The record 25 to 30°C experienced in Bordeaux the last week or so means that the vines should burst into bud this week. The beginning of the 2012 vintage when most minds are focussed on preparation for the primeurs for 2011 that begin 1st April.
What will the 2011 wines be like?
At harvest many grape bunches had many small unripe green and pink berries and many had been scorched by the particularly hot periods (depending on their position in the vineyard and degree of leaf pulling that had been done). Those that invested in sorting tables and teams of sorters have, it seems, made good concentrated fruity wines, as there was a good degree of sunshine during the ripening seasoon, that are sensual “vins de plaisir”. What saved the year was that the cycle was in advance by three weeks on average. This meant that producers were able to pick ripe grapes earlier than usual. A godsend as there was a heavy risk of botrytis.
But before we can judge this vintage (already lambousted by some press), there is much tasting to be done! What is for sure that it is not another 2009 or 2010 (in my opinion superior) which were two incredibly special vintages – with wines with ripeness and freshness at the same time. Bordeaux at its best.