff. 94p.
La Mondotte had splendid nose of wild cherries, great intensity. Very concentrated, strong structure, ripe tannins, long aftertaste. 93-94p.
Barde Haut and Belair Monange displayed strong backbone and intensity, lot of blueberries and cherries, powerful tannin, were full-bodied on palate and with very long aftertaste. 93p.
Soutard did extremely well with splendid aroma of black cherries on the nose and palate, excellent acidity, excellent structure and complexity, and long fruity finish. Very impressive stuff. 93p.
Troplong Mondot was very concentrated and tannic, full-bodied, sweet fruit and tannin, superbly balanced and with great length. 93p.
Angelus acted tannic and oaky, extracted, yet balanced with strong finish. 92-93p. Canon offered elegance, silky fruit and tannin, fine structure, backbone and smooth aftertaste. 92-93p. Pavie Macquin tasted strong and powerful, fruit was ripe á point. Lot of extract – modern style. 92-93p.
Corbin was very elegant, distinct and classy on the nose and palate, round and ripe tannin with seductive black fruit. Very complex and splendlidly balanced. Excellent effort for the vintage 92+p.
Clos Fourtet, Dassault, Magdelaine and Monbousquet were all four very intense on the nose with plenty of black fruit, strong backbone, splendid length on the palate and smooth finish. 92p.
Boutisse, Canon La Gaffeliere, Grand Mayne and La Dominique offered fine nose of cherries, seductive style, splendid balance, elegance and smooth caressing aftertaste. 91-92p. Larcis Ducasse had more tannic and extracted style. 91-92p.
Corbin Michotte, Figeac, Le Petit Cheval and Virginie de Valandraud had fine fruit, elegant nose, silky tannin, fleshy palate, fine balance and smooth fruity finish. 91p.
Clos Badon Thunevin, Fleur Cardinale, La Gaffeliere, Quintus and Trottevieille showed sweet fruit, strong and fat tannin, some oak, fine balance and firm finish. 90-91p.
Balestard La Tonnelle, Belevue, La Chapelle d'Ausone, Larmande, Laroze and Moulin St.Georges displayed fine nose of cherries, seductive style, splendid balance, elegance and smooth caressing aftertaste. 90p.
Clos de L'Oratoire, Clos de Baies, Cap de Mourlin, de Fonbel and Trimoulet were all round and silky, elegant, with delicate ripe fruit, splendid balance, very good length and caressing aftertaste. 88-89p.
Saintayme (Ammelise), Berliquet, La Serre and La Tour du Pin had expressive aromas of black and red berries, fresh and seductive, fleshy and soft fruit on the palate, fine balance and length. Well-deserved. 89p.
Bel-Air Ouý, Clos Romanile, Haut Simard, La Couspaude, Lusseau, Puy Blanquet, Quinault L'Enclos and 3 de Valandraud had all fresh aroma of crushed blackcurrants and blueberries, discrete tannin, attractive fruit and fruity finish. 88p.
Le Carrilon d'Angelus, Franc Mayne, Sansonnet and Simard - OK wines. 87p. Domaine des Gourdins and Le Dragon de Quintus - OK wines. 86p.
Lafleur was the best wine of Pomerol for me. Tasted twice under different weather pressure. Exactly the same impression. Jacques Guinaudeau made a fantastic 2011, close to 2010, Extremely dense and tight, full of black cherries, very sophisticated and refined, exceptional balance between fatty, ripe tannins and perfectly ripe fruit, stunning aftertaste that goes on and on. 97p.
L'Eglise Clinet was very distinct, classy, stylish and rich wine with myriad of nuances and excellent length/aftertaste. Full-blown ripeness of fruit and tannin and beautiful balance. Wow stuff from Denis Durantou! 96p.
Petrus had fresh acidity, fine berry fruit, discrete oak and excellent balance. Lighter than usual but with excellent richness and finesse. 95p. Le Pin was kinky and silky, long on the palate, cherries + cocoa, lighter than usual. 95p. Trotanoy had fatness and concentration, strong backbone, great length and finish. Great future here. 95p.
Clinet displayed a lot of fruit and oak as well, fatty tannin and firm finish. Needs time to become softer. 94-95p. VCC was sophisticated, silky fruit and tannin, refined, elegant and attractive. 94-95p.
La Conseillante had very aromatic fruit on the nose, silkiness on the palate, great complexity and structure. Long fruity finish. 94p. La Violette was made in slightly more modern way than La Conseillante, and had clear stamp of oak, but balance didn't suffer. 94p.
Bourgneuf was tasted on three different occasions (two times with label, one time blind) and gave impression of an extremely well-made wine - very, very captivating aroma of crushed black cherries mixed with cocoa and grated chocolate, strong and refined on the palate, great length and formidable finish. Close in quality to rivetting 2009 and 2010 and a real surprise. 93-94p.
La Croix St. Georges, Le Gay and Hosanna were all three muscular, chewy and powerful wines with substancial amount of black cherries and chocolate, covered by oak, very much in balance though. 93-94p.
La Fleur Petrus displayed potent and strong attitude, lot of black fruit and fat tannin, great depth, length and balance. 93p.
Clos L'Eglise displayed a great deal of elegance and richness, aromatic black berries, excellent balance and strong finish. 92-93p.
Bon Pasteur was strong and robust with evident extraction, lot of ripe fruit and fat tannin. Well in balance. Modern styled wine. 92p. Clos de Beau-Pere and Latour-á-Pomerol were meaty and fleshy with fine concentration of black cherries, fine structure, complexity and firm aftertaste. 92p. Sacré Coeur was robust and fleshy with black cherry fruit, splendid balance, impressive length and finish. 92p.
Certan de May reminded a lot of Sacré Coeur with firmer finish. 91-92p.
La Cabanne and Gazin were pretty elegant and soft, fine cherry aroma, fine balance and fruity finish. 91p. Pensées de Lafleur and La Providence had same intensity of fruit and fat tannin, but were more oaky. 91p.
La Petite Eglise displayed very aromatic black cherries, velvety fruit and tannin, splendid balance and lingering finish. Seductive wine. 90-91p.
Beauregard and Lafleur Gazin were very intense on the nose, tight, aromatic, with dark berries, nice velvety finish and oak very well integrated with fruit. 90p. Cantelauze and La Fleur de Gay followed with same quality, but had more oak. Well made all four wines. 90p.
Petit Village did very well indeed with black cherries on the nose, elegant with finesse, long finish. 89-90p.
La Croix de Gay and Haut Maillet performed well with cherry aromas, pretty fine structure and persistent velvety finish. 89p.
La Clemence and Taillefer did almost same fine job as La Croix de Gay and Haut Maillet. Catchy wines. 88-89p.
La Grave á Pomerol, Manoir de Gay and Montviel appeared gentle, soft and round, well-balanced and quite seductive. 88p. Plince, Plincette and La Pointe followed in same track. 88p.
Beau Soleil, Bellegrave, Bonalgue, Fayat, Feytit Clinet and Lécuyer - OK wines. 87p.
Le Conseillier, La Croix Mouton and 20 Mille from Jean-Philippe Janouiex (La Confession) showed very well with fresh cherry flavors on the nose and palate, ripe black fruit, strong backbone and fat tannin. Meaty wines with gentle but present extraction. Well-made. 89p.
G de Guinaudeau Acte 3 displayed fine ripe black cherries, fine minerality, strong structure and long finish. 89p.
Grand Village from the owner of Lafleur, offered fine aroma of violets, was sappy, with fine structure and balance. Fruity finish. 88-89p.
Bad Boy Thunevin and Val de Roc were round with soft texture, ripe and tasty fruit and with lot of charm. 88p.
Pavillon Blanc de Margaux was utterly impressive. Very intense flavors of apples, excellent acidity and minerality, freshness, precise fruit and long, long finish. 94+p.
Monbousquet white displayed excellent acidity, freshness, intense aromas of lemon grass and acacia, excellent balance and fat fruity finish. Terrific wine. 92-93p.
Valandraud white reminded a lot of Monbousquet white but was slightly less concentrated. 92p.
Aile d'Argent white wine from Mouton Rothschild, offered elegance and finesse, acacia flower and smooth texture. 20% malolactic fermentation here, so this wine had a touch of sweetness. 91p.
Virginie de Valandraud white had freshness and fine acidity, fine acacia fruit and fruity finish. 90p.
Grand Village white impressed with very aromatic nose of apples and pear, caressing aftertaste and very seductive approach. 89p.
Domaine de Cambes, de Reignac and Domaine Virginie Thunevin were nice and faultless wines with nice fruit, round and soft. 87p. Lune d'Argent white offered nice acacia flavour on the nose and palate and was round. 87p. Tour de Mirambeau cuvée Passion was like Domaine de Cambes & Co. 86-87p.
