Friday, May 8, 2015

Was It Worth All The Hype? A 2005 Bordeaux Retrospective

It’s funny how things can come full circle. I clearly remember the release of 2005 Bordeaux and all the hype surrounding it. I remember Robert Parker raving about the strength of the vintage and how it would go down in history as one of the greatest that Bordeaux had ever seen.
I also recall the Wine Spectator toning in, with James Suckling confirming what we had all been told, and I clearly remember buying that issue off of a newsstand.

I looked at the wines—I didn’t have the option to taste them—and decided not to pull the trigger. Even with a daughter that was born in 2005 (i.e. a great birth year wine option). In the end, it was fear. Fear that I was buying in to the “Hype Machine” of wine critics, fear that I would never enjoy these wines, and fear that they would not appreciate in value, even though all the pros swore they would.

And so, in the end, I did not buy.

Little did I know that, seven years later, I would have a chance to taste so many of these from a perfectly-stored collection. A collection that was bought en premier and stored perfectly up until the very night that they were uncorked and poured for me. Now I look back and feel a great deal of remorse. It was a lesson learned; but even today, as I taste through them, I’m contemplating—should I buy 2005 Bordeaux?

The fact is that Bordeaux as a “brand” is not what it used to be. The escalating prices of wines upon release have pushed many fans and collectors out of the market. This is not because of the great vintages, but because of the ones that were simply good or very good, that stayed at their elevated price points. However, there is another reason as well, and that is how many supposedly “GREAT” vintages have followed since 2005. It’s hard for the average consumer to buy a wine based on what it may one day become, as most Bordeaux isn’t ready to drink upon release.

However, at this time, I can confidently say that 2005 was a great vintage in Bordeaux. At some Chateau, it was probably the best they have ever produced. Even with the 2009s and 2010s being hyped and pushed upon us day after day, 2005 is where my money will likely be spent.

Why? Because it truly is classic.

For the full article, 27 tasting notes and many more photos, visit: The Cellar Table