WFA Bordeaux 2005/2006 Tasting by the Wine Review

Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore
Tasted Friday, October 23, 2009 by Paul S with 780 views

Flight 1 - 2006 Wines

Truth to tell, I was a little disappointed by the vintage on this showing. Pretty good, but certainly not worth the prices the wines are going at - I would place this between 1999 and 2004 in terms of quality. From the wines tasted, it appeared quite forward and easy drinking, with plenty of fleshy fruit character, but without the weight and substance of better vintages. Tannins and acids are generally well-shaped and pretty ripe, but these are more drinking wines than ones for long aging. One or two wines did stand-out - I particularly like the Pauillacs in general and especially the Pichon Baron in particular. Whites and Sauternes were pretty nice too.

Flight 2 - Right Bank (5 Notes)

  • 2006 Château Petit Village 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Pretty good. Lovely, high-toned nose, with lots of plums, crushed cherries and a dose of vanilla. Palate was clean and lifted, with fresh acidity running through maraschino cherry flavours. Not the most intense, but plenty of fruit. Finish was okay. Some stems, toasty, smoky notes and some powdery tannins lending themselves to some clingy flavours. I liked this - a bit simple at the moment, but should improve.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Clos Fourtet 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Good, but not terribly inspiring. Nose showed earthy, savoury notes of meat and tobacco leaf along with cassis and plums. Palate had high acidity, but seemed rather thin for a wine of this level. I got flavours of ripe stems and some cherries. Finish was nice and open, with more fruit, some woody tones and plenty of smoky notes. Decent, but not one I would rush out to buy.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château La Tour Figeac 88 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Another decently good, but not too inspiring wine. Nose showed sweet, maraschino cherries, some cigar smoke, a little savoury tone and a hint of metallic mineral. A little thin on the attack on the palate. Nice balance though, with fresh acidity and friendly tannins, along with some fruit, tons of wood spice and a little bitter, cigarette tone at the finish.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Laroze 88 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Not bad, but not my favourite style. Very modern feel to this - sweet, sticky cherries on the nose along with sprinkles of spice. Palate showed more sweet cherries, some bittersweet herbs and wood spice wrapped in gentle tannins. Little stemmy touches at the finish. Simple, but decently balanced.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Canon 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Very good - this was one of the better wines on show. Nose showed smokey meats and cherry fruit. A bit of glycerol and varnish on the palate, but that faded into sweet, gummy red fruits with a nice savoury underpinning. There was fine structure and a nice sense of depth with this nicely wine, moving into a finish that showed a touch of bittersweet tannins. Nicely integrated and well-knit. It should age pretty well - approachable now, but I would give this a decade to reach its prime.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 3 - St. Julien (4 Notes)

  • 2006 Château Léoville Barton 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    A pretty good wine overall, but in context, one of the poorer Leoville Bartons I have had in recent times. Nose was uncharacteristically sweet, with maraschino cherries riding on a bed of earth, tobacco and smoke. There was some characteristic depth there though. Palate was well balanced, with good fruit in the form of clean cassis flavours with some stemmy tannins in the background. Just lacked some oomph somehow. Finish had some length, with tannins re-asserting themselves in a little teeth-coating display. Should age quite well amongst the 2006's.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Beychevelle 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Pretty impressive showing for the Beychevelle. Plenty of charm I thought. Sweetly fruited nose, with a panoply of plums, cassis, prunes and cherries. Very primary on the palate, with more crushed fruit and sweet cherries. Sweet, but not candied or artificial. Not great power or complexity, but I found the wine well-balanced with plenty of well-knit flesh. Finish was decent too, with more fruit opening up in the mouth. A good showing amongst the other 2006 wines. Should show well in the next 5-7 years.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Branaire-Ducru 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    A pretty nice wine with plenty of aging potential in its own right, but far poorer than the astoundingly good 2005. Nose showed both depth and elegance, with very nice, rather high-toned notes of dark cassis and spice. Medium weighted palate had plenty of gummy fruit, fresh acidity and more wood spice, moving into a toasty finish with a hint of ripe stems. Good length here, with fine teeth-coating tannins lending a sense of structure. Should get much better over the next decade.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Léoville Poyferré 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Rather less oaky than the less time I tried it - which meant rather better as well. Nose still showed some woody, vine stemmy notes, but other tones, like deeply fruited sweet cassis tones and tobacco leaf role were more obvious. Not bad at all. Palate had gummy, crystallined cassis at the fore, some strength here - concentration and depth aplenty I thought, all bolstered by fine grainy tannins. Finish was pretty good as well. Nice length, with a touch of dry herbs. One of the more structured 2006 wines, this has some elegance to it, but needs time to come around.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 4 - Margaux (4 Notes)

