Tasting notes by David Allen MW, April 2012
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 aromas.
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 Ausone, Premier Grand Cru Classé A Saint-Emilion 2011
Deep, dark purple/red colour.
Brooding purple fruit aromas were masked by slight notes of reduction.
The palate displays a fabulous array of red fruits across a spectrum from redcurrant and raspberry, through plum and damson to loganberry – the wonderful fruit intensity was supported by a fine structure and balanced by fresh but not sharp acidity. The tannins are tight but silky and the alcohol is balanced. The finish is long and clean, showing lovely fruit. A compelling wine that is arguably the most immediately attractive wines of the vintage.
Château Figeac, Premier Grand Cru Classé B Saint-Emilion 2011
Opaque purple red colour that holds right to the rim.
The aromas are lifted and leafy with a classic Cabernet franc perfumed character.
Fresh, with dense, fine tannins and a pleasant green tannic grip. The wine has good acidity, balanced alcohol and good length.
Château Pavie, Premier Grand Cru Classé B Saint-Emilion 2011
Inky, opaque, purple-red colour.
Intense rich aromas of high ripeness red and black fruit with notes of meat and new oak. The palate has good fresh acidity. The wine has warm alcohol and lots of intense drying tannin that makes the dark intense black fruit seem quite savoury. This is a huge wine that could arguably be regarded as over-extracted. For a wine of its vast proportions and high ripeness it has surprisingly good balance. 14.5% alcohol
Château Troplong Mondot, Premier Grand Cru Classé B Saint-Emilion 2011
Dense, inky purple/black colour.
The aromas are of open ripe, rich, black fruit with some cedar notes.
The palate displays supple, ripe blackberry and black cherry fruit and fine cedary tannins. There is lovely acidity, round soft fruit. This is a lovely long fresh wine with baked notes and warm alcohol on the finish. This is a big, rich, intense wine with surprising balance. 15% alcohol
Château Beauséjour-Bécot, Premier Grand Cru Classé-B, Saint-Emilion
A deep, dark, impenetrable, ruby-red/purple colour.
The aromas are an attractive combination of lifted, ripe red and black fruits with some sweet oak spice notes.
The palate is savoury with supple tannins and fresh, open fruit character. The tannins show some grip at the finish leaving it drying and savoury with a slight alcohol warmth rounding out the finish. An attractive wine relying more on balance than concentration.
Château La Serre, Grand Cru Classé Saint-Emilion 2011
Medium purple red colour.
Clean new oak and vivid red fruit aromas.
The palate is bursting with red fruits that give way to more savoury, gripping, tannic notes. Slightly warm alcohol contributes to the wine’s richness and roundness. The tannins are very fine and rthe finish is soft and ripe. This is a nicely balanced modern St Emilion that seems set to offer good value drinking.
Château La Tour Figeac, Grand Cru Classé Saint-Emilion 2011
Medium to deep purple red colour.
Vibrant, vivid, red fruit aromas.
The wine has a lovely fresh acidity and a balanced to warm alcohol. The lovely clean fruit is supported by lots of fine pip tannins, making the long finish a blend of red fruit flavours and savoury tannins.
Château Quinault l’Enclos, Grand Cru Saint-Emilion 2011
Deep, dark purple colour.
The aromas are red fruit dominated with damson and savoury cherry fruit.
The palate is savoury and rich with plenty of very smooth tannins and well married oak. The tannins have a velvety texture but also good grip, developing to a fair bite by the finish. The acidity is fresh and the alcohol balanced to warm. The finish has a touch of alcohol warmth and a good length of fresh red fruit.
70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon