Now the wines are in bottle St Emilion seems to have faired better in 2011 than the Médoc. These are solid wines with plenty of fruit, weight, chew and grip. Things are by no means homogeneous though. One thing to keep a beady eye out for in St Emilion is over-extraction. There are properties that are pushing things too much in this vintage, though the best proprietors mercifully have kept their foot of the gas in the cellar.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Troplong Mondot’
There can be no doubt that outside Pomerol, St Emilion has put in the strongest performance in 2012. There is great beauty to the best wines. The vintage was not without its own problems of course as detailed in earlier posts – various heavy bouts of rain in October; the difficult start to the growing season which lead to uneven and protracted flowering; the risks of mildew in early July and botrytis in October. The most attentive and diligent have triumphed and the quality of the best Merlot is stunning.
While it looks like a serious effort from Chateau Angélus in 2012 – plenty of perfume and layers to the nose and density and matter on the palate – the most newsworthy feature of Angélus this year will surely be its price. Announced yesterday, at 180 euros a bottle, Angélus is 30% up on their 2011 release. The subsequent indigestion on Twitter was palpable. Not to be outdone Chateau Pavie, the other recently promoted chateau that joined Ausone and Cheval Blanc in the Premier Grand Cru Classé ‘A’ category, released at a matching price. This was a whopping 58% increase on their 2011 price. Should we laugh or cry? Only in the heady world of St Emilion’s top classification does this price perversity, where price is the guiding rule, make any sense at all, but the logic would surely be enough to make even Joseph Heller’s Captain Yossarian shake his head in disbelief. To anyone outside this St Emilion bubble, prices increases in 2012 are surely ridiculous. Just who will consider buying at these prices?
At the primeurs tastings in Bordeaux in April 2011 I had thought that St Emilion in 2010 had bettered the wines made here than in 2009. That vintage, for me which had looked in many cases a bit over-blown and tannic early on, rounded out during elévage nicely. Now tasting through the 2010 wines at the same stage after this vintage has finished its time in barrel, it doesn’t feel quite as knockout as I had imagined. That’s not to say there aren’t many excellent wines from this appellation in 2010, but I was disappointed by some which misfired and, as ever, a number of wines that feel reduced, late picked and over-extracted – not a problem if you like leaden, plodding wine, but surely one if you like a bit of vitality and freshness.