Press release - 2011 Vintage

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    08-May-2015

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  • 1.Press PackVintage2011Press Contact:Lettres de ChteauxMarie-Stphane Malbec12, rue dEnghien - 33000 Bordeaux - Francemarie-stephane.malbec@wanadoo.frTel: +33 (0)5 56 44 63 50 - Fax: +33 (0)5 56 44 69 45

2. Summary2011 harvest in BordeauxA crazy vintage 32011 vintage in the Bordeaux appellationsChteau Cantemerle, Grand Cru Class en 1855 - Haut-Mdoc4Chteau Marquis de Terme, Grand Cru Class en 1855 - Mdoc 5Chteau Pdesclaux, Grand Cru Class en 1855 - Pauillac7Chteau Talbot, Grand Cru Class en 1855 - Saint-Julien 10Chteau Belle-Vue, Chteau de Gironville, Crus Bourgeois - Haut-Mdocand Chteau Bolaire, Bordeaux Suprieur 13Chteau Lilian Ladouys, Cru Bourgeois - Saint-Estphe 15Chteau Paveil de Luze, Cru Bourgeois - Margaux,and Pont Rouge du Paveil - Bordeaux 18Chteau de Lamarque - Haut-Mdoc21Chteau Carbonnieux, Grand Cru Class - Graves23Chteau de Rouillac - Pessac-Lognan24Chteau Soutard - Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Class26Chteau de Pressac - Saint-Emilion Grand Cru27Chteau Rouget - Pomerol28Chteau La France, Bordeaux Suprieur 30Chteau Guiraud, Grand Cru Class en 1855 - Sauternes 322010 vintage in LanguedocVignobles Lorgeril - Languedoc342011 vintage in ProvenceChteau Lauzade - Ctes de Provence 362011 vintage in Burgundy Pleasure first and foremost 38Maison Louis Jadot - Burgundy 392011 Vintage in foreign vineyards, Languedoc and Barons deRothschild (Lafite) EstatesChteau dAussires - Corbires 40Via Los Vascos - Chile 40Bodegas Caro - Argentina4120112011 vintage in LebanonChteau Marsyas 42 2 3. 2011 harvest in BordeauxA crAzy vintAgeDecidedly, the 2011 vintage will remain in wine growers memories as oneresembling nothing previously encountered. Because of the years unpredictableand capricious weather, the mood in the cellars of Bordeaux swung betweenfear and hope. For more than 6 months, at times anxious, at others ecstatic,winemakers scanned the skies, without doubt examining their vines with as muchconcern as a gardener inspecting his roses every morning.Winter began with the normal cold snap, but by February spring had arrived tostay. By April, even summer had made its appearance, with unprecedented heatlasting until June. The first six months of 2011 were the warmest in Bordeauxin the past 60 years. At the same time vineyards received only a third of theusual rainfall for the period.In July the situation changed completely, with the coldest recorded temperaturesfor that month in thirty years halting the spectacular progress the vegetationhad undergone in the wake of early flowering at the beginning of May. Light rainshowers cooled the dried-out vineyards, though they also brought the risk ofunwelcome rot. August proved averagely warm, with its customary thunderstormsputting increased pressure from cryptogrammic parasites upon the vines. Thegood winegrower had to work relentlessly in the vineyard, getting as much airas possible to the grapes and treating when necessary.September began poorly. There was more rain and low morale among growers. Thenanother dramatic change came on September 10th with summers sudden return,followed by three weeks of perfect sun and very hot days.Mdoc chteaux benefitted the most (as their Cabernets were harvested withperfect ripeness) as did Saint-Emilion producers who had waited for blue skiesand optimal grape maturity.In short, the 2011 Bordeaux vintage was one of the earliest in history, withthe first whites being picked on August 18th and the entire harvest beingcompleted before the end of September at some of Pauillacs most prestigiousCrus.Most probably the wines will not be comparable to the three previous years,which are more consistent and marked by a different climatic conditions,2011although one thing remains certain: dry white and, above all, sweet whitewines did not suffer from the weather. 3 4. Philippe Dambrine,Managing Director of Chteau Cantemerle,Grand Cru Class en 1855 - Haut-Mdoc,Chteau Haut-Corbin, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Class,Chteau Grand Corbin, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classand Chteau Le Jurat, Saint-Emilion Grand CruWe certainly wont forget the 2011 vintage.At first it looked like being a very early year, then became complicated andcapricious, and finally delivered surprising quality.The weather in a few words: three months of drought from April to June, peaktemperatures in July, then cool but dry conditions in August, followed by a fewlocalised thunderstorms as the harvest approached. The harvest came in with asmall yield about ten days ahead of the normal date. After meticulous sorting,the grapes produced exceptionally rich wines. Very intense colour, concentratedand mature tannins and good acidity.The wines that are now in the cellar have everything to age well. The way theymature in barrel will, nevertheless, be the determining factor to give the truedimension of this very fine vintage in the making.20114 5. Ludovic