TN: 2005 Domaine Etxegaraya Irouléguy Cuvée Lehengoa

I’m into my second case of this. 80% pre-phylloxera Tannat (125+ years old vines), 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is about as good as Irouléguy gets. It’s powerful but so lean, with an immense amount of power seemingly focused on a single pinpoint. Blue fruits and dusty rocks, heavily sculpted and refined tannins. Though this has evolved some and is just a bit softer than it was on release, it is still austere, more so than the riper 2006.

Just a note: I learned that for the 2007 vintage, the producer will not make a Cuvée Lehengoa. The vintage was apparently lighter and less concentrated, so they will put their Lehengoa grapes into the basic domaine blend. The 07 Irouléguy is due in the fall.

Love this stuff, the 2005 has been a show stopper since day 1, glad to see it’s still showing it’s stuff.
What’s the most mature vintage of this you have had? I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but the avatar is making me ask.

Not too far back, just 2003 somewhat recently, which was (understandably) more forward than the 06 and was still alive and well.

I love Tannat and Irouléguy in particular, as well as Madiran. It’s not as easy locating back vintages of Irouléguy as it is for Madiran (itself not that easy). It seems that most Irouléguys are meant to be consumed in the near term (within 5 years?), and that there are few intended for longer aging. The Lehengoa, it seems to me, could buck that trend, but alas I don’t have the experience to say.

Thanks Zach as I have two Lehengoa in the cellar. Drank 3 bottles upon release and one four or five months later and am holding my last two for the long haul. Best Irouleguy I have ever had. Does not oxidize after four days open. [winner.gif]

Nice note, Zach. Like you, I absolutely adore this wine – good call on the multiple cases. Here’s a TN of mine from Jan. 11, 2008:

NOSE: smokey with strong notes of bacon fat; popcorn; slight earthiness with a very slight hint of berry peaking through; stony; oily leather too

BODY: raspberry-red colored; clear; medium bodied

TASTE: extremely tannic upon opening … tannins subsided a bit the first day…tannins had subsided substantially by day 3, but were still pretty strong; fresh flavor of sour cherry; very long finish; full palate; a bit funky on day 3. A very interesting wine. I think the most impressive aspects of this wine are its bouquet and seamless palate. This was $20 - would likely buy again…but would recommend holding for a couple years or decanting for a few hours – a splash decant may even be better.

B: 50, 5, 11, 17, 7 = 90 points

Thanks for the update, the last bottle I had was so backwards I sent the rest of my case to long-term storage.