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  • Julia Harding MW
Written by
  • Julia Harding MW
17 Apr 2012
 

See our Bordeaux 2011 guide and several threads about the Bordeaux en primeur business in our Members' forum

  • Ch d'Armailhac 2011 Pauillac

    57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Dark velvety crimson. Cedary cassis and oak spice. Marked freshness, lightish on the palate, delicate, elegant and finishes fresh and lively. Finesse on the tannin front. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2028
    17
  • Ch Batailley 2011 Pauillac

    Darkest cherry crimson. Restrained spicy dark fruit. Sweeter and more chocolatey on the palate, both in flavour and texture. Supple savour from the tannins. Harmonious in a restrained style. Refined tannins. Moreish finish. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2030
    16.5
  • Ch Clerc Milon 2011 Pauillac

    54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Carmenère. Sweet, creamy, oaky, spicy nose, hint of coffee. Fresh and spicy on the palate too and a little cedary. Not the same freshness as the Armailhac, though it is fresh, but very silky tannins, seems you could almost drink it now. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2026
    16.5
  • Ch Croizet-Bages 2011 Pauillac

    Rich, deep crimson. Sweet black cherry and sweet char. Surprisingly dry on the palate after the richness of the nose. Powdery but dense tannins. Nice freshness. Lots of energy even with the rather dry tannins. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2030
    16.5
  • Ch Duhart-Milon 2011 Pauillac

    75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot. Inky with black core. Sweeter smelling than the Carruades. Light oak spice. Then cedary and so silky on the palate. Just glides though there's plenty of tannin there. Creamy long finish. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2030
    17
  • Ch Grand-Puy Ducasse 2011 Pauillac

    Dark cherry red, black core. Quiet on the nose, hint of oak sweetness, ripe cassis just showing through. Rich and dense and very sweet on the palate, both fruit and vanilla sweetness though fresh, too. Quite distinctive in this line up. Firm grip gives a pretty abrupt finish though maybe the tannins will ease up and allow the fruit through? (JH)

    Drink 2019-2028
    16
  • Ch Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Lacoste Borie 2011 Pauillac

    55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Quite dark on the palate, savoury but also a bit leafy. Slightly lean on the palate though the tannins are fluid and the finish fresh. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2022
    16
  • Ch Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2011 Pauillac

    78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot. 75% new oak. Deep crimson. Fresh, cedary cassis. Cool, supple and again refreshing. Pretty light but well balanced within that context. 17 for harmony, minus for levity. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2028
    17-
  • Ch Haut-Bages Libéral 2011 Pauillac

    Dark black cherry colour. Really sweet blackcurrant and blueberry fruit, and a roasted note, dark chocolate. Unexpectedly silky and fluid on the palate though there's still a marked oak char on the finish. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2029
    16.5
  • Ch Haut-Batailley 2011 Pauillac

    72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, on deep coarse gravel. 60% new oak. Deep crimson. Fresh, leafy but not green. Refreshing and lively, even at the end of a long day's tasting. Lightish, fresh and juicy, nice cool Cabernet. Light, fine tannins. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2026
    16.5
  • Ch Lafite, Carruades de Lafite 2011 Pauillac

    55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3.5% Cabernet Franc, 2.5% Petit Verdot. Colour of elderberries with inky core. Lovely dark fragrance, pure, lightly spiced black fruit. Savoury and ripe but no sweetness at all to the fruit (that's not negative). Dense, dry, structured and upright but not stern or hard, just very masculine and still smooth. (JH)

    Drink 2019-2030
    17
  • Ch Lafite 2011 Pauillac

    80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. Deep dark crimson with rich purple rim. Delicate, pure cassis dark fragrance, the merest hint of oak spice. Tannins are a conundrum, feeling dense and savoury at first and then gliding over the finish line. Polar opposite of Mouton style. (JH)

    12.8%
    Drink 2020-2040
    18.5
  • Lagneaux à Pauillac 2011 Pauillac

    Very lean fruit dominated by oak. Finishes tart. Not a great advertisement for the vintage.

    Drink 2015-2018
    14
  • Ch Latour, Les Forts de Latour 2011 Pauillac

    61.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Initial impression of toast and char. Dark and savoury. Unexpectedly fluid on the palate even though it has a firm framework but the framework is transparent to the purity of the fruit. Not in the least luscious. Short pile so it is firm but carpeted on the palate. (JH)

    13.08%
    Drink 2020-2035
    17
  • Ch Latour, Pauillac de Ch Latour 2011 Pauillac

    37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 62.5% Merlot. Dark black cherry colour. Fragrant hedgerow fruit. Fragrant on the nose then much more graphite on the palate. Paper-fine texture and really long across the palate. Very sophisticated for a third wine. Warm gravel all mixed in with the lovely lack of sweetness on the dark fruit. (JH)

