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Yet Another Excellent 2005 Bordeaux and a Passable Cab

Time for two more reds to talk about.  The foray into the 2005 Bordeaux stock continues and we revisit a usually good and inexpensive staple.  I can say it is becoming apparent that the hoopla surrounding the 2005 Bordeaux vintage was justified.

CIMG2110Wine:  2011 Smoking Loon Cabernet           Winery Location:   California

Tasted By:   Neil & Cheri                                         Date:     October 2013

Tasting Notes:       We reviewed the 2010 Smoking Loon Cabernet earlier (see review here) and found it to be a pretty good wine for the money.  This vintage takes a little step backwards though.  Coming in at 13.5% alcohol (which is very close to the 2010) the wine has very little complexity, some nice fruit flavors and medium body.  The winemaker’s notes talk about a lot of other things in there, as well as some nice toasty oak, but we don’t get that.  It is an acceptable quaffer at best.

Price Point –    ~$9-$10

Would We Buy It?    Probably not.  We’ve had many wines in this price range we like a lot more.  It’s  not bad, it’s just not particularly good.


CIMG2173Wine:   2005 Chateau Lanessan              Winery Location:   Bordeaux, Haute Medoc

Tasted By:     Neil & Cheri                              Date:     October 2013

Tasting Notes:       Another Cru Bourgeois from a great vintage that just over performs for the money.  I’ll say it again, buy lower priced Chateaus in great Bordeaux vintages.  This wine is a beautiful, deep, purple red color out of the bottle lightening to cherry red at the rim.  The bouquet is very rich with deep fruit aromas, cherry lifesaver and menthol.  This is rich stuff.  On the palate an expressive array with the same cherry lifesaver cutting through, as well as some nicely integrated wood.  It is full bodied and very long.  Firm but not unpleasant tannins hold up the back.   This will last a long time yet.  Well done and delicious.

Price Point –    You can still get this in the high $30 range.  We paid a lot less as a future back in the day.

Would We Buy It?   I’d still buy it (if I already didn’t have some) under $40.  This is a quality bottle of wine.


There you have it.  I’d skip the 2011 Smoking Loon and seek out something a bit better value (see the 2011 Villa Pozzi Nero D’Avola review here).  The 2005 Lanessan is excellent, and that seems to be becoming a trend as we pop an initial bottle of the various producers in our 2005 Bordeaux stash.  It is not as large as we’d like (but then it never is!), so we’ll have to go there sparingly.

A votre sante!

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