Beaulieu Comtes de Tastes, Girolate, Penin and Thieuley - OK wines. 86p.
BOURG CÔTES DE BORDEAUX
Roc de Cambes displayed lots and lots of black fruit, fat and ripe tannin, extremely fine structure, depth and length. What a fruit bomb! Stunning wine. 93p.
CASTILLON CÔTES DE BORDEAUX
Ampelia, Joanin Becot and Veyry displayed very catchy cherry aroma on the nose, splendid structure, balance and smooth aftertaste. Very seductive wines. 91p.
Montlandrie displayed black fruit with undertones of white truffles, fine balance, backbone and length. Soft texture. Fine effort for the vintage. 89-90p.
Alcée and de Laussac cuvée Sacha were strong with fat tannin, nicely build and with firm finish. Fine effort from both. 88-89p.
Clos les Lunelles was tight with spicy and very ripe fruit and had nice concentration and length. 88p. D'Aiguilhe and Domaine de L'Aurage were quite aromatic (black berries), fresh, sappy, with very nice structure and smooth fruity finish. 88p.
FRANCS CÔTES DE BORDEAUX
La Prade had more of everything than Puygueraud. 88p.
de Francs and Puygueraud displayed spicy fruit with undertones of earth. Nice ripeness of fruit and balance. 87p.
Les Charmes Godard white was fresh with fine acidity and fine aromas of apple and pear. Fine length and caressing aftertaste. 91p.
Barrabaque and de La Dauphine were superbly made wines, powerful with intensely aromatic nose, meaty palate, fat ripe tannin, fine balance and long finish. Well-deserved 91p.
Aria de La Riviere, Fontenil, Moulin Haut Laroque and Moulin Pey Labrie followed in the tracks of Barrabaque and de La Dauphine with slightly less intensity and length. Splendid wines all four. 90-91p.
CarlMagnus and Haut Carles displayed some oak aroma but also lot of black cherry fruit and fat ripe tannin. Fine structure, meaty texture and firm persistent finish. 90p.
de La Riviere and Les Troix Croix were softer, less oaky and more round than de CarlMagnus and Haut Carles. Seductive wines. 89-90p.
Dalem reminded a lot of de La Riviere and Les Troix Croix with less concentration and length. 89p.
La Vieille Cure displayed silky texture, catchy ripe berry fruit, nice balance and smooth fruity finish. 88-89p.
Chadenne and Villars were quite aromatic (black berries), fresh, sappy, with very nice structure and smooth fruity finish. 88p.
La Chenade and Les Cruzelles displayed intens nose of violets and splendidly concentrated black cherries on the palate. Great fruity aftertaste. Terrific wines. 91p.
Domaine des Sabines showed intense fruit with earthy and spicy notes, strong backbone and fine firm finish. Very fine effort. 89p. La Graviere had very seductive and aromatic nose of black cherries, sweet and velvety fruit on the palate and pretty fine balance. Catchy wine. 89p. Les Plus de la Fleur de Bouard followed in the tracks of La Graviere, but here you had more extracted flavours. 89p.
Fleur de Bouard was lighter version of Les Plus de la Fleur de Bouard. 88p.
Grand Ormeau, Perron La Fleur, Sergent and Tournefouille were all four pretty pleasant fruity wines with nice balance. 87p.
Domaine de Gachet: OK wine. 86-87p.
2011 VINTAGE REVISITED - 5TH SEPTEMBER 2012 IN COPENHAGEN
My general impression was, that 2011 is good to very good vintage, better for sure than 2008, developing well and not showing austerity and edgy corners. Several wines benefitted from further staying in oak. All in all it's a very useful vintage and will be a great value for money when it hit the shelves in the end of 2013 with prices not higher than primeur ones.
Here are my TNs:
D'Aiguilhe 2011 – powerful, tasty black cherries, fine fruit and structure, meaty and fine length. Fine effort. 90p.
D'Armailhac 2011 – better ripeness here than in 2008, tannins are softer, fine finish. 91p.
Beauregard 2011 - was very intense on the nose, tight, aromatic, with dark berries, nice velvety finish and oak very well integrated with fruit. 90p.
Beychevelle 2011 - as impressive as during primeur week og maybe even better. Pretty aromatic and subtle wine, full-bodied. Splendid aftertaste with a lot of flavours. Graceful and stylish. Stupendous wine. 93+p.
