Drake Hotel, Chicago, Illinois
Tasted Tuesday, January 22, 2008 by Vino Me with 1,987 views
I attended a free trade tasting of the 2005 Bordeaux vintage on Monday, January 21st. I walked through and tasted the wines with fellow Chicago Wine Mafia member Anwar. The crowds were not nearly as large as I had expected them to be. I did not have to wait for any of the pours. They separated those attending into 2 groups and we were in the first group. This worked to our benefit since some wines like the Troplong Mondot ran out shortly after the second group arrived. Before I post my tasting notes, here are some general impressions and thoughts about the vintage. My opinons are based not only on this tasting but also on previous tastings of another 25 or so lower end red Bordeaux (about 100 wines in all).
The quality of 2005 is excellent. In appellations like St. Emilion, Pomerol and Margaux, the hype surrounding the vintage is warranted and these wines on average outperformed their counterparts from the recent outstanding vintages of 1998, 2000 and 2003. Of cousre there are exceptions to this rule. The quality of 2005 is best demonstrated by the middle and lower tier wineries at the UGC tasting. The upper tier wines performed equally well in 2000 and 2005. In the Left Bank appellations of St. Julien, Pauillac and St. Estephe, it is apparent to me that although the overall quality is fine, the wines are below the quality of 2000 and in many cases even behind 2003. In Sauternes, 2005 was clearly not as good as 2001 which remains the greatest vintage in the last 15 years in the region (and perhaps longer). In my opinion, 2005 Sauternes is on par with 2003. Both outstanding vintages.
The red wines are characterized by extremely dry textures, huge tannins which are most pronounced in Left Bank wines and for the most part are simply not that enjoyable to drink now. As would be expected. The most open and forward of the wines seem to come from St. Emilion and also Pomerol to a slightly lesser degree. All of the wines possessed dark opaque colors which resulted in a roomful of some of the most purple teeth I have seen.
I concentrated my tasting on St. Emilion, Pomerol and Margaux based on the experts opinions and was not disappointed. All of these wines are obviously young and in need of aging so for the most part I did not bother to reiterate that point in my notes. Here are my notes grouped by appellation: