"The 2011 Grand Vin is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (59%), Merlot (15%), Petit Verdot (19%), Cabernet France (4%) and Malbec (3%), all aged for 20 months in 80% new French oak barrels. It came in at 14.5% alcohol, and was unfined and unfiltered. It is showing its oak a bit much, but that should be fine in time. It otherwise seems like a lovely Castel, showing the winery’s trademark finesse, yet providing subtle concentration and grip on the finish. At a young age, it is quite accessible, but it clearly needs some time to come together and show more complexity. As it airs out, it shows a crisp and focused finish, admittedly tinged by that oak. The ripe tannins should support it well, while never overwhelming it. This vintage overall seems to be producing some elegant wines, and Castel’s performance is right in line with that. This, an understated but rather classy Castel, should come along well. It is still about potential, but I’m leaning up in anticipation. It does have some things to prove in the cellar."