David Allen MW, Coe Vintners’ man in Bordeaux this April, posts his tasting notes and scores here as he visits the châteaux and producers.
This will be updated regularly throughout the visit
Château Cheval Blanc, 1er Grand Cru Classé A, Saint-Emilion 2011
Opaque, inky purple red colour which stayed dark right to the rim.
The aromas are a deep, brooding collection of dark fruits framed by fine cedary oak.
There are plenty of very fine firm tannins, lovely fresh acidity. Alcohol is in balance. The black fruit and black olive flavours are long and the wine superbly elegant and harmonious. The finish is clean and has a wonderful savoury nature. 13.5% Alcohol
52% Cabernet Franc, 48% Merlot
Château Pétrus, Pomerol 2011
The wine is a dark purple red, that is not quite opaque.
The aromas are predominantly quite savoury with notes of blackberry, boysenberry, damson, bullace and black olive.
The wine is beautifully fresh and the alcohol balanced to give just a slight hint of warmth at the finish. On the palate the fruit has a red fruit edge with mulberry and damson. The tannic structure is very fine, the plentiful oak is well handled, adding toasty drying notes. The finish is fabulously long with lifted vanilla freshness at the end.
Château d’Yquem, 1er Cru Supérieur, Sauternes 2011
Translucent medium lemon yellow colour
Pronounced, complex vivid aromas of fresh apricot, mango, pineapple, mandarin and fragrant liquid honey.
The palate is very sweet (145g/ltr sugar) and has fresh acidity. Again the fabulous array of mango, pineapple were displayed on the palate, where they were augmented by note of honeysuckle and marzipan. The finish possessed wonderful length. 13.5% alcohol
Château Haut-Brion, 1er Grand Cru Classé, Pessac-Léognan 2011
Deep, dark, purple red colour – the wine is not quite opaque.
The aromas are tight and restrained, their nature is a mulberry fruit framed by clean new oak.
The palate has very tight tannins. A rich warm red fruit (mulberry) and fine new oak are well knit. The wine has a little alcohol warmth that adds a touch of richness to the fruit. The acidity is balanced but is sufficient to give a juicy character. The wine is very dense, yet its tannins are very fine. Behind this dense structure appears to be plenty of rich, ripe, mulberry fruit. The wine has a long finish, taking time to reveal its fruit. 13.3% alc
Château Lafite-Rothschild, 1er Cru Classe, Pauillac 2011
Opaque purple red colour that holds right to the rim.
Very fresh acidity with wonderfully fine tannins – chalky fine. The fruit has a classic cassis note, rounded a little on the mid palate by mulberry and red plum notes. The cedary oak is beautifully integrated. The finish is seamless despite plentiful fine drying tannins. The wine is very smooth, seamless and fresh on the finish. The alcohol is surprisingly low at 12.8% . The wine is very fine and wonderfully harmonious. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot
Mouton-Rothschild, 1er Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac 2011
Deep dark, almost opaque ruby red colour.
The aromas are restrained cedar, mulberry and a little vanilla.
The palate has plush tannins that are simultaneously silky smooth and gripping. Good acidity provides cassis like bite. The wine has a lovely density and classic savoury tannins. There are ripe black fruit notes that are well integrated with toasty oak. The acidity is fresh but not sharp thus the wine lasts superbly, finishing with a pleasant alcohol richness. 13.2% alc 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc
Grand-Puy-Lacoste, 5eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac 2011
The wine has lovely clean red fruit aromas that manage to be pronounced but not powerful. The aromas have a pure, lifted redcurrant character.
On the palate, redcurrants combine with notes of raspberry, vanilla, cocoa butter and fine, cedary oak. The tannins have good grip but are not astringent. The wine has fresh acidity the alcohol is balance and as a result the finish is long with a lovely fresh fruit character.
All tasting notes and scores by David Allen MW – reuse is not permitted without permission