2005 – Worth The Hype?

Wow – the Wine Society sent me an enticing offer.  “A first taste of 2005!”.  Twelve bottles for a mouthwatering 67 of my English punts.

Now really….  It’s in their interest to big up the supposed best year in Bordeaux for several millennia – well according to the venerable Robert Parker at least.  (Personally I am amazed that an American has any understanding of how to get out of his own state, let alone gain a deep understanding of European culture).  I mean how many of you Europeans has met an American who knows the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom?

OK then, I admit I have a certain respect for Robert Parker.  I own a number of his books and I actually listen to his views…on wine.  I’d really like to meet him and I’d hope like hell that he had some “George Dubya Bush” flaws.  For example did you hear the joke about George Bush, on hearing that ten Brazilian soldiers had been killed in Iraq, went pale and asked his aide “hey, fella, just how many is a brazilian???”

Back to the subject matter.  2005 – A First Taste was, indeed, my first taste of 2005 Bordeaux.  So far I have tried 2 bottles:

Château Bel Air Perponcher, Appellation Bordeaux Controlee, er what was the year again?  Oh yeah and a bottle of Château Reignac de Tizac, Bordeaux Superior, er the same year.

The notes for the former  said “lovely balanced fruit”, and I tried it and thought “blackcurrant, almost any fruit you could name, mellow subtle but with a little spice”.  It is one of the impossibly few red wines that goes with Stilton.

Recommended to go with chilli and curry, yes I agree it could.  But to be honest I would prefer a large glass of Cobra lager, with my favourite Ruby Murray on the Rusholme curry mile.

The latter bottle was described as “with lovely full fresh fruit and balance”.  When I tried it I was thinking “lime, mint, black olives”.  That’s an unusual description for a wine but please put it in context.

The 2005 vintage in Bordeaux is without doubt, brilliant and the early releases show huge promise.  I have two thoughts here.

1.  It’s a bit too early to release anything (apart from to the French who seem to love young wine) and yet what has been released is very very nice despite the youth.

2.  A rising tide lifts all boats and you should focus on the year much more than which particular chateau.  In this regard wait a year or two and then buy up all the 2005 you can but at less than, say, £7 or £8 a bottle.

Let me know if you have had any good or bad experiences tasting 2005 Bordeaux, and I’ll promise not to tell Dubya…

“Is that a Brazilian wine?”

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