Tasting notes by David Allen MW, April 2012
Château Haut-Brion, 1er Grand Cru Classé de Graves, 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 alcoholic 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
La Mission Haut-Brion, Grand Cru Classé de Graves, Pessac-Léognan 2011
Deep dark purple red to black colour the wine is more or less opaque.
The aromas appear ripe and warm but are closed and slightly dusty.
The palate displays vivid damson and mulberry fruit overlaid with creamy vanilla and fine cedar aromas. The wine is firm and full with beautiful clean new oak. The wine has fine velvety tannins and incredible density. Acidity is balanced and the alcohol is just a shade warm on the finish. The wine initially shows intense new oak, its dense tannins are surprisingly supple and with time it displays rich fruit on the finish. The wine is tight and introverted but has good length and may well develop superbly. Currently it is not very approachable. 13.5% alc
Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, Grand Cru Classé de Graves, Pessac-Léognan 2011
The wine is a clear pale green/yellow colour.
Aromas are restrained mineral fruit and touches of salty oak.
The palate has powerful fruit and plenty of new oak. The wine is medium bodied but has the potential to flesh out further. Initially the oak appeared a little salty, but resolved itself with fresh tropical fruit on a wonderful long finish. Acid ia balanced and alcohol is balanced to warm.
Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Grand Cru Classé de Graves, Pessac-Léognan 2011
Deep purple black in colour.
Aromas are restrained, demonstrating fresh fruit then savoury notes.
A subtle, harmonious, concentrated, mid-weight, aromatic and balanced wine with fresh cassis and plum fruit and fine tannins. Fresh acidity and balanced alcohol ensure the wine has a long clean finish – this is a lesson in balance.
Smith Haut Lafitte White, Pessac-Léognan 2011
This is a pale greenish yellow colour.
The rich fruit aromas are restrained with notes of marzipan.
The palate is full-bodied,with beautiful rich fruit countrerpointing herbaceous touches. There is a lot of clean but well intergrated new oak and some creaminess on the palate The wine’s acidity is balanced and the alcohol is just a touch warm, resulting in a long, rich finish.
Smith Haut Lafitte Red, Grand Cru Classé de Graves, Pessac-Léognan 2011
Deep, dark, purple/red colour, but not quite opaque.
The aromas are predominantly of new oak, chocolate and vanilla with a hint of dark fruit.
The wine shows fresh acidity and dark cherry fruit with cocoa and cedar touches. The tannins are fine and assertive, closing up the fruit slightly. The alcohol is balanced and as a result the fruit flavours and gripping tannins last well on the finish. This is more a wine of balance and less a wine of power that this estate has produced for a couple of vintages, it is a lovely harmonious effort.
Domaine de la Solitude Blanc, Pessac-Léognan 2011
Clear pale green/yellow in colour.
Aromas are clean, a touch waxy with restrained grassy fruit and a mineral edge.
The palate has a lovely depth of flavour, but is lighter than the Domaine de Chevalier, making the clean new oak more obvious. The wine finishes with fair crispness, balanced alcohol and a long fresh finish.
Domaine de la Solitude Rouge, Pessac-Léognan 2011
Medium to deep purple red colour.
Aromas are quite closed black fruit overlaid with dusty oak notes.
A restrained elegant claret with balanced alcohol and acidity. The fruit character is elegant blackcurrant, dark cherry and olive. There are plenty of fine tannins that give a slight green bite that lends grip to the long finish.
Chateau Brown Rouge, Pessac-Leognan 2011
The dark, inky, purple/red colour is almost opaque.
Vivid, ripe mulberry, cassis and blackberry fruit and lifted violet aromas are impressive.
The palate is displays clean fruit and plentiful supple tannins. The wine has balanced alcohol and fresh acidity. The finish has a lovely bitter liquorice bite and good freshness.