I have to say that I am glad it is over. I finished tasting all my samples of 2005 Bordeaux last Friday and spent the weekend in Paris not thinking about Bordeaux. In fact, I drank mostly Beaujolais during my free time with friends in restaurants and at parties. The thought of young Bordeaux almost made me sick!
Check out my video with a little "before" and "after" action and the cameo appearance of Jo Cooke, my tasting coordinator and loyal friend. I couldn’t have done it without him. I tasted close to 900 wines in the end during my 12-day trip to Bordeaux.
What a vintage. I can't believe all the wonderful wines, from first growths like Margaux and Haut-Brion to simple petite châteaux, or even wine merchants’ blends. It the sign of a great vintage when quality is high across the board. Moreover, the dry and sweet whites are excellent.
Off the top of my head, it’s hard to generalize. I can’t say that any one appellation is better than the other. Perhaps Margaux came through particularly strong, just as I remember when I tasted them from barrel in Spring 2006. I also have a real soft spot for Pomerol. The top estates on the clay knoll of the appellation made some monumental wines.
The top 2005s are not wines that blow you away with their concentration, like so many highly rated wines in the world. Instead, they impress you with their completeness. They seduce you from the start with their complex aromas of ripe fruit, minerals, and light earth. These enticing aromas seem to constantly evolve in the glass. They are mesmerizing, like subtle perfume on a beautiful woman.
Their palates are dense yet agile, with superripe, seamless tannins and long, fresh finishes. It’s rare to find such structured Bordeauxs so light-footed and crisp. That’s why many of the top wines almost seemed drinkable. In fact, Jo and I drank the rest of a bottle of 2005 Haut-Brion one night with a juicy grilled steak at our hotel.
I remember doing the same during my first trip to Bordeaux back in the summer of 1983. The late Alexis Lichine invited me to his château for lunch with some of his friends, including Anthony-Barton of Léoville-Barton, Bruno Prats of Cos d’Estournel, and Jean-Eugene Borie of Ducru-Beaucaillou. It was my first lesson in tasting barrel samples and it was with the 1982. We drank some of the samples with lunch after the tasting.
That’s a telltale for a great vintage. A great year is one that producers great wines that are always great, no matter when you drink it – young or old.
Tom Breneman — eau claire, WI — December 19, 2007 2:36pm ET
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — December 20, 2007 1:29am ET
James Suckling — — December 20, 2007 2:27am ET
Guus Hateboer — Netherlands — December 20, 2007 4:01am ET
James Suckling — — December 20, 2007 4:16am ET
Tobias Treppenhauer — December 20, 2007 8:54am ET
Sandy Fitzgerald — Centennial, CO — December 20, 2007 10:18am ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — December 20, 2007 10:27am ET
Pauline Decloedt — canada — December 20, 2007 10:58am ET
James Suckling — — December 20, 2007 11:03am ET
Jon Burdick — December 20, 2007 4:44pm ET
Aviram Turgeman — Manhattan, — December 21, 2007 1:27am ET
James Suckling — — December 21, 2007 10:00am ET
Doug Daniell — Ontario/Canada — December 23, 2007 9:53am ET
James Suckling — — December 23, 2007 10:36am ET
Doug Daniell — Ontario/Canada — December 23, 2007 2:30pm ET
Miguel Lecuona — Austin, TX — December 23, 2007 3:02pm ET
James Suckling — — December 23, 2007 3:59pm ET
William Delaney — Arlington VA — December 24, 2007 1:09pm ET
Kevin Andrews — houston — December 29, 2007 4:14pm ET
Harold A Graziano — Charlotte, NC — January 1, 2008 8:40pm ET
Bernard Mclaughlin — Chicag,Il — January 12, 2008 10:32am ET
Arshavir Kouladjian — Los Angeles, California — February 11, 2008 6:16pm ET
Magie Di Bacco — Switzerland — February 14, 2008 3:19pm ET
P R Mitchell — New Zealand — February 19, 2008 4:53pm ET
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