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

For a wealth of tasting notes and articles related to the 2011 vintage, see our Bordeaux 2011 guide.

  • Ch Beau Soleil 2011 Pomerol

    Bright cherry red. Gently floral cherry. Attractive on the nose but a bit severe on the palate, though there's some juicy fruit trying hard to escape the straitjacket of the tannins. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2024
    16
  • Ch Beauregard 2011 Pomerol

    Very ripe black fruit and very toasty. Mocha too – and even more so on the palate. Lots of oak char, well-rounded tannins, fresh on the finish. Just a bit too oaky but it is lively in the middle so maybe it will settle? (JH)

    Drink 2017-2026
    16
  • Ch Bel-Air 2011 Pomerol

    100% Merlot. Rich dark fruit laced with vanilla sweetness but again that attractive floral note. Delivers less on the palate, rather slight in the middle but not lean because the tannins are rounded and gentle. (JH)

    Drink 2014-2019
    15.5
  • Ch Le Bon Pasteur 2011 Pomerol

    Smudgy cherry crimson. A little dusty but plenty of cherry fruit. Violet notes, too. Dense, chewy but the balance of fruit and structure is better than some. Spicy, thick finish. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2024
    16
  • Ch Bourgneuf 2011 Pomerol

    Dark cherry colour. More intensity on the nose than any in the line up so far. Sweet oak and bright, pure fruit with a light earthy note adding a savoury dimension. Same earthy dry quality on the palate with a light leafiness on the finish. Powder-fine tannins and lovely restraint. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2028
    16.5
  • Ch La Cabanne 2011 Pomerol

    Inky black cherry. Floral and sweet dark fruit. Firm and a bit flat in the middle. Flat and powdery dry on the finish, too. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2024
    15.5
  • Ch Cassagne Haut-Canon 2011 Canon-Fronsac

    Vineyard encépagement: 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep dark crimson. Violets and cedary oak on the nose, just a hint of unripeness on the nose. Likewise on the palate, a little bit herbaceous and tannins are fine grained but a bit drying on the finish. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2024
    15
  • Ch Certan de May 2011 Pomerol

    100% Merlot. Deep crimson. Chocolate and cherry but fresh too. Very very fine, dry tannins, fresh and minerally on the palate. Completely unshowy but long and just a touch of chocolate coming back on the finish. More depth in the mid palate. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2028
    16.5
  • Ch La Chenade 2011 Lalande-de-Pomerol

    80% Merlot (9-16 September), 20% Cabernet Franc (19 September), 30% new oak. Deep greyish crimson. Subtle dark cherry fruit. Lively and so fresh. The oak shows a little just now but in balance for this stage. Fresh sour cherry finish. Lively, bright and juicy but not overly sweet. Dry but not drying on the finish. (JH)

    13.3%
    Drink 2016-2022
    16.5
  • Ch Clinet 2011 Pomerol

    Warm, spicy damsons on the nose. A bit dusty. Pretty ripe on the palate, the fruit more raisined. Dense, dry and quite juicy, thick in the mouth. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2024
    16
  • Le Clos du Beau Père 2011 Pomerol

    Black as the ace of spades. Charry dark fruit. Oak dominates for now at least. Really oaky on the palate too. There's juicy freshness that just manages to escape the oak but I fear it really has the upper hand. Firm dry tannins compete with the acidity and make the whole a bit jagged. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2024
    15.5
  • Clos du Clocher 2011 Pomerol

    70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc. Rich cherry crimson. Generous and open on the nose. More savoury on the palate. Good fruit depth and well balanced by the velvety thick tannins and just enough freshness. Big and wholehearted. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2026
    16
  • Ch Clos L'Église 2011 Pomerol

    80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Black core, deep purple rim. Very slight greenness on the nose though it well hidden by riper dark fruit too. Tannins are pretty dry as there's a lack of fruit depth in the middle and lightly bitter on the finish. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2025
    14.5
  • Clos Vieux Taillefer 2011 Pomerol

    100% Merlot. Chocolate damsons on the nose lifted by a light dustiness and some brighter cassis. Pretty light on the mid palate. Soft and gentle but disappears rather quickly. (JH)

    Drink 2014-2018
    15.5
  • Ch La Conseillante 2011 Pomerol

    Deep black cherry. Aromatic, ripe fruit with a leaning toward cough linctus. Lovely freshness on the palate, juicy and fresh and lively and leaves your mouth revitalised. One of the most attractive Pomerols I've tasted so far in this vintage. Tannins well judged. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2029
    17
  • Ch La Croix de Gay 2011 Pomerol

    Deepest black cherry. Interesting nose – quite spicy and peppery dark fruit. Much darker and more coaly on the palate. Dry, fine grained, nothing in excess but not particularly exciting. A bit drying at the end. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2026
    16
  • Ch La Croix Taillefer 2011 Pomerol

