It’s been an eventful week here at TWH. The Wine Spectator released its Top Ten Wines of the year over the course of this week, and we were greeted with ringing phones and many orders for Wine #9 first thing Monday morning. (We still have a very limited amount of the 2012 Château Clos Fourtet available on Pre-Arrival – Expected early 2016). More of the same for Wine #6 on Wednesday (though that wine is now sold out), and then we watched the rest of the show in somewhat peace and quiet. It triggered some fine conversation around here.
It can feel like panic buying. The interesting thing is that the wine did not undergo any change in the last week. It’s been in bottle for around a year, yet as this list began leak out, perceptions changed. Suddenly on Monday morning, many had to have the wine … and immediately. It’s not a surprise that our staff are all wine consumers, though this list didn’t motivate us to buy a single bottle. It was fun to watch, but what motivates us to buy a wine? Quality. Price. Markets are efficient. A buyer bids, a seller offers; when they meet, the trade occurs and both are happy, or they should be. When it comes to Cru Classé Bordeaux, the sellers seem to have less compromise than other wine producers. When Château Léoville-Poyferré earned 198+ points from The Wine Advocate for their combined 2009 and 2010 vintages, it seemed like another “good-bye” to friendly pricing for one of Bordeaux’s Second Growths.
The 2011 vintage in Bordeaux was nowhere near as universally successful as the 2009 and 2010 vintages were, yet it was no washout either! There were plenty of successful red wines produced in Bordeaux in 2011, not the least of which is the 2011 Léoville-Poyferré. With the chateau’s recent successes, coupled with a favorable barrel sample review from Robert Parker, we nervously awaited the release of the price of their 2011. It wasn’t bad, but with the exchange rate at the time, it wasn’t cheap either. So what motivates our staff to buy a wine? Quality. Price. There is no mistaking the quality of the 2011 Léoville-Poyferré. The price? $90, but wait, as part of our 38th Anniversary Sale, it’s just $74.95! Now there’s a change that should motivate. The wine is still the same. The price has gotten better. It’s here, it’s in stock. It will drink well beginning in a couple of years and last two decades at the very least. It will make for a great gift, especially for those who may be cellaring the 2009 and/or 2010 versions. The 2011 will be drinkable long before either of those are ready.
Robert Parker’s in-bottle review of the 2011 Château Léoville-Poyferré in The Wine Advocate:
“This property, which has been on a qualitative tear over the last generation, has produced one of the most successful wines of 2011. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, it is broad, rich, medium to full-bodied and dense. 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. 94 points”