  • 2006 Château Rauzan-Ségla 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    I really liked this. Nose was a little alarmingly sweet at first, with some cotton candy notes, but toned down a little to show cassis and cherries, along with a good dose of white flowers and some vanilla. A little new worldly I thought, but very pleasant. Palate was rather more classic Margaux, with good weight and solid crunchy cherry and cassis fruits mixed in with more flowery touches. Nicely balanced too. Finish was round and pleasantly textured, with some lingering spice notes. Nice, very approachable, but should still age pretty well. Something for Rauzan-Segla fans to drink while waiting for the lovely 2005 to come around.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Brane-Cantenac 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Pretty good. Fine terroir sometimes shows better through a weaker vintage - I thought this was certainly the case with this wine. Good fruit on the nose, if a little forward, with clean, clear tones of cassis and cherries along with a little funky earth, some animale and an edge of slightly rustic charm with a sweet underlayer of flowery tones. Palate was just a little lightweight, but with plenty of charm with crunchy red fruit, rather cherry-ish, and lots of fresh acidity. Finish was mid-lengthed, with grippy tannins giving a nice sense of structure. I liked this - do not think it will be very long lasting, but should make pleasant mid-term drinking.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château du Tertre 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Pleasant, but simple. Sweet fruit with a toss of earth on the nose. Palate was extremely approachable, with clean flavours of cherries and some flowers in a good, round mouthfeel. Finish was decent with some spice notes. Not altogether exciting, but very drinkable.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Giscours 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Decently good. Sweet toasty nose, with cherries and cassis, along with a touch of soy bean, some earthy, meaty tones and a nice flowery touch. Pretty attractive. Palate was pretty good as well. Nice clean feel, sweet fruit in the shape of cherries and plums, some meat, a little flowery low note and a pleasant spiciness moving into the finish. A bit short, which is something I do not think time will cure. Other that that, it is just a little loose-knit at the moment, should hopefully draw together and gain a bit of focus over time. Drinkable now, but I would give it a few years.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 5 - Pauillac (3 Notes)

  • 2006 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Very surprisingly forward, but I thought this was rather good. Nose showed more complexity than most of the 2006s, with classic, savoury Pauillac notes of meat, sous bois, damp leaves, some toasty spice, sweet cassis and a touch of flowers. Rather typical Pichon-Lalande I thought. The palate was forward indeed, with clean ripe fruit on the attack rather dominating other flavours, with a meaty undertone floating alongside. I thought this elegant finely structured, with good balance and nice tannins. Finish was decent, with a lingering spiciness. Pretty good.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Very good - this was the stand-out from amongst the 2006s. Rather forward for a Baron, but still more structured and layered than most of the other wines on show. The nose was strangely reminiscent of walking through a supermarket fruit and vegetable section. I got fresh fruit scents, some red fuits, some blackcurrants, along with lime zest and some other fruit and veg tones (Cab Franc unusually pronounced). Some vanilla and earthy tones added interest. Unusually high-toned for the Baron, but lots of depth here, with plenty waiting to unfold. It shone on the palate as well. Rather firm and muscular in the context of 2006, with fine but firm tannins, deep muscular dark fruit layers, some Pauillac meat, integrated tobacco leaf tones. Very classic. Finish was long, layered and very good, with a touch of woodiness at the end. This will age well, with a decade in the bottle doing it a world of good, but I think it will probably be one of the more easily approachable Barons in middle age.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Lynch-Bages 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Not bad, although I was far from thrilled about this showing. Nose showed lots of restraint. Wood spice, dry woody, lurking dark fruit - some hidden sweetness there. Palate was a bit more obvious - lively attack showed dark cassis fruit lifted with high acidity. I thought it emptied a little on the mid-palate, before the decent finish were cassis and prunes re-emerged, with dry tannins adding structure. Well-balanced, good Pauillac structure, but needs to fill out some. Give it a few years.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 6 - Graves (2 Notes)

