There’s no doubt that 2011 is an inconsistent vintage in Bordeaux. The same problems that affected the region generally also had a big impact in Pauillac. Here, as elsewhere, a combination of drought, a warm, dry spring, followed by a cool autumnal summer, with occasional severe heat spikes, knocked the growth cycle out kilter. Pauillac has some of the greatest terroir on earth of course. It makes it naturally well insured against the most meagre and challenging of years. Given too the extraordinary level of investment in the vineyards and the cellars over the past decade, plus obsessive attention to detail and daily micromanagement at the finest properties, it’s hardly surprising, then, that the best estates here deliver an extremely decent glass of 2011. So much so in fact you almost forget what a tricky harvest this was to grow and vinify. Almost….
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste’
Only four wines were shown from the St Estèphe appellation at the MW Institute tasting but Chateau Cos d’Estournel has turned in an excellent effort in 2007. Chateau Montrose meanwhile felt much more backward and Chateau Cos Labory and Chateau Lafon Rochet both felt light and lacking in depth. It’s really worth searching out their 2006s, 2008s and 2009s instead.
Now finally detailed notes on Bordeaux 2009 now that it’s in bottle following October’s Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux tasting. First St Estèphe and Paulliac, two strong appellations this vintage. There was no doubt about the quality of these wines en primeur, and they moved on magnificently during elevage.
Overall 2010 is dense and intense in Pauillac. The wines are less easy to enjoy than ’09, without that easy flamboyance but they do have phenomenal strength and power, with lots tannin and grip too. It will be very interesting to see how they settle. So the best wines are different in style rather than in quality over ’09. Generally I was seduced more by the style of ’09 in Pauillac to ’10. That said amongst the first growths Mouton has produced an even better wine in ’10 than in ’09, Lafite is perfect but very concentrated and dense and feels less elegant and seductive over ’09. Latour is very dense, concentrated and quite amazing – and almost equalled by a quite extraordinary Les Forts de Latour. Carruades de Lafite is no slouch this year and neither is Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild.