James Suckling, formerly of The Wine Spectator, has published his first impressions of Bordeaux 2011. While he affirms that 2011 "will never be considered in the same light as the fabulous 2009 and 2010 vintages", Suckling suggests that it may be superior to 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2002, 1999 and 1996. “It’s on the same quality level, or slightly less, than 2001.”
Reds with a higher percentage of Cabernet Franc apparently fared best in 2011. These included Vieux Chateau Certan and Ausone, both of which were awarded 95-96 points. The real successes, however, were the whites.
Nine of the 14 wines that received exceptional scores of 95 points or more were whites (largely from Pessac-Leognan and Sauternes). Mission Haut Brion Blanc was the vintage’s foremost achiever at 99-100 points, followed by Yquem and Domaine Chevalier de Blanc at 97-98 points.
Suckling’s highest-scoring red wines are shown below. (His tasting notes and scores are available in full on Jamessuckling.com.)
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