Sauternes & Barsac
With regard to Sauternes it looks an exquisite year at this early stage. The warm, dry September of the vintage enabled botrytis to spread easily and the resultant wines have a wonderful perfume, purity and freshness.
Acidity is on the low side but such is the clarity and precision in the wine that there is no sense of a cloying heaviness at all. Barsac seems to have fared particularly well but there are some lovely wines throughout Sauternes. (Alun Griffiths MW, BBR Wine Director)
Sauternes and Barsac 2011 - Neal Martin's Report
"... in 2011 Sauternes produced another crop of generally outstanding sweet wines that deserve attention...the real headline is that like 2007, Sauternes could turn out to be the star of the Bordeaux....
The superstars tend towards Barsac... Château Doisy Daëne and winemaker/magician Denis Dubourdieu produced a startling Barsac in 2011, suffused with so much vibrancy, minerality and joy that I could not help smiling. It should turn out to be one of the finest Bordeaux 2011s in terms of value, although hedonists among you can always opt for his deluxe L’Extravagant de Doisy Daëne, which has a precocious bouquet and yet is beautifully restrained and focused on the palate."
(Neal Martin - Same Old Sweet Song: Sauternes and Barsac 2011 - Wine Advocate - May 2012)
Bill Blatch - Sauternes 2011 Report : A Year of Opulence
"There seems to be no doubt in anybody’s minds, especially mine, that Sauternes is by far the best part of the Bordeaux 2011 vintage. The wines have superbly fresh acidity and beautiful fruit aromas yet also great sweet concentration and classic botrytis character, all totally in what we might call the modern style of great Sauternes.
As such, I find it a superb vintage, not quite at the absolute level of 2001, or of the sheer opulence of 2005 and 2009, but not far off, and, by its remarkable freshness, very different in style to any of these...
The alcohols are generally quite reserved and above all, the acidities are high, often over 4 g/l TA, not quite at the levels of the ‘01s but enough to give a great spark to the concentration. The fresh fruit flavours are very apparent, bringing floral and citrus flavours right to the fore, borne out by the slight sharpness of acidity.
There is something of dry white Graves in these flavours, all tensile and fresh, ...In my view, this gives a wonderful aromatic side to the wines but slightly detracts from the complexity and maybe prevents the 2011 from becoming a 9 or even 10 Gold Star vintage."
(Bill Blatch - Sauternes Barsac Specialist - BordeauxGold.com - April 2012)
Bordeaux 2011 En Primeur - Reports & Recommendations