2011 Bordeaux Presales

"Tasting through the 2011s was not easy. While there is a shortage of truly profound, world-class offerings in 2009 and 2010, there is a lot of fine wine. Moreover, this is the type of vintage where the producers should price low and sell as quickly as possible, giving consumers something to get excited about. Everyone in the wine trade would earn some money, and blow out the wines at reasonable price points we haven't seen since the 2008s. But don’t count on that happening. With the 2010s largely frozen in place as the whole world is cleaning up what's left from the great 2009s (see Issue 199), the 2011s are largely going to bomb as 'wine futures' unless the prices are dramatically decreased. My instincts suggest this is just not in the cards, at least the cards they play in Bordeaux.

"Most of the wines will be drinkable in the next 5-15 years. Pomerol stands out as the most consistent appellation, but the prestigious appellations of the Médoc as well as the better St.-Emilion properties have all fared reasonably well in 2011. The crop size is small compared to 2010 or 2009, so there is not a massive quantity of these wines available. The lower pedigree wines from the more humble appellations and satellite appellations around St.-Emilion are more variable in quality, as one might expect in a vintage where selection was critical. The least consistent appellation, based on my tastings, was Graves/Pessac-Léognan, but that does not mean some top-notch wines weren't produced there." —Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

"The 2011 vintage is shaping up as one of freshness and purity for the region's reds, with brighter acidity and markedly lower alcohol than 2009 and 2010, two highly touted vintages. 2011 won't be a classic vin de garde year by any stretch, and it seems to be in a similar vein to the 2001 vintage, which has come on nicely after 10 years of cellaring, and is now offering lovely, mature wines." —James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

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