The vagaries of the 2011 season effected St Emilion in pretty much the same way as it did the rest of Bordeaux. A precocious start in spring got the vineyards off to a flying start. Extremely high temperatures at the end of June, recorded at 44C in the shade at Chateau Figeac, caused problems and would have stalled vine growth. Cooler and wetter weather in July and August helped spur things along but clearly the fluctuating climatic conditions necessitated a huge investment of labour in the vineyards in terms of canopy management and the like to maintain a healthy crop. There was also some localised rain at harvest which would have proved problematic although here, as elsewhere, September was generally sunny and warm.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau La Tour du Pin’
This appellation has had a fantastic vintage in 2010. Yes some wines have too much alcohol but in most cases the wines have incredible balance because of the freshness of the vintage. Also over-extraction is seemingly less problematic here than usual, although again that is a relative thing. There are a host of terrific wines this year but it seems that those that have a high proportion of Cabernet Franc, and even Cabernet Sauvignon as in the case of Chateau Figeac, have made the very finest wines. Amongst these, Chateau Cheval Blanc, Chateau Angélus, Chateau Figeac and Chateau Trottevielle have made truly extraordinary wines which are approaching perfection in my book.
Cheval Blanc’s managing director Pierre Lurton describes the 2010 vintage as one of ‘cool maturity’, a vintage that allowed for the steady build up and accumulation of flavour and alcohol without plunging acids. Nights in late August at Cheval Blanc were distinctly cool, down to 5C on occasion. ‘It was like keeping the grapes in the fridge overnight’ said technical director Pierre Olivier Clouet. Certainly the vintage conditions have enabled Cheval Blanc to make impressive wines. Grand Cru Classe Chateau La Tour du Pin has been managed by the team here since 2006 and was also shown. The vineyards of this eight hectare estate are planted on a mix of gravel and sandy soil overlying clay and lie close to Cheval Blanc.