Simon Davies, Head of Marketing at FINE+RARE, one of the largest international fine wine brokerage businesses reveals all on the new Bordeaux 2011

Following a visit to Bordeaux last month and a trip planned again for the beginning of April, we are eagerly looking forward to the anticipated release of the new 2011 Bordeaux vintage. 

What do we know about the year?

Well for one thing Bordeaux experienced an incredibly early, hot spring which offset the rather British weather in the middle of the year: rain coupled with violent hailstorms in the north of the region had vignerons expecting a catastrophe. Fortunately September was fine, warm and dry which allowed the harvest of ripe fruit to take place in near perfect conditions.

So far I have only had the opportunity to taste at a handful of places to gauge the quality of this vintage, however this includes two leading estates: Chateau Margaux, in the commune of Margaux, and Chateau Ausone in St Emilion which gives us a good instinct.

From what I can see so far, I think the wines are going to be forward, relatively early maturing and a riot of fruit. Do not expect the concentration or longevity of either 2009 or 2010 but instead I expect wines of impeccable balance, at the best estates, which will provide enormous drinking pleasure.

In terms of price it looks like the Bordelais will be sensible. The market is flat and with quality good rather than great, prices which are similar to the current market prices of the 2008s seem likely. This in most cases would represent good value; and at these price levels chateaux, especially the top 20 or so, would be able to re-engage with consumers who have been priced out of the market in the last couple of vintages.

I have heard it said that Burgundy could become more fashionable than Bordeaux and while the great wines of the Cóte d’Or are certainly becoming more sought after, the volume of great wines in Bordeaux will always make it the market leader. Burgundy can certainly compete on quality but it will never win on quantity.

We must remember wine is not a new pair of designer shoes and can’t be judged by brand name. It must be based entirely on quality and is why I’m looking forward to my first taste of this year, as I hope are you.

For more information on the 2011 Bordeaux please contact FINE+RARE on 020 7089 7400