Wine Cellar is offering the 2011 Bordeaux Vintage En-primeur. This will be our 10th En-primeur Campaign where we offer you the opportunity to buy any of the top Bordeaux (over 1000 chateaux) on the market.
Please let us know if you would like to be on the En-primeur database that receives all the offers as they are released from the Chateaux (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I was in Bordeaux during March and April to taste the 2011s. Please see the terms and conditions below.
Wine Cellar 2011 Offers
- Offer 1: Back to the Classics
- Offer 2: Pomerol all the way
- Offer 3: Pontet Canet, Lynch Bages, Pape Clement, Sauternes and Margaux
- Offer 4: Clinet, Calon Segur, Pichon Baron, Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton, Grand Puy Lacoste
- Offer 5: St Emilion: Troplong, Le Dome, Moulin St George, Quinault Le Enclos, Clos Fourtet and more.
- Offer 6: Top Pomerol and St Julien
Bordeaux 2011 - report
One of the hottest summers ever recorded with little rain, lead to an extremely early but concentrated harvest. Yields were moderate to low, with some regions like St Estephe hit by heavy hail which reduced yields further. The grapes were therefore very small, and along with the good level of ripeness, the wines have ample acidity and tannin. It was far more difficult to taste at 6 months than the powerful 2010s or fruity 2009s at the same stage.
A commune with rustic, powerful tannins usually requiring a warmer vintage to produce its best. Slight dilution of a few wines doesn't hold up to the high tannin level, leading to a slight imbalance. It was great to see however, the more classical style back at Montrose and Cos.
Highlights of wines tasted: Montrose, Cos d’Estournel
Another consistent commune with structured, tannic wines and elegance. The lesser wines tend to be slightly dilute, but the top terroirs are very impressive.
Pontet Canet, Pichon Baron, Lynch Bages
The standout of the all the communes except for Pomerol. Each wine possessed more balance and finesse, showing the high quality St Julien has to offer.
Ducru Beaucaillou, Gruaud Larose.
Probably the most variable of the communes. Some are unbalanced with hard tannins, high acidity and lack of concentration. Highlights of wines tasted:
Margaux, Malsecot St Exupery, D’Issan
A small shining set of wines! The balance and definition is classically pomerol and seamless with few wines out of kilter. A commune to buy with confidence!
La Conseillant, Gazin
A mixed bag in this large commune. Some wines can be over-ripe and even port-like if picked too late. The best are mineral elegant and fine.
Ausone, Chapelle d’Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Clos Fourtet
Whites – a wonderful vintage for the whites in all Bordeaux, not only in Graves. There is majestic acidity, richness and structure without the fatness of 2007 or 2005. Expect them to age well for a decade or more.
Domaine de Chevalier, Larrivet Haut Brion
Reds – a good vintage with elegant wines. Some wines have hard tannins and a lean mid-palate making them dull and unbalanced. The top chateaux as ever have made wonderful wines with wonderful typicity and concentration.
Domaine de Chevalier, Smith Haut Lafitte, Haut Bailly, Carmes de Haut Brion
Blessed with ample acidity and lots of botrytis concentration, this is perhaps the commune of the vintage, comparable to the top vintages of 2007 or 2001.
Highlights of wines tasted: de Fargues, Rieussec, Guiraud, Coutet
Never have I tasted such high quality second wines from the top chateaux. Carefully selecting the wine for their grand cuvees, the second wines like Chapelle de Ausone and Pagodas de Cos for example are as good as 3rd growths! Where the prices are yet to inflate considerably, unlike the Petit Chevals and Carraudes de Lafite, the second wines hold the style and class of the top wines without perhaps the immense concentration.
35% of all the Cru Classe (the top chateaux of Bordeaux) was sold to the East in 2011. An increase from almost zero 6 years ago! This demand coupled with the great vintages of 2009 and 2010 has pushed the price of Bordeaux to new a ceiling. Prices of 2011 will need to decrease considerably in order for the vintage to be competitive. We expect prices to drop around 20%, perhaps more for the more expensive wines.
There is a fair variation in quality across the vintage, unlike the homogenous 2009 and 2010. Careful selection is therefore required.
This is a classic vintage that could be compared to that of 2001, 1996 or 1986; traditionally styled wines with a firm acidity and moderate alcohols. If the prices are reduced to around 2008 levels, it will provide an excellent buying opportunity
- Wines are sold in Rands at the current Rand/Euro exchange rate.
- Wines are sold exclusive VAT and shipping.
- Payment is required on invoice via EFT. Credit Card payments carry a 3.5% surcharge.
- Shipping (estimated at R20-R50 per bottle) and VAT on the wine is payable on landing in 2014
- The minimum order per wine is a 6-bottle case
A visit to Chateau Pichon Baron Longueville on a sunny day in late March