This is a much better vintage than I thought it was before my trip to Bordeaux
and could turn out to be close in overall quality
to years such as the underrated 2001 and 2008.
However, if prices do not drop dramatically for the 2011 Bordeaux, I do not think there will be any fine “futures” wine market in the civilized world that will buy these wines for delivery in 2014.
It was not an easy growing season... and in many vineyards, specially in the Médoc, it was a race between getting the grapes adequately ripe and the sinister rot stampeding through the vineyards.
However, the last two weeks of September and October were dry months and beautiful – for grapes and people. Overall, 2011, in spite of the unusually cool, overcast months of July and August, turned out to be one of the hottest years France has had over the last half century.
stands out as the most consistent appellation
, but the prestigious appellations of the Médoc as well as the better St.-Emilion properties have all fared reasonably well in 2011.
The crop size is small compared to 2010 or 2009, so there is not a massive quantity of these wines available. The lower pedigree wines from the more humble appellations and satellite appellations around St.-Emilion are more variable in quality, as one might expect in a vintage where selection was critical.
The least consistent appellation, based on my tastings, was Graves/Pessac-Léognan, but that does not mean some top-notch wines weren’t produced there.
The bottom line is that it is hard to get emotionally pumped up over the 2011 vintage. To reiterate, the wines are better than expected.