Later that same day: See major addition below.
This is just in from the press office of Berry Bros & Rudd. Those who were cajoled into buying large quantities of wine from their sales director Simon Staples for their soon-to-be-nonexistent wine-related SIPPS may hope that the title of the press release is literally true.
Berrys' Sales Director left 'Speechless' after tasting 2005 Bordeaux
Bordeaux 2005 has come early for the fine wine team at Berry Bros & Rudd who have recently returned from tasting a selection of the eagerly anticipated new wines – and they intend to stay one step ahead of the game in the weeks ahead as the wine world focuses on Bordeaux!
The quality of the 2005s left Berrys' Sales Director, Simon Staples, 'speechless'.
"2005 is an incredibly decadent vintage, with incredibly concentrated wines with lashings of fruit and lots of soft tannins. It's a truly fantastic vintage with great quality across the board on both Left and Right Bank. Early signs show the wines to be reminiscent of, and even surpassing in many cases, the 2000 vintage. If anything, the 2005s are richer and more concentrated than the 2000s but share the same consistent excellence," says Simon.
Simon was the first person from outside Bordeaux to taste Ch Cos d'Estournel's 2005 and says it was the best Cos he has ever tasted. "It has intense St Estèphe fruit – luscious black cherries and cream - and all the richness and silky texture of a top Pomerol. He says, adding: "The length was amazing, and in two months time at the en primeur tastings, it will be even better. 19/20." [This man even has powers of clairvoyance! JR]
Berrys boasts the best wines and best advice as well as the latest information which will be available in the daily reports when the fine wine team embarks on the major en primeur tasting from 03 to 07 apr. Because of the anticipated global demand for this vintage, Berrys' is encouraging everyone to register their interest now at www.bbr.com/bordeaux2005 to ensure they receive all the latest news before anyone else! [who is not on their mailing list nor on those of the hundreds of other merchants who will doubtless be trying just as hard to get their hands on your chequebook - JR]
With the world focused on Bordeaux, heralding the 2005 as a truly great vintage, the prices are inevitably going to be higher than 2004. But Simon believes that as there are a lot of great wines in 2005 prices cannot be as high as in 2003 when everyone wanted the same six or seven wines. He believes it should be more in line with the 2000 prices.
St Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classé, Ch. Trotte Vieille is another estate to watch in 2005. "It has always had great terroir", says Simon, who adds: "But until its excellent 2004 it had always rather underperformed. The 2005 far surpasses the 2004, and shows that Trotte Vieille is now making wine worthy of its status. It is now just as good as its neighbours Troplong-Mondot and Canon.17/20."
Simon also tasted the 2005 Ch Batailley, which he thought represents another huge leap forward in quality for this improving estate. "A 5th Growth performing at the level of a 2nd or 3rd Growth. Very ripe Cabernet Sauvignon predominates, with soft tannins cloaking the voluptuous tannins. It reminded me of a recent vintage of Ch. Pichon-Lalande. This is sure to be one of THE bargains of the vintage. 17/20," he says.
Berrys is offering a free case of 2005 Ch Batailley for any customer who signs up to Berrys' Cellar Plan before 19 mar 06. (Terms and conditions apply. Payments start from £100/month, and customers must sign up to The Cellar Plan for a minimum of 12 months).
Ben Smith, communications manager Bibendum Wine, London:
I was amused to read the article above but may I humbly suggest prospective Bordeaux 2005 buyers would be better served by tasting the wines for themselves before buying? We are hosting our first-ever Bordeaux En Primeur tasting, on 26apr at Lord's Cricket Ground.
The (ever-growing) list of producers attending includes:
Aiguilhe: Stefan Von Neipperg
Branaire Ducru : Patrick Maroteau
Camensac : Céline Villars + Jean-Pierre Foubet
Canon La Gaffelière : Stefan Von Neipperg
Cantenac Brown : José Sanfiins
Chasse Spleen : Céline Villars + Jean-Pierre Foubet
Ferrière : Claire Villars
Gazin : Nicolas de Bailliencourt
Giscours : Alexander Van Beck
Gruaud Larose : David Launay
Haut Bages Libéral : Claire Villars
Haut Bailly : Véronique Sanders
Larcis Ducasse : Nicolas Thienpont
Pavie Macquin : Nicolas Thienpont
Petit Village : Christian Seely
Pichon Baron : Christian Seely
Pontet Canet : Alfred Tesseron
Smith Haut Lafitte : Daniel & Florence Cathiard
Suduiraut : Christian Seely
(Du) Tertre : Alexander Van Beck
Troplong Mondot : Christine Valette
In addition Olivier Berrouet, winemaker for Cheval Blanc and Yquem will be showing recent vintages of both of these giants of the region.
Interested parties should email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets, which cost £30. For more information email or call us on 020 7449 4120.