The 2011 vintage in Bordeaux followed a trend of accelerated price increases after the stellar 2009 and 2010 vintages; on release, it was doomed to fail En Primeur! As such, it has flown under the radar since. We have been retasting it, at the behest of the Bordelaise, who have been singing its praises as a drinking vintage for three years, they truly believe in it. It has now seen over six years in bottle and the jury can finally re-enter the room. It is certainly better than 2002, 2004, 2007, at large on par with 2006 and I’d posit in many cases 2003. Much of the news following the grand 2009 and 2010 vintages dealt a faux card to 2011, rather a miscarrage of justice. The vintage is well built. The wines, in a word are gastronomic, drinking beautifully now. They will improve for ten more years and age to 20 years. For the experienced Bordeaux drinker, they appeal today, well knowing that in the short-term they are more interesting from bottle than the 2009 or 2010. They are not in the league of the truly great vintages; however, this makes them more interesting for consumption now. More than anything else the economic conditions of their release and tentative trading mean they are today undervalued and worth stocking up on. One can buy a superb drinking vintage, with no opportunity cost.
Today we are delighted to be able to offer a parcel of what must be considered one of the buys not only of the vintage but of Bordeaux. Leoville Poyferre 2011 is exceptional, it was awarded 94 points from Robert Parker who at the time proclaimed ‘It boasts an inky/purple color as well as lots of concentration, silky tannins, and a bigger, richer mouthfeel than any of its St.-Julien peers. The result is one of the stars of the vintage.’ The price today is special, barely believable in the context of 94 point Wine Advocate scoring Bordeaux. Priced at £570 per case of 12 or £47.50 a bottle, it represents some of the very best possible value; talking about opportunity cost the release price was £570 ex-London! Leoville Poyferre is a leading Second Growth from Saint Julien and in recent years has been challenging Leoville Las Cases for the title of the best Leoville vineyard: Poyferre, Las Cases and Barton were once the same vineyard.
The 2011’s Price over Points ratio is 41, the lowest of any vintage and one of the lowest of any Second Growth vintage, offers incredible quality. The table below displays the obvious value, containing any Poyferre vintage with 94 points or above. The average price of any vintage with 94 points or above is £1,200, the average POP score 77. Our price of £570 per case of 12 offers magnificent value, the 93 point scoring 2005 costs £950, even the recently physical 94 point scoring 2015 costs £735; the 2011 offers a superb opportunity.
Leoville Poyferre was originally part of the ancient Leoville Estate that took up a vast portion of Saint Julien in the 17th and 18th centuries. After the Revolution, and with one quarter of the property already sold to Hugh Barton (Leoville Barton), the descendants of the Marquis Las Cases sold a second quarter to the Baron de Poyferre-Ceres in 1840. In 1866 M. Armand Lalande and Baron d’Erlanger purchased the Chateau for one million Francs (£200,000) and ran it successfully until the 1890s when it was sold to Edouard Lawton. During the latter half of the 19th century Poyferre enjoyed a period as the highest price Second Growth. After the First World War the family of Bordeaux based Negotiants assumed ownership. The Estate has remained in their control since and is currently presided over by Didier Cuvelier. The quality of the wine suffered a marked decline during the mid-part of the 20th century. However, under Didier, who has run the Chateau for over 20 years, Leoville Poyferre has undergone a resurgence and is producing wines worthy of its predecessors.
Leoville Poyferre is located in the Saint Julien appellation of the Medoc and winemaking is carried out with exacting standards. Michel Rolland was appointed in 1995 as a consultant and this has seen an increase of quality. The wine used to be the least full bodied of the three Leovilles, now it has a distinct fleshiness and defined structure that has put it on an equal footing to its neighbours.
The 2011 offers something remarkable, a great value claret. We have been looking for a parcel of the 2011 at the right price for five years, today we are pleased to be able to offer it.
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