Bordeaux 2011 – En Primeur week 2nd-6th April
- 29th March 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -
After what has been both a positive and hectic start
to the year, we already find ourselves at the end of
March. Next Monday we are making our annual trip
across the channel to Bordeaux for the En Primeur
2011 tastings. Having seen such widespread acclaim
cast over both the 2009 and 2010 vintages, early
murmurs surrounding the 2011 offering suggest a more
difficult year for the winemakers.
Please find attached a copy of our schedule for the
week, as you can see there will be no rest for the
wicked. We have arranged private tastings at 24
Chateaux as well as 5 UGC visits. It all looks set
to be another fantastic trip and a big thank you in
advance to Tom Turner, who having done such a
sterling job last year will once again be designated
driver for the week.
Critics Corner 2011:
the Bordeaux Chateaux will be welcoming wine
professionals from all over the world with open arms
next week, the vintage has already been placed under
the microscopic noses & palates of the vast majority
of prominent critics. Some critic scores for
Bordeaux’s newest vintage are expected to be
released next week, but a handful of world’s most
highly acclaimed critics have already summarised
their initial thoughts on the vintage.
Robert Parker Jnr:
After initially tweeting that he ‘had no interest in
the 2011 vintage’ prior to tasting in Bordeaux,
Parker returned stating that ‘2011 was better than
expected…close to 2001 & 2008 in overall quality’.
Parker confirmed what is best described as a
‘winemakers’ vintage, affirming that the vintage was
‘very rewarding for those that got it right’, paying
particular reference to Pomerol and Medoc’s biggest
There is no doubt that this has been an
uncomfortable vintage for the wine makers and Parker
fears that the vintage could be another
rollercoaster ride for consumers and trade.
Even with an ‘upside down growing season’, Suckling
seems surprisingly impressed by the 2011s, stating
that whilst there will be very few 100 pointers he
envisages ‘a handful of wines will be 95pts or
more’. Suckling also lavished praise on the Bordeaux
winemakers, crediting ‘meticulous vineyard
management and precise harvesting’ for producing
‘racy reds with pretty perfumes’ and ‘exceptional’
whites both dry and sweet, with noteworthy
admiration of La Mission Haut Brion Blanc, d’Yquem &
The main concern for Suckling and many other market
commentators is pricing & he feels that releases at
20/30% of current 2008 prices could potentially
ensure that the 2011s sell through.
Molesworth like Suckling has indicated that some
Chateaux owners will potentially release their wines
at 40/50% of 2010 prices which would revive U.S.
interest in Bordeaux, whilst other Chateaux could
rely on Asian demand to stabilise rather than reduce
Jeannie Cho Lee:
Jeannie’s full tasting notes and scores will not be
published until 1st April but her initial
impressions of the ‘challenging’ vintage seem to
echo those of Suckling and Parker. Jeannie like
Parker was particularly impressed by the consistency
of the Pomerol wines and ‘even the 2nd wines of the
Grand Vin’, and seems equally impressed as Suckling
by the whites of Bordeaux 2011 vintage.
As always, you can follow our daily movements and
initial thoughts via twitter
@CultwinesUK and by using the #bdx11 keep
up to date with the latest news.
You can also expect a full report to be published
upon our return as well as our unique vintage
comparison chart and expert advice.
If you have any specific requests or would like to
submit a wish list then please do so.