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Cool Sculptures and Loose Textures

They were always going to be big boots to fill...Your guess is as good as mine. Artwork at Chateau Kirwan
Short blog tonight, as I have to be downstairs for a beer in 10 minutes and much as I enjoy my blogging...

Weather-wise, a cooler day with much more cloud. Wine-wise, Day 2 has given ample opportunity for the assessment of the 2011 vintage in the Medoc.

I have been to Chateau Lagrange and tasted all the Grands Crus St Estephe, Pauillac and St Julien wines, to Marquis de Terme to sample those of Margaux, to Camensac to try the Medocs and Haut Medocs, plus I have fitted in a number of chateau visits, including first growths.

To elaborate on my comments of yesterday, when good, this vintage is really very good indeed. The wines are far from massive, but the best are elegant, controlled, very fresh, often floral; they have the chiselled features and coolness of some pretty skilfully worked sculpture and the levels of alcohol are much lower than in 2009 and 2010. Yet the IPT levels (the measure of total phenolic content, including tannin) is, in many cases, the highest ever. Top wines will last and last, no doubt. And the good examples are appetising, lip-smacking, demanding of food and lively chatter.

This is not to say that everyone has been successful. Some wines are disjointed, with too much tannin too loose a texture to their fruit. Others - especially (as ever) in Margaux - are overwrought.

But there's easily enough tasty stuff here to keep one keen.

Now, where's that beer...
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