2011 Ten Years On

Following on from the Southwold tasting of 2017s, information from the Ten Years on tasting is now trickling out. Farr Vintners media feed is the first item I’ve found.

It seems some ugly ducklings have become swans. Pomerol, St Julien, Pauillac all performed well. Lafon Rochet and Les Ormes de Pez have been hailed as excellent QPR though. Jancis should follow with an article in the near future.


I recently tried the 2011 Clinet, my favourite Pomerol producer. It was fine but certainly not memorable and I am guessing will be my least favourite (I would never buy 2013) in the last decade (2010-2020). The nose was classic Clinet just the palate was a bit of a mess; acids unbalanced, softer mid-palate, fruit dropping off. I thought at first it was just too young, however, I did decant it for several hours and followed through several hours later. I had the 2012 last night and a completely different story.

Thanks for the link!

Thank you for the link. Very interesting.

Their blind tasting results are pretty close to Cellartrackers ratings for the vintage.

Buying 2011 still doesn’t make sense. Overpriced then, overpriced now. The Bordelais tend to price at percentage discounts from the last vintage. 2010 was the most expensive in history, so even with a significant discount (and this wasn’t that significant, about 20% from memory) it was way overpriced. The real problem is that the negotiants need to buy in order to keep allocations. So the guys setting prices don’t need to worry about not selling the wines, so even if they overcharge, there are few repercussions apart from a lot of grumbling.

Consumers do not need to support the chateaux, so can make informed choices. And there is plenty of better options to choose from.

The 2014 vintage is only a small increment higher if you are prepared to hold for another five years, and 2007 is a light vintage that is drinking nicely now.

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At the end a general review/listing of vintages came up and 2008 seems to have risen on the ladder.

Agree. Still no incentive to buy that vintage today (apart from Sauternes). I’ve had 8 2011s in the past 3 years and I would buy not a single one of them. The only exciting wine was the Cheval Blanc (rated 95 pts) but it trades around the same level as 2019/2020 and at the price of first growth in new vintages which will for sure have more depth. All others were either to expensive (Ausone, rated 93pts) or not exciting enough (Montrose at 91pts; Margaux, Peby, Lalande at 90pts, Conseillante at 88pts and Eglise Clinet at 85pts).

Also from the article, the list of the strongest recent vintages (survey among the participants), 2011 is still rated quite low.
2016 1st
2010 2nd=
2009 2nd=
2015 4th
2008 5th
2014 6th
2012 7th
2017 8th=
2011 8th=
2013 10th

Another article free to access posted on Jancis’ site

As ever, buying “off” vintages is about the exceptions not the rule. I’m very happy to own quite a bit of 2011 VCC (half the price of the 2015, for example, and I think a genuinely great wine, as I have thought since I tried it in barrel) and some 2011 Château Latour (cheaper than 2013, 2004, 2007 etc Latour and better).

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It’s interesting, I attended both these tastings and went into the 2017 ‘Southwold’ sessions looking forward to finding good quality, relatively forward, wines that would be available in the market at reasonable prices - basically, good commercial propositions. I came away from the tasting a bit disappointed: I found plenty of wines I liked well enough, just not the mid-level over-performers I’d hoped for. Conversely, I wasn’t expecting much from the 2011s yet, ask me afterwards and I’d have said that I found 10 years on a better tasting than Southwold.

However, looking back at my notes and scores, I found higher highs amongst the 2017s where I got as high as 19/20 for Petrus and VCC whilst I never got north of 18.5 in the 2011 tasting.

It won’t be news to anyone but the Burgfest tasting of 2017 reds was far more exciting, in terms of the wines, than either of this year’s Bordeaux tastings!

2011 VCC are major winners in this off-vintage. I have also found some other very solid wines throughout the Pomerol region. I did not buy any left banks.

La Conseillante was a cracker

Bought a few cases of Sociando Mallet '11 out sort of an impulse for a very reasonable 23,- euros per bottle in '16. Had one last week and it delivers all classic Bordeaux elements I love but there is this annoying thinnish green bitter mid palate that actually ruined the experience a bit… Can this also be the '11 signature?
Wine feels like it has a decade or more left to it but I wonder whether the mid palate problem can be solved in-bottle the coming time…? It was delivered in half cases so maybe sell of a few… Have to check out how wanted SM is in the Netherlands.