Bordeaux 2011 – Day One

5am check in a Luton wasn’t much fun but arriving to a sunny Bordeaux and the usual excellent Ulysse Lay & Wheeler Bordeaux 2001 tastingsCazabonne tasting was. This incredibly well connected negociant always gets a comprehensive range of samples; all freshly drawn, so we tried to cover ground we won’t have time to elsewhere.

It would be fair to say that right bank seems stronger than left, with clay and limestone Merlot working well and some great Cabernet Franc. Also some good surprises from less ambitious but sure to be good value wines and an interesting line up of Medocs who have already pre-released prices, including the excellent Beaumont… Left bank more uneven with some drying tannins and a few winemakers saying the wines have taken on a lot of oxygen over the cold winter, so it is too early to taste them. Some good aromatics which reminded me of 08 and lots of frame, just not the flesh of 09 or 10. If prices are right there will be some good buys. John Kolassa said Leoville Barton is one of his wines of the vintage. It tasted great and will be fascinating to see in a wider context on Tuesday at the UGC.

First growths and super seconds all day tomorrow…

Nick Dagley

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