David,General Manager of Chteau Marquis de Terme,Grand Cru Class in 1855 - MargauxDavid Houdet, Vineyard ManagerJulien Brahmi, Cellar MasterThe vintage was marked by problematic weather conditions, including drought,high temperatures, hail and excess water in August. Solid vineyard management,however, such as the right pruning strategy, regulated leaf removal, and carefulthinning out on certain parcels, enabled us to obtain good maturity and meet thequality targets we had set ourselves.Since the beginning of October 2010, average rainfall in the Gironde had been amere 660 mm. In spite of heavy rains, there was an overall deficit exceeding 250mmcompared to the thirty-year average.The exceptionally mild spring, with April temperatures averaging 15.5C, encouragedrapid, early growth. The first leaves emerged in April, roughly ten days earlierthan in recent years. The first flowers in early May, as well as initial verasionat the beginning of July, confirmed that we were 2 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule.July and August weather, however, slowed veraison. Recorded rainfall during thesetwo months proved higher than the seasonal average, with temperatures remainingcool. Summer changed things and the vintage was not as early as might have beenpredicted. A summer-like spring and a spring-like summer made this vintageviticulturally very distinctive indeed.For David Houdet, Vineyard Manager, This years weather made vineyard monitoringcomplicated. Hail did not spare the vines when it hit on May 9th, ripping someleaves in early flowering, then again on June 4th, causing much more damage to thewhole property. We also observed significant coulure on the Merlots and Cabernets,probably due to cool nights and very hot days (2 to 3 higher than average).Lack of water produced a small yield, particularly for the Cabernet. From Julyto September there was more rain and less sun. The success of this vintage wasdown to the excellent condition of the grapes, which enabled us to wait for theoptimal time to harvest: September 15th.The threat of grey rot remained serious following the August rains and it wasimportant to take calculated risks between the balance of maturity and thedevelopment of grey rot already present in late August.20115 6. We began harvesting the Merlot on September 20th, continuing until the afternoonof the 22nd in fine sunshine.We stopped for a full week and began once again on Friday, September 30th for thePetit Verdot. On October 3rd we turned our attention to the Cabernet Sauvignon;this way we were able to take a good break after the Merlot harvest to wait foroptimal maturity that was crucial for the Cabernet Sauvignon in 2011. We wererewarded with fine smooth tannins.The week of the 26th to the 30th September saw the return of summer-liketemperatures, (ranging from 23C to 30C), which blocked all progress of greyrot and completed the ripening process.The Cabernet Sauvignon harvest from October 3rd to the 6th took place in perfecttemperatures, enabling us to obtain excellent maturity.For Julien Brahmi, Cellar Master, Our sorting system, based on densityand putin place in 2009, fully demonstrated its role this year, particularly on theMerlot. Most were fully matured but the ripening was uneven, so we were ableto eliminate some pink berries immediately. More than ever, the harvestingstrategy, as well as perfect control over state-of-the-art techniques, producedbeautiful, colourful wines with good structure and mature tannins. 2011 was asomewhat complicated yet promising vintage.For Ludovic David, General Manager, 2011 once again proved that terroir qualityis key in these atypical years. The team effort at Chteau Marquis de Terme,coupled with the patience required to obtain full maturity, places this vintagein line with its older brothers, 2009 and 2010.With its excellent fruit and balance, the 2011 should provide very enjoyabledrinking over the years to come, joining other great Margaux wines with longageing potential.20116 7. Vincent Bache-Gabrielsen,Technical Manager of Chateau PdesclauxGrand Cru Class en 1855 - Pauillac2011, A technicAl chAllengeGeneral Characteristics of the 2011 VintageExtremes of weather and rare early development characterised the 2011 vintage.An exceptionally hot, dry spring (the warmest on record for the past 50 years)enabled the first flowers to make their appearance four weeks ahead of schedule.Vineyard growth, however, slowed until mid July due to water stress, requiringflexibility during green operations when the work had to be staggered andrepeated.Scorching hot days were a feature of 2011 (maximum highs of 39C on June 26thand 27th), which led to light scorching of some of the Cabernet Sauvignon. Julyand August brought mixed weather, July being cool and rainy, whereas August washot and sunny, bringing with it gradual maturation.Vineyard ManagementKey Word: adapt.The unstable weather meant we had to keep constant watch over the vineyard, withdecisions changing from day-to-day on how best to manage the canopy.Special vigilance also had to be maintained regarding