January 31, 2021 - (Almost dried) plum, spices, tobacco, hints of earth. Tannins prominent, velvety. Gorgeous long finish. More expressive with time, would decant for 1h at a minimum.
January 29, 2021 - The time had come. The single bottle I purchased on a whim almost a decade ago had been picked for a Bordeaux tasting.
And so it was that I began the 5 hour decant, hesitant to take in the first hint of a nose I was frightened of after reading a few of the less than positive reviews... the "stewed prunes" and "indescribable" aroma.
I needn't have worried.
From the first blast of fruit upon the initial opening, it was gorgeous plum and velvety deep cherry for days. The nose was so decadently pungent as to take your breath away. Full beast mode.
Came upon the grit at the bottom of the bottle and decided to pour the small remnant into a glass for a quick assessment.
Unbelievable! Superb depth of fruit, melded seamlessly with almost mature tannins and a laser-precise structure of acidity set against the backdrop of the rare earth of Western France. The harmony unleashed between the Merlot and Cab Franc is smooth as silk and the characteristic tartness of Bordeaux is tempered here with extraordinary craftsmanship of flavor and focus.
This, along with a 2005 Rauzen-Segla (also fantastic!) and two other notable offerings, were my first foray into Bordeaux in quite some time so it was VERY nice to have nothing but winners in the bunch that memorable evening.
If you have properly stored your lot, the '05 Clos de Sarpe is only now beginning to hit its stride. Those with the luxury of several bottles should try at least one or two before too long. I will likely be dead before this bottle is undrinkable, it has that much life left.
Don't miss it!
November 1, 2020 - This has not aged well at all and is a mess of a wine. Reminiscent of their 95. A soupy high tone nose and devoid of pleasure. What a shame.
August 29, 2020 - Really enjoyed this wine. In my view, perfect to drink now after an hour decant. Nose is intense but the wine is balanced with fruit under control. Harmonious.
November 3, 2019 - This wine has been open for 8 hours in a decanter. The mondemnsional, drab nose just started to cede it’s dominance. There is a lot there is you are not in a rush.
The nose was indescribable. The color was gorgeous, deep red and not a wif or age. The wine is so tight and youthful that you cannot believe it is 14 years old. Great velvety mouth feel
Black current, black plums, espresso, spice, chocolate( this wine refuses to evolve and release!
And btw, when I started this note I was noncommittal as far as liking, and the nose so awkward and strange that I had difficulty even trying to be positive, as strange as it sounds, once it opens up the wine jumps in quality.
April 11, 2019 - From Magnum: This wine, like so many other 05' St. Emilions, is a beast. It needs 2 hours of air and will keep growing for the next 2 hours....At first,I thought that it was overpacked to the point of uncrecognition with its deep dark red and black fruit. Then it started unfurling slowly and reveling itself with lots of pomegranate pith and spice.Turned more dense and deep and later bloomed into a rich wine, throwing hints of espresso and truffle while being anchored in enough acidity to keep all heavy components suspended in a floating freshness. Needs about 7 years or more, but this is just a monster. HOLD
December 29, 2018 - Medium to dark red; spice box, lots of spices, caramel, little pepper, wet forest ground; well balanced, well rounded, slightly acidic (but not too much), bit tannic and dry ending
August 21, 2018 - Popped and poured; consumed over a five hour period. This bottle came from my cellar. Two immediate reactions were 1) the inside of the bottle looked like it had a patina (sediment) coating the side it had been laying on and 2) the fruit smelled stewed and overripe. However, it tasted nothing like that. Instead, it was much brighter with dark and red fruits, earth and baking spices with a hefty bit of acid lifting everything up. After about 90 minutes, the nose became much more vibrant with red-rope licorice, old leather and cedar chest. Close to the end of the bottle, this was showing its best but it was also beginning to exhibit more structure with tannin and acid taking a more central role. Somewhat strange experience. Not sure what to make of the future for this. Wishing I had more clarity...and another bottle (maybe??) to see if these become something more special with additional age...or perhaps this is it. One thing is for sure, it's not a boring wine.
June 3, 2017 - Agree with many of the others. The wine is off in a bad way. I may pour it down the drain
March 19, 2017 - Powerful, full-bodied, concentrated and showing saline character from all its stony qualities, herbs, tobacco, ripe, tannic black raspberries, plums and a hint of florality. This is quite young and fresh, it will take at least another decade to soften and pull all its qualities together.