A first look at red Burgundy 2005 : surprisingly sweet

My wine club Euryanthe got together to taste 12 wines ( Villages and premier cru ) from the much heralded 2005 vintage . We heard the wines were closed , difficult to assess , but " classic " and true Burgundy . Well , these wines were all over the place and I found some of them surprisingly sweet , tasting more like Cote du Rhone . They will no doubt age very well , but I don’t think it is a classic vintage like 2010 .
This was a blind tasting ( 10 tasters ) of 6 pairs . We had a unanimous winner which is very unusual .

  1. Pure and monolytic , not complex but yummy . 90+/100 DUJAC , Chambolle Villages

  2. Already very drinkable , super fine grainy tannins , I love this , 92/100 GEANTET PANSOT Chambolle Villages

  3. Sweet , like a CNP , hot with extraction , too much alcohol , nope. 88/100 VOLNAY Taillepieds Marquis d’Angerville

  4. Also sweet , very ripe , no pinot character , a good Cote du Rhone for 12 Euro’s , 90/100 VOLNAY Taillepieds , de Montille

  5. Now this is serious pinot , super complex , delicious finesse , earthy , no power , start drinking now 94/100 GROFFIER Chambolle Haut Doix

  6. Blue fruit , darker color , very different style , much more primary , lot’s of matiere , will go a long way , 93/100 LUCIEN LE MOINE , Chambolle Haut Doix

  7. Animal and earthy , good concentration and lengthy , classic Burgundy and start drinking now : 94/100 MAGNIEN Gevrey Cazetiers

  8. Very fresh , lengthy , class wine , beautiful tannins in red fruit , wonderful and my WOTN , 96/100 : ROUSSEAU Gevrey Clos St. Jacques

  9. Red fruit with dry tannins which bother me a great deal , lot’s of power , less finesse but the dry finish ( like a Barolo ) is wrong NR. Chevillon NSG les Vaucrains

  10. Fine very present tannins , power , earthy , very Nuits St G , 92/100. CHEVILLON NSG les Cailles

  11. Power , chewy tannins , this is delicious , modern style , not so complex , 94/100 THIBAULT LIGER BELAIR Vosne Romanee Les petits Monts

  12. Very very sweet , over the top , sur-mature , funky , too much 91?/100 COMTE LIGER BELAIR Vosne Romanee aux Reignots ( I tasted this wine again later that night and it had improved , still… too sweet for my taste )

Pretty unanimous scores resulted in a top 5 :

  1. Rousseau : Clos St Jacques 30 points ( maximum )
  2. Robert Groffier Chambolle Musigny les Haut Doix : 17 points
  3. Magnien : Gevrey Chambertin les Cazetiers : 5 points
  4. Lucien le Moine Chambolle Haut Doix 4 points
  5. Chevillon NSG les Cailles : 3 points .

We don’t take ourselves too serious so this is just a snap shot assessment . But I was really surprised about the style of SOME of the wines . This is very much une annee solaire , not so classic in style .

Great notes, and surprising results from some storied producers. Food for thought with the '15s hitting the market.

Thanks Herwig. Your notes and website are excellent and help me to keep a(little) bit of my Dutch understanding…
I did not know Thibault was making a Vosne petits monts or do you mean Comte?

Thibault does make a Petits Monts

Not a fan of the sugar, eh?

Shocked at the d’Angerville notes, thanks for sharing.

Be curious if others have tried and had the same feeling.

Not planning on opening any 2005s until 2025… problem with the better vintages is that they take ages to come around. 93s, in a different style, were really not particularly good until 3-4 years ago.

I remember buying a case of Engel brulees 2000 and almost giving up on them around 2009 as they were completely joyless and seemed on the way down. Sold 6 bottles then tried it again around 2012 and it was absolutely glorious. Just an example of how, sadly, red burgundies ageing curve is anything but linear.

Thanks for the notes, Herwig. Nice to see you here. Hope you are well.

Thanks Herwig, for a fine status report of some very different '05 Burgs.
Sounds like some grapes were picked very late ?
I will not be chasing Comte Liger-Belairs, or the Volnays mentioned.

