jamie goode's wine blog: More Bordeaux 2005, and I'm not finished yet

Thursday, May 01, 2008

More Bordeaux 2005, and I'm not finished yet

I've been taking a closer look at affordable Bordeaux from the 2005 vintage. Four more bottles opened tonight and tasted together.

I'm beginning to wonder about whether this is the sort of vintage that's best offered out of sequence. What I mean is, some producers might be best off sending their 2006s and perhaps their 2007s to market before their 2005s. The Champagne houses sometimes do this with their vintage wines.

Many of the affordable 2005s have been almost impossibly tannic and quite closed: not wines that you gain much pleasure from drinking at the moment. This applies even to some of the less expensive branded wines. But in two years' time they may well be showing their best. [Let's not forget that these are not sweet, seductive wines that consumers can easily understand. They're quite challenging, with high tannins and high acidity. They have their work cut out.]

The problem is, they'll have largely sold through, and these days people drink wines as soon as they buy them. The possibility remains that most of this vintage will be drunk before its time. Pick of the bunch here? The Diane de Belgrave (stocked by Majestic).

Château De La Ligne Cuvée Prestige 2005 Bordeaux Supérieur
This property, with 11 hectares of vines planted in 2002, is owned by Northern Irish businessman Terry Cross (read about the project here). It comes in a heavy, broad-shouldered bottle. The fresh nose shows some fresh red fruits with a bit of tarry spiciness – some American oak was used here as well as French. The palate is bright with super-fresh red berry fruits and a bit of spice, but the dominant theme here is the firm tannic structure and high acidity, giving the wine an almost austere, savoury feel. While I like the freshness of the fruit, and the ample concentration, there’s not enough charm here - and far too much structure - for this to be an enjoyable drink at the moment. It may well blossom, however, with a decade in the cellar – hard to tell. Considering that the vines are still young, it’s a good performance. 85/100

Château Barreyres 2005 Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux
Given a couple of hours of air, this wine opens out to show a classic, attractive Bordeaux nose of subtly leafy, minerally blackcurrant and red berry fruit. The palate is beginning to evolve a little, showing soft green spicy notes underneath the fruit, held together with some tannic structure and good acidity. A balanced, well proportioned claret beginning to enter its drinking phase, and offering good value. Drink now and over the next couple of years? 86/100 (£8.75 Sainsbury’s)

Diane de Belgrave 2005 Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux
The second wine of fifth growth Château Belgrave, this has a really attractive nose showing dark fruits, minerals, olives and spice. The palate shows generous, rich blackcurrant and raspberry fruit backed up by spicy, mineralic structure. There’s some elegance here, and it isn’t as square and tannic as some of the other 2005s I have been tasting of late. Stylish stuff that’s beginning to be approachable now. Drink now and over the next three years? 89/100 (£11.99 Majestic)

Château Preuillac 2005 Cru Bourgeois, Médoc, Bordeaux
Very attractively packaged, this deep coloured wine has a slightly closed nose showing fresh blackcurrant fruit with some dark spice character. The palate is ripe and fresh, with a strongly savoury, gravelly, spicy streak, as well as some attractive chocolatey richness. The tannic structure is fairly dominant at the moment, and there’s good acidity, as well as a bit of oak. Tastes a bit tight and young at the moment, but there’s no reason to suppose that this won’t age well in the medium term. Finishes with dry, grippy tannins. Lose in the cellar for five years? 87/100 (£12.99 Soho Wine Supply)



At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jamie

You open and try all these wines but how do you keep them for later drinking.How do you store them over a few days.I have had people say to use a few half bottles and fill these up or the use the pump or just put back in the cork again.What do you think or use.


At 11:19 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

I think, from experience, that putting the cork back in is the best solution. The half bottle trick fails because the wine will have already taken up oxygen, and the vacuvin system disappoints for the same reason, plus it degasses the wine a bit.


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