Opened a couple of Right-bank 2005s that were justifiable, cost-wise, for me to test-drink for some science, right here in the global epicenter. Bottles were purchased at, and stored since, vintage release.
2005 Ch. La Vieille Cure, Fronsac
Enjoyed with roasted stuffed pork loin dinner.
Dark crimson, a little bloody opaque (should have stood up bottle for a few days to clear out sediment).
Menthol, cigar, meat, dry herbs, young Bdx bouquet.
Tannic, puckering acid, solid core of fruit, touch of broth, dry herbs and unobtrusive hints of oak. Dense but compact structured. Long finish.
At the very least, some prolonged cellaring can tame tannin into a more rounded experience.
A modern styled wine, although I can’t recall New World wines I’ve had that offer similar level of quality Bordeaux experiences at the same price point (~$20).
2005 Ch. Fleur Cardinale, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Learning from last week’s 2005 La Vieille Cure, this was stood up for 4 days, then double-decanted at 6 hours before dinner. Able to dump out 1 inch of gunky liquid, but decanting didn’t do anything else to make this approachable.
Deep dark ruby red. Subdued olfactory, except for discernible menthol and fresh wood.
A big wine that was simply young, painfully. Ultra tannic, mouthfeel of nails/nuts/bolts/tree-bark on the approach. Tightly-knit structure that I noted (liked) with most 2005s during at-release tastings. High acidity, tons of ripe fruit and fresh oak. Notable alcohol content. Tongue-smacking lengthy finish.
I’m sensing that this wine will find a wide appeal with global wine consumers, especially after several cellar years as it begins to offer softer impressions with its international-winemaking mode.