By Juel Mahoney
The En Primeur season is about to start and Bibendum’s Fine Wine team will join the rest of the international wine trade to taste the Bordeaux 2011 vintage for a week….
Of The Greatest Wine Region In The World.
Yes, there is a tendency towards superlatives when it comes to Bordeaux.
The greatest, the best, the grandest. Bordeaux is a region of celebrity wines. Star-studded names such as Lafite-Rothschild and Margaux. Even the severest wine critic would find it hard to refuse a glass of many of the top Chateaux.
However, where there is celebrity there is often hype. The previous two vintages (2010, 2009) were very good to great. This is not always the case.
This week we will find out what the world thinks of the latest vintage – 2011.
What do we expect from 2011?
If you are a serious investor, you may be wondering whether this year is for you. The serious buyer will say this vintage is about keeping an allocation. The flash kids may want a case of the 100-point wines whenever they are declared, but there is only so much available at first tranche prices. A proven buying history helps.
(Apologies to any wine lovers who may be shocked by this statement, there is little romance to be found here; for many investors, Bordeaux is as romantic as eating sandwiches while watching the London Stock Exchange price movements). Of course, you may find a discount Latour by some fly-by-night wine merchant, but we do not recommend it if you expect to see your wine at the end of two years.
If you are a serious claret drinker, then you may be reeling over the recent hikes in price in the past decade. It’s nice to know most of the wines you have bought over the previous years have gone up in price but, really, you are more interested in drinking the stuff. Right now you are opening some 2001 wines to drink (and what a pleasurable drink it is) and the good news is that many people have compared 2011 to 2001.
From Sunday 1st April to Thursday 5th April we will be in Bordeaux to assess the vintage and visit the chateaux.
Unlike Robert Parker, who announced on twitter before he had tasted the wines that he had “ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST IN THIS VINTAGE” (in capital letters, no less – although we hear he has been pleasantly surprised since his visit last week), Bibendum is reserving judgement on the vintage until we have tasted the wines. Due to the mixed weather conditions, we believe we will find some stars.
If you are interested in Bordeaux 2011, join us here and on Twitter for updates during our time in Bordeaux next week. As a wine merchant, our role is to give our customers the best personalised advice. Not to be seduced by the glamour. Our Fine Wine Director, Ben Collins is glamorous enough.
Remember – tickets have been released for our Annual Bordeaux tasting on May 9th, 2012. There will be over 100 Chateaux attending. It’s a unique opportunity to decide on the 2011 vintage for yourself. Over half the tickets went in the first four days – don’t miss it.