  • 2006 Domaine de Chevalier 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Pretty good. Nose showed sour plums and powdery herbs. Sweet cassis fruit on the palate on a herby background. Fine tannins, good balance, lots of freshness. Finish had good length, tailing off in notes of tobacco and herbs. Lots of charm here. Like most vintages, needs a little time to show better.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Smith Haut Lafitte 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Not quite as outstanding as the last showing, but still pretty good. Nice nose - gummy cherries, ripe vine stems, tobacco, some toast. Palate was in pretty good shape as well. More toasty, woody notes, some smoke, fresh juicy acid and grippy tannins gave structure to the well fruited palate. Finish had decent length, with quite a bit of extract showing. Needs time, but will be a pretty good wine down the road.

    Post a Comment / 1 person found this helpful, do you? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 7 - Whites (2 Notes)

  • 2006 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Wow, this was surprisingly good. A touch of coconutty oak on the nose quickly gave way to musk, white flowers, slatey mineral and lovely clean peach and apricot fruit tones. Great balance on the palate. Rich, but fresh, with the ripest gooseberries flecked with smokey, flinty inflection. Long, well-fruited finish showed yellow fruit and a touch more flint. Very different, but every bit as good as the 2005.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Very good, but just a shade less substantial than the Domaine de Chevalier. Lovely nose. Grapefruit, pink guava juice, pineapples, ripe gooseberries and grassy herbs all in a pretty melange. Nicely balanced on the palate, with mouth-coating yellow fruit flavours with a tropical edge along with little grapefruity notes. Rich, but fresh. Finish was longish and sappy. Not quite having the shape and focus of the 2005, but this more than made up for it in charm. Very nice.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 8 - Sauternes / Barsac (3 Notes)

  • 2006 Château Doisy-Védrines 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Not as rich, dense and concentrated as the 2005, but I prefer the shape and balance on this one - I thought it was a top-notch Sauternes. Nose still showed lots of botrytis, with honey and nectar notes along with sweet apricots and a little rubbery undertone. Very nice. Great attack on the palate, just bursting with delicious honey and nectar with pretty flowery tones alongside. Not the richest wine on show, but with really nice lines and great focus lent by lovely fresh acidity. Finish just lingers on and on, with notes of dried mangoes appearing at the very end. A very complete, lovely wine. The best of the sweets on show.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Guiraud 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Nice flavours no doubt, but just too sweet at the moment. Nose showed interesting almond nuts, macaron and marzipan notes. Palate was a sugar-bomb. Ever so cloying, it had a ton of honey mixed with orange marmalade and mango puree flavours. Needs more acidity. Finish was really rich too, with coffee and dried apricot flavours thrown into the mix. I would give this a whole lot of time for the sugars to mellow and integrate before broaching it again.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Château Suduiraut 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Very nice, but perhaps just a small step down from the 2005. Very nice nose showed almonds and macadamias along with marmalade, citrus mandarin oranges and some chalky mineral - all very lifted and fragrant. A bit too sweet on the palate, but with nice layered flavours of sweet fruit along with some nuts, a little fresh grapefruity lift and a ream of smoke. Finish had a nice marzipan ring to it. A good Sauternes.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 9 - 2005 wines

This tasting confirmed the impression of quality that I got at last year's UGC tasting. In fact, with some of the overt oakiness having come down, some wines were showing even better. What is there left to say about this vintage? Great quality across the board, fine structures, good acidity, good fruit - it takes quite a bit of skill to make a bad wine in 2005. I was especially impressed by the Pichon-Baron, which I did not try last year. The trio of St Juliens, Leoville Barton, Poyferre and Branaire-Ducru, all shown again, as did the Lynch-Bages. The Margaux wines were also showing better this time round. All in all, a great success, with plenty of wines with great aging potential.

