The year 2005 was a good one for wine lovers, from casual sippers to collectors. Ideal conditions throughout the season resulted in an exceptional year in Bordeaux and Napa Valley for Bordeaux varietal lovers. One Napa producer told us that if you couldn't make good wine in 2005, you never would. In Bordeaux, basically everyone had a good year such that the second labels of the top producers were outstanding. Notably, one could also find some great finds and values from the lesser and lower priced wines, still providing the buyer many quality drinking opportunities at extraordinary value or QPR - quality price ratio.
The 2005 Bordeaux was a robust vintage with very full bodied and ripe fruits with very high tannins and the acids were high. The fruit was so ripe and round that the young harsh qualities of a new vintage were completely masked by the enormous fruit content. The quality wines had extraordinary high concentration.The great Bordeaux vintage was among the best in the last 40 years such that it was easy to find exceptionally good wines throughout all the regions and types of Bordeaux.
The 2005 Bordeaux season was marked by low rainfall, with precipitation during the preceding winter, following the 2004 harvest through the 2005 growing season to the harvest that year totalling less than 50% of what is usual, based on an average figure for the preceding three decades. Fortunately, vines with deep roots from mature vineyards can cope well with low levels of rainfall. The drought of 2003 encouraged the vines to search deep for water, setting them up very nicely for dry 2005. The 2005 precipitation was light and came interspersed nicely throughout the year. The weather remained warm but not overly hot throughout, with temperatures generally just above average.
As a result of great years in Bordeaux and Napa, we stocked some lesser labels for future drinking than we would otherwise obtain in normal years. Tonight we pulled two such labels for a BYOB family dinner at our favorite local trattoria, Angelis Italian. Both showed well while presenting contrasting styles to complement our dinner.
Chateau de Reignac Bordeaux Superiere 2005
Dark ruby purple color, full bodied, tight concentrated blackberry and black cherry fruits accented by smoke, cassis and lead pencil with firm tannins on the moderate finish. Simple blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot.
RM 90 points - 91-93 points, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate January 2007
Geyser Peak Winery, Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Easy simple drinking with medium body, round ripe berry, black raspberry and plum fruits with moderate to high tannins on a short finish. Blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Shiraz; 4% Petit Verdot.
RM 88 points.