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2011 was one of the hottest, sunniest and driest of the last forty years. Very warm weather in April and May gave the vegetation cycle a head start: flowering was recorded on 15 May, the earliest date in living memory, and veraison started two-and-half weeks earlier than usual. Conditions in July and August were very different, bringing less sunshine and significantly more precipitation. However, by the end of August, only 326 mm of rainfall had been recorded since 1 January, compared with an average of 519 mm. Fine weather returned to the Médoc in early September, and bright sunshine prevailed throughout the two weeks of the harvest, which began on 12 September. These auspicious conditions were highly beneficial, allowing the grapes to ripen fully. Picking ended on 28 September. Low yields, especially at Mouton, have produced structured, deep, and fresh wines. 2011 is thus a classic Bordeaux vintage, to be ranked among the finer, or perhaps even the finest.
96 Points - James Suckling
This shows lots of opulent aromas of ripe fruit, lightly toasted oak, walnut and dried meat. It's full-bodied, with chewy tannins and plenty of fruit. A muscular, solid wine. Baby 1986. Try in 2020.
95 Points - Wine Spectator
This delivers a gorgeously pure beam of cassis and cherry compote, with singed apple wood, graphite and iron notes hanging in the background for now. Long and polished through the finish, showing profound depth in reserve. Best from 2018 through 2035.
95 Points - Wine Enthusiast
There is a lightness about this vintage of Mouton Rothschild. It doesn't take away from its quality but does give the wine poise and an attractive lift. The wine is based on solid tannins, and the ripe fruit builds layers of fruitiness and freshness. It is not likely to be one of the longest-aging Moutons, but it will be delicious. Drink from 2020.
92 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted at the Mouton-Rothschild vertical in London, the 2011 Mouton-Rothschild is probably the "weakest" of the releases between 2008 and 2012. That would unfairly disparage what is perfectly respectable if rather an unexciting Mouton. Here, it has those graphite and cedar aromas present and correct, the former a little more accentuated and with a light sea-spray note emerging with time. The palate is well balanced with cedar and a slight peat-like note infusing the black fruit, rigid in its youth but nicely delineated. As I discerned out of the barrel, it lacks that peacock's tail on the finish, bolting out of the exit door before you get to know each other.
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