Right Bank Domination - Robert Parker on 2005 Bordeaux at Ten Years

Twelve Bordeaux Red Wines Achieved Perfection for Parker from 2005

As one of the great modern red wine vintages, Robert Parker’s retrospective of the 2005s from bottle has been very eagerly awaited. Many thought it was underrated from barrel, making speculation rife as to what the final verdict would be. By most standards, it’s a profound year; twelve 100 point wines, up from two, confirms the outstanding quality of the year for reds – particularly on the Right Bank. That said he still rates it fractionally behind 2009 & 2010 overall, counter to the UK trade where many find them just about impossible to split or indeed put 2005 at the very top.



To Parker, 2005 is a Right Bank (and Graves) Vintage

The list of 100 point wines is dominated by the Right Bank. St Emilion has eight in total alongside two from Pomerol; Lafleur and l’Eglise Client. Only two reds from the Left Bank made it, Pessac’s pairing of Haut-Brion (the sole First Growth with 100 perfect score) and La Mission Haut Brion. There are some excellent wines from the Medoc but for Parker, the skew to the right is profound.



St Emilion – The Big Names Perform

The big hitters of St Emilion are the most instantly eye-catching with Merlot and Cabernet Franc clearly doing well; Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angelus, Pavie and Troplong Mondot were all considered flawless, with a first ever perfect score for the in-form and relatively small production Larcis-Ducasse. Parker puts it down to a spot of rain not seen in the Medoc during August in ’05 and it’s given these St Emilions (and Graves) that something extra, the wow factor that for his palate makes them faultless, his best of a great Bordeaux harvest.



Parker’s Swansong?

With Parker decreasing his workload this has been much vaunted as perhaps his last hurrah, the final comprehensive report on the region that made his name as a critic. If so, it’s a fitting final act; blockbuster wines from a superb year, a flurry of perfection and much to cogitate over.



The 2005 Red Bordeaux Vintage Remains a Strong Buy

We at Fine+Rare fully endorse 2005 Bordeaux and see it as the equal of both 2009 and 2010. The wines are characterised by phenomenal balance and can be bought with confidence across the price points from top to bottom. As Parker comments, “these wines that are coming into their adolescence and showing extremely well… a vintage that produced many sensational cru bourgeois and smaller generic appellation wines”.


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