Bordeaux 2005s – filling in the gaps

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Amazingly, there were still a few gaps in the 200 bordeaux 2005s I re-tasted in bottle last January and on which I reported in the Southwold tasting articles. Accordingly, Julia took advantage of last week's tasting of 2005 bordeaux organised by the Institute of Masters of Wine in London to plug those gaps and bring you the following tasting notes, left bank first, then right bank. Please note that these wines were not tasted blind.  JR


LEFT BANK

Ch Beaumont 2005 Haut-Médoc

Chocolatey dark fruit, a little savoury and spiced. Lighter than expected on the palate. Harmonious, fresh and full of pleasure. (JH)
Drink
2010
2015
16.5

Ch Le Boscq 2005 St-Estèphe

Savoury and slightly spiced with dark meaty beginnings. Dry fine grip, quite fragrant on the mid palate compared with the nose. Tannins only just ripe on the finish. (JH)
Drink
2012
2018
15

Ch Brown 2005 Pessac-Léognan

Restrained, a little fragrant, dusty and slightly leafy dark fruit. More depth on the palate than expected. Very fresh and fruit still fresh. Tannins still gripping but smooth and chocolate textured. Juicy and finely balanced. Good length. (JH)
Drink
2010
2019
16.5

Ch Clarke 2005 Listrac

Bright cassis and just a little leafy. Hint of sweet dark meatiness developing. Thick pile tannins, fresh and muscular. (JH)
Drink
2013
2018
16

Ch Croizet-Bages 2005 Pauillac

Very herbaceous nose, verging on green. Not green on the palate but very very leafy and surprising for this vintage. (JH)
Drink
2011
2017
15.5

Ch de France 2005 Pessac-Léognan

Light, dusty damson fruit. Nicely structured and just enough flesh. Acidity quite marked but not uncomfortable. Tight and zesty. (JH)
Drink
2011
2018
16

Ch La Garde 2005 Pessac-Léognan

Fragrant, lightly floral dark fruit. Dusty. Tannins a little tough but there's nicely scented dark fruit on the mid palate. Finishes a bit dry but there's more to come. Really quite dense and long. (JH)
Drink
2012
2019
16.5

Ch Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2005 Pauillac

Lightly perfumed and spicy, with some dark plum fruit on the nose but really pretty restrained. Elegant and rounded. A nice whole and quite approachable – long and fine tannins though the wine is well structured for the longer term. (JH)
Drink
2012
2022
17

Ch Les Grands Chênes 2005 Médoc

Fresh and expressive – bright clean fruit. Much more chocolatey on the palate. Rounded and whole with fresh dark fruit at the end and attractive fruit sweetness. (JH)
Drink
2010
2015
16

Ch de Pez 2005 St-Estèphe

Restrained dark fruit then surprisingly soft and rounded on the palate. Well balanced and a fine fresh finish. (JH)
Drink
2012
2018
16

Ch Potensac 2005 Médoc

Markedly floral over dark sweet fruit. A bit disappointing on the palate – less fragrant. Fresh but not a great deal of depth. Finishes a bit short. (JH)
Drink
2011
2015
15.5

Ch Preuillac 2005 Médoc

Lively and fresh on the nose but rather an abrupt grip on the palate. Tannins not tough but seem to arrest the progress of the wine to the back palate. But there's nice fruit behind that. (JH)
Drink
2011
2017
15.5

Ch Soudars 2005 Haut-Médoc

Strong coffee notes over ripe dark fruit. Chocolate-smooth and thick texture though still with quite a grip. A bit abrupt, perhaps. (JH)
Drink
2011
2018
16

Ch La Tour Haut-Brion 2005 Pessac-Léognan

Fragrant cassis and cassis leaf and a sweetness of damson. Firm but so smooth. Lovely dense but fine fruit and fine-fruited perfume right across the palate. Long, rich and harmonious. Very good length and depth but still elegant and beautifully fresh. (JH)
Drink
2012
2025
18

Ch Verdignan 2005 Haut-Médoc

Dark and a little brooding. Held back. A bit drying on the palate. Rather forbidding. Dusty finish. (JH)
Drink
2012
2015
15

RIGHT BANK

Ch Cap de Mourlin 2005 St-Émilion

Smells very youthful: sweet fruit and toasty oak. Thick but smooth grip, fruit a little subdued compared with the nose. Dry but not drying finish. Could do with a little more flesh in the middle. (JH)
Drink
2012
2018
15.5

Ch Clos L'Église, Esprit de l'Église 2005 Pomerol

Distinctive nose – some cough linctus but quite bright cassis fruit. Fine fruit depth, quite rich but not fat. Meaty aftertaste and rich fruit at the very end. Dense and smooth. (JH)
Drink
2013
2022
16.5

Clos René 2005 Pomerol

Light herbal, even lavender note, a little leathery on the nose and palate. Dry and fine-grained tannins. Quite restrained and a bit dry at the very end. (JH)
Drink
2012
2017
15.5

Ch Corbin 2005 St-Émilion

Perfumed and very ripe but not overripe dark fruit assails you from the glass. Ripe damson. Then surprisingly dry on the palate and much less expressive. Finishes a bit hard. (JH)
Drink
2012
2017
15.5

Ch Dassault 2005 St-Émilion

Sweet oak-spiced fruit. Still a little toasty and still fresh. Firm but succulent and marked mocha flavour and chocolate texture on the palate. A deep cushion of flavour. Lots of pleasure. (JH)
Drink
2012
2019
16

Ch Nénin 2005 Pomerol

Pure, intense black fruit. Rich aromas with a hint of vanilla and violets. Succulent and moreish – tannins are rich and ripe and upright but very come-hither. Delicious. (JH)
Drink
2012
2025
17.5