2005 Bordeaux – Union de Grand Cru Tasting

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

St Emilion

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

St Julien

Chateau Leoville-Barton

Chateau Beychevelle

Chateau Gruaud Larose

Chateau Lagrange


Chateau Pontet-Canet


Chateau Rauzan-Segla

Chateau Brane-Cantenac


Chateau Sigalas Rabaud

Chateau Coutet

Chateau Climens


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


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