    5% Cabernet Franc, 95% Merlot. Deep inky core and purple rim. Lifted nose, a touch volatile. Tastes a bit bretty too. It does at least have fresh acidity. (JH)

    Drink 2015-??
    14
  • Ch Les Cruzelles 2011 Lalande-de-Pomerol

    90% Merlot (5-12 September), 10% Cabernet Franc (19 September), 50% new oak. Red fruit freshness on the nose. Fragrant mix of fruit and graphite. There's a dark firmness but the wine is fluid through the middle. Dark rather oaky finish. 50% new oak seems a little too much to me. Less fragrance than the Chenade, and very dry on the finish. (JH)

    Drink 2015-2021
    15.5
  • Ch de la Dauphine 2011 Fronsac

    Inky black cherry colour. Ripe and intense and rich on the nose. Lots of sweet fruit but very fresh too and so rounded. Deep fruit pie. Structured and still so smooth. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2024
    16
  • Ch L'Église-Clinet, La Petite Église 2011 Pomerol

    100% Merlot (picked 16 September). Dusty dark fruit, just a touch leafy. But then a fluid freshness in the middle. Not particularly dense but pretty dry, and seems to lack fruit generosity. Layers of dry texture build to more depth. Not trying hard to please. No roundness at all. Very linear. Severe. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2024
    16
  • Ch L'Église-Clinet 2011 Pomerol

    90% Merlot (12-15 September), 10% Cabernet Franc (24 September), 80% new oak. Lots of toasty oak on the nose. On top of ripe red plums, spicy too. Juicy fruit on the mid palate. Richer but still pretty dry overall. There's a slight bitterness from the oak char on the finish. Needs a lot of time. Very tight, closed and not wanting to make friends. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2027
    16.5++
  • Ch L'Évangile 2011 Pomerol

    Jean-Pascal Vazart, second in command to Charles Chevallier, describes the wine as fruity and expressive. It does have plenty of fruit but I found it more expressive on the palate than on the nose at the moment. 6% Cabernet Franc, 94% Merlot. Very dark crimson with dark cherry rim and black core. Dark and savoury – both fruit and oak flavours - and the tannins are fine but pretty dense. Quite unexpectedly juicy in the middle (like a dark chocolates with a liquid fruit centre) but then markedly dark fruited on the finish. Lively though dark. Good length, too. Nice balance between density of tannins and liveliness. Finishes fresh. (JH)

    Drink 2020-2033
    17
  • Ch Feytit-Clinet 2011 Pomerol

    90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Black core and dark cherry rim. Rich, dark and exotic on the nose. Finest of tannins and lots of fresh juicy fruit in the middle. Firm tannic build; not dry just pretty embryonic. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2030
    16.5
  • Ch La Fleur de Boüard, Le Plus de la Fleur de Boüard 2011 Lalande-de-Pomerol

    33 months in new French oak. Black core, dark cherry rim. Smoky black fruit. Like sucking charred wood. Dark and bitter. No pleasure here at the moment and hard to know how much fruit will be there when the oak recedes. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2024
    14.5
  • Ch La Fleur de Boüard 2011 Lalande-de-Pomerol

    Deep black cherry colour. Lots of oak char on the nose, a touch smoky, though the cassis peeks through. Charred oak is all I can taste at the moment though there is clearly some decent fruit weight in the middle. There's fresh acidity but the oak is overpowering the fruit. Bitter finish. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2025
    15
  • Ch La Fleur-Pétrus 2011 Pomerol

    Vineyard encépagement: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Smells riper and darker than the Hosanna but still with the Cab Franc freshness showing through. More obviously oaky on the palate than some in this Moueix line up but has the richness of fruit to handle. Good fruit depth with a dry, moreish finish. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2030
    17
  • Ch Fontenil 2011 Fronsac

    Inky crimson. Intensely sweet plummy fruit. Very sweet and juicy though there's plenty of acidity too. Full flavoured but a bit crude at the moment. Firm, dense and will please those who seek fruit first. Acidity needs to settle down a bit. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2024
    16
  • Ch Le Gay 2011 Pomerol

    90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Deep cherry crimson. Dark and fragrant. Red cherry fruit aroma. Nicely aromatic. Already supple. Fine and fresh and gently handled. Shorter vatting than usual. Moreish and harmonious. Really fresh and scented on the mid palate. More friendly than La Violette. Silky. Smooth, rounded and finely textured. Relatively lightweight. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2025
    16.5
  • Ch Gazin 2011 Pomerol

    Ripe dark fruit with violets and chocolates. Pretty intense on the nose. Very floral. Leaner on the palate than I expected but has just enough flesh for the structure. Not overly generous. Drying finish. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2026
    16-
  • Ch La Grave à Pomerol 2011 Pomerol

