Charm and Substance
“A year after bottling, having had time to settle down, the best 2011 white Burgundies show fresh, lively profiles born of vibrant acidity, with the structure needed to carry their floral, apple, peach, citrus and mineral flavors. The wines are accented by spice, butterscotch and pastry notes from aging in oak barrels, but all should integrate well over the next year or two. As a result, the vintage deserves an overall rating of 92 points on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale, a notch above the preliminary assessment I made last year.
“My initial impression of the 2011 white Burgundies was that they would be charming, easygoing wines for early consumption. Tasting them from barrel in January and early February 2013, the young wines were pleasant and forward, with fruity elements and softer structures, and no doubt there will be a number of wines to enjoy now and over the next three to five years. However, in many cases the structures have firmed up to give the wines definition, and their balance strikes an equilibrium between richness and acidity; these are whites that should evolve beautifully over the next 15 to 20 years. My upgraded vintage rating for 2011 is based on the excellent quality of these wines after roughly a year in bottle.
“Seven white Burgundies earned classic ratings (95 to 100 points). Leading the pack are a pair from Domaine Leflaive: the Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet 2011 (96), which is focused and vibrant, yet fluid and creamy, with lime, hazelnut, citronella, apple and mineral flavors, and the Chevalier-Montrachet 2011 (96), exhibiting innate power, with peach, lemon, baking spice and mineral flavors that are vivid and long.”