    13.7%
    Drink 2016-2026
    16.5
  • Ch Latour 2011 Pauillac

    84.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot. Elderberry juice in colour. Black core. Reticent cassis perfume, not very forthcoming. Intense, deep, dry and long. Very refined and it feels as if it is all texture at the moment, no spare flesh but it’s more a question of no fat not leanness. It opens up to very pure cassis fruit but remains restrained. A slight dustiness increases the freshness. Dry purity and refinement. It's not even reined in, the constraint is built in. 'Super-bon élégant', opines Frédéric Engerer in an isolated burst of enthusiasm, the tannins remind him of those in 2000. Classical lines. Absolutely no generosity but Engerer reckons it will take on flesh. Very very long. (JH)

    13.1%
    Drink 2022-2045
    18
  • Ch Lynch Bages 2011 Pauillac

    Extremely sweet dark fruit, more damson than cassis. Firm, dry, grippy tannins seem to overwhelm the fruit. Need to prize your mouth apart on the finish. Needs a lot of time and I hope the flesh will emerge. (JH)

    Drink 2021-2032
    16+
  • Ch Lynch-Moussas 2011 Pauillac

    Lots of vanilla sweetness at first, then cherries and plums but oak char too. Pretty dense and tough and a strong malty note on the finish. Very tough on the finish. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2028
    15
  • Ch Mouton Rothschild, Le Petit Mouton 2011 Pauillac

    70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot. Deep crimson. Cedary aroma and a touch of graphite plus red fruits. Juicy, fresh with just the right (gentle) firmness on the finish. Gentle and pleasant. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2025
    16.5
  • Ch Mouton Rothschild 2011 Pauillac

    90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Deep crimson. Exotically spiced, warm red fruits. Exotic, prettily aromatic, delicate and pretty gentle on the palate. Subtle and harmonious. Cedary freshness and a fluidity on the finish and a note of oak char at the very end. It seems just so soft but Philippe Dhalluin assures us the tannins (or at least the polyphenol index) is very similar to last year so I am giving it the benefit of the doubt. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2032
    17.5
  • Ch Pibran 2011 Pauillac

    55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. 50% new oak. Sweet plums and a touch of tea leaf. Creamy too, gourmand and full of fruit and life. Rich, full and generous yet still well structured. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2025
    16.5
  • Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Réserve de la Comtesse 2011 Pauillac

    43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot. Blackish crimson. A mix of ripeness and slight leafiness on the nose and a bit soapy. Pretty sweet fruited on the palate, blackcurrant and plum. Quite simple, lightish tannins, not dry, not terribly long, a bit tart on the finish. (JH)

    13%
    Drink 2015-2022
    16
  • Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2011 Pauillac

    78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Very dark with a black core. Cedary and dark and pure. Bright, fresh fruit aromas. A little bit herbaceous on nose and the palate. Pretty leafy and quite green on the palate, the Cabernets making themselves felt. Very fresh, lightly structured, savoury, elegant. Not a great deal of depth but juicy in the middle and it is harmonious. Lingers though it really is a little bit green on the finish. Firm and pretty dry. (JH)

    13%
    Drink 2018-2028
    16.5
  • Ch Pichon-Longueville (Baron), Les Tourelles de Longueville 2011 Pauillac

    60% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 50% new oak. Rich plummy fruit but there's fresh cassis too. Coffee as it opens up. Tightly wound but with flesh enfolding the frame. Firm, rounded tannins, none of the dusty dryness of some in this vintage. With a fresh juicy and long finish. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2028
    17
  • Ch Pichon-Longueville (Baron) 2011 Pauillac

    Since 2000, there's been a more consistent separation of plots. Grand vin now always includes the old Cabernet vines on the plateau overlooking Latour. 50% of production went into the grand vin this year, 45% into Les Tourelles. 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot. 80% new oak. Colour of elderberry juice, black core. Slight dusty note on the nose, touch of cedar freshness and underlying cassis purity and an attractive savoury dark edge even though there's a slight note of dark chocolate too. Lots of pure cassis through the heart of the wine. Relatively stern but not at all hard. Lithe, fresh, graphite scented. Deft, full of fruit but not overly fruity. No excess of weight but not thin. Actually quite rich for the vintage. Finely balanced. (JH)

    13.3%
    Drink 2020-2035
    17.5
  • Ch Pontet-Canet 2011 Pauillac

    Three horses at work in the vineyards. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 35% Merlot. 10% (young vines) goes into Les Hauts de Pontet. 90% is the grand vin. Harvested 15-29 September.
    Soft inky crimson. Unusual woody sort of nose. Gentle, rounded, complex already – there's a savoury freshness without specific fruit flavours that you can pick out, though the wine is rounded out by its fruit. As it opens, there's a bramble fruit character. Smoky bacon, not unlike northern Rhône Syrah (!), quite ripe, really does have a sort of Rhône note. A lot of spice, black pepper, particularly on the palate, a tension and energy from the freshness but not juicy fruit. Refined tannins that are also spiced and deep but smoothed. Very long. Not clear cut, not precise but lots of pleasure. A sort of homely character. (JH)

    13%
    Drink 2018-2031
    17