2005 Red Bordeaux Vintage Farr Vintners Masterclass

Vintners Hall, City of London

Tasted October 1, 2008 by Remony with 980 views

Introduction

Moderated by James Suckling. 22 wines, newly in bottle, many of the top chateaux (but not Ausone and Petrus, Lascases, Ducru or Montrose). [July 2012: I have only just come across my contemporary tasting notes.]

Flight 1 - The "Also Rans" (5 notes)

Red
2005 Château Canon France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
89 points
Firm colour, gentle slightly vegetal nose, not emphatic. Some acidity, fine tannin; garden fruits, cool, dumbish. Good length. Not inspiring today.
Red
2005 Domaine de Chevalier France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
89 points
Firm colour. Touch of caramel on nose, very Graves. Cool, not substantial or forceful on palate. Generally reticent; no acidity or tannins, but not overly fruity either. Balanced. Does not merit a big score today.
Red
2005 Château Rauzan-Ségla France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
90 points
Colour very firm & dark, limpid. Flowers, perfume and power on the nose. Classy flavours, but dumbish for now. Slight acidity, distinct tannins, but good fruit too.
Red
2005 Château Langoa Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
90 points
Firm colour; touches of caramel and flowers on nose. Slightly oaky, unbalanced, seems even younger than others in this flight. Tannins not to the fore. Good but not special tonight.
Red
2005 Les Forts de Latour France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
93 points
Firm colour; virtually no nose. Beautifully balanced, rich but restrained fruit. Memorable and delicious already. The clear WOTF.

Flight 2 - Left Bank Super Seconds (6 notes)

Red
2005 Château Léoville Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
91 points
Dark, strong colour, limpid. Nose unready, aggressive, tannic, slight hint of farmyard, edgy, fierce. On palate lots of tannin, significant touch of farmyard. But fine, and in balance. Will need years and years.
Red
2005 Château Pontet-Canet France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
94 points
Colour round and full. Nose not at all fierce, notes of vanilla and caramel. Velvety tannins, all elements in place. V long, complex, but not ready of course. Lovely wine.
Red
2005 Château Lynch-Bages France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
91 points
Dark strong & limpid in appearance. Fruity, almost exotic on the nose, but unready, tannic and some fierceness. Not really showing on the palate; very primary and tannic.
Red
2005 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
93 points
Very dark, limpid and strong to the eye. Nose fine but primary, not yet attractive. Still very tannic, but tannins are finer than most other wines in this flight. Very long; will be very fine. [Per Christian Seely, who was present: "'05 was a very important year for us. Lower yields, and we took grapes for the grand vin from only 40ha at heart of vineyard, 25ha opposite Latour. This will be a great Pichon."]
Red
2005 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
87 points
Colour dark, strong, full. Gentler nose than others, strong berry fruits, easier, pretty. Strawberries on palate (as with the uneven 1982), lovely flavours but light and easy. Even a bit thin. Some tannins, but I think this will be ready quite soon, and will pall after a glass or two.
Red
2005 Château Cos d'Estournel France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
96 points
Very lovely dark strong colour. Wonderfully complex nose, oak and vanilla as well as exciting ripe fruit. Very interesting, complex, harmonious wine. Very fine tannins, beautifully balanced, really excellent. Certainly the WOTF.

Flight 3 - The Right Bank (5 notes)

Red
2005 Château Angélus France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
90 points
Intense deep colour. Very alcoholic nose initially, later fruity, but overwhelming impression of alcohol remains. Very drinkable, modern, something of a fruit bomb. Fine tannins. Not for me. [Hubert de Bouard was at the tasting: "In 25 years, our most sophisticated wine. Not over-extracted. So elegant, fresh, spicy." Not sure I agree!]
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Cheval Blanc France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
92 points
Colour less intense than Angelus, and nose much softer, with fruit but no overwhelming alcohol. Fine but very pronounced tannins, very primary, no great length. Not for me.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château La Conseillante France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
94 points
Lovely colour, stunning nose initially, then dumb. Fine fruit, wild flowers, very fine tannins. Hits back of throat. Difficult to judge tonight, but I'm sure it will turn out beautifully.
Red
2005 Château L'Evangile France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
94 points
Very deep strong colour. Alcohol on nose, together with some fruit, vanilla and oak. But hot too. Relatively closed to the taste, but good length, if prominent wood. Difficult to judge, but plainly will be very fine.
Red
2005 Château L'Eglise-Clinet France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
98 points
Really lovely. Loads of amazing fruit, just as fine second time around. Some alcohol, but fat, massive. Very difficult to judge, probably shutting down. But undoubtedly WOTF.

Flight 4 - Medoc First Growths (6 notes)

Red
2005 Château La Mission Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
97 points
Colour very strong but slightly matt. Nose initially closed, but clean. Later, fruity, very Graves, clean, some vanilla, fine. This is no lightweight, but it's very closed. Lovely fruit, cedar & tobacco. Amazing fine tannins, wonderful length.
Red
2005 Château Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
99 points
Colour very fine, cleaner & sharper than La Mission. Nose superb, rich, delicious, highly complex, cigars & fruit. Very closed, unyielding, great length; obviously terrific.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Margaux France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
99 points
First bottle was flawed. Replacement permitted only brief notes -- caramel on nose, colour very deep to rim, sublime, very fine, brilliant.
Red
2005 Château Mouton Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
93 points
Colour lovely, but slightly watery at rim. Nose complex & delicious, but restrained. Very restrained also on palate, fruity, long and of obvious quality.
Red
2005 Château Lafite Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
99 points
Very fine and deep colour. Nose is sheer class. Not remotely ready of course, but sublime even tonight. Delicate alongside Margaux & Latour. Dumb but wonderful.
Red
2005 Château Latour Grand Vin France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
100 points
Slightly darker colour than others in the flight. Nose initially dumb, then opens out into arresting, profound expression of claret at its greatest. An amazing, huge, totally rounded, profound wine. Very definitely the WOTF, and of the evening.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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