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Over the last few months I bought a few early releases of some Bordeaux from the highly touted 2005 vintage. All of them cost less than $10 except for the last wine (the Conseiller) which I did not have to purchase. Overall I was a little disappointed by the wines until I tried the Conseiller which showed real promise. Based on what I paid I suppose I was expecting too much. Still it was interesting until some of the bigger wines come out and I can try them at various tastings.

Here are my notes:

  • 2005 Château Combray - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (2/21/2007)
    A $7 purchase. Pretty red purple color. Dry texture. Smoky red fruit filled nose. Moderate tannins. Notes of cassis and berries. Light to medium bodied. Short finish. 83 points.

  • 2005 Château Haut Montaud - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (2/17/2007)
    $7. This had a moderate amount of tannins. Smokey red fruit with cassis and blackberry notes. 84 points.

  • 2005 Château La Rose Tour Blanche - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (2/17/2007)
    Picked this up for $8. Light bodied but on the simple side. Mostly notes of berries, leather and currants. Not much in the way of tannins either. 82 points.

  • 2005 Château Mylord - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (12/29/2006)
    I took this up to Wisconsin to drink during a ski trip in December. A pleasant but rather nondescript wine. Medium body with plum and some leathery fruit notes. Frankly it was overshadowed by a $10 Aussie bottle that was also opened. 85 points.

  • 2005 Château Au Grand Paris - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (12/12/2006)
    I had this twice. $9. Once last December and again this month. 30 year old vines just south of St. Emilion. 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. This was opened on Christmas Eve but I was not able to try it until Christmas day so it had been opened for 14 hours. Simple and not much there. Not nearly as good as the 2000. Of course this is a very early release for a 2005 so some bottle aging may do this wine good. I did not find the tannins overpowering but most of the fruit seemed hidden. I thought it was worth trying again in a few months so I opened another in March and it was leaner and more acidic. 86 points the first time and 84 points the second.

  • 2005 Château Le Conseiller - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (3/12/2007)
    Poured at a retailer tasting. This was selling for $20. This is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. A little sweeter nose than the other 2005 Bordeaux I've had. Dark purple color. Rather tight and tannic. This wine was not decanted. Notes of dark fruit with some chocolate on the finish. Medium to full bodied. 88+ points.

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Here are 11 more tasting notes on inexpensive, introductory level red Bordeaux. All of these were consumed at home over the last month except for one wine which was poured at a retailer tasting. The best of them was the Parenchere which was the only wine which bordered on outstanding. Most of these wines were made for early consumption. Some needed a little more time in bottle and a few were moderately ageworthy. My notes:

  • 2005 Château de Beauregard-Ducourt - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (10/31/2007)
    Retailer tasting. Selling for $9. 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Young and tannic. Rustic tasting. Notes of strawberry and charcoal. 82-83 points.

  • 2005 Château Grand Montet - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (10/31/2007)
    The cepage on this wine is 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cab Franc. Not a fan of this bottle. Not much going on. Light bodied. No major flaws. Just on the bland side. 79-80 points.

  • 2005 Château Majureau Sercillan - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur (10/29/2007)
    A $9.50 purchase. This was opened 20 hours earlier and then resealed. A feminine wine. Soft texture with supple tannins. Notes of berry, leather and fennel. Very drinkable. 88 points.

  • 2005 Château des Judes - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (10/27/2007)
    The cepage on this wine is 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cab Franc. $7.50. Wound very tight without much going on and light on the fruit. 81 points.

  • 2005 Château Les Remises - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (10/23/2007)
    The cepage on this wine is 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cab Franc. $6.50. Creamy vanilla and strawberry on the nose. Light bodied with dusty tannins. Not much fruit but some notes of wild berries. 84 points.

  • 2005 Château de Parenchere Cuvée Raphaël - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur (10/20/2007)
    This estate owns 160 hectares with 63 under vine. It is loscated on the Eastern end of the Bordeaux region. Cuvée Raphaël is this estates top wine made from the oldest and best vines. Average age of these low yielding vines is 40 years. The cepage is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. A $12 purchase. We took this to a Greek restaurant. This was the best of this group of inexpensive 2005 Bordeaux so far. Drinkable now but ageworthy for another 5-10 years (possibly longer). Meaty berry notes with some tobacco leaf and cassis. Soft finish. 89-90 points.

  • 2005 Château La Raballe - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (10/20/2007)
    The cepage on this wine is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This cost $7.50. Ruby red color. Creamy fruit on the nose. On the palate it had smoke and tar upfront which yielded to some tartness and firm tannins on the back end. Medium bodied and in need of 6 months in bottle to show better in my opinion. 83-84 points.

  • 2005 Château Nicot - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (10/17/2007)
    I paid $7.50 for this bottle. This was a rather juicy wine. It had a soft texture and silky tannins. Very approachable for being so young. Not overly complex but well rounded with notes of berry and leather. 87 points.