Flight 10 - Right Banks (4 Notes)

  • 2005 Clos Fourtet 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    I have never been that impressed with young Clos Fourtets, but I must say that this was pretty good. Modern nose, with plenty toasty coffee and mocha notes, but there was plenty of bright fruit underlying that, showing in rich, deep reserves of plums, savoury earth and meat. Quite a bit of complexity there. Palate had plenty of fresh acidity and fine, teeth-coating tannins, forming a fine structure for clean berry fruit flavours and a touch of glycerin. Finish had really good length, with toasty notes mixed in with a minerally counterpoint. Again, another modern interpretation. This needs plenty of time, but should be a stunner when mature.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château Canon 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Really good. A bit tough right now, but should be a great wine down the road. Nose was quite "wow", with a bed of earth forming the backdrop for fragrantly sweet plums, cherries and some wilted flowers. Lovely balance on the palate, with fresh clean acidity lending itself to a nice, pure fruit expression. Tannins were just a bit too shrill for the wine to be enjoyed at the moment. Ever so firm, and rather mouth-coating on the cassis-filled finish, but they were ripe and well-shaped and should resolve beautifully. Give this one 15 years or so. It should make an absolutely lovely wine.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château La Tour Figeac 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Not bad, but really not quite up to par for the vintage. Lots of darkly fruited depth on the nose. Lacking a little on the palate though. Some herbs, some underbrush, some bittersweet thorns, more dark fruit, but altogether lacking something. Finish was decent, with more herby expressions. Decently good, but expected more.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château Petit Village 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Not bad, but not great when stacked up against the other wines on show. I actually liked the 2006 as much. Nose had some depth, but was rather primary - sweet cherries, some powdered herbs, some flowers a toss of savoury earth. Very rich on the palate. Again, sweet fruit, with plums and cherries mixed in with some savoury notes. Good depth once more, but I found the forward fruit just a bit OTT, with some alcohol sticking out at bits. Finish had length and fruit, with quite a bit of grippy tannins and a little herby touch carrying the wine to its end. Needs time to tone down and integrate I think. Should be much better in another 10-15 years' time.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 11 - The Lone Haut-Medoc (1 Note)

  • 2005 Château Beaumont 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc

    Not bad. Sweet ice-cream soda nose, tobacco and some violet flowers. Rather new worldly. Palate had touched of meat and some plushy round fruit. All partially obscured by a robe of teeth-staining tannins at this point. Finish showed a woody touch and some flinty stones. Interesting - this needs time, but should make a very decent Haut Medoc.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 12 - St Julien (4 Notes)

  • 2005 Château Beychevelle 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Good, but this was one of the few wines that actually showed more poorly than when I first tasted them last year. I found it just a bit too clumsily extracted and pumped up to be a great wine this time round. Modern nose showed all sweet plums and cassis and toasty oak. Nice structure on the palate, with firm, fine tannins, but lots of rich and concentrated flavours, with sweet plummy fruit dominant. So much so that it felt a little clumsy. Finish was decent, with a pruney touch. Should get better with time, but I would not touch this for many a year yet.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château Léoville Poyferré 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Excellent. This was one of the stand-out wines. Better than the last showing by far. Oak was more controlled for one thing. What showed really well was the purity of fruit on this - the nose still had woody, toasty, coffee notes, but there were great depths of powerful cassis and plum tones washing all over that. Palate was marked on the attack by gripping, almost tough tannins, but again, the sheer purity of fruit, cassis here, shone through. Lots of density on the wine, but also plenty of fresh acid to balance it all, so much so that it came across rather complete. Finish had excellent length too, with depth of flavour stretching away and into little lingers of toast and tobacco. This needs lots of time, but it will be a beauty in a couple of decades.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château Branaire-Ducru 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Excellent. This confirmed my impression of how good the wine was at last year's tasting. Deep, lovely nose. All warm and melodious, with plummy dark fruit and cassis tones singing away. The palate carried on the theme, bursting with delicious cherry and cassis notes, all with a beautiful intensity, yet balanced by a lovely freshness and kept in check by fine, firm and abundant, almost teeth-staining tannins. Finish had decent length, with a little touch of medicinal herbs. A very complete wine this. Would love to try it in 15 years' time, when it should be stunning.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château Léoville Barton 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Another stunning St Julien that had wowed me last year. This was every bit as good this time round. Tons of layered complexity on the nose, with savoury meat and earthy tones along with dark, dark fruits bubbling along underneath. Great balance on the palate, with fresh acidity and a fine but firm structure with almost mouth-coating tannins. This was very finely built. What was stunning though was the tremendous purity of fruit, with lovely cassis and cherry tones seamlessly zooming through the palate into a long finish that still showed lots of woody. mocha tones and a touch of prunes. Needs tons of time, but this is an outstanding wine.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 13 - Margaux (4 Notes)

