View on a vintage: 2005 in Bordeaux (contemplating red wines only)

by Juliette Martin



There has been a lot written about 2005 and most people know it’s right up there up there with some of the very best vintages in current collector’s lifetimes.

For the record, the truly great years of the last sixty years, as measured by using a vintage score of 96 or above on Vinous Media, are: 1961, 1982, 1986, 1990, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2016 (I have chosen to ignore the 2018 and 2019 vintages). The only three vintages to score 98 points are 1961, 2005 and 2016. Arguments will continue forevermore about which vintage is the best and there will be the obvious comparisons between left and right banks, and which is better, but does it really matter when you are in the presence of greatness? Everyone at least agrees 2005 is right up there and on balance it is less contentious than both 2009 and 2010, but for different reasons. I remember the great Robert Parker commenting the quality of the vintage went deep into the layers of the wider Bordeaux region and across the breadth of all the appellations.

Given the 1961 has all but disappeared and the 2016 vintage is a touch on the adolescent side, the 2005 vintage would appear to be a vintage to stock up on, if you haven’t already. A quick ‘Advanced search’ (see picture depiction below) on our platform shows me there are 44 different offers on the Wine Owners for the 2005 vintage, from Chateau Sainte Colombe Cotes de Castillon (£162 per 12), all the way to Petrus (£17,400 per 6). Someone else has been looking after these treasures (and paying a fair whack of storage on them) but is now ready to exchange them for hard currency.

Miles 07798 732 543

N.B. In my opinion really good Bordeaux takes a lot longer than the commonly held perception (and many suggested drinking dates) to really shine through and for nuance to really develop. Even serious commentators have been overheard saying ‘it all tastes the same!’ and when the wine is not fully developed, I can see why it could be easy to share that point of view.

I have only just begun to approach my best 2000s (and will be leaving them a while longer yet) and have barely touched my ’05s outside of some second wines (Sarget de Gruaud Larose I particularly enjoy and there’s still plenty of life left in it). The best wines may take thirty years or so to show their true potential. The second wines of lauded estates in really good vintages is normally a very reliable way to go.

Posted in: Fine wine analysis, Fine wine appreciation,

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