    Vineyard encépagement: 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. Mid to deep crimson, less dark than the St-Émilions in the Moueix stable. Cherry fruit, not quite linctus but heading that way. Then dry and powder-fine tannins on the cedary palate. Restraint throughout but a lingering finish. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2027
    16.5
  • Ch La Gravière 2011 Lalande-de-Pomerol

    Bought by Catherine Pere-Vergé in 2002. 100% Merlot. Bright red cherry fruit. Lively red fruited and fresh. Lively. Juicy and bright. (JH)

    Drink 2015-2022
    16
  • Ch Hosanna 2011 Pomerol

    Vineyard encépagement: 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc. Lovely restrained purity of dark fruit with the clarity and graphite note of Cabernet Franc singing out. Lovely mineral tension and freshness. Fine, fine yet smooth dry tannins. Vivacious in a conservative sort of way. Like well-cut cloth. A beautiful wine. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2030
    17.5
  • Ch Lafleur, Pensées de Lafleur 2011 Pomerol

    Deep dark black cherry. Fine, just ripe cherry fruit and just a little minty. Silky fine tannins. delicate, somehow both lacy and a little austere = elegant. Spicy aftertaste from the Cabernet, dark and mineral on the finish. Really mineral. The tannins are dry but the whole wine is so fluid. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2024
    17
  • Ch Lafleur 2011 Pomerol

    Jacques Guinaudeau describes the 2011s as more 'secret' than the exuberant 2009s and the exceptional 2010s. 47% Merlot (31 August, 12 September), 53% Cabernet Franc (22-23 September). The best Merlots were those they picked on 31 August. Very small berries and they had to limit the height of the canopy to reduce the water stress.
    A little note of mint here too, from the Merlot, but there's also a dark-fruited sweetness and a note of red cherry, small berries, and a hint of something floral. Fragrant. And a dusty minerality. Utterly fresh, so fleeting, it seems, on the palate but then it goes on and on. Starts dry and grows softer on the finish. There's a dark but lightweight minerality. So, so long. (JH)

    Drink 2019-2030
    18
  • Ch Lafleur Gazin 2011 Pomerol

    Vineyard encépagement: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Deep crimson. Bright cherry fruit. Delicate but lovely fragrance. Dry, fine texture, attractively dry tannins. Finesse and harmony without any unnecessary show but more evident fruit on the finish. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2027
    17
  • Manoir de Gay 2008 Pomerol

    100% Merlot. The more recently replanted vines. Dark cherry fruit. Some sweet oak. Really silky and fresh. Not a big wine but all in harmony. The tannins are present but so supple it is easy to overlook them. Gently handled. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2022
    15.5
  • Ch Montviel 2011 Pomerol

    80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Vinified at Le Gay in wooden vats. Intense but subtle red cherry fruit. Very inviting and fragrant then more austere with some oak spice on the palate, fine and subtle tannins though there is plenty there. Long and well balanced and just fresh on the finish. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2027
    16.5
  • Ch Moulin Pey Labrie 2011 Canon-Fronsac

    Vineyard encépagement: 95% Merlot, 5% Malbec. Sweet, ripe and spicy on the nose. Ripe damson fruit. Then a strange dusty dryness on the finish. A bit cardboardy. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2022
    14.5
  • Ch Moulinet 2011 Pomerol

    90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Black core and dark cherry rim. Seductive dark fruit and floral aromas with a touch of chocolate. Really perfumed. Richer on the mid palate than the Vieux Taillefer but soft rather than deep. Fine grained and smooth and easy. (JH)

    Drink 2014-2019
    16
  • Ch Nénin, Fugue de Nénin 2011 Pomerol

    Driest vintage of the decade and nearly the warmest of the decade (overall), says Jean-Hubert Delon. 88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc. (More Cabernet Franc has been planted so they will soon have 25% Cabernet Franc in the blend.) 15% new barrels. Bright cherry red. Fragrant, graphite and red fruit. Zippy and fresh. Less alcohol and more acid than in 2010. Has that lovely Cabernet Franc freshness that stands out in 2011. Slight and attractive grain to the tannins. (JH)

    13.7%
    Drink 2016-2025
    16.5
  • Ch Nénin 2011 Pomerol

    22% Cabernet Franc, 78% Merlot. 25% new oak. Intense black cherry colour. Again that graphite fragrance but really juicy and alive and fluid. Bright and full of life. 'Médoc style of Pomerol' suggests Steven Spurrier and that's quite a good description. Upright and tight and fresh. Very scented on the palate, long but elegant too. (JH)

    13.7%
    Drink 2016-2028
    17
  • Ch Petit Village 2011 Pomerol

    19% Cabernet Franc, 72% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon. 65% new oak. Deep greyish crimson. Interesting orange aroma in addition to spicy cassis. Such a contrast with the Pauillacs tasted at Pichon Longueville. Orange pekoe tea. Seductive without being opulent. Cleaner cut than may Pomerols this year. Fine and polite tannins but with a disguised grip. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2024
    16.5
  • Petrus 2011 Pomerol

