The third edition ‘Le Weekend des Grands Amateurs’ Bordeaux on 17th May
What a wonderful relaxed tasting which just goes to show how open Bordeaux is becoming. The members of the Union des Grands Crus are used to this though showing their wines, chatting about the vintages and the breakdown of grape varieties in that year’s wine and little stories they remember. Great wines and everyone, punters included, were chatty and friendly. Lot of foreigners. Even met a couple of restaurant owners from Tel Aviv (restaurant was named after a famous Hebrew poet – Teshernihovski) over specially for the weekend.
Tasting of about 118 Bordeaux properties who all belong to the Unions des Grands Crus (www.ugcb.net) held at the spacious H14 (not so spacious with over 1000 people tasting) overlooking the Gironde River on the Quai de Chartrons in Bordeaux. Each property showed two vintages of their wines; the excellent 2005.
2005 Vintage Update
2005 was a very hot year which produced excellent quality wines often given 10 of 10 as a vintage. The combination of good fruit maturity (due to the abundant sunshine and high temperatures) and good acidity levels (from the cool nights) gave wines of excellent quality on both left and right banks (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot). Tannin levels reached record breaking levels (particularly Cabernet Sauvignon) but were able to ripen successfully in the sunshine and become ripe. Berries were small as the spring was dry when berry set occurred. This resulted in very good juice to skin ratio and attributed to the high level of polyphenols and anthocyanins (high levels of tannins and colour).
Outstanding Properties 2005
Chateau Beausejour Becot, St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe
Chateau Canon-La Gaffeliere, St Emilion Premier Grand Cru
Chateau Pavie Macquin, St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe
Chateau La Conseillante
Chateau Petit Village
Domaine de Chevalier 2005 Blanc: Creamy oak and lemon flavours. Very refined but powerful. A different level to Carbonnieux and de Fieuzal. Aromatic and fresh but seemed to be a little restrained at the moment.
Domaine de Chevalier 2005 Rouge: Still showing the purple hues of youth. Restrained style again,not exuberant but promising lots in the future. Unctuous and elegant with good firm structure.
Chateau Malarctic-Lagraviere 2005 Blanc: clean and fresh with lots of aromatic citrus flavours. High levels of acidity match the richness of the fruit. Powerful.
Chateau Malarctic-Lagraviere 2004 Rouge: Very smooth wine with a lot of different flavours of red fruits and wood. Very together.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2000 Blanc
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2005 Blanc
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2001Rouge
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2005 Rouge
Chateau Gruaud Larose
Chateau Sigalas Rabaud
Excellent Value and New Discoveries
Chateau Larcis Ducasse, St Emilion
Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan
Chateau de Fieuzal, Pessac Leognan
Chateau Pique-Caillou, Pessac Leognan
Chateau Cos-Labory, St Estephe
Chateau Chasse-Spleen, Moulis
Chateau Lafon-Rochet, St Estephe
Chateau d’Angludet, Margaux