  • 2005 Château de Lugagnac - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur (10/11/2007)
    I paid $9.50 for this wine. This wine is usually a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot. Aged for 2 years in barrel. Vinification is fairly natural without any chemicals added other than sulpher. Reddish black color. Medium to full bodied but without overpowering tannins. More balanced than many of the other 2005 introductory Bordeaux I've had. Smooth red fruit and plum notes. Modest finish. 86 points.

  • 2005 Château Boessie - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (10/10/2007)
    The cepage on this wine is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. I bought this for $7.50. Very tannic. Notes of charcoal, blackberry and charred oak in this full bodied wine. Good concentration but released too early? Another year in bottle and this would be more drinkable. 83+ points.

  • 2005 Château Val Darel - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (10/8/2007)
    The cepage on this wine is 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Malbec. A $6.50 purchase. No decanting. This wine showed flavors of smokey red fruit. It had firm tannins but overall was on the thin side. Simple finish. Allowing this to settle down for a few months should help a little. 81 points.

One more 2005 Bordeaux that I had yesterday:

2005 Château Côte Montpezat Cuvée Compostelle - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Côtes de Castillon (11/16/2007)

The winemaker for this 125 acre property is Stephane Toutounji who started as the winemaker at Jacobs Creek in Australia. The estate is planted to 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. I believe that the Cuvee Compostelle is their top wine. $11 purchase. 13.5% alcohol. The WA gave this a score of 87-89. This could have used some short term cellaring. Really one dimensional now. Tight an tannic. No depth and the notes of coffee and tar seem to be on the surface. Any fruit that is there is hidden at the moment. Short finish. 84 points.

2005 Château La Fleur Morange Mathilde - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion (12/13/2007)

Grossie brought this wine to an offline with Tlily. A $15 purchase I think. 14.5% alcohol. 100% Merlot. Generally agreed that this was very approachable now. Soft tannins. Smokey fruit notes with red berries and some leather. Dry finish. 90-91 points.

2005 Château de Beauregard-Ducourt - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée (3/2/2008)

2nd time I have tried this. The winemaker Olivier Cabanne was in town and pouring this wine at a retailer tasinting over the weekend. This young winemaker has been at the head of this estate for 3 years. The estate is in the Entre-Deux-Mers region. This wine is 80% Merlot and 20% CS. It is aged in 25% new oak. I liked it slightly better this time around. Floral aromas with some underbrush. Lighter tannins from being opened for a while with moderate oak. Not a very fruity or showy wine. Still had the charcoal notes I recall. 85 points.

2005 Château Beaulieu Comtes de Tastes - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur (3/19/2008)

Tyee brought this to dinner at the Rutherford Grill in the Napa Valley. This was recommended to him by the staff at Premier Cru I think. I think Tyee and Pinot Envy liked this less than I did. I thought it was just tight and closed. Not much fruit showing. Some carmel and charcoal notes with black pepper on the finish. Very tannic. 86 points.

2005 Calvet Réserve de l'Estey - France, Bordeaux, Médoc (8/10/2008)

Purchased this at Trader Joe's for $8. It is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Malbec. Calvet is a wine negociant. Good enough. Solid red color. Medium bodied with firm but flexible tannins. Notes of charcoal, light oak, spice and burnt cherry. 86-87 points.

They were both drunk when I saw them. But then we all sobered up. However, we accidently drank to much the next night and got drunk again. The next day we did not sober up quite as much because we had some winery visits. But then wouldn't you know it and night of drinking occurred.

While coherent, I was told that everyone was doing well. PE is now living in Napa and Tyee is still on his Canadian island wishing he were American so that he was not restricted on how much wine he could take home.

I tried these 3 wines at a retailer tasting over the weekend:

2005 Reignac - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur (1/13/2009)
This wine was on par with the fine 200 vintage. Purple red color. Surprisingly multilayered for beign so young. Herbal, pencil shavings and raw meat. much of the fruit is hidden at this stage. Dry finish. 90 points.

2005 Château Lanessan - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc (1/13/2009)
13% alcohol. Dark red color. Not very approachable. Young and rustic. Notes of berry, dark chocolate and mint with some bitterness on the finish. Needs time. 88 points.

2005 Château Brulesecaille - France, Bordeaux, Côtes de Bourg (1/13/2009)
Blackish red color. Big tannins with a very dry mouth feel. Filled with black fruit, cassis and tar. 86-87 points.

2005 Domaine du Bouscat - France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur (4/11/2009)

I bought this on sale at Binny's for $9. This is a blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon,10% Malbec and 10% Cab Franc. The vines used to make this wine average 32 years and the vineyard is densely planted. The wine is unfiltered and aged for 1 year in tank and 1 year in new french oak. This is the estates entry level wine. Their special cuvee La Gargone has gotten some good press but I have not seen any ratings on this wine. 2500 cases were made.

Decanted this for about 2 hours before we drank it. Deep purple color. Some charcoal on the nose. Plenty of berry notes with some lead pencil and floral nuances. The tannins had some grip but this was drinkable now. Medium+ body. Very good value. 88-89 points.


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