Tasting notes by David Allen MW, April 2012
Château Lafite-Rothschild, 1er Cru Classé, 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
Château 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 alcoholic richness. 13.2% alc 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc
Carruades de Lafite, Pauillac 2011
Virtually opaque purple red colour holding right to the rim.
The aromas are rich mulberry fruit with a little cedar.
The palate has fine cedary tannins and some typical Pauillac cassis-leaf notes. There is initially a nice cassis bite to the fruit that gives way to plumy, rich red fruit by the finish. The acidity is fresh, alcohol is balanced and as a result the finish has a fair length.
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3.5% Cabernet Franc & 2.5% Petit Verdot
Château Pichon-Comtesse, 2eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac 2011
Deep dark opaque purple red colour.
Lovely cassis and ripe black fruit aromas.
The palate has very fresh cassis and blackcurrant fruit, framed by cedary tannins. The tannins are very fine and plentiful. The wine has a good depth of flavour and lasts well. The acidity is fresh and lifts the fruit well. The alcohol is balanced.
Château Pichon-Baron, 2eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac 2011
Medium to deep purple ruby colour.
The aromas are well defined cassis, ripe redcurrant and clean toasty new oak.
Initially the tannins are quite astringent but notes of strawberries, vanilla and clean oak gradually open on the palate until only a touch of tannic green bite remained at the finish. The alcohol is balanced and the acidity leaves the finish long and fresh with flavours of cocoa butter, black fruit, vanilla and cedar. Develops beautifully over time.
82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot
Château Duhart-Milon, 4eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac 2011
Virtually opaque purple red colour.
The aromas are rich and meaty with cedar notes.
The palate has quite aggressive drying tannins, there is certainly plenty of cedary grip on the mid palate. Excellent fresh acidity allows cassis and damson fruit to reveal themselves on the long finish. Alcohol is balanced. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot
Château Clerc-Milon, 5eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac 2011
The colour is a deeply pigmented, medium intensity of ruby red.
The aromas are rich fruit with mulberry and cassis character.
The palate has warmth and richness with big, rounded tannins and fleshy, soft red-fruit character. The alcohol is a touch high and the acidity is soft, the flavours last well, though the finish is a little warm.
Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, 5eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac 2011
Medium to deep ruby red colour with a purple rim.
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 without being astringent, they are firm without being supple. The wine has fresh acidity, the alcohol is balance and as a result the finish is long with a lovely fresh fruit character.
Château Lynch-Bages, 5eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac 2011
Opaque, inky, purple/black colour.
The nose is bursting with a complex array of vibrant black fruits ranging from black cherry through boysenberry and cassis to a redcurrant hint and sweet oak spices.
The palate has lovely fresh acidity, plentiful firm tannins and clean cassis fruit. The tannins are firm and drying but the alcohol is balanced and the flavours are persistent, allowing the vibrant cassis fruit to reassert itself at the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon 72%, Merlot 23%, Cabernet Franc 3%, Petit Verdot 2%
Château Pontet-Canet, 5eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac 2011
Deep dark purple red colour, virtually opaque.
Rich and powerful aromas of dark fruits, cocoa butter, smoke and cloves are overlaid by classic notes of pencil shavings and dust.
There are plentiful, fine drying tannins, a little alcohol warmth and a touch of cedar and sweet spice from new oak. The acidity is balanced to give life to the fruit which displays a spectrum of flavours from black cherries and blackberry to ripe mulberry. The tannins are drying, but are smooth at the finish which is very long and continues to show fresh black fruit and black olive notes to the end.
Château d’Armailhac, 5eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac 2011
Medium to deep ruby to purple red colour.
Aromas are very restrained with dusty and smoky notes.
The wine is sophisticated and elegant rather than highly concentrated. The palate is mouth-wateringly fresh with fine, silky tannins and elegant fruit. The cedary new oak is seamlessly integrated and refined. The fruit displays itself as redcurrants and cassis. Acidity is fresh and the alcohol balanced, resulting in a long finish with lifted fruit aromas.
57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot