I just finished tasting the 2005 Mouton-Rothschild at the château, and I am impressed. The wine is much better than when I tasted it in late March. It has serious concentration of fruit and super well-integrated tannins. It’s what it should be -- classic quality.
To many people, the Mouton didn’t show well this spring. I found the wine lacking a little concentration both in fruit and tannins. But it’s all there now. It reminds me of driving a sports car at high speed and shifting down from sixth to fifth to pass. The ripe fruit and velvety tannins really kick in on the finish and last for minutes on the palate.
“Mouton always is difficult to taste in top vintages,” said Hervé Berland, director of Mouton as well as Cleric Milon and d'Armailhac. “I have been working at Mouton for 30 years, and some of the best modern vintages have been that way. I remember 1996 was like that.”
I also tasted the 2005 Latour today. Wow. What length and class. When I tasted it in late March, it was just as beautiful – a very beautiful baby. Now it’s that baby wrapped up in a cashmere blanket. Stunning. This is already vying for the wine of the vintage.
The only other 2005 I tasted today was the Malescot-St.-Exupéry. What a wine. Jean-Luc Zuger really made an exceptional wine. It still falls within the range of 95-100 points, and it’s a relative bargain compared to the other greats in the district such as Margaux and Palmer. I remember blogging that Zuger was crazy to double his price to 30 euros from the château. Now that looks like a bargain compared to many of the top wines of the vintage. I would take a look at getting some if it’s still reasonably priced.
Zuger looked surprisingly calm as he spoke of the 2006 harvest as the rain started to fall. “I am not worried at all,” he said. “The grapes are just fine. They are not ready yet, and I have no problems with rot yet. I would rather harvest ripe grapes under some rain than unripe ones under the sun.”
I guess some wine producers in Bordeaux have slightly forgotten how to deal with some rain during the harvest. That kind of weather was the norm for the region, although there hasn’t been much harvesttime rain since 1999. “The 2006 vintage is a vine growers vintage," said Jean-Guillaume Prats, the head of Cos-d’Estournel. "You have to make the right decision at the right time in your vineyards.”
Tomorrow, I finish my tasting of 1996 and 1995 tasting. Stay tuned for a sneak preview.
Glenn S Lucash — September 21, 2006 3:54pm ET
Jj Gallagher — Near Napa, Ca — September 21, 2006 9:49pm ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — September 22, 2006 2:58am ET
Guus Hateboer — Netherlands — September 22, 2006 4:04am ET
Brian T Laird — S.F. — September 22, 2006 2:22pm ET
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