Branaire 2011 – improved since tasting it 5 months ago. More concentrated with silky fruit and tannin, fine balance and smooth finish. 90p.
Camensac 2011 - aromatic ripe dark berries on the nose, seductive and charming, silky tannin, well- balanced. Fine aftertaste. 90p.
Canon-La-Gaffeliere 2011 - offered fine nose of cherries, fat ripe tannin, splendid depth and persistent aftertaste. Impressive effort. 93p.
Chasse Spleen 2011 - offered excellent nose of black fruit with depth and intensity. Silky tannin, finesse, intense on palate and persistent fruity aftertaste. Splendid effort. 92p.
La Clemence 2011 - strong, tannic wine with robust structure, fine depth and firm finish. On the verge of overextraction. 89p.
Clerc Milon 2011 - showed big concentration and strong structure, tight and intense on the palate, splendid balance and long finish. Superb wine. 92p.
Clos L'Oratoire 2011 - offered fine nose of cherries, seductive style, splendid balance, elegance and smooth caressing aftertaste. 91-92p.
Coutet 2011 impressed a lot with great depth, lot of sweetness and corresponding acidity, stunning balance and long, long lingering aftertaste. Simply great effort. 94+p.
Coutet 1997– Great stuff. Still fresh with intense botrytized aromas of crème brulée and heather honey, fine acidity and strong honeyed finish. 15 years old wine at its peak. 93p.
Destieux 2011 - strong and sappy wine, ripe and tasty black berries, fine balance and long finish. Well-made wine. 91p.
Domaine de Chevalier red 2011 – tasted better than during primeur. Very aromatic, great minerality, splendid depth and length, strong structure, meaty texture and smooth aftertaste. 93p.
Domaine de Chevalier white 2011 - performed strong and powerful, lots of acacia flower, apple and citron grass. Great structure, depth and length on the palate, rich, great balance and strong finish. As always an utterly impressive stuff from this property! 96+p.
Ferriere 2011 - was tight and intense wine with dense structure, fine concentration of dark fruit, fat tannin, harmonious and firm finish. 92p.
Gazin 2011- pretty elegant and soft, fine cherry aroma, fine balance and fruity finish.91p.
Giscours 2011 – this barrel sample showed even better than in April this year. Powerful and intense with lot of black cherries and cocoa, strong fat tannin, very well constructed, complex and with long finish. Stunning wine. 94p.
Haut Bages Liberal 2011 - had oaky undertones, quite intense fruit, nice backbone and structure, and persistent finish. 89p.
Haut Bailly 2011 - was a rich and powerful wine with strong aroma of black cherries, great complexity, depth and length. Excellent future in sight. 93+p.
Lagrange 2011 – was intense on the nose with black berries, with good grip on the palate with tasty fruit and firm aftertaste. Well-made wine. 90p.
Larrivet Haut Brion red 2011 - had deliciously intense fruity nose with cherries, solid backbone, splendid depth and length. Persistent and firm finish. 92p.
Larrivet Haut Brion white 2011 - was elegant and refined on the nose and palate with lot of finesse. Splendid acidity, great aromas of pineapple, apple and acacia flower, stylish and classy. 93p.
Lascombes 2011 - showed great style and finesse. Very aromatic with black berries, excellent balance and complexity. Long caressing finish. True Margaux style. 93p.
Latour Martillac red 2011 - offered splendid nose of ripe cherries, splendid depth and intensity. Silky on the palate with remarkable structure, fine length and smooth aftertaste. Fine effort indeed. 92p.
Latour Martillac white 2011 - was oaky with lot of acidity. Great intensity of apple and citron grass, freshness, great length on the palate and long finish. Terrific wine. 93-94p.
Leoville Poyferre 2011 - very complex and long on the nose and palate. Aromatic blackfruit, well-balanced, excellent structure and long firm aftertaste. Excellent for the vintage. 94p.
Phelan Segur 2011 showed much freshness with aromatic and spicy fruit, splendid structure, silky tannin and long finish. 91p.
Smith Haut Lafitte red 2011 – strong, meaty, very intense aroma of black cherries, complex, fine concentration and grip. Firm finish. Splendid. 93p.
Talbot 2011 - offered aromatic fruit (black cherries), were quite intense and powerful on the palate, with fine structure, balance and finish. 92+p.
Du Tertre 2011 - improved significantly since primeur tasting in April. Strong and powerful, rich, elegant and longon the palate, excellent structure. Very impressive effort. 93p.