TN: 2005 Ch. Monbousquet

2005 Ch. Monbousquet (St. Emilion) – I’ve had a half case of this sitting quietly in the cellar while I drank much older wines (I haven’t started on any of the Bordeaux from this millennium except for a couple of petit chateaux). I thought it might be time to take a look.

The wine is still very dark in colour, with a penetrating nose of dark fruit and herbs and some ripe cassis, very enticing. On palate it has a thick mouth feel, and still exhibits considerable softening tannin and acidity which together make it seem to ‘lean out’ in the finish, but I think that is misleading as the wine has great stuffing and should be an excellent long term prospect – I will probably wait another 5 years or so to try another bottle and expect that it may have snapped into focus by then. I look forward to that with anticipation.

Your patience is exemplary. I guess this means I need to sit on my 2016 Monbousquets for a loong time!

It’s a matter of taste. Many people like early gratification; I prefer mature wines. Am now working on my remaining 86 and 88 clarets (still have around 8 cases) and have started sampling 89 and 90 (similar amounts). I just find it so disappointing when people drink immature wines before they hit plateau and miss out on what they can be, but some people seem to prefer them young, which is fine.

I probably take a peek at wines at the age of 10 and 15 years, before making a judgement on how long I think I want to age them. I rarely end up judging them as too far along when I take those reference tastings on Bordeaux.

Last time I checked in on this it was a 2x4 that was all jelly & make-up. Glad your bottles are showing what you were hoping for.

Yup - lots of wood, but also lots of fruit. Time will tell.

A good estate to pour (blind?) for friends who are quite certain they don’t like French wines one bit!

Thanks for the update.

I agree with Arv’s “Bordeaux for people who hate Bordeaux” comment. My note from my last bottle was “ Nice enough. Modern, could be a ringer for a CA merlot. Poor QpR.” Sometimes I’m craving something modern so I’ll enjoy them for what they are.

Good point. At this stage of development it probably would appeal more to people with New World tastes. I think/hope that will change over the next 10 years or so and it will settle into a more traditional mould. We shall see.

The 1994 Monbousquet drinks very nicely, I think 1st vintage of the new regime. 1998 still a bit young.

Really like the 1998 and 1999, loaded up on this wine as an every day drinker!


St.-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Ownership-74 acres, 6,000 to 7,000 cases produced
Average age of vines, forty years
25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon & 70% Merlot

1999-A remarkable effort for the vintage, the dense ruby purple colored 1999 Monbousquet exhibits a Port like bouquet of super ripe black cherry and black currant fruit intermixed with scents of coffee, tobacco and vanilla. Tipping the scales at a whopping fourteen per cent alcohol (extremely high for Bordeaux), this wine possesses an amazing texture, a mid palate that you could get lost in and a sensational forty to forty five second finish. The exotic aromas, incredible texture and abundant fruit are reminiscent of Pomerol’s renowned micro cuvee, Le Pin. The 1999 is even better from bottle than it was from cask. Drink: 2005 to 2017. Last tasted, 1/03. Rating, 94. RP

Made in a nearly over the top style, the saturated purple colored 1999 exhibits overripe blackberry, blueberry, cassis, chocolate, espresso and toasty oak notes. This exotic, lush effort possesses immense chewy texture, low acidity, gorgeous purity and a viscous finish. A thrilling effort, this full bodied, creamy textured wine is neither heavy nor disjointed. Drink: 2005 to 2017. Last tasted, 4/01. Rating, 92/94. RP

Every Monbousquet produced under the Perse regime to date has been super. The 1999 is made from 60% Merlot and the remainder Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, it is one of the few 1999 blockbusters. A sexy, compellingly rich, magnetic effort, this black beauty exhibits thrilling notes of plums, blackberry fruit, cherry liqueur, toast, licorice and spice. Extraordinarily nuanced, with medium to full body, no hard edges, well integrated, sweet tannin and a finish that lasts for 40+ seconds, this compelling effort is atypical for the vintage. Yields were a low 30 hectoliters per hectare. Some of the Merlot was harvested at a whopping 14.5% natural alcohol. Geez! Drink: 2002 to 2018. Last tasted, 4/00. Rating, 93/96. RP