  • 2005 Château Brane-Cantenac 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Very good indeed. Having had a few vintages of Brane-Cantenac in quick secession in the past week, I must say that I am getting increasingly impressed by this estate. Not quite as dense and cloying as when I tried it last year, this has toned down to become quite the charmer. Nose was full of flowers, along with earth, meat and lots of darkly fruited cherries and plums. Rather gorgeous. Elegance and charm was the theme on the palate as well. While lacking the power of some of the other 2005s on show, this has lovely gummy red fruit and more flowery tones moving into a nicely lingering finish. A top second growth? Maybe not, but there is a lot to like here.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château Rauzan-Ségla 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    I thought this was first class. Lovely, lovely nose. Rich, yet elegant, with plums and cassis wed to perfumed flowers and inflected with bits of meatiness and some talcum powder accents. Very complete on the palate. Rich and concentrated, with plums and cassis fruit wed to perfumed tones and spicy notes, all pinned to ripe, melting tannins. A real charmer. Nice long finish too, with fruit and spice notes and a little twist of menthol lingering away in the mouth. Will be beautiful in time. Needs patience though - I would give it 10 years at least.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château du Tertre 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Pretty good, but I really do not like the style. Syrupy cherry on the nose, really sweet, almost raspberry ripple like, with just a little toss of earth in there for interest. Palate was rather new worldly too, with some ice-cream soda and red fruit tones along with a little meaty counterpoint. What saved the wine was a great sense of structure lent to it by its acidity and tannins. Finish was pretty decent too, with good length winding the wine down. Good, but not something I would buy.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château Giscours 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Not bad, did not find this outstanding though. Some meat, some flowers and some spice on the nose made for pretty good Margaux typicity. A bit sweet on the palate. Sweet cassis was balanced with clean, fresh acidity and hard, teeth-coating tannins. Just a touch rustic in its harshness I thought. Finish was grippy, with some nice clean fruit tones, quite decent here. Good raw material in this wine, but it needs some time to tone down and knit together. A bit disjointed and brawny at the moment. Check this space in about 10 years' time.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 14 - Pauillac (3 Notes)

  • 2005 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Very good, but not mind-blowing. A slight underperformance given the vintage I think. Nose was very classic Pichon-Lalande, with great elegance in its tobacco leaf, flower, damp undergrowth, wet tea leaves and meaty undertones all mixed in with the dark fruit. The palate lacked the punch and complexity of some of the better wines on show, but had plenty of stylish class to it. Lots of cassis flavours, some tea and more damp leaves wrapped in a nicely structured package. Finish had decent, but not outstanding length. A good wine, but I expected a little better for a 2005 super-second of this level. Will certainly get better in time though.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    A gorgeous wine, completely putting the Pichon-Lalande in the shadows. Lovely Pauillac nose, with lots of depth and concentration showing in its complex layers of leather, tobacco leaf, meat and dark, dark fruit. Fantastic on the palate too. On the one hand, typical masculine with lots of big, muscular power; on the other, gorgeously balanced and poised, with integrated acidity and the finest of tannin structures - all serving as a frame for an extremely pure cassis expression. Lovely from the attack all the way into its long, stylish finish. Extremely yummy even now (especially when we had it with roast beef skewers). However, this is a long-term keeper which will be magnificent when it hits its stride towards the tail-end of its second decade.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château Lynch-Bages 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Another top-class Pauillac. This easily stood toe-to-toe with the pair of Pichons. Deep, masculilne nose showed ripe plum and cassis fruit along with a whiff of gunpowder. Palate was probably the best balanced of all the 2005 wines I tried. Great poise, with clean, pure cassis tones and some savoury meat laced through with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Very fine indeed. Finish was nice and rounded, with bits of flint and a touch of spice. I liked this. Needs some time, but will be lovely.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 15 - Graves (1 Note)