Much appreciated,

Thanks Herwig, good to see an interesting variety from this vintage. 2005 is really the first vintage that I went pretty big on (though more wide than deep) and I’ll be curious to dig into the wines in a few years. To date I’ve only opened just a few village wines (Arnoux, Bachelet) and found them still fairly closed.

Herwig, thanks for the very interesting notes and observations. I guess I am not surprised by your reaction, particularly about the Rhone qualities. I hope you’re wrong, but would not be surprised if you were right.

2005, it was clear from the very beginning , was a unique vintage in Burgundy. Therefore, it cannot be a “classic” by definition. It was certainly an ebullient vintage, that almost everyone thought would be “great”, though its own personality. I fear (because of my own age) that it might take too long to really know where they are heading, as they have, unlike some Rhones and vintages “solaires”, plenty of underlying structure. I wouldn’t touch any, except to taste here and there, until 2025. (And, for that reason, I stopped buying red wines after the 2005 vintage.)

The ones I’ve had in the last several years have been too youthful to tell much of anything, except that they are loaded with ripe fruit. It seems more might be starting to show, from your notes.

All the truly “great” Burgundy vintages are , IMO, not “classic” vintages: 1990 and 2005 are good examples. Those two vintages are held in the highest esteem by winemakers, who define vintages differently from most people here, as the winemakers seem to think of “accross the board” potential…at all levels of the hierarchy. And, those years certainly have that.

I am wondering now what are the “classic” vintages in Burgundy that have turned out very well? 1999 and 2002 come to mind, but so far, it is too early to be sure. And, are they really “classic”?

I’m curious what vintages people “here” consider classic red Burg vintages. I’ve never really thought about that before.

We did an '05 Lunch a few months ago, don’t specifically remember seeing anything I thought was overly sweet though, but many didn’t look approachable or very enjoyable (we had quite a few Gevreys and Cortons, so probably understandable).

The '05 Rousseau CSJ was my wine of the day though, even better drinking than the Chambertin we had along side of it currently, and a really great wine!

I’ve had 2 bottles of that 2005 Angerville Taillepieds and “sweet” and “hot” would never have come to mind. Powerfully tannic and urgent fruit needing years.

This isn’t a 2005, but I had a 2007 D’Angerville Clos Des Ducs that I also found sweet, heavy, and seemingly overextracted. I was astounded at this given the reputation of the producer, vineyard, and vintage.

Too damn early for a number of the wines. I wouldn’t give up on the d’Angervilles by any means. Other wines are wide open and maybe never shut down. I find it a bit too hard to sort out and am mostly just waiting. Agree with Thomas that sometimes we just create opinions too early on many burgs. Appreciate the notes, though, and the reports so we all don’t have to sample these wines at this stage.

Indeed , I don’t give up on any of these wines , especially not the Comte LB . We had a La Romanee 2005 , a few months ago , that was briljant .
This was just a snap shot tasting , it is not intended to brand the vintage as too sweet or hot . We were just surprised to see how many were ( but still less than 50 % ) .
Now , Stuart , as classic vintage ? 2014 would qualify , I think it is an excellent red Burgundy vintage . Very pure .

How about some from the '70s-2005, Herwig? Anyone?

I stopped paying attention to vintages after 2006, when I stopped buying.

Very interesting notes, Herwig

Most winemakers I have spoken to recommend to let the 2005s mature a few (a lot?) more years.



Thanks for the detailed report. The few 2005s that I’ve had, including D’Angerville and Chevillon, don’t track with your assessment. I certainly found 2005s to have a density and weight that may not be “classic” per se but were certainly welcome. And given the impeccable balance and freshness that accompanied the density, I reasoned that they just need a lot more time to show their true greatness. I think another decade or more is needed for 1er Crus and above to start realizing their potential.

Yes, thanks for your fine notes, Herwig—and a very interesting cross-section across most of the major communes.

Stuart, I’m too much of a young 'un to go back too far, but 01 and 10 are the two vintages that come to mind for me—for reds, anyway. Good examples of 93s? For me, the jury is still out on 02, 05 and 08 (and of course 12, much too young). But for classicism, I love the 2001 vintage and have my hopes that the 2010s will mirror it at least to a degree.