Daniel and Florence Cathiard have produced another exceptional wine to follow their 100 point 2009 and (in our opinion) superior 2010. The 2011 is not as profound as its two predecessors, but it is a wonderful effort none the less and demonstrates the strides that have been achieved in the vineyard and in the cellar at this estate. Tasted under leaden skies, this still spoke of cool perfumed fruit, notes of coal dust and minerals. The palate was suave and pure and the only slight question mark is the dryness of the tannins. We will give this 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot blend the benefit of the doubt - it should all come together harmoniously in barrel.
Daniel and Florence Cathiard have taken this Pessac estate to the next level. The wines here outshine many of the top names from the more fashionable communes and are challenging the likes of Haut Bailly, La Mission and even Haut Brion for supremacy in the Graves. Their 2009 received a perfect 100 points from Robert Parker and we think the 2010 is even better. The style is pure seductive fruit and a silky texture; the quality is exceptional. Kudos to Daniel and Florence for turning this good, but slightly underperforming estate into one of the finest in Pessac Leognan.
The region has one first growth, Château Haut-Brion, whilst other renowned Chateaux currently doing well are La Mission-Haut-Brion, Pape-Clément, Smith-Haut-Lafitte and Haut-Bailly. Soils are gravely and well-drained and the plantations are similar in proportion to those of the Médoc, consisting mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The region is also well known for its long-lived whites that can be varying blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon oaked or unoaked. The most lauded are Domaine de Chevalier, Haut-Brion, Pape-Clement, De Fieuzal, and Laville-Haut-Brion.