En Primeur 2011 – RIP

A eulogy to a vintage in the wrong place at the wrong time

This week’s announcement that Chateau d’Yquem will not release their 2011 en-primeur is a strangely apt end to a sales campaign that seemed from the outset to be about as likely to reach great heights as Howard Hughes infamous “Spruce Goose”. This decision is a shame as Yquem was one of the best wines produced in the region in this vintage – at least they have admitted they didn’t want to sell any wine, while some others seemed to be employing a combination of unrealistic pricing and vacillation over release dates to achieve the same results. The deepening economic crisis that overtook us as we waited for the majority of producers to release only served to worsen the situation.

Tribute must be paid to those producers who bit the bullet and offered their wines at prices that excited the market. With wines as good as many of these are, reticence to slash prices is understandable. The underlying problem with the campaign was however that although many wines were of significant quality, it was always the market rather than the producers who would determine pricing. Bordeaux would almost have benefitted from a poor vintage in 2011 to help producers cut prices, unfortunately it was far from poor. In the circumstances it is not surprising that many have written off the vintage unfairly and there are a number of wines that have been overlooked – Thus I reprise them below, please do consider them seriously as there are some good wines still to be had.

David Allen MW

Pauillac
Pontet Canet £720
Lynch-Bages £750
d’Armailhac £325
Grand Puy Lacoste £415
Carruades de Lafite £1170

Margaux
Angludet £198
Margaux £3800
Pavillon Blanc £1030

St Julien
Talbot £280

Haut-Médoc
Sociando-Mallet £240

Pessac-Léognan
Brown £160
Dom de Chevalier red £325
La Mission Haut Brion £2300
Haut Brion £3800

Pomerol
La Fleur Pétrus £998

Saint-Emilion
La Serre, Grand Cru £270
Dassault, Grand Cru Classé £215

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About Coe Vintners Fine Wine

Coe Vintners Fine Wine is part of the Coe Group, one of the leading wine and spirit suppliers in the UK. An independent family business established in 1930, Coe Vintners will celebrate 85 years continuous trading in 2015.
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