I don’t remember 11 being a stand-out vintage, and at the satellite/StEmGC level, it can show HARD. Found this lurking in the cellar and I try not to keep these cheap Merlots around for much more than a decade. It did not disappoint in the *meh* expectations. I mean… we all HOPE, right? That sparkle, that glimmer, that shocking fulfillment in a bargain wine rested well. Very little of that happened here. This wine is not aging well.
Medium garnet in the glass, bricking appropriately. “Thin” and “tight” are gross under-statements here, as the fruit basically never makes a showing. Oh sure, there’s some in there, but it’s a bleak glimmer taking some searching behind the rasp of structure and chalky dryness. Thin and toasty berry lurks around in the shadows, the shrill polished citrus and un-resolved tannins preventing even a polite curtsy.
The mouth-feel replicates the nose tit-for-tat. The fruit in steady decline, with tannin ruling the whole wine in ways not *bad*, but beyond balance and aged visions of beauty. By itself, decanted vigorously, it can make a slight argument for expression, and could service a table, but most of the appreciation is in the imagination. It has faded to a point difficult to justify. It’s not tired, it’s not oxidized, it’s just gone. It fulfills its goal as an inexpensive, thin claret at 10 and nothing more. I suppose it could be dumb, as I proclaimed a matching bottle “ripe and effusive” a little over a year ago. Bottle variation? Beats me, but this thing in front of me today has its plaudits, but it requires searching. And I don’t think another decade will fix it.
2011 CHATEAU VIGNOT St. Emilion Grand Cru Bordeaux 13.0