What can one say about the remarkable efforts Gerard Perse has produced at his home property, Monbousquet, as well as his more recent acquisitions of Pavie, Pavie-Decesse, and La Clusiere? He has provoked anger, jealousy, and envy among the Bordeaux cognoscenti, but the bottom line is that his wines are brilliant. He spares no expense or effort to turn out great clarets from properties that were perennial underachievers. RP

1998-Earlier vintages continue to suggest that this cuvee has far greater longevity than expected given the opulence and enormous fruit. For example, the 1998 and 1999 remain infants in terms of development, and the 1995 is just coming into a preadolescent stage. 4/06. RP

Yields of 28 to 30 hectoliters per hectare are among the lowest in St.-Emilion, which no doubt accounts for the wine’s explosive richness. The final blend, 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, was bottled unfined and unfiltered after 18 months in 100% new oak, with aging on the lees. It boasts a saturated plum, purple color in addition to an exotic bouquet of Asian spices, plum liqueur, prunes and blackberries. Extremely full bodied, unctuously textured, structured and well defined, this spectacular achievement will drink well young, yet last for two decades. Drink: now to 2020. Last tasted, 1/03. Rating, 94. RP

The terrific 1998 is the finest Monbousquet yet produced. A black, purple color is followed by a spectacular, soaring nose offering jammy blackberry, blueberry fruit, kirsch liqueur, new oak and spice box aromas. Huge, dense, full bodied, and powerful, with thrilling levels of extract and richness, moderately high tannin, and a sweetness and purity that must be tasted to be believed, this wine should drink well in two to three years, and last for two decades. Bravo! Drink: 2002 to 2020. Last tasted, 4/00. Rating, 92/95. RP

Since Gerard Perse took over this estate, Monbousquet has become one of the most opulently textured, sexiest, and popular St.-Emilions. The 1998 is no exception, and Perse believes it is the finest wine he has yet made. The color is a deep saturated black, purple. Stunning aromatics of blackberries, raspberries and smoky new oak explode from the glass. A textured, open knit, full bodied wine with abundant glycerin, concentration and ripe fruit, this hedonistic, consumer friendly effort will be immensely popular when released. It should drink reasonably well young, even though it possesses more structure than previous vintages, yet keep for 12 to 15+ years. In 1998, yields were 26 hectoliters per hectare, and the final blend was 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink: 1999 to 2014. Last tasted, 4/99. Rating, 90/93. RP


6 bottles in the cellar. Sigh. Low expectations.


My view 2005’s are 5-7 years off and harsh in between!

2005 Chateau Monbousquet St. Emilion
Is it possible for a wine to show this much oak at age 16? Where’s the Merlot? 200%…300%? Chips in the bottle? Light on the jelly…heavy on the make-up. On the nose…it’s about the wood. The midpalate and finish are…well, you can guess. Some caramel a bit of vanilla some plain old fashioned lightly toasted oak. To the wine’s credit, after a bit of air…some jammy dark fruit slowly hacks its way through the forest. It wants to make an appearance but the fruit is still pretty damned buried. Mild acidity. No heat…a plus. Friends will be surprised when I share the remaining bottles.


That’s the Moon-Biscuit signature: wood, oak and lumber.

I’ve got a single magnum of this vintage and that’s it. There is no popping a bottle from a full case to see where it’s at. I was planning on opening it at the first post-covid party at my house. The comments here have me thinking it should sit for several more years.

Yeah, 3 pack of mags here and no 750s…hmmm.

Next person to post a tasting note on this wine can entitle it “I’ve got a Woody” and we’ll know what they mean. [wink.gif]

It wasn’t that bad - it will just take some more time to resolve - maybe a considerable time.

The old wood magnate himself (RP) said:

A beautiful effort from Monbousquet, this 2005 comes across to me as one of their strongest efforts, with notes of toasty oak, black cherry and blackcurrant fruit as well as some licorice, incense and flowers. Full-bodied and opulent, this is an amazing wine from a terroir on the so-called “wrong side” of St.-Emilion. Drink it over the next 15 or more years. It is an amazing performance. Drink 2015 - 2030.


I’d have said that he was way early on that drinking window, but there is a lot of good things in this wine that should (eventually) come together. And actually, the fans of the Californian and Australian well wooded wines would probably enjoy it now.

I suspect you’re far from alone in enjoying it. A quick check on wine-searcher…and I’m quite surprised that it’s retailing for approx $100+. Hopefully the friends that drink my remaining bottles appreciate it as much as his Bob-ness.