2011 Phélan-Ségur, St-Estèphe (Pre-Arrival)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(50% cabernet sauvignon, 46% merlot and 4% petit verdot): Opaque inky-purple. Minty balsamic reduction on the nose. The palate leads with black cherry and dark berry cocktail flavors, then turns leaner and austere toward the back, finishing bright and peppery. I would have liked a touch more generosity but this is a potentially outstanding de Pez, especially if the tannins come into better harmony with the wine's fruit.
This has good stuffing, with engaging plum, cassis and blackberry coulis flavors at the core, holding steady through the anise-studded finish, accented by hints of charcoal and violet. Reveals a pebbly accent at the very end, keeping this grounded. Best from 2015 through 2022.
A wine with earthy and spicy character, a medium body and a fresh finish. A little lean. Needs time to soften. Better in 2017.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Another sleeper of the vintage, this excellent effort from the Gardinier family reveals a dense ruby/purple color along with a sweet perfume of mulberries, black cherries and black currants. An absence of herbaceousness gives the wine an attractive plump, fruit-driven mouthfeel with earth, light tannin and structure. Enjoy this excellent 2011 over the next 7-8 years.
Darkly hued with considerable wood flavor, this wine puts toast before fruit. The wine certainly needs time to soften and reveal its fruit profile. Drink from 2017.
Decent cherry cola fruit, spice, good balance and a fine finish.