With much speculation over where to find the best wines from this year's vintage, Jeff Leve has assorted his favourites from the Graves/Pessac Leognan appellation to give you an indication of the 2011 hits and misses.
The Graves/Pessac Leognan Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée is unique in Bordeaux in that it is known for both its red and white wine. That bodes well for the region considering that this year has become renowned for the quality of whites that have been produced.
Paul Pontallier, managing director at Château Margaux recently described his Pavillon Blanc as being one of the best he had ever made, and similar sentiments have been echoed around the region. Château Haut-Brion has a memorable La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, and La Louvière, Carbonnieux and Domaine de Chevalier have all made whites to remember.
2011 Chateau Haut Brion Blanc was scored between 97 to 99 points by Jeff Leve, who praised the wine which was blended from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc as being comparable to a magnum of wine being stuffed into a single bottle "to obtain incredible viscosity and concentration." The 2011 La Mission Haut Brion Blanc also scored notably well, with a 96 to 98 points.
In terms of reds, most wine enthusiasts have preached to buy wisely this year. But just because caution is in the air, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t some excellent wines for the taking from the 2011 Bordeaux collection, and the Graves/Pessac Leognan is no exception to this.
Liber Pater scored well, with a big impetus for organic farming supporting these kinds of wine. It is deep and ruby in colour, which reflects the harsh season it endured. La Mission Haut Brion was another notable wine, which was similarly full with dark colours and flavours.
When it comes to selecting a 2011 keep two things in mind. The first being that there are several vineyards that have succeeded in producing fantastic wines this year despite the pessimism some had over the weather conditions. The second is that this year could be the time to look into white wines, with some stellar produce coming particularly from the Graves/Pessac Leognan Appellation.
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