Categorized | Bordeaux, French Wines, Reviews

2005 Bordeaux – 4-way Shootout

There’s a huge following of the 2005 vintage for Bordeaux wines – the likes of which hasn’t been seen in quite a long time. There are literally opportunists out there who are snatching up the 2005 vintage for the sole purpose of banking on the fact the value of wines from this year will rise due to long-going, strong demand.

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I decided to pick up a few of them recently – all priced under the $30 mark to see what sort of quality we’re talking about and to personally find out what some of the hype is all about. 

2005 Chateau de Seguin: W.E.P. Rating: 0%


  • Wine Making: Stainless steel vats with temperature monitoring
  • Ageing: 12 months in new oak casks
  • Appellation: Bordeaux Supérieur
  • Yield: 55 hl/ha
  • Soil, Surface: Clay, limestone, silicious
  • Grape Varieties: 60%Cabernet Sauvignon, 35%Merlot and 5%Cabernet Franc
  • Production: 12.500 cases

Nose: Blackberries, black currant, vanilla and ground coffee beans. Get hints of celary and good earthiness. 

Taste: Unfortunately, for this wine, the taste doesn’t match the smell and it quite simply sucks. Very young wine with tannins that’ll make you pucker up – there’s a lot of heat going on in this wine – the bottle says 13.5% but I’m suspicious. This wine not doing my palate any favors at all and in fact I feel somewhat personally violated. I’m not even sure I’d cook with this crap.


2005 Chateau Lagarosse: W.E.P. Rating: 100%


  • Crafted by legendary winemaker Michel Rolland
  • 80 % Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc
  • 2510 case production
  • Average Vine Age: 30 years
  • Limestone-clay at highest elevation descending to clay-gravel
  • Meticulous green harvesting and leaf removal produced grapes of exquisite intensity and complexity
  • The individual lots were kept separate throughout fermentation, which began in thermo-regulated tanks and finished in a mix of 1/3 new and 2/3 oneyear- old barrels.

Smell: Dark cherries stuffed into plums, rolled in chocolate layers with tobacco. Dirty, earthy, soily. Nice bell pepper with a touch of forest floor action.

Taste: Obvious cherries wraped in bell pepper coated with chocolate, nice touch of vegetal action going on across the mid palate with a smooth chocolatey finish that lingers quite nicely. One of the smoothest reds I’ve had under 20bux and I love the velvety mouth feel.

2005 Chateau Lagarosse, Les Comtes: W.E.P. Rating: 90%

  • Crafted by legendary winemaker Michel Rolland
  • 92 % Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1,488 case production
  • Average Vine Age: 30 years
  • Limestone-clay at highest elevation descending to clay-gravel
  • Composed of the vineyard’s finest lots, “Les Comtes” was cold soaked for 21 to 28 days and pumped over frequently in order to maximize color, complexity and character.
  • Racked to the most exclusive cooperage for up to 18 months of aging.

Nose: Some good “funk” on the nose which includes some good vegetal action (bell pepper, asparagus) along with insanely good blackberry, dark cherry and coca cola. 

Taste: Sharp tannin attack on the pallet which brings waves of fruit, vanilla, garden-patch and finishes pretty good. I’m not sure I liked it as much as the standard Chateau Lagarosse, but it’s still a solid effort. My main concern with this wine is that it’s priced against other wines which I think bring a better value to to table.

2005 Saint Emilion Grand Cru: W.E.P. Rating: 95%


  • 91% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2,166 case production
  • Average vine age: 30 years
  • Seven days of cold maceration with regular pump overs and light, twice-daily punch downs before fermentation
  • The wine was aged for 24 months in exclusively new oak barrels; a selection from eight of France’s finest coopers

Smell: Very spicey dark cherries coming across on the nose – I’m also picking up some casises, cinnamon, rose petal, tar and vanilla.

Taste: Blackberry with black cherry, vanilla and leather, add a hint of tobacco. Very nice tannins with a solid, smooth mouthfeel across the back of the palate – lingers very nicely with a very dry finish.

  • Darin

    Holy Lord! Is that the first ZERO you’ve suggested? That’s sad, but sorta funny. :) NICE job – I’ll look for those other three at my local places.

    Thanks for the review!