2005 Bordeaux Vintage

Rarely if ever has there been so much excitement contained in the advance publicity for a Bordeaux vintage.

The key for this was not only the weather in 2005 but also that over the last few years, there has in effect been a 3 year mini drought in Bordeaux, and cumulatively this has made conditions very favourable for producing a great vintage in 2005. Vines have been stressed and ultimately this has forced their efforts to be concentrated solely on the production of fruit rather than new shoots and foliage. Whilst temperatures were high in 2005 they were not excessive and crucially the summer nights were cool. After some rain early on, the long growing season was very dry allowing the grapes to develop great levels of phenolic ripeness without the problems of the diseases often associated with damper late-summer weather.

The Harvest

Without exception all the winemakers have harvested wonderful fruit and it was a vintage where the best wines were essentially allowed to make themselves, with little intervention. The grapes were small with thick skins and in perfect health, with the ripeness being such that some huge potential alcohol levels were reached. However, there is no question of imbalance as the alcohol is matched by intensity of fruit, full, ripe tannins and, unusual in a hot year, good levels of acidity. The wines are fresh, concentrated and well structured and there can be little doubt that they have immense potential longevity.
Unlike many vintages it seems that 2005 was equally successful for Cabernet and Merlot, left and right bank and even for the Barsac and Sauternes, where outstanding sweet wines have been made.

The Vintage

It is difficult to compare this vintage with others but we are even more excited about the quality than five years ago when remarkabe 2000’s were released.

‘The reds are some of the best I have tasted in my career, and they have a unique character. They are rich and powerful, with loads of juicy, opulent, ripe fruit and powerful tannins, yet they also have a wonderful freshness due to their bright, crisp acidity. This is a rarity for a ripe vintage in Bordeaux; most of the time, acidity's are lower in such mature years. The dry whites are equally exciting. They are solid and fruity, with good backbones of acidity...Meanwhile the sweets are balanced, with plenty of sugar and spiciness from noble rot...honestly, I think that many people have made their best wines ever with 2005. And I am not sure that some can ever make better wine than they have in 2005.’ - James Suckling.

‘But the great thing about the successful 2005’s is their purity. They have power, but they also have refreshment value. They have keeping potential - witness the high levels of tannins in virtually all the wines - but in the best, those tannins are ripe, beautifully managed and so well hidden by fruit that the wines are already delicious.’ - Jancis Robinson.

Château Brane Cantenac, Margaux, Bordeaux, France 2005
Chateau Brane Cantenac
Chateau Brane Cantenac 2005
Château Brane Cantenac, Margaux, Bordeaux, France 2005  53% Cab Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc. Fine purple red, beautifully fragrant Cabernet nose, lovely expression of Margaux fruit, textured and dense, lifted and distinctive,...
Chateau Calon Segur 3rd Growth St Estephe, Bordeaux, France, 2005
Chateau Calon Segur
Chateau Calon Segur 2005
Chateau Calon Segur 3rd Growth St Estephe, Bordeaux, France, 2005  Grapes: 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, aged 18-20 months in 100% new French oak. "Tasted from an ex-château bottle at BI Wine &...
Château Caronne Ste Gemme, Haut Médoc, Bordeaux, France, 2005
Chateau Caronne Ste Gemme
Chateau Caronne Sainte Gemme 2005
Château Caronne Ste Gemme, Haut Médoc, Bordeaux, France, 2005    Grapes: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, mostly hand-picked fruit from 45ha of vineyards with deep gravel soils. 12 months...
Chateau Cheval Blanc, 1er Grand Cru Classe A, Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, 2005
Chateau Cheval Blanc
Chateau Cheval Blanc 2005
Chateau Cheval Blanc, 1er Grand Cru Classe "A", Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, 2005 On the 2005 vintage, Cheval Blanc procures endless pleasure. From its brilliant ruby colour, intense flavours of mint, red, blue, black and surreal fruits. This...
Château Grand Puy Lacoste 5th Growth Pauillac, Bordeaux, France, 2005
Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste
Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste 2005
Château Grand Puy Lacoste 5th Growth Pauillac, Bordeaux, France, 2005    69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc  Xavier Borie has made a delicious, forward wine. Carefully extracted, fresh and immediately...
Chateau Joanin Becot 2005
Chateau Joanin Becot
Chateau Joanin Becot 2005
Chateau Joanin Becot Cotes De Castillon 2005   One of the stars of this appellation. Lovely dark fruit and cassis on the nose with a hint of wood. Good complexity and ripe tannins, on the palate it has a good balance. 
Château Kirwan 3eme Cru Classe Margaux 2005
Chateau Kirwan
Chateau Kirwan 2005
Château Kirwan 3eme Cru Classe Margaux 2005  "A third-growth, this intense, powerful and concentrated wine should play to its strengths in a vintage such as 2005, with its enormous tannin and density. This is one of the more backward of the...
Chateau Lafite Rothschild, 1er Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France, 2005
Chateau Lafite Rothschild
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2005
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1er Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France, 2005    Grapes: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot. Ageing 18-20 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Winemaker - Charles Chevalier...
Château Lascombes, 2eme Cru Classe, Margaux, Bordeaux, France, 2005
Chateau Lascombes
Chateau Lascombes 2005
Château Lascombes, 2eme Cru Classe, Margaux, Bordeaux, France, 2005  "A gorgeous example of Lascombes, the 2005, a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot, continues the remarkable turn-around in quality...
Château Mouton Rothschild 1'eme Cru Classé Pauillac 2005
Chateau Mouton Rothschild
Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2005
Château Mouton Rothschild 1'eme Cru Classé Pauillac 2005  Grapes: A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc "The 2005 Château Mouton-Rothschild is a deeply impressive First Growth. It has been...