We are adding David Allen MW’s observations live, these can be found below:
Wednesday 4th April – Our principal day in the Médoc, starting with us waiting outside Chateau Lafite for them to open at 9.00!
Day Three revealed many wonderful wines, the most successful being those producers who were careful to manage tannic extraction and moderated the vintage’s huge tannins. Lafite and Mouton Rothschild were both charming harmonious wines of high quality. Lynch-Bages, Cos d’Estournel and the two Pichons were all wonderful surprises. Montrose was a brooding wine that required time to show its magnificence but that will serve as a fitting final vintage for the great Jean-Bernard Delmas who retires as Gérant (Estate Manager) this year. The wines of Sociando Mallet were also impressive.
Tuesday 3rd April – The Half Way Point
After two days of tasting I am starting to form some conclusions about 2011…
Cabernet Franc appears to have shown well on the right bank with Cheval Blanc, Lafleur, Vieux Château Certan producing exquisite wines. There are some lovely Merlot based wines such as the aromatic, supple Ausone or the elegantly poised Pétrus.
A number of highly extracted wines made St Emilion difficult to taste. The rest of Pomerol left me largely unmoved.
Pessac-Léognan showed there are some elegant wines here such as Domaine de Chevalier and Smith Haut Lafitte, both these (and other properties) have produced some wonderful whites in 2011.
Thus far I’ve just tried the one Sauternes, Yquem which was very impressive.
For the next two days I’ll be concentrating on the Médoc and later Sauternes, in limited tastings so far of Pichon Lalande and Grand Puy Lacoste both are impressive, but there is so much more to see here before drawing any firm conclusions.
David’s thoughts ahead of this visit can be read here.