Crus Bourgeois held at Cambridge Wine Merchants - photos by Jean-Luc Benazet; parts of the tasting were also recorded for broadcast on Cambridge105
2011 was a cool year in Bordeaux, so it is perhaps no surprise to find a high proportion of the early-ripening Merlot in the traditionally Cab-dominated blends of the Medoc.
Tasting six 2011 Crus Bourgeois with a group of friends, we concluded that the wines that are drinking best now are have the highest proportion of Merlot - but won't improve with further ageing.
The wines with more stuffing and complexity, by contrast, will benefit from a few more years' cellaring.
In general, the 2011s show lower alcohol, less fruit and more freshness - a gentle touch was needed in the cellar to bring out the best of this vintage and a couple of the wines were deemed somewhat heavy-handed.
For Drinking Now
Chateau Les Anguilleys, Medoc (N/A) translucent purple, bramble fruit and oak; ripe fruit, cool mintiness and grippy tannins - persistent finish.
Chateau Doyac, Haut-Medoc (£12, Fine and Rare, Paris Bronze) translucent purple, bramble fruit and cigar box, ripe fruit, capsicum and sweet vanilla. Fresh acidity, good texture and persistent finish.
Chateau Croix du Trale, Haut-Medoc (N/A) bright purple; vanilla, cassis, red fruits and cigar box; sweet ripe fruit, cool mintiness, pencil shavings, fresh acidity, good structure and finish. Good density and concentration.
Chateau Lacour Jacquet, Haut-Medoc (N/A) Dark translucent purple, complex nose of bramble fruits, oakiness and undergrowth; sweet vanilla and cool mint, bramble fruit and savouriness. Balanced, harmonious and long. Perfectly ripe tannins on the finish. Plump yet well-structured and as firmly assertive as a Swedish massueuse.
Crus Bourgeois 2011 Panel Discussion
Crus Bourgeois 2010 at The Cambridge Tasting
Crus Bourgeois - website, twitter
Cambridge Wine Merchants - website, twitter
Jean-Luc Benazet - website, twitter
Cambridge105 - website, twitter