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Bordeaux 2005: 12 ‘perfect’ wines

Twelve wines have been given “perfect” 100-point ratings in Robert Parker’s 10-year retrospective of the 2005 Bordeaux vintage.

The vintage now has the second largest number of 100 point wines, behind the 2009s which have 19 in total.

None of the wines are from the Médoc, eight are from Saint Emilion, two from Pomerol and two from Pessac Léognan.

In alphabetical order they are: Angelus, Ausone, Bellevue-Mondotte, Cheval Blanc, L’Eglise Clinet, Haut-Brion, Lafleur, Larcis Ducasse, La Mission Haut-Brion, Pavie, Peby Faugeres and Troplong Mondot.

Only Ausone and Eglise Clinet had held 100 points prior to the retrospective.

The highest rated Médoc is now Margaux on 98+, followed by Palmer and Latour on 98; Mouton Rothschild, whose upgrade to 99+/100 last December caused such an interest in the vintage as the rescore approached, has to settle with 97.

Parker said in his review: “From the beginning, I thought this was a vintage surrounded by excessive and unprecedented hype,” which, added to his admission he underscored the vintage after its release in 2008, explains why his initial ratings were so low.

He continued: “At the same time, I considered it a vintage that would require considerable patience for the wines to evolve. As I said back in Issue 164 (April 2006), “[It is] risky to conclude … that the finest wines of 2005 are superior to the best of 2003, especially the northern Médocs, or the best wines of 2000, 1998 (for Pomerol and St.-Emilion), 1990, or the most profound 1989s and 1982s.” That said, tasting the wines 10 years later, I would tend to agree with those early comments.”

He added that the “fabulous” qualitative peaks are to be found in Pomerol, Saint-Emilion, Graves and Margaux and that while St-Julien, Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe had produced “outstanding” wines they seemed to lack a certain “’wow’ factor”.

He concluded:  “This vintage looks strong and impressive at age 10. I do believe it is eclipsed in quality and consistency by both the 2009s and 2010s, but only by a relatively minor margin.”

Although much has been made of Parker’s decline in influence in recent years, each set of scores still seems to elicit interest from buyers and the reaction to the 2005s has been no exception.

Interest was building all through the year and Liv-ex reported that on the exchange yesterday Cheval Blanc jumped from a trading price of £4,100 last week to £4,950 and La Mission from £3,700 to £4,490.

As well as Bordeaux, Parker also re-tasted the 2005 Napas and he recommended that these “stunning” wines now be “included with the other great vintages of the first decade of the 21st century, 2001, 2002 and 2007 – it is that special.”

He gave nine 100-points: Hundred Acre Vineyard’s Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan and Ark Vineyard, Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder, Colgin Cariad Proprietary Red Wine, Verité’s La Désir and La Joie, Schrader Cellars’ Old Sparky and CCS and Abreu’s Proprietary Red Thorevilos.

We will have more reaction to the scores and interest in the vintage over the coming days.

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