Friday, February 22, 2008

Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois 2005 - Disappointment

Having read all the rave reviews on the quality of Bordeaux 2005 vintage (most recently rated as 99 by the wine spectator) I had high expectations for this tasting. Cru Bourgeois wines in such vintages should be a good source of some excellent wines. The tasting was held at wine route Tel Aviv store with 16 wines tasted non blind, of which 12 were from the 2005 vintage. The tasting guest was Eric Holsteins, Chateau Cissac owner.
From the 12 wines, only three were wines I would consider buying. I expected these wines to be tannic and somewhat closed. However, most of them didn't show anything interesting in flavor while showing a very nice and ripe nose.
Only one of the tasted wines is rated above 89. With prices ranging between 129 NIS(24 Euro) to 399 NIS(75 Euros) purchasing simply doesn't make sense. At these prices one can get an excellent Barolo, CdP (look at these notes for example) or Super Tuscan wine, not to mention numerous examples of new world wines or Israeli wines. Even when one looks at the prices for Bordeaux 2005 in Europe (about 30-40% cheaper than in Israel) or the US it doesn't make sense to buy these wines. My recommendation - pass.

Chateau Arnauld - Haut Medoc 2005
Light to medium color, raspberries, some spices. Pretty round and not too tannic, even a bit sweet. The finish is not very pronounced. 85
Chateau Citran - Haut medoc 2005
Pretty dark color, blackberries, plums, cherries and smoky aromas, lacking significant mid palate, but pretty good finish. 86
Chateau Charmail - Haut Medoc 2005
Medium dark color, blueberries, very tannic and closed, lacking mid palate and an almost bitter finish. 78
Chateau d'Escurac - Medoc 2005
Blackberries, red fruit with some slight olive in the background. Pretty nice in the mouth. Full bodied and very tannic with a long and nice finish. 88
Chateau Maucaillou - Moulis en Medoc 2005
Raspberries, chocolate, nice mouth feel with a medium finish. Not very interesting. 81
Chateau Cissac - Haut Medoc 2005
Medium to dark color. Blackberries, ripe fruit with a nice smokey background. Round and nicely balanced for its "age", still enough tannins to carry it in the cellar. Medium bodied. Very nice wine. 89
Chateau Potensac - Medoc 2005
very nice and deep color. Blueberries, blackberries coffee and cocoa with a good body that ends long with some nice sweetness. The best wine of this tasting. 91
Chateau d'Agassac - Haut Medoc 2005
very closed, with some truffels (?) very mineralic and some greenness. Strange for this vintage. Medium bodied and nice finish. 79
Chateau Senejac - Haut Medoc 2005
Almost no aromas - very closed. Red berries flavors, with a good finish. Nice body, pretty balanced. 83
Chateau Chasse Spleen - Moulis en Medoc 2005
Very closed, only a bit black fruit and extremely tannic. Nice dark color. 79
Chateau Siran - Margaux 2005
Nice dark color, full bodied. Earth, minerals, blackberries. Lacks mid palate. mediocre finish. 80
Chateau Labegorce Zede - Margaux 2005
Nice aromas of raspberries, spices. Again, almost no mid palate and mediocre finish. 79

In addition, a couple of pretty nice 2004 & 2003 were served.

Chateau Sociando Mallet - Haut Medoc 2004
Dark color, full bodied, very tannic now, but has the right fruit and structure to develop nicely: plums, blackberries, earth and a nice green component. Long and tasty finish. 89
Chateau Phelan Segur - St. Estephe 2004
Wild and fruity, a bit green but with excellent finish. A wine to store for a while. 86
Chateau Poujeaux - Moulies en Medoc 2004
Medium color, Spicey and green with light to medium body, a very nice finish. 81
Chateau de Pez St. Estephe 2003
Medium color. Earth, minerals, spices and red fruit. Medium bodied. The tannins allow to enjoy the wine. Good finish. 88


Maderak said...

Very timely report, with the 2005 Bordeaux coming onto the market in bottle soon. Very suprising, and perhaps a bit concerning since some of these wines got very good marks from the critics. Hopefully they're just too young, or closed down after bottling.

Yaron Zakai said...

The minority that has shown well in this tasting are worthy wines: Cissac, Potensac & d'Escurac. Regarding the others I'll quote my wife: "why should you buy a wine that might be good in 10 years instead of buying a new pair of shoes for me?"

Ken Gillman said...

Y- agree 100%. A good example of the myth of Bordeaux. How so many critics can rate this mystifies me. My Pts 82, will prob downgrade that when I retest tomorrow.

Ken Gillman said...

The only critic who seems to agree with us is Jamie Good, who said "Medium dark color, blueberries, very tannic and closed, lacking mid palate and an almost bitter finish. 78"
Y, my wife is a blonde who would utterly concur with your wife, and she would hear no argument from me. "Yes dear, my mistake dear, I was silly to buy it dear".

The real Q is "how have the french (with the collusion of UK reviewers) managed to con so many for so long?