Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Don't Neglect Bordeaux Vintage 2011

A few weeks ago, I read a New York Times review of French wines now coming to market, and was rather miffed to see that the critic completely ignored Bordeaux. That's mainly because I live in Bordeaux; nevertheless, I began to wonder if my adopted region was falling behind Burgundy, and if so why. Maybe the excellent Pinot Noirs from the US West are leading more Americans to try their ancestors from Burgundy. Or maybe the wine critic just didn't have enough of a budget to cover both sides of France.

Be that as it may, I decided to stay on the lookout for medium priced 2011 Bordeaux, which I expected to be showing up in our supermarket. I rather thought they would be good because spring last year was precociously hot and dry, which I knew would favor the Merlots. And fortunately, the summer of 2011 was not especially hot, which should enable wine makers to avoid the high alcohol percentages that I don't much care for.

I didn't have long to wait. One day last week, I discovered a bottle of Chateau du Bos, a 2011 Graves at 12.5%, which is usually the right percentage for me. It was a miracle at less than five Euros the bottle: round, full, and fruity, with little acidity, it was a perfect table wine. I say "was" because I was not the only one to discover it. When I went back, I grabbed the last three bottles, and fervently hope they can restock. There was not much tannin, so I'm not sure this would be a keeper or that it would ship well, but it bodes well for those which will be coming out of oak a little later. 

On the other hand, a few days later I tried a 2011 Côtes de Blaye at 13% which was drinkable, but a bit "piquant". I was disappointed, because these were quite good a few years back. Nevertheless, I remain optimistic.

My guess is that the Saint Emilions will be better than ever, because they usually have a higher proportion of Merlot than the other Bordeaux. They reach their peak sooner, too, so you won't have to wait so long to drink them. I'll let you know if anything else turns up.

Posted via email from FRauncher's posterous