There has been much speculation over the quality of the 2011 Bordeaux vintage, but a recent scoring by TheWineCellarInsider.com would suggest that certain appellations, such as St. Emillion may have fared quite well.
2011 Ausone is one that stands out from the crowd. The blend is almost 50/50 Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with the edge going to the former. The unique production in the wine region is what makes the wine truly special. It goes through fermentation and maceration in thermoregulated wood vats and is then aged in 100 per cent new oak for about 20 months before being bottled, which gives it a very unique taste among other regional wines.
The 2011 vintage has a dark yet opaque colour, which also resonates in the aroma. There is an intense blackberry liqueur, with blueberry, smoke, truffle and ripe essence of black cherry. Jeff Leve of The Wine Cellar Insider rates the wine at between 96 and 98 points from the first tasting, which is a standout effort from a wine that endured a turbulent summer.
Another wine that seems to have benefited from the harsh summer is the 2011 Cheval Blanc. Harsh conditions can sometimes bring the best out of the grapes, as long as the production techniques are adapted accordingly. This is another near 50/50 split between Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with the wine being matured in 100 per cent new oak. The Grand Vin represents 65 per cent of the harvest, and has produced a fresh and elegant style, which does not seem overly representative of the summer it has endured.
Once again there are samples of truffle and smoke, but there are more accented spices than the Ausone, with black and white cherries dominating on the palate. This created a beautiful sense of purity in the fruit, which Mr Leve describes as "something to behold." This rich taste earns the wine another stellar score, coming in at 95 to 96 points.
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