91-94/100 Andrew Caillard MW. Deep colour. Lovely fresh cassis/ sage aromas, touch of cedar. Sweet fruit flavours, fine plentiful slinky grainy tannins. Finishes chalky and juicy. Still very elemental but tannins are totally in sync with fruit.
89-91/100 Robert Parker Jr. Tart acids give this dark ruby/purple-tinged wine a crunchy, fresh, lively feel on the palate. Composed of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, this medium-bodied 2011 reveals loads of finesse and purity, but is slightly superficial compared to recent vintages such as 2009 and 2010. It should drink well for 10-15 years.
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavors of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavors, but are more approachable immediately upon release.