tim’s take on 2011…


I might disagree about his ranking i.e. better vs 2001, 2002, 2006 (though is he talking about red or white?), but I think there are good infos here.
Clearly he’s not sensitive to pyrazine though…

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 10 responses to “tim’s take on 2011…”

  1. burgundyfan5th December 2012 at 11:11 amPermalinkReply

    Hi Bill
    it would be very interesting which from the great burgundy-wine-talker was also on that gevry-2011-degustation. Than we will see where isn’t independent.

    • billn5th December 2012 at 12:14 pmPermalinkReply

      Hi Pablo – well I hope to have my notes online in the next issue about 21st Dec 🙂

  2. JT5th December 2012 at 1:43 pmPermalinkReply

    2002?? Very controversial…

    • billn5th December 2012 at 1:53 pmPermalinkReply

      Yes JT – 2002 is regarded as a very good vintage and I see no reason to revisit that. Tim doesn’t really differentiate between reds and whites – so he could invoke an escape clause – but people normally assume reds for most commentaries. As for non-pyrazine containing 2011 reds, I’m very comfortable with what I wrote in the ‘Summer 2012 Issue vintage viewpoint‘:

      There are really achingly pretty wines to be tasted from barrel, wines of pure pleasure, if admittedly not that much minerality despite a good distinction between vineyards – it is simply not a vintage where you would use the term ‘profound’ – but we have enough of those in cellar already. Here is something to drink.

  3. Don COrnwell6th December 2012 at 7:41 amPermalinkReply

    The key question is how prevalent are the pyrazine affected wines? And do they seem to come from a particular appelltion or appellations?

    • billn6th December 2012 at 7:46 amPermalinkReply

      You will see for yourself when I publish my ‘Autumn Report’ before Xmas Don.
      I see no particular ‘hotspots’. I haven’t tasted 11s everywhere yet, but everywhere I’ve tasted, I’ve noted some. So far that includes Maranges, Santenay, Pommard, Volnay, Beaune, Savigny, Nuits, Morey & Gevrey…
      A ‘reasonable’ cross-section, but as an ‘occasional taster’ I can’t go faster 😉

  4. Lliwaiu Llachar6th December 2012 at 12:10 pmPermalinkReply

    Maybe Tim was seduced by the seductive 2011 fruit from barrel, as I think that he is way off the mark when saying it is better than 2002.

    Nothing on ladybirds/pyrazines in the article as has been pointed out. I have spoken to other UK merchant buyers of Burgundy who have tasted the vintage and think that there is no story here. At the moment Bill it seems as though you are in the minority view on this one, although I myself are not questioning the validity of your comments. I wonder what view Jasper and Coates have on this issue; would be useful to hear their thoughts also.

    • billn6th December 2012 at 12:17 pmPermalinkReply

      All I can say Mark, is that I’m now picking out wines with 100% succes in vignerons’ kitchens when served blind – i.e. – here’s some wine, what do you think it is – my answer ‘2011, P2’ (as in 2/10 on the Pyrazine scale)…
      Okay – I’ve only been asked twice, and I might not be able to tell whether it’s Côte de Nuits or Côte de Beaune, but that’s still a 100% record on blind bugs 😉

  5. Joachim6th December 2012 at 3:30 pmPermalinkReply

    I can’t follow his vintage ranking either, especially I still don’t get how 2009 can be regarded as an “exceptional” vintage – but that’s my constant comment in this Forum. I had several 2009ers, and apart from the generic wines, which were round and pleasant, I was disappointed most of the time.

  6. jossnotjosh16th December 2012 at 1:07 pmPermalinkReply

    Bill – I have met no man more sensitive to technical faults in wine than Tim Atkin. If he has a party trick then this is it. I would be interested to hear what you had to say about sulphur, and excessive levels of, in 2004 reds. Cheers, Joss

    • billn16th December 2012 at 1:24 pmPermalinkReply

      Having seen him in action JnJ, I have to agree re TCA – we were all rolling our eyes, but eventually agreeing. Clearly that doesn’t mean he’s sensitive to pyrazines in the same way though – all our sensitivities lie in different directions.
      I certainly haven’t got past the M-P’s in 2004 reds to comment on sulfur – indeed I only try half a dozen a year to confirm (or otherwise) the stability of their presentation, such is my dislike for their aromatic profile – I tend to note SO2 more in whites. I’ve seen the rate of sulfur increase the most around 2007, but that was (likely) the higher acidity of the vintage making it more volatile…

  7. jossnotjosh16th December 2012 at 3:33 pmPermalinkReply

    I think I would like to discuss this further. Heard a very convincing anti-ladybird argument last week, viz: 2004s tasting like they do is all about excessive use of sulphur during vintage, then cack-handed use of same at bottling. I bought the argument, which came from someone at the top of the tree in terms of wines produced. To be continued, as they say.

    • billn16th December 2012 at 4:44 pmPermalinkReply

      Yes, Mr Fourrier had a similar theory, 2-3 years ago. But of-course that falls flat if you have the same presentation in 2011 where the grapes were very, very clean – only unripe needed to be triaged (in the main) not rot/botrytis…
      Happy to chat, just very unhappy that more than 50% of the wines I tasted en-place since the end of November are presenting pyrazines so young…

  8. goughie1316th December 2012 at 9:39 pmPermalinkReply

    Hum ! Interesting comments. My humble 2p’s hereafter. Choosing my words carefully, as Bill and I have had a ‘difference of opinions’ with TA previously (over 2008 & 2009), & as I’ve no wish to have similar/again here:-
    TA’s article refers to his views being based on 8 days tasting with various producers. The names he mentions are pretty much ‘top of the tree’. I’ve no need, as if, to ‘massage’ Bill’s ego but I think regular readers on here will have the view Bill tastes more widely in every respect than TA – in terms of number of visits and variety of producers ? So, who’s view do you go with ?

