On Monday afternoon the Union de Grands Crus de Bordeaux held their annual tasting of the newest Bordeaux vintage to be released, in this case the 2011’s. I think this is one of the best tastings of the year to have the opportunity to try so many Grand Cru Bordeaux in one place and to get a handle on how the current vintage is tasting. The event was held at the Waldof-Astoria hotel which is always a nice venue to have a tasting.
I did some researce into the 2011 vintage and the consensuses is that it was not one of the better years and certainly not as good as 2009 and 2010. The Wine Spectator in it’s evaluating said to “pick and choose” amoung the better estates. After the tasting I have to agree. In a so-so vintage as 2011 I was expecting wines to be hard as nails, instead I tasted a lot of feminine, elegant wines with beautiful aromas from some of the top producers, though they still needed some more time in the bottle to smooth out the rough edges. The lower tier wines didn’t do as well.
Chateau Batailley. Medium red with a beautiful nose of warm mushroom and was concentrated with tight acids on the finish.
Chateau Lynch-Bages. Medium red with a beautiful nose of pencil shavings and tar with tight and dusty fruit and very accessible.
Chateau Pichon-Longuevelle. Medium to dark red in color with tar and pencil shavings on the nose with silky tannins but the fruit lightened up at the end with notes of bitter almond on the finish. A little unbalanced.
Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtese De Lalande. Medium to dark red with a nose of warm black licorice and was concentrated and chunky with moderate tannin and finishing a bit short.
Chateau Lynch-Moussas. Clear, medium dark with a big perfume of roses and dark chocolate, tight with firm acids.
Chateau Clerc Milon. Medium red clear with a nice perfume of pencil shavings and black cherry with moderate black cherry notes on the fruit with a firm finish.
Chateau Grand-Guy-Lacoste. Medium dark in color with a nose of sweet cherry and tar with tight black cherry notes on the tart fruit.
Chateau Leoville Poyferre. Dark red to black in color with a big perfume of black cherry and was chunky with firm, dusty tannins on the finish.
Chateau Talbot. Medium to dark red with a warm dusty nose of herbs and red candy and was tight and concentrated with moderate tannin at the end.
Chateau Leoville Barton. Medium red with a big perfume of dark roses and mint.
Chateau Gruaud Larose. Medium red with toasty oak and crushed black fruit on the nose and was very tight with citrus acids on the finish.
Chateau Beychevelle. Medium red with a perfume of dried mushroom with moderate fruit with big acids at the finish. I thought it was unbalanced at the end.
Chateau Branaire-Ducru. Medium to dark red with a nose of warm forest floor and some toastiness with oak flavors on the fruit with moderate tannin and acid.
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2011
Chateau Canon-la-Gaffeliere. Medium dark in color with a nose of warm black cherry and cigar-box and was chewy and chunky with a firm but balanced finish. Very nice.
Chateau-Figeac. Medium red with a toasty nose, tight and concentrated with dusty tannins on the finish.
Chateau Grand Mayne. Dark red to black in color with a nose of violets and red roses with silky, firm tannins on the balanced finish.
Clos Fourtet. Dark red to black in color with ripe vegetable notes on the nose and was tight with sour cherry tartness on the finish.
Chateau Brane-Cantenac. Medium red with a closed nose of roasted coffee, thin green fruit with a big hit of tannin at the end.
Chateau Giscours. Dark red to black in color with barnyard and black cherry on the nose with a big hit of tannin on the finish.
Chateau Cantenac Brown. Medium dark with toasty oak and mint on the nose and was tight with light and toasty notes on the fruit.
Chateau Malescot. Dark red to black with a nose of dried herbs and toasted oak and was concentrated and chewy with toasty notes on the finish and was firm but accessible.
Chateau Lascombes. Dark red to black with a nose of dirty diapers, black cherry and toasted oak, was chunky and concentrated with silky, mouth filling tannin at the finish.
Chateau Prieure Lichine. Dark red with a nose of warm dried herbs and dark berries and was concentrated and chunky with some tartness at the finish but not a bad glass.
Chateau Gazin. Medium to dark red with a stinky nose that blew off as the wine sat in the glass followed by black cherry notes on the nose and was chewy with pencil shavings on the finish with firm tannin and low acids. I thought the finish dropped a bit at the end.
Chateau Le Bon Pasteur. Medium red with roasted meat and coffee on the nose.
Chateau Phelan-Segur. Medium red with mushroom and black licorice on the nose and was chewy and silky with black licorice notes on the finish, good balance and a long finish.