    Another property with a cellar under construction (Jean-Claude Berrouet looked very smart in his personalised hard hat). Harvested 12-22 September, a week earlier than in 2010. 'We were very gentle in 2011', says Olivier Berrouet, since small berries meant that the tannins were actually higher than in 2010 and less ripe (lack of sunshine), so they wanted to extract the tannins earlier, before the alcohol started to climb, leading to the extraction of tougher tannins. The acidity very slightly higher, the alcohol lower. It could evolve to be like the 2001.
    Deep glossy dark crimson. Warm, restrained hedgerow fruit, a little biscuity note, a little spicy. Really tangy and so full of energy and life, the fruit sings. Very expressive and the oak firmly in the back seat. Juicy and soft at the front and mid palate, though there is a density under there, a firm foundation, an underground concentration. Very very long and real volume building in the mouth. Builds and builds in the mouth. Caressing and long. (JH)

    Drink 2022-2040
    18.5
  • Le Pin 2011 Pomerol

    First vintage in the new, neat and architecturally simple but elegant cellar, all sun-reflecting limestone and reassuring oak doors, attractive angles within and without. Just in time for the 2011 vintage. Harvested 12-13 September (early ripeness on gravel allowing retention of freshness, says Fiona Morrison MW, aka Mrs Jacques Thienpont). Yield 35 hl/ha. Pumping over only in the early part of fermentation, again to retain freshness, then the wine was left alone.
    Deep rich black cherry colour. Gently toasty nose, essentially red fruited and just a little perfumed. Fine, seemingly gentle tannins. Marked by scented freshness, making it hard not to make some reference to burgundy, though the tannins are denser. As with so many in 2011, alcohol was almost 1% lower than in 2010, changing the balance and increasing the wine's approachability. (JH)

    13.3%
    Drink 2018-2030
    18
  • Ch Plince 2011 Pomerol

    Dark cherry crimson. Fine minerally dark fruit, delicate. Hint of coffee. Richer on the palate than the St-Émilions. A little flat on the finish, stony, earthy aftertaste with a slight herbaceousness that gives freshness. Smooth and fine tannins. (JH)

    Drink 2017-2025
    16
  • Ch La Pointe 2011 Pomerol

    Sweet, perfumed dark and ripe and chocolatey. Deep dark fruit, not overly ripe with a more savoury freshness on the palate. Big but showing more restraint in the structure than many. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2026
    16
  • Ch Providence 2011 Pomerol

    Vineyard encépagement: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Fresh and lively red fruit on the nose. Cedary and mineral freshness. Really dry finesse and length. Balance and harmony with a nice earthy aftertaste. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2030
    17
  • Ch Siaurac 2011 Lalande-de-Pomerol

    Slight reductive note. Beyond that, bright blackcurrant. Not very welcoming on the palate. Dry and quite dark fruited. A bit hard on the palate and perhaps overworked. Dry and dense, lacks lift. Tough finish. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2023
    15
  • Ch Trotanoy 2011 Pomerol

    Vineyard encépagement: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Very different from Hosanna. Deep crimson. Lovely pure rich fruit, both red and black. A touch floral too and a hint of oak sweetness over all that. Restrained but very persistent and refined to the finish. Earthy mineral aftertaste. (JH)

    Drink 2018-2032
    17.5
  • Vieux Château Certan 2011 Pomerol

    Alexandre Thienpont says happily, 'De retour a Bordeaux' – back to Bordeaux after the last two atypical vintages, clearly delighted with the way Cabernet Franc has performed this year. He has included 28% in 2011 compared with 5-6% in 2009 and 2010. It's a variety that copes quite well with lack of water but not with extreme heat.
    Rich purple crimson. Camomile (though I am not sure I would have spotted this if Alexandre hadn't mentioned it) plus fine dark fruit and graphite freshness. Closed on the nose but scented on the palate. Very fine tannins. Crunchy. Fresh and long. Great purity and line and length. Absolutely lovely. (JH)

    13.6%
    Drink 2020-2035
    18
  • Ch Vieux Maillet 2011 Pomerol

    80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Inky crimson. Pure ripe dark plums with a light touch of chocolate. But the fruit wins out. Harmonious and polished. Not terribly long but a nice whole and creamy texture. (JH)

    Drink 2016-2026
    16
  • Ch La Violette 2011 Pomerol

    100% Merlot. Destemmed by hand and fermented, after cold maceration, in 100% new oak barrels. Sweet and chocolatey. Much more savoury and dense than Le Gay. Richer but less giving and needs more time. Tannins are dense but very polished. Long and rich. (JH)

    Drink 2020-2030
    16.5