2011 Bordeaux Vintage Report by Professor Denis
- 19th March 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -
annual trip to Bordeaux for the 2011 En Primeur
tastings around the corner we will be switching our
focus onto this year’s wines over the next few
weeks. The selling season is expected to start a lot
sooner than the previous two vintages, with rumours
of the first release of first growths due in mid to
late April. This will be welcome news for negociants,
merchants and collectors alike that were frustrated
with the long and drawn out en primeur seasons of
2009 and 2010.
We are pleased to present to our clients for
download the 2011 vintage report by Professor Denis
Dubourdieu is all at once a scientist, a vineyard
owner and a wine maker. Educated as an agronomist,
an Śnology Professor at the University of Bordeaux
since 1987, he has concentrated his research studies
on yeasts, aromas and colloids.
He is considered as one of the top specialist in the
winemaking process and the ageing of white wines.
Nevertheless the work of his team has also greatly
contributed to deepening our knowledge of red wines
Simultaneously, Denis Dubourdieu runs the family
vineyards. He is also a consultant to numerous wine
producers in France and abroad such as Cheval Blanc
and Haut-Bailly.’ Courtesy of
HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE REPORT PDF
Summary of Vintage Report:
conditions in 2011 were abnormal and made it a
difficult vintage to predict. The strange weather
allowed for some excellent dry white wines as well
as some very good Sauternes and Barsacs. The reds,
whilst not homogenous, produced varied results but
there were still some magnificent wines produced on
both banks despite the unevenness.
flowering in Mid-May, induced by summerlike temperatures in
The first two
conditions that determine the quality of a good red wine vintage
in Bordeaux, i.e. quick, early flowering and the beginning of
water stress at fruit set thanks to hot, dry weather, were fully
met by mid-June.
Whole grape bunches
were burnt by 40 °C temperatures in late June – Cabernet
Sauvignon suffered the heaviest losses.
occurred two weeks ahead of time in line with early flowering.
ripening of red wine grapes during a slightly warmer than
average, but much rainier month of August than usual, followed
by a particularly hot, dry September.
Full ripening of the
various varieties thanks to sufficiently dry months of August
and September, but without excessive heat, was only partially
An early but
from early ripening because of a warm spring rather than a hot
summer, the cool ripening period allowing for beautiful acidity
and bright aromatics.
Merlot grapes from
clay and limestone are impressive, but those from gravel soils,
sandy or silt soil were not as good.
The majority of
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are of very good quality but volumes
were unfortunately low.
Sweet white wines
experienced a burst of noble rot which is very rare.
Denis Dubordieu believes the 2011 vintage has
produced ‘Astonishing dry white wines, less
even quality for red wines than in 2009 or 2010, but
many excellent and great Sauternes and Barsac.’
If you would like to find out more about En Primeur
or the 2011 vintage please get in touch today with
one of our team on 020 8332 9386.