And so after a nice little streak, the Bordelais had their work cut out for themselves in 2011. When I was touring last April (2010), unseasonably warm / hot weather arrived and then stayed. But alas, come August, things cooled off - literally. Growing grapes in a maritime zone is always chancy, especially once the height of summer passes.... Bottom line, not a great vintage by any measure. Which doesn't mean there won't be good wines popping up here and there. By example a pair of dazzling whites left me gob-smacked - La Mission & d'Yquem. The exercise serves to remind that even the prettiest chateaux with their immaculate gardens can't escape the fact that Mother Nature retains the final say in all this.