I had dinner last night at Table du Lavoir, which is the relaxed restaurant at the hotel where I am staying to taste the 2005s – Les Sources de Caudalie. I invited some hipster winemakers from the Right Bank, whom I consider some of the best in the business, including Denis Durantou of Pomerol’s Église-Clinet, Alexandre Thienpont of Pomerol’s Le Pin and Vieux-Château-Certan (VCC), and consulting enologist Stephane Derenoncourt, who works at Canon-La-Gaffelière, La Mondotte, Petit-Village and many others.
These are guys that love to drink great wines as much as they like to make them. And that’s what winemaking is all about. Sometimes I think that Bordeaux gets carried away with talking about money and marketshare! So it’s cool to hang out with dudes who like drinking and talking about the best. It was just about wine last night!
So I pulled some amazing samples of 2005s, including Cos d’Estournel, Léoville Las Cases and Margaux. And we compared them against one another along, with some serious steak and fries. What was impressive was the amazing quality of the tannins in these stellar baby reds. They have such power and a seamless texture yet they are ripe and caressing. These are wines that will age for decades but their balance and richness assure an understanding of the greatness of the wines at any early stage. We totally enjoyed drinking them last night.
There was some debate over dinner of which one was the best. Check out my video.
I think that it was a tie between Margaux and Las Cases but this isn’t to say that the Cos was not greatly appreciated as well.
I think that being able to enjoy a young Bordeaux over dinner is a sure sign of the greatness of a vintage. I remember doing the same with 1982, 1989, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2003. In fact, I remember drinking 1982 from barrel over lunch when I was a younger man with the late Alexis Lichine at Prieuré-Lichine. I still remember loving the young bright Cabernet-based wine in his kitchen with some grilled meat and an open fire.
What was also interesting during last night’s dinner was when I decided to pull out some wines that are going to cost $35 or less at retail in the United States. And this was after those mega-buck reds. Margaux is going to be easily pushing $1,500 a bottle. I pulled out a Puygueraud, Trois Croix and Gigault Cuvée Viva. They were so beautiful with ripe fruit aromas of blackberries, raspberries and hints of wood and full bodies with a complement of round tannins. The Puygueraud was the best with a black truffle and spice complexity. Durantou hogged the bottle.
Everyone was shaking his head in almost disbelief. We all agreed that the force of 2005 in Bordeaux will be all these excellent reds for very, very reasonable prices. Where else in the wine world can you find such diversity, high quality and good pricing? I can’t wait for you to try some! Wish you were here!!