Showing posts from April, 2012

Bordeaux 2011 recommendations

When discussing fine Bordeaux it is common to talk about vintages. Which vintage to buy, and which one to avoid. I don't like that approach. The difference between vintages is one of the exciting aspects of wine. Isn't the most fascinating thing about wine - as opposed to most other products - that virtually every bottle is different? If you're not into that, why bother dealing with French wines? In hot climates you may find 'great' vintages that are lined up one after another. There the sun always shines, and the irrigation drips... Boring. In 2010 I already wrote something about an 'off-vintage', and what to do with it. See here if you're interested:  Château Giscours 2007 . Instead of just focusing on vintages I rather focus on producers, as is more common in Burgundy. When I look at the list of Bordeaux 2011 wines that I recommend, it is apparent that there is overlap with my 2010 recommendations  from last year. And that's no coinciden

Bordeaux 2011 - vintage character

In april 2011, when we were cruising the Bordeaux Rocade with temperatures hitting 30 degrees Celsius, we joked about the birth of yet another vintage of the century. One year later it is clear: Bordeaux 2011 is not another stellar vintage. Thank God. Or better: thanks weather gods. The result of the summery spring was that Bordeaux 2011 was an exceptionally early vintage: budding was exceptionally early, flowering was, and eventually harvest was early. So far so good. The extreme drought. That was the main problem for Bordeaux 2011. The 2011 samples of Cheval Blanc and Petit Cheval in the impressive new barrel room of Château Cheval Blanc The winter had already been quite dry, so at the beginning of the growing season the water reserves were low. And after the warm and dry spring, a hot and dry June followed. By that time many vines got stressed, that is suffered from water stress: development and phenolic ripening of the grapes got blocked. The main activity of the vine