Sunday, January 20, 2013 - I think the below note was from a bad bottle, as this juice has power, finesse, concentration, and weight while maintaining a harmonious balance. Light on its feet, it exhibits a fair amount of succulant dark fruits for a stacked wine at such an early stage of development, including cassis and blackberry, a fantastic limestone minerality for a wine of lower acid, sous bois, pepper and asian spices.
The Merlot is quintessential 2005 (as I find all of the high pedigree 2005 wines' Merlot has a earthtoned ripeness that is very hard to find in other wines) and at roughly 30% Merlot, it is seeming to allow the wine to open up considering its vast phenolic concentration. Well dilineated on the palate, it has a balance that will only allow this wine to get better as it gets closer and closer to maturity, which seems a good 7-15 years off (and should have a long plateau after that).
The tannin count is high, but they are so velvety and fine grained; the level of tannin integration is much higher than one would expect, although it is a tannic powerhouse (although not anywhere close to that of Troplong or Pontet, which in this vintage will redefine your definition of tannin). The tannins are sweet and round.
It just isn't as good as the 2003, which is my only complaint on this wine. While I personally prefer the style of 2005 to 2003 from a sensory view, there is just something profound about the 2003 that this wine does not possess to the same extent (perhaps considering the longevity of this wine, this will change with more time in the bottle under ideal conditions).
Great juice, and if you like classically styled ripe vintaged BDX, this wine wont dissappoint! Finesse and masculinity combined, and its better than the high residual sugar fruit bombs that seem to come from everyone in California that are just too smooth...I would highly recommend this for the price, although I would probably recommend 2005 Pontet more if you can find it for the same price..
At the end of the half of the bottle I drank, about 2-3 hours in, some subtle cedar, gaminess and smoke emerged (very subtle for the game and smoke). GORGEOUS!