botrytis; because of extremegrape sensitivity, we began leave removal on the second side in August.Heavy rainfall on September 1st was followed by moderate temperatures that leadto good skin and pip maturation, as well as the development of intense, complexaromas. At that point, technical ripeness (sugar/acid ratio) was then close tophenolic ripeness.2011 7 8. HarvestFavourable weather conditions throughout the campaign meant that the 2011 vintageproved exceptionally early and we started harvesting 15 to 17 days earlier thanusual.We picked the Merlot from September 12th through to September 21st, the CabernetFranc from September 14th to 22nd and, finally, the Cabernet Sauvignon fromSeptember 21st until September 27th.The aim was to pick as quickly as possible, sequencing from one variety toanother. It was essential to take advantage of the small window of opportunitybetween perfect maturity and the arrival of botrytis. Huge stress for a veryencouraging result!New for 2012: tailored harvesting. On one plot we actually harvested the middlebefore the sides. Moreover, following the pedological study we carried out in2010, we selected each type of soil and zoned the areas based on vine growth.Following the excellent results of recent years, we again harvested by hand,using shallow 8kg crates, and then put the grapes into cool storage for 24 hrsto reduce and even out the temperature.We then had the crop carefully sorted (before and after soft de-stemming) by ateam of 40 people. This eliminated every green berry that had not ripened due tothe extreme heat, which blocks the ripening process.VinificationThis year, we maintained gravity vatting without crushing the grapes. We beganthis method in 2009 to avoid grape trituration, enhance the fruit and obtain softtannins by gentle, progressive extraction. We also ran off the vats and punchedthe cap during fermentation.In 2011, we wanted to go further with the gravity system, so we also funneled2011100% of the wines into barrel by gravity.8 9. MaturingFor the 2011 vintage we used 60% of new barrels and 40% of barrels already usedfor one wine. We work with 7 different barrel makers which, in turn, will alsocontribute to enhancing the fruit.2011, A New Level of Quality AttainedIn 2009, the technical team began laying the groundwork with a massive programme ofwork in the vineyard. But it is only when the vintage is technically challenging,as in 2011, that we can really measure what the current team has achieved. ForPedesclaux, the 2011 has kept its promise: the result of our work transcends thevintage.Although 2009 and 2010 were unanimously acclaimed, 2011 is denser and morepowerful. The high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in theblend has enabled us to obtain more power and intensity, thus enhancing the fruitand the finesse of the tannins, so characteristic Pdesclauxs terroir.The qualitative revolution at Pdesclaux is thus well under way. The 2011, ismore accomplished than 2009 and 2010 and stands up to comparison brilliantly.Wine CharacteristicsChteau Pdesclaux: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet FrancFleur de Pdesclaux: 100% MerlotProportion: 60% of the harvest went into the Grand Vin and 40% into the secondwine.Le Haut-Mdoc de Pdesclaux: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot20119 10. Christian HosteinVineyard Manager of Chteau Talbot,Grand Cru Class en 1855 - Saint-Julien de BeychevelleThe vines extraordinarily early phenologic state, in particular thedate of mid-flowering (May 12th), is closely linked to the atypicalspring that we experienced in 2011.Between April and May there were 61 days of fine, dry weather, and thevines took full advantage of them to develop!Subsequently, in the key month of June, vegetation slowed and July andAugust took its toll on vines that had shallow root systems or were onshallow terroirs.Fortunately, after growth had fallen back in June, fine autumn-like rainprovided deep soils with humidity. In certain cases the vines were ableto renew their growth cycles.We had to adapt our methods by constantly monitoring and adapting workin the vineyard in particular, cutting back the intense growth thatwould be detrimental to quality - at least that is what we tried todo!On a beautiful, sunny September 23rd we picked the Petits Verdots, whichwere at their peak; the fine Cabernets on the plateau would be ready thefollowing week.Yesterday, at the first official tastings of the Merlots we had aglimpse of good things to come (fullness, fat and opulence from oldMerlot vines, reminiscent of 2005).In short, 2011 was heavily influenced by the break in the weather inJune. Between April and May our wine-growing operations (leaf-thinning)responded to an almost Mediterranean type of development in the vines,whereas the months of July and August, with very typical maritime weatherconditions were more in line with what we are used to in Bordeaux. Talbot, Friday 23rd September 2011201110 11. As the year ends, it is time to assess the 2011 vintage and draw someconclusions.In early December, we were happy...