TN: 2005 Bonnes Mares Grand Cru, Suduirat, Madeiras


Last night a group of us gathered at our friend John V’s home for some wine. John has been itching to do this tasting since the day the grapes were picked I think (at least the Burgs), and it was finally time. Ten years from vintage is a nice compromise from those who want to drink them young and those who want to wait. John asked me to get the band back together and do this tasting. A few e-mails went out and it was not hard to fill 6 more spots. With the exception of the Chardonnay and the Sauternes, the wines were consumed non-blind. Breads and cheeses were served. We had about 3.5 hours with the wines.

With the exception of the corked wine, I think all the wines showed well. Are they worth the money? Maybe at release prices, but not at today’s prices IMO. At least not for my budget. Still, it was a rare chance to get a feel for the vineyard and taste wines from a great vintage is this setting. Of course, there were lots of laughs as well. We all chipped in to cover John’s cost on the Burgs, but he outdid himself (no easy feat) with his generosity on the dessert wines. They were the star of the evening.

  • 2011 Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    A great wine to serve blind to the group. Seemed Californian, but too much acidity. Not the usual Chardonnay. Maybe something else. Maybe Burgundy but not quite. Then the overthinking set in. Of course, when revealed, it all made sense. Mt. Eden has been making Chardonnay in their own unique style for a long time and this bottle, though young, was excellent. Light gold in color. The nose has vanilla, lemons and some grapefruits. A nice mineral/smoke streak as well. On the palate, slightly oily texture. There is some heat/alcohol poking thru. Good acidity. I think this needs time to come together but it is outstanding now. A glass consumed late in the evening, after air and warming was the best. (93 pts.)

  • 2005 Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Bonnes Mares - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
    Ruby/black in color. The nose is warm with black cherries. A bit of dried sage as well. On the palate, a tart acidity. nice cherry fruit although at time it borders on cough syrup. Still, it fall short of that and is outstanding. This was perhaps a bit leaner than the other wines, but that is more of a stylistic quality and some liked it better than I. (92 pts.)
  • 2005 Louis Jadot Bonnes Mares - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
    Sometimes it is too easy to dis Jadot. Negociant, the big kid on the block, etc. But they make some great wines and this was one. Ruby in color, purple at the core. The nose is tight to start. The some sadalwood followed by black raspberries and bluberries which I found odd. With air, more dark cherry fruit comes out. Also a bit of menthol. This is a complex wine that kept unwinding layers in the glass. Lots of black cherries and more blueberries on the palate along with a nice minerality. Long finish. A very big wine that has plenty of upside. The groups WOTN. (94 pts.)
  • 2005 Dominique Laurent Bonnes Mares Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
    I am a big fan of Laurent. I know the knock on the double oak, but I have always found the oak integrates with time. Ruby purple in color. The nose is really nice right from the start. And it gets better. Dark cherries and baking spices but also some lighter strawberry notes and charred wood. Great lush texture. On the palate, layers of black cherries and a bit of earthiness. It is soft and easy to drink but then the complexity sets in and a very long finish making one stop and pay attention. Great wine. (96 pts.)
  • 2005 Nicolas Potel Bonnes Mares - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
    Sadly, corked. Seemed like nice black cherry fruit underneath. NR (flawed)
  • 2005 Nicolas Potel Romanée St. Vivant - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Romanée St. Vivant Grand Cru
    Quite a treat to try this. We were short one Bonnes Mares for the tasting, so John added this. Purple/ruby in color. The nose has dark cherries, spice, a slight citrus note and even a slight roasted meat/earthy note. On the palate, this may be the most complex wine on the table. it is quite young and in need of time though. Layers of dark cherries, boysenberries, smoked earth unwind in the glass. Very smooth. Long finish. I thought I heard someone say they had oxidized notes on this. I am not sensitive to that, but usually can pick them up if alerted to it. In this case, I did not get any. (95 pts.)
  • 2005 Remoissenet Père et Fils Bonnes Mares - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
    Purple in color. The nose has black raspberries, spice, dust and dark cherries. On the palate there is a floral quality that is really pretty. Lots of black raspberry fruit. Tight layering. Lovely texture. I liked it a bit more than the group. (94 pts.)
  • 2005 Domaine Laurent Roumier Bonnes Mares - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
    Purple in color. The nose has black cherries with a slight cough drop note including a bit of menthol. On the palate, this is young. Black cherries with some black licorice. Approachable but seems tightly packed. (93 pts.)
  • 2005 Domaine de la Vougeraie Bonnes Mares - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
    A controversial wine. There is a fair amount of VA and its a big wine. I loved it but I can see where some Burgundy fans would not. Dusty black cherries on the nose. For me, the VA brings out the aromatics. For others, it made the nose hot. I think it also blew off with some air. On the palate, ripe black cherries layered with smoked damp earth. Great lush texture. This got better in the glass. It got 2 first place votes and a second and still finished in 5th place so the others must have liked it a lot less. Each to their own. It was my WOTN (for the reds). (96 pts.)

