2011 Burgundy – the thoughts of Tim Atkin MW

by Andrew Hooper

Another exhaustive taster of new vintage Burgundies is Tim Atkin MW, who has been hard at work, both at the tasting table and the lap-top, of late.  If for nothing else than the beautiful photographs, his opus on the 2011 vintage is well worth a look.

There is an in-depth analysis of the vintage itself which concludes that one really should be indulging.
“Should you buy a few cases of 2011? I believe that you should. This is a vintage for wine lovers, rather than investors, but that’s no bad thing.”

All prices quoted below are In Bond prices.  For Duty Paid prices and all other conditions please see the LEA & SANDEMAN web-site.

Detailed notes are posted only (only?) for the top 250 wines, but that still leaves plenty of room for LEA & SANDEMAN listed Burgundies.  To Marie-Christine Mugneret-Gibourg goes the accolade of making our top-scoring wine in Tim’s list – Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2011 Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg.  Such is the quality and such are the small quantities involved, that the Clos Vougeot is already sold out. You can, however, buy some of Marie-Christine’s other wines with confidence – Tim picks out Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg as one of his Producers to Watch – “Her wines are very fine and detailed, favouring the chisel over the sledgehammer. “
Nuits St Georges 1er cru Les Chaignots 2011 Mugneret-Gibourg (case of 12 £525) – 93 points
Vosne Romanée 2011 Mugneret-Gibourg (case of 12 £348) – 92 points

Huddled together on an impressive 95 points are our highest-scoring non-Grand Cru wines, three of which come from the same wine maker.  Yves Confuron, aside from having his own Domaine, makes the wines at Domaine Courcel in Pommard.
Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Lavaut-St-Jacques 2011 Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot (case of 12 £573)
“the wines from Lavaux/Lavaut are some of my favourites in 2011.”
Pommard 1er cru Grand Clos des Épenots 2011 Domaine Courcel (case of six £297)
“quintessential Pommard: rich and concentrated, but with firm, slightly austere tannins.”
Pommard 1er cru Rugiens 2011 Domaine Courcel (case of six £363)
“the most Pommard-like of Pommards”

Also knocking in an impressive score of 95 points is Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Grandes Ruchottes 2011 F&L Pillot (case of 12 £321)
“…stylish, modern white Burgundy of a very high order. Forward. Rich and smoky, with creamy, lees-derived richness and superb definition.”  2013-2020
Almost as impressive is the 94 points worth of Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Morgeot 2011 F&L Pillot 2011 (case of 12 £249)
“The Pillots have made some of the best value white wines of the vintage, typified by this cashew and citrus fruit scented Chassagne. Minerally, taut and very complex, this is white winemaking of a high calibre.”  2014-22
Tim’s observation that “all the wines from this Chassagne-based domaine are impressive in 2011” is born out out the fact that all of Laurent Pillot’s Montrachets scored 90 points or more,
Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Vergers 2011 F&L Pillot (case of 12 £249) – 93 points
Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Vide Bourse 2011 F&L Pillot (case of 12 £306) – 93 points
Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Champgains 2011 F&L Pillot (case of 12 £249) – 92 points
Puligny Montrachet Noyers Brets 2011 F&L Pillot (case of 12 £210) – 90 points
not a 1er cru, this one, so offering some rather good value, as pointed out by Jancis Robinson MW.

Tim’s list of the 25 Top Producers in Burgundy has all the famous names that one might expect on it, but includes Domaines Jean-Marc Boillot and Confuron-Cotetidot, both cornerstones of the LEA & SANDEMAN Burgundy range.  As we have seen, Yves Confuron’s Lavaut-St-Jacques scored very well, but so did
Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru 2011 Confuron-Cotetidot (case of six £447) – 94 points
“Dark and brooding, with serious tannins and a sappy, refreshing finish.” 2017-28
Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Craipillot 2011 Confuron-Cotetidot (case of 12 £414) – 93 points
Vosne Romanée 1er cru Les Suchots 2011 Confuron-Cotetidot (case of 12 £543) – 93 points
Just to prove that he doesn’t make all of his best Pommard at Domaine Courcel
Pommard 1er cru Les Arvelets 2011 Confuron-Cotetidot (case of 12 £426) – 92 points
And you shouldn’t miss out on the ‘village’ wines either
Chambolle Musigny 2011 Confuron-Cotetidot (case of 12 £294) – 92 points
Gevrey Chambertin 2011 Confuron-Cotetidot (case of 12 £279) – 91 points
Nuits St Georges 2011 Confuron-Cotetidot (case of 12 £276) – 91 points

Jean-Marc Boillot’s ever-reliable ‘village’ Puligny Montrachet (case of 12 £270) scores a very respectable 89 points, with the awesome 1er cru Champ Canet (case of 12 £432) drawing in 92 points.

More excitingly, perhaps, is Tim’s list of the 25 Top Value Producers, where our range fares even better.
A&F Boudin
Chablis 1er cru Fourchaumes 2011 (case of 12 £120) 
– 91 points
Chablis Grand Cru Valmur 2011 (case of 12 £234) – 93 points
Chablis 1er cru Montmains 2011 (case of 12 £135) – 92 points
Daniel Barraud
Pouilly Fuissé La Rôche 2011 (case of 12 £183) – 91 points
another one highly recommended by Jancis Robinson MW in the FT
Pouilly Fuissé, Vieilles Vignes La Verchère 2011 (case of 12 £162) – 90 points
Pouilly Fuissé, Vieilles Vignes Les Crays (case of 12 £183) – 90 points
Domaine Huguenot
this Domaine was new to LEA & SANDEMAN at the 2009 vintage but it’s already a firm favourite and fully organic from the 2010 vintage.
Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Fonteny 2011 (case of six £180) – 92 points
Marsannay 2011 (case of six £60) – 90 points
For sheer value and charm, the Marsannay is difficult to beat.
Hubert Lamy
Hubert Lamy has been a firm favourite with LEA & SANDEMAN for a long long time and, although better known these days, his Saint Aubins still represent excellent value for wines from the Côte d’Or.
Saint Aubin 1er cru Clos de la Chatenière 2011 (case of 12 £267) – 92 points
Saint Aubin 1er cru En Remilly 2011 (case of 12 £267) – 92 points
His foray into Puligny Montrachet wins plaudits too, though
Puligny Montrachet Les Tremblots 2011 (case of 12 £294) – 92 points

A word, in passing, for Tim’s most interesting tasting note, about the excellent Clos des Lambrays 2011 (case of six £483),
“It’s a very definite style, which some will love and others will hate, with notes of Islay malt whisky and savoury, spicy, almost meaty flavours. It will be interesting to see how the wine ages.”
95 points, 2014-22
Tastes of Islay whisky?  Frankly, that can’t be a bad thing.

The entire LEA & SANDEMAN range of 2011 Burgundy can be found on our web-site, complete with Charles Lea’s tasting notes and various wine writers’ comments.