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Bordeaux 2011 Primeurs: Haut-Médoc

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

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Chateau de Camensac held the UGCB Haut-Médoc tastings

The top estates here have been great buys in the last few vintages. 2009 especially is an exciting vintage for the Haut-Médoc. I’m afraid it’s hard to get terribly excited about these wines in 2011. The best are lively, sappy wines, but even at a discount, you’re probably better paying more for the 2009s and 2010s still on the market. The highlights are clearly Chateau La Lagune, very much worth considering if the price is right [and way better than most efforts in Margaux too] and Chateau Belgrave which is also usually good value.  Chateau Citran, Chateau Beaumont and Chateau de Camensac have also made pretty good wines, along with Chateau La Tour Carnet, if you can get past the lifted Magrez style. The big disappointment here is Chateau Cantemerle. It may come together but why bother?  There’s still a lot of their extraordinary 2009 on the market for just a few quid more.

Chateau Beaumont

Deep and saturated; black cherry with fresh lift – almost Morgon or Moulin a Vent in style – sour cherry accent and bblackcurrants on palate; pure; nicely done; there is acid here and tannic grip but has life and bite. Not bad effort. 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot harvested 13-27 September. Tasted UGC.  86-88

Chateau Belgrave

Deep and saturated colour; tight to the edge; vibrant looking; nice pure and creamy blackcurrant notes, purity here and some minerals and traces of stone fruit; polished fine nose; palate has fruit, cassis and blackcurrants, clear and fresh; structure too and lots of acid but nice blackcurrant fruit and sap. Nothing vegetal here. Very good effort. Tasted UGC. 88-90

Chateau Cantemerle

Deep and attractive looking; earthy tones, some coffee, little vegetal note, mealy, earthy quality with beetroot tones; palate oak a little obvious and rather astringent palate. Dry, austere and quite disjointed at the moment. May come together but a disappointing showing. Long way off the potential of the excellent wines here in ‘09/’10. Tasted UGC. 84-86?

Chateau Citran

Deep and glossy looking; nice open nose, some crushed rocks, red fruits and lift; attractive satiny red fruits here, but not jammy like La Tour Carnet; palate bright, balanced fruit and acid, not overdone; some perfue – well balanced wine with some harmony. Chewy and sappy finish but nothing green here. Very good effort. Tasted UGC. 87-89+

Chateau Coufran

Deep, saturated and vibrant looking; some dark cherry notes but a streak of leafy green too; palate oaky and dry tannins. Feels disjointed currently. Grippy, sappy fruit. Will settle into a leafy number. Tasted UGC. 83-85

Chateau de Camensac

Deep at core; earthy purple; legs; ripe and intense; slightly mealy note here, full, layers to the nose suggest reasonable depth. Some minerality; ripe fruit on the palate; blackcurrant and cassis; quite high toned; middle palate a little dry but should fill out. Tannins supple however. Structured but there is flesh here. Nice-ish length and grip at the end. Tasted UGC. 86-88

Chateau de Lamarque

Mid depth, earthy; attractive good fruit on the nose, some ripeness here [Merlot] – some perfume and violet lift; palate quite high toned; fresh fruit and some blackcurrant; dips a little on the palate and somewhat dry and extracted bite at the end. Maybe little austere. Tasted UGC. 83-85

Chateau La Lagune

Mid depth, vibrant edge; plummy Burgundian note; quite vibrant with some minerality; fresh accent and blackcurrants and violet perfume on aeration; sweet, attractive blackcurrant and cassis; nicely measured; depth on the palate with some density but generally very round and polished. Nice finish, no astringency to the tannins, supple. Excellent effort. Best Haut-Médoc by a long way and head and shoulders above most of the Margaux appellation grand crus in this vintage. Could be a very good buy if priced right. Tasted UGC. 90-92+

Chateau La Tour Carnet

Deep and arterial, very Magrez; red, ripe lifted character; jammy strawberry note – very overt; palate a little worked and feels chewy but all there so the wine will be ok. Not as fine as La Lagune or as simply handled. Little green streak somewhere in there. Should be goodish though, if you like the style. Tasted UGC. 86-88

Chateau Malescasse

Mid depth; stalky blackcurrants and cassis; some perfume and an earthy undertow; feels sappy and fresh on the palate; bit angular and lacks ripeness; vegetal streak. Tannic and dry. Tasted UGC. 82-84

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