Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Château Larmande St Emilion Grand Cru Classé 2005

Château Larmande St Emilion Grand Cru Classé 2005

Mid-week casual sipping, I pulled this from the cellar to enjoy with artisan cheeses and biscuits. 

It's hard to believe its been five years since I last tasted this label when I wrote,' at eleven years of age, I sense this is approaching the end of its prime drinking window as the fruits seem to have given way slightly to the emergence of the non-fruit flavors based on earlier tasting notes from three and five years ago'.  

That note was probably insightful as the trend of diminution seems to have continued and as I (blindly) demoted my score for this label by a point. It was still enjoyable none-the-less.

That earlier tasting was from a 375 ml half bottle while tonight was standard size 750, and I wrote at that time. "Knowing the small format half bottle will age less gracefully than full size or larger bottles makes me wonder if that affected this tasting - will find out when I open a standard format bottle of this label." 

Alas, we found out and my prognosis may have been correct as this seems to have diminished further albeit ever so slightly. We still hold three bottles of the case we acquired upon release. We'll need to consume these in the intermediate term, but it still has several years to go, yet.  

My published tasting notes for this label show nine postings with one a year ago when my notes were consistent with earlier tastings and project life still left in this release.

Château Larmande lies north of the town of St. Emilion, close to Soutard and Cadet-Piola. It consists of 25 hectares of vineyards planted with Merlot (65%), Cabernet Franc (25%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%). Larmande was sold to the French insurance conglomerate, La Mondiale in 1991.

This vintage release was a blend of Merlot (65%), Cabernet Franc (30%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (5%).

Dark garnet colored, medium bodied, aromatic blackberry and black cherry fruits accented by tones of tar, smoke, earthy leather, hints of cedar and spice, (earlier reports of mocha were not apparent), on a firm lingering tongue puckering tannin finish - fruits slightly diminished from earlier tastings with seemingly increased acidity.

RM 88 points.*

*PS. A postscript on this tasting, after a couple days open in the bottle, chilled, this wine returned to its earlier elegance, structured balance and fruit, regaining earlier rating of 89 points. Once again, I shouldn't P-n-P, pop and pour these complex aged wines, rather, give them respect, open them and allow them to breathe at least a couple hours before diving in!