  • 2005 Château Smith Haut Lafitte 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    This showed really well on the day. Oak had toned down some from what I remembered a year back. Still some dry wood on the nose, along with toasty accents, but there was elegance to go with plenty of depth and concentration in the way the rich cassis fruit wafted out of the glass. Plenty of depth and concentration on the palate as well, with clear crystalline fruit on the attack showing quite a bit of strength. A bit of glycerin there as well. Modern? For sure, but not an RP monster in the least though, with plenty of shape and structure lent by the overall balance of the wine and the finely firm tannins. Finish was nice and long, with more toasty notes and a dash of herbs. Excellent. Should continue to get better and better - certainly one for the long haul. Not my favourite style, but boy, this has some quality on it.

    Post a Comment / 1 person found this helpful, do you? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 16 - Whites (3 Notes)

  • 2005 Château La Louvière Blanc 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Pleasant, but lacked the depth and complexity of the other whites on show. This came across almost NZ-like. Very grassy nose, with gooseberries and flowers adding a bit of interest. Much the same on the palate, more ripe gooseberries, a little lifted, almost durian-like note, and much more grass. Plenty of freshness though. Finish was decent. Not sure how much Semillon goes into this, but the SB was very dominant.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Very good. Lots of toasty oak on the nose, but the complexity and depth of the wine was apparent underneath that, with layers of white fruit and apple tones. Palate was rich and round, with a whole lot more ripe white fruit on the attack, with pineappley tones on the edges and a nice touch of mineral moving in a medium-long finish. Still a bit monolithic at this point, but the quality shines through.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    A gorgeous wine. Some buttery oak notes on the palate, but with lots going on alongside. Nice chalky mineral notes on the top-note, and lots of fruit in the shape of apples and pineapples gurgling along just below. Much the same on the palate. A little layer of coconutty oak on the attack, then lovely clean pineapple and white fruit flavours below along with little nutmeg tones. Just a little buried under the oak at the moment, but this will evolve nicely. It certainly had great lines, with nice acidity sculpting the creamy richness of the wine beautifully. Really long finish too, with more cream and a nice touch of oyster shell mineral. Very good indeed.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 17 - Sauternes / Barsac (3 Notes)

  • 2005 Château Doisy-Védrines 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    May be a really top-notch Sauternes 20-30 years down the road, but just too sweet at the moment for my palate. Incredible nose though - tighter than the 2006, with lots of mineral, but a whole lot more depth as well, with deeply lurking scents of musk. peach, apricot and layers of botrytis. Palate was just an explosion of sweetness. Honey, nectar, some musk, sweet melons, all wrapped in a plush, syrupy, unctuous package. Finish was lovely. Great length, with mouth-clinging dried fruit tones and a little kumquat touch. Will visit again many years down the road.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château Guiraud 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    I thought this was really good - far preferred it than when I tried it last year. It seemed cloying then, but a little more pulled back now. Lovely nose - caramel, macarons, molasses and burnt sugar along with yellow fruits, dried apricots and some flowery notes. Really good botrytis richness on the palate, which showed marzipan and almond buts, along with more apricots and a little spicy undercurrant. Finish was really decent too, with more of those almond tones lingering away. Sweet, but some balance was there - a world away from the too-cloying 2006.

    Post a Comment / 1 person found this helpful, do you? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2005 Château Suduiraut 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Really, really nice Sauternes. Nose was the most layered and complex of the sweets on show. Marzipan notes were mixed with coconut, chalky mineral and a little citrus lift from ripe lemon tones. Palate was rich but balanced, with mouthfilling flavours of honey and nectar, along with more marzipan and a touch of flowers. The long, sappy finish had just that touch of chalk in there. A very complete wine with lots of upside in the years to come. I liked this.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

×
×