The Bordeaux En Primeurs 2011
After the two exceptional vintages of 2010 and 2009 what would 2011 bring? We knew it wouldn't be another extraordinary vintage as we had such an unusual growing season last year. Barely any rain from March until mid June with high temperatures during those months - more summer than spring. The vines flowered four week earlier than ususal. Then a cool July with some rain and lower than average temperatures in August. Followed by a hot September and October with little rain.
We didn't have time to get over to the Médoc this year but made the most of Saint-Émilion and Pomerol.
We started early on Tuesday 3rd April - after the school run - we had been invited to Château La Gaffelière, for the La Grappe Primeurs, all the wines made in colaboration with Stéphane Derenoncourt. These included wines from France, Spain, Italy, USA, Libya, Turkey and Syria. All fantastic.
On Thursday we went to Château Soutard for the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux tasting. Stand out wines were Château Figeac, Clos Fourtet and La Couspaude. Then on to Château Beauregard, Pomerol. Château Clinet and Gazin were stellar, Château La Conseillante and Petit-Village will be great in time. After a delicious lunch at Beauregard accompanied by Imperials of Beauregard 2005 we went back to Saint-Émilion.
To Château Villemaurine. The wines we liked the most were Clos des Jacobins, Château Fonplégade and Château Le Prieuré. Stand out was Château Fleur Cardinale.
Without doubt 2011 is a good vintage, but the reds are not as structured or fat as the 2009 and 2010 reds - not enough rain.
You can see more photos on Facebook.