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BURGUNDY 2011 EN PRIMEUR
Jewel-like wines with sparkling purity and beauty…
2011 is another small vintage compared to average but not as small as 2012. The wines have lovely texture, all satin and silk, with pretty red fruits and lifted aromatics, ripe acidity and good length. Those who have managed their vineyards well, picked at the optimum time and utilised extraction methods to suit the style of the vintage, have made delicious wines.
As ever, the best wines dance on the palate with succulent fruit and a mouth-watering finish. Inevitably 2011 Burgundies will be in the shadow of 2009 and 2010, but don’t make the mistake of passing up 2011. Many of these wines will be approachable in their youth and can be enjoyed even before the 08s, 09s and 10s. The 2012 crop is tiny and prices are bound to rocket for the top estates as there simply will not be enough wine to go round, so our recommendation is to stock up on the 2011s (and 2010s if you can still find them) to provide some very enjoyable drinking over the next few years.
One of the earliest on record...
2011 was harvested nearly a month earlier than 2010. March and April were unseasonably warm which resulted in an early flowering. It usually takes 100 days between flowering and harvest and so, after a cool summer which lengthened ripening a little, harvest took place at the end of August and early September. The lower level of sugar in the grapes at harvest has resulted in slightly lower alcohol levels and many people chaptalized a little. As cellar temperatures were warmer at this time, malolactic fermentation took place early in general and this has also contributed to the supple and approachable style of this vintage. Extraction methods needed to be managed carefully in order to keep the juicy, supple fruit and not dry it out. All in all, this is an earlier drinking vintage, producing softer wines with great charm. The whites can be enjoyed virtually as soon as they are shipped whilst the reds could well tighten up for a year or so after bottling. Many growers have increased their prices by 15% anticipating further increases next year when they will have hardly any wine to sell. Rare are those who have kept parity with the previous year’s prices. Much of the increase is offset by the euro exchange rate, but in general it is fair to say that the price of top class burgundy is on the increase...
Not all growers have released their prices so some are marked as TBC (To Be Confirmed). If you are interested in any of these wines please let us know and we will log your details and advise you when they are available.
Susan McCraith MW and Aidan Bell