8th May 2014.

On 1st May 2014 Robert Parker released his scores of the 2011 Bordeaux vintage. These wines have been re-tasted a full two years after Parker’s original barrel tasting and therefore, are more representative of the bottles that will be shipped from Bordeaux in the coming months. The in bottle 2011 scores come as the 2013 en primeur campaign splutters its way towards a conclusion and will, in all likelihood, add to the pessimism surrounding the Bordeaux market following high release prices of the 2009 and 2010 vintage and three mediocre vintages in ’11, ’12 and ’13 where the Bordelais again struggled to meet market expectations in many cases.

Parker’s introduction was brief although he did comment the wines ‘Performed as well as if not slightly better than they did from barrel’. The leading lights were Chateau Palmer, marked up from 92-94+ to 96 points and Chateau Pape Clement who followed up their first ever 100 point wine in 2010 with 96 points in 2011, up from an in barrel score of 92-94. Indeed, Parker stated that Pape Clement ‘Clearly transcends the entire vintage’ and will be potentially looked at as a value purchase when one considers the 95 point 2009 trades at a 25% premium to the 2011.

Two other red wines, both from Saint Emilion, achieved the 96 point joint highest score in 2011, Clos de Sarpe which Parker described as ‘one of the superstars of the vintage’ while lamenting its ‘microscopic’ production and Magrez Fombrauge which originally scored 92-95 points. However, the largest in bottle score increases were reserved for Domaine de Chevalier and Canon which both went from 87-89 to 94 points.

There were some disappointing scores for the big names of the left bank including Mouton Rothschild which was marked down from 93-96 to 92+ and Montrose from 91-93 to 89 points. Ducru Beaucaillou, 93-95 to 92+ and Pichon Lalande 92-94 to 89 points also did not fulfil the potential Parker saw in them two years ago.

The wines of the right bank are generally considered better than the left bank in 2011, this did not however, preclude some of them from suffering the same fate as the aforementioned left bank wines. Ausone, Parker’s only potential 100 point wine in 2011, was demoted from 96-100 to 95+ and the perennial performer, Vieux Chateau Certan went from 94-96 to 91 points.