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The New Great Bordeaux Vintages – and a Bottle of 2005 Chateau Destieux

destieux 2005Pick up the latest issue of Wine Spectator and you will see one of the great events in the wine world heralded yet again, that being a stellar vintage in Bordeaux.  We love them, we buy them, we drink them and think they represent some of the best value opportunities you will ever find.  Do you like aged wines?  This is the chance to put some down for little money.  We’ll get to an example of why that can be important in a minute.  The specific vintage in question in the current Wine Spectator is 2015, now in bottle.  Right behind it is the 2016 vintage, and the debates about which is better have already begun.

Since 2000 we have bought the great vintages by the case and put them in the cellar.  The 2000’s are gone, but we still pull 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010 out regularly.  The 03’s may be just past peak, so it’s good we have only a single bottle left.  That vintage was always very fruit forward, and it’s not surprising it doesn’t have the legs of some of the other years.  Many of the 05’s, 09’s and 10’s will age for decades to come.

At a wine tasting a few months ago, we were listening to some industry reps talk about the trend in today’s wine world toward wines meant to be drunk young.  This is true, but I chimed in that there are still many wines which get better with some bottle age.  The argument was not met with general agreement.  As an example I threw out Bordeaux, and referenced some 2005 bottles we had recently opened.  The industry people were still skeptical, seemingly fixed on the current trend.  I believe they are wrong.  Not about the trend certainly, but about discounting the great wines still in the world which can age gracefully, and actually get better.

Here’s the latest example from our cellar:

Wine:   2005 Chateau Destieux

Winery Location:  Ste. Emilion, Bordeaux,  France

Tasted By:  Neil & Cheri

Date: January 2018

Tasting Notes:  still dark purple red and showing no signs of age, this wine is all about the vibrant berry fruit core.  It’s rich, smooth and focused on the palate with currant and blackberry, framed with nuances of oak, herbs and bramble.  Wonderfully integrated, long and pure throughout.  This is the best the wine has shown yet, and it is still peaking.  A great example of why some wines should be left to age!

Price Point – it was about $35 back in the day, and well worth it.  You can still buy many 2005 Bordeaux today, and this wine will set you back about $60 if you can find it.  Still well worth it.

Would We Buy It?  – we would, as this is as good as any $60 wine you’re going to find.

So above is an example of another great, well aged Bordeaux.  You have a chance right now to pick some wines from the 2015 and 2016 vintages that are getting so many rave reviews.  Most will still be futures at this point, and you’ll have to wait a while for delivery.  We’ll be stocking the cellar a bit, selectively.  It won’t be with the big hitters, the first and second growths that command such high prices.  It will be with wines that go between $10 and $50, which will age for decades and improve for most of that.  This is good stuff.

We’ll let you know what we buy along the way, but dive in yourself.  No telling what you might find.  While you’re looking for value in the 2015 and 2016 vintage, take a peek as well at 2014.  It was a very good year, and will be overshadowed completely by the heralded greatness of 2015 and 2016.  You’re likely to find some great values there as well.

A votre santé!


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