  • 2009 Château Suduiraut - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    This was was awesome. Light golden in color. The nose is honeyed apricots and baked apples covered in white raisins. With air, just a touch of cinnamon came out too. Unctuous. Honeyed. Sweet but not overtly. Complex. Long finish. A true wow wine. (98 pts.)

  • NV Rare Wine Co. (Vinhos Barbeito) Madeira Porto Moniz Special Reserve - Portugal, Madeira
    Lighter amber/brown in color. The nose has chocolate covered oranges, some caramel, some honey. Very nice. On the palate, this is very tasty. Not sweet at all. Orange peel, cocoa powder and a slight salinity. Very powerful wine that probably needs decades to develop. It was the weak sister tonight, but that speaks more to the other wines than this one. The best of the Historic Series I have had. Outstanding. (95 pts.)
  • 1942 Barbeito Madeira Reserva Velha Malvasia Quinta Mae Dos Homens - Portugal, Madeira
    I have had very few wines from the WWII years and this is easily the best I can remember. Darker brown in color. The nose is big, smooth and very nice. Orange peel, dark chocolate shavings, honey, and burnt sugar. On the palate, there is a great acidity that gives this almost a tart quality that wakes up the palate. Lemons and oranges. Great texture. Very smooth. A bit of milk chocolate on the finish. Amazing wine. (97 pts.)
  • 1933 Broadbent Madeira Malvazia - Portugal, Madeira
    John offered to go get another bottle and opened this one. Dark iced tea in color. The nose is big, very nice. Honeyed with blood orange, orange peel and slight milk chocolate. Amazingly smooth. Caramel flavors with slight chocolate and a bit of orange peel. Nice acidity. Long finish. Very smooth and complex and did I mention it was smooooth. The group seemed to favor the 1942, but if forced to choose, I liked this one slightly better. (97 pts.)

Great to see everyone. My thanks to John for hosting and the wines and to all for coming out.
Posted from CellarTracker


I love Bonnes Mares. I just do not love paying for it.

What a treat to taste the Madeiras! Did you guys finish the bottles, or only had sips from?
Sometimes I wish the vintage Madeira’s (like the Champagnes disgorgement date) would put a release date on them so you know when they were bottled, because sometimes there can be variances among even the same wine from the same ‘vintage’, because usually they are drawn and bottled at different times so some stay in the cask longer than others.

We pretty much finished them. There may be a glass or two left from the last bottle.

Do some put bottling dates on them? I thought so, but maybe I am thinking of Colheitas.

The 1942 was bottled 10-2001 but no date on the 1933.

Nice notes Loren!

It’s amazing how much Laurent wines manage to absorb oak. Even the early ones, where has was 200 percenting it, the wines have evolved beautifully. I had the 1996 CDR a few weeks ago, and it was superb.