En Primeur 2011 – Margaux, Latour, Palmer, Pontet Canet and Sauternes Revisited, Cru Bourgeois

Another full day of tasting where I managed to re-taste both Palmer, Latour, Margaux and the wines from Sauternes and Barsac. For those of you who are wondering why I retrace my footsteps it is because barrel samples can vary and these are young wines that are a ‘work in progress.’

Once again I thought that Pavillon Rouge and Pavillon Blanc showed very well with and had a lot of promise. Margaux itself was also more expressive. The same can be said of Palmer where I found the Grand Vin and Alter Ego to be more expressive than on my previous tasting.

I was yet again impressed by Les Forts de Latour and Latour itself showed more promise – having said that the Grand Vin is going to take a long time before it reaches the stage where it will be at its peak for drinking.

Because I was so impressed with the Sauternes and Barsac I revisited Kirwan and re-tasted the majority again and my initial thoughts remain with me as to how exceptionally well these two appellations have done this year. The more I think about Sauternes and Barsac the more I feel that these wines are so very underestimated – we Brits tend to think of them as ‘pudding wines’ whereas in reality they are far more versatile than we give them credit for.

I had lunch at Pontet Canet where I re-tasted the wine and confirmed my thoughts that it was well balanced and certainly more opulent than a lot of other wines, but not to the degree it has been in previous years. However I still think it will become a very nice wine.

At d’Arsac I tasted the Cru Bourgeois and on a general note some of these wines arguably showed more promise than some of their bigger cousins in the Grand Cru Classé. The wine I always look for in particular – Cissac – showed some promise. Earwigging to some of the chatter going on around me I believe a number of people are trying to hype this vintage up for whatever reason but personally I can only speak as I find. From what I have come across so far it is a pretty mediocre vintage other than the exceptions I have noted.  This in no way denigrates the efforts Bordelaise wine makers have gone to as the weather is responsible for handing them a very difficult year to deal with.

I will be re-tasting the Right Bank and hope to see if there are any surprises over there.

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