2011 – Excitement Builds


Following a remarkably pleasant flight (and a particularly enjoyable glass of wine at the airport) we have landed in Bordeaux and can’t wait to start tasting the wines of 2011.

Our schedule is remarkably similar to previous years (if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it), so all of the eager anticipation that’s been building during the course of the last few months will finally be released on the Right Bank tomorrow morning. We have a busy diary as usual in St Emillion, starting at Ch. Figeac and Ch. Angélus before moving onto Ch. Ausone and Ch. Cheval Blanc among others in the afternoon.

Everyone is excited, of course, at the prospect of a fantastic week tasting some of the most famous wines in the world, but the most appropriate words to describe the mood of the team as we make our way from the airport to our base in Margaux are intrigued, interested and fascinated. Very little has been written about this vintage so far and the main reason is that it is very hard to generalise about it. Bordeaux is a very large area and just about everything has been thrown at it during the growing season. It has not been the hottest, driest or coldest vintage on record and the wines are likely to be a mixed bag as a result. We haven’t had the chance to taste any 2011s as yet, but early indications suggest that those who have produced gems will be similar to 1996 in terms of style, but even those who haven’t made wines of blockbuster appeal will not be bad – considering the advances made in winemaking technology during recent years. The good news is that this 2011 vintage is likely to have produced lovely drinking Bordeaux to fill up your cellars, with those that bought 2002, 2004 and 2008 aware of what great value these wines are and of course how delicious they are.

2011 does not look like being a winemakers’ vintage, rather a wine merchants’ vintage, where consumers will have to rely heavily on their merchants to secure the right advice and the right wines. We hope to answer many questions, create best buy lists and start to offer the best advice where we can throughout the course of this week where we visit the likes of Ch. Palmer and Ch. Margaux on Tuesday, Ch. Lynch Bages and Ch. Latour in Pauillac on Wednesday, Ch. Lafite Rothschild, Ch. Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac and Ch. Léoville-Poyferré in St Julien on Thursday and draws to a close tasting the wines of Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. Haut-Bailly and Domaine de Chevalier on the Left Bank in Péssac-Leognan on Friday.

Look out for our daily blogs and for up-to-the-minute tasting snippets and thoughts from the team, follow us and Simon Staples, our Fine Wine Director, on Twitter @BerryBrosRudd @BigSiTheWineGuy.