jamie goode's wine blog: A brilliant effort: Château Léoville-Barton 2005

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A brilliant effort: Château Léoville-Barton 2005

Supermarket press tastings don't always focus on the bottom end of the market. Especially not when it's Waitrose, who have a list of fine wines that parallels that of a decent independent wine merchant.

It was nice to find the Leoville-Barton 2005 at their recent tasting, although I worry that consumers buying this to drink now wouldn't be getting the most out of this wine, which is definitely one for the long haul. At its peak, in a decade or two, this will be an awesome example of top quality Bordeaux.

Château Léoville-Barton 2005 St Julien 2eme Cru Classe, Bordeaux
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Cabernet France, matured for 20 months in French oak, half of which was new. Tight, brooding blackcurrant fruit nose is quite pure with lovely precision. Quite primary. The palate is really grippy and tannic, but there's lovely pure fruit here. Complex minerally, gravelly notes add a savoury dimension. A beautiful wine, but it's a real crime to drink it now. 94/100 (£67.50 Waitrose)



At 2:21 AM, Blogger Gregory Tod said...

Jamie, Interesting to compare the 94/100 you've scored this with the 93/100 for the Delaforce Quinta da Corte 1991 just below.

Given your comments about the Léoville-Barton needing lots of time, presumably the 94 is an estimate of what it *would* score at some point in the future?

But at less than 1/3rd the price and just a single point less and being ready now it seems *very* hard to buy the LB at all rather than the Port - would you agree?

Of course, sometimes you just want excellent Bordeaux and you will have to pay - but maybe then the smart move is to find something scored 96 or more and spend the (I guess) 200-2000 required on that rather than the LB?

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Gregory - the 94 is how I'd score it now - perhaps in time it will get a higher rating. But remember that scores are just an indication of quality, not an absolute measure.

With regard to value for money, it's quite hard to argue that top Bordeaux represents great value these days.

The Delaforce is fantastic, but it's hard to compare Bordeaux with Port - they're not interchangeable in that sense.


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