From the archives; I’ve backdated this post to when the article was published.
Here’s my article in Wine & Spirit, December 2007. The wines were tasted in the Autumn, about six months after the wines were bottled.
The real deal: Bordeaux 2005 from the bottle
In case you hadn’t heard, 2005 was the greatest vintage in Bordeaux in living memory. And, having tasted 450 of the leading wines from the bottle – the first ‘critic’ to have done so – I urge you to catch some of these wonderful wines before prices rise once again, or before many become impossible to find.
Whether you are looking to invest in a few cases for the long term, or are looking for a tasty drop for a tenner a bottle, there are still stocks available from UK merchants.
Unlike the mad stampede of the barrel tastings last April, when the press and the trade from the world of wine come to town, my tasting marathon of 2005s has been a personal labour of love. I have been to almost 100 chateaux and tasting rooms around Bordeaux between September to November 2007, and listed here is a summary of the best wines, each scoring at least 88 out of 100 points by my reckoning.
No other vintage has produced so many brilliant wines across the region as a whole. But there are some mediocre wines too, so my advice is not to think, “2005 – this must be good”, but to choose carefully. Keep reading
From the archives; I’ve backdated the date of this post to when the article was published.
I’d been writing en primeur reports for my own Chateau Bauduc newsletter called La Gazette since the 2000 vintage. We used to mail it out in the post to around 3,000 lucky people, in the UK mostly. The 2005 vintage, clearly the best year since 2000, gave me the opportunity to write for a UK wine magazine. That was Wine & Spirit, a title that had recently taken over from the popular Wine International magazine. The Fine Wine Section carried the strapline ‘For those who can afford it, and for those who wish they could.’
I wrote two articles about the primeurs, the first in the May issue called ‘Bordeaux 2005: a truly great vintage’, with tasting notes on my pick of the Top 100 reds, and the second in the June edition. That was ‘2005: 100 Best Values at under £200 a case’ and the whites.
I reviewed all the wines in bottle for a follow up in December 2007.
Here’s the vintage overview from the en primeur piece.
2005 is the greatest vintage in Bordeaux in living memory. No other year has given producers from across the entire region the opportunity to produce such high quality wine in reasonable quantities. It is a great vintage for reds, dry whites and Sauternes.
For the reds, 2005 is rather like a modern-day equivalent of 1982 but the number of châteaux making better wine today than 20 years ago is countless. Improved vineyard management, stricter selection, substantial investment in know-how and equipment, and smarter wine-making have changed the face of the region. Keep reading