    Mark/LL (and JT & Joachim), I agree that TA seems ‘way off the mark’ when saying 2011 is better, or has the potential to be better, than 2002. I can’t agree with that for now either and, whilst the few 2011’s I’ve tasted from barrel did have ‘seductive fruit’, I’m not forming any view at the moment. For me its also way too soon to suggest 2011 is/will be better than the likes of 2001 or 2008 also.

    TA also comments on it being a very early vintage ? Am not sure here if he’s talking whites, reds, or a cross section. It wasn’t as early as 2009 !!! I’ve just looked back – my 2011 vendange (Cotes de Nuits – Morey) started 3rd Sept and finished a week later approx – the 11th. Ponsot finished circa 16th Sept, Yves Confuron 17th. Both 2008 & 2010 were lateish vintages as I recall so maybe TA is viewing 2011 as early in comparison to those but historically I don’t think it was ‘that early’.

    I think I’ve said it before elsewhere but will say it again, not as a matter of just backing Bill up, but simply as a matter of fact:- I’ve worked the vintages of 2006-2011, missing 2007. I’ve never seen anything like the ‘volume’ of ladybirds I saw in 2011. It was quite remarkable how prevalent they were. I’ll make no more judgement on that.

    Mark/LL, in terms of your comments of the 6th you say there was ‘nothing in the article about ladybirds/pyrazines’ ? Quite frankly I wouldn’t expect there to be. Moreover, I don’t necessarily expect to taste 2004 type flavours in the London Burg 2011 EP ’round’ next month but we’ll see. As Bill has said previously, and others, the 2004 issues now prevalent were just not apparent early on hence if 2011 is to follow/be similar then any ladybird/pyrazine taint issues a la 2004 are for me unlikely to be notable now – unless ‘very bad’, one has a very strong susceptibility to the taint, or both of those and one is particularly looking for ‘it’ ? I’ve only met you the once, briefly, hence am not sure if you were buying seriously in 2004 but if you were then you will, I’m sure, recognise no issues were apparent early on but only emerged over time ? If you want to try a badly affected 2004 I’ll swap you a bottle or two of Denis Bachelet’s Gevrey VV for another wine (not a 2004 though !);-) ? Fortunately I bought mainly (a few) whites from 2004 and have just a handful of reds which I’ve decided to just ‘park’ for a few years before thinking about broaching (or ‘losing’). I would not expect for a second any UK merchants to even remotely ‘volunteer’ anything about any ‘story here’. They have this vintage to sell, I guess many will be aiming for prices above 2010’s, and many of them might have stocks of 2004 they’d like to shift ? Without getting unduly cynical most of the UK Burg specialist merchants I know/deal with don’t even want to know about premature oxidation or refund me on my late 90’s/early 2000’s whites so they are hardly going to admit to problems with 2004 or 2011 are they ?

    Which neatly brings me to Joss 🙂 !! Joss, am I mistaken or aren’t you in the trade with a certain London merchant holding the Queen’s warrant ? If so, I guess you’ll have the 2011 vintage to sell, and perhaps stocks of 2004 ? You refer to ‘excessive use of sulphur during the vintage’ and ‘cackhanded use of same at bottling’ ? I’ll confess I’m amazed by this not least as it seems completely insulting, if not demeaning, to the abilities of some high quality producers ? Lets take Bachelet and Ponsot to name but two – I’ve experienced the 2004 issues in the former’s wines and have seen reports of 2004 issues in the latter’s – I daren’t open any of my 3 bottles of 2004 Clos de la Roche VV for now. I don’t believe any serious reader of Bill’s site would consider either of those producers cack handed ? Am sure there are plenty of other names one could refer to similarly. I’ve drunk plenty of 04 whites and enjoyed them without noticing sulphur at all.

    So, for me, as an amateur we’ll see. I’d love 2011 to be a raging sucess (don’t think there’ll be many sale problems such is the demand for burgundy at the mo and small vintages of late plus 2012 to come) but, without and before Bill flagging simply as he sees it, I’m wary of the vintage for all the reasons Bill has articulated. I could be totally wrong. If I am hey ho so be it. Meantime, Bill’s not in a minority of one but at least two 😉 !!!

  9. jossnotjosh17th December 2012 at 12:09 pmPermalinkReply

    Goughie, Briefly: no, no longer with a warrant but yes, still with a commercial interest. I’ll give you that cack-handed might sound a little strong, but it wasn’t my opinion, just one that I had heard, and one that was convincing. Bill’s argument is equally convincing, though I am going to stay on the fence for the moment.

  10. goughie1317th December 2012 at 5:59 pmPermalinkReply


    I did appreciate you were simply relaying an opinion, not proffering one, hence if I need to make that clear am happy to do so 😉

    For my part I was, probably not that well, suggesting I could not see how the opinion could be ‘that’ convincing if related to certain vignerons.

    Fence’s can be great places can’t they – sat on a few myself, not always comfortably though (that’s a joke btw not a dig !). Best.

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