Jason's 2005 dinner


Tasted September 9, 2021 by NickA with 41 views


Horizontal dinner with various not-really- and not-completely-grand 2005 Bordeaux, to check in on the vintage and assess its prospects.

Flight 1 - Champagne (1 note)

Cheddar and cream cheese gougeres
Pig's head croquette

White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 168eme France, Champagne
94 points
Does everything you need it to do, and nothing more: delightfully balanced, filled the mouth, complex, with lime, ginger-flecked spice, butteriness and a certain savour, and then a long finish. A beautiful, compelling wine that seemed to have come on a long way since I last tried it nearly a year ago.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 2 - Right Bank (2 notes)

Game parmentier, garlic butter

2005 Roc de Cambes France, Bordeaux, Côtes de Bourg
93 points
A delightful surprise. Certainly hefty, youthful and tannic, but it smelled gorgeous and tasted almost as good, with cigar, beef crisps and mint, plus good acidity. I really enjoyed nosing this wine, and it went very well with the food. I would never have predicted this, but my (red) WOTN.
2 people found this helpful Comment
2005 Château Beauregard France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
91 points
Another nice wine. Reticent compared to the Roc de Cambes alongside it, but more elegant and complex, with smoke, leafiness, hints of truffle and an appetitising, juicy finish. Became more tannic with air, and could have been stronger on the mid-palate, but otherwise very decent.

Flight 3 - Medoc (2 notes)

Guinea fowl, wild mushroom, Jerusalem artichoke

2005 Château Poujeaux France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Moulis en Médoc
88 points
Something not quite right here: primary, a bit lactic and candied, relatively prominent tannin, abrupt finish. I observed that the red-fruited register was 'Burgundian', but the wine overall certainly wasn't. Drinkable, sure, but didn't show well.
2005 Château La Lagune France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
90 points
Very dry, somewhat green and rustic, with a touch of Brett giving a cidery feel to the nose (I don't like cider...). I enjoyed the palate more, with its soft tannins, sense of ripeness, and inner ease: classic luncheon Claret. But I couldn't get past the nose; others obviously did, as this was the group's #2 of the night.

Flight 4 - Margaux and St-Julien (4 notes)

Roasted pigeon, beetroot, crispy potato, quinoa

2005 Château du Tertre France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
92 points
A nice surprise here. Still youthful, but so charming and ready to please. Pencil lead and violets on the nose, good, deep fruit on the palate, yet retained a lightness of touch. My #3 this evening.
2005 Château Brane-Cantenac France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
91 points
Mildly disappointing, especially in the context of a recent, excellent, 2009. Interesting dusky nose, with dark fruit, caraway and floral hints. Dark and intense on the palate, a little touch of sweetness, solid rather than elegant and likely to provide more pleasure in 5-10 years' time. Didn't provide either the pleasure of its flight-mate (or the Roc du Cambes) or show the class of the St-Julien wines.
3 people found this helpful Comment
2005 Château Beychevelle France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
93 points
Lovely balance to this wine, and something for everyone, with plenty of fruit depth yet an easygoing, friendly nature. Some signs of gamey tertiary development, but definitely still a young wine that will continue to improve. My #2 tonight, and the group's WOTN. I don't think this wine is worth the current market price, though (over £110/bottle inc tax).
2005 Château Gruaud Larose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
91 points
Dark, compact and juicy, with some nice floral hints. Quite subtle and undemonstrative, making it a very good drinking Claret, although perhaps also explaining why this wine didn't impress me as much as its flight-mate. Joint group #3

Flight 5 - Pauillac and Sauternes (3 notes)

Selection of farm house cheeses
Petit four

2005 Château Batailley France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
91 points
I last had this a couple of years ago, and although I took no notes that evening I remember it showing more authoritatively and exuberantly than it did tonight. Nevertheless, still plenty to enjoy, with its airy, leafy nose, deep, slightly gamey palate, and hint of grassiness. At the beginning of its window but will probably be more interesting in time.
2005 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
90 points
Strange one, this: I'm a big fan of GPL, and this ranked joint #3 in the group vote, but it didn't do it for me tonight. Seemed very young and primary, although with a classical feel (as you would expect from the chateau), slightly lacking in concentration and a bit clipped and lean. Closed-down and boring at the moment? Nothing to dislike, but I want more concentration and complexity from a top-vintage Pauillac.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2005 Château Rieussec France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
95 points
Superb showing, presumably at peak and an excellent example of the delicate spun-sugar style that I prefer from Sauternes. Barley sugar and Chantilly cream on the nose, then sensationally light in feel, prancing and pirouetting across the palate. Could drink it by the flagon, and went wonderfully with Bleu des Causses.
1 person found this helpful Comment


An interesting outcome: complete consensus about the vintage (good, a bit solid and old-fashioned, needs 5-10 years even at this level) but no consensus at all on the individual wines. No idea how Lagune and GPL made it towards the top of the leaderboard!

I feel slightly guilty for awarding the more obviously forward Roc du Cambes my red WOTN, but it offered a lot of pleasure despite its plentiful tannins.

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