Black/purple to the rim, the sensational 2005 Hermitage Les Bessards possesses a classic bouquet of graphite, licorice, creme de cassis, and a touch of background oak. Massive, even monstrous in the mouth with enormous extract, this is a 50-60 year wine. It is full-bodied, high in tannin, and should not be touched for another decade. It will keep through 2050+. As I have written many times in the past, this famous estate, which muddled along in the seventies, eighties, and early nineties, was reborn when its owners, the Deutz-Roederer Champagne enterprise, brought in the super-talented Jacques Granges, and gave him carte blanche to redo the cellars and elevate the level of quality. Since his first vintage, 1997, Delas has become one of the superb purveyors of high quality Rhone wine. I have enormous admiration for what Granges has accomplished. His most recent vintages, 2005 and 2006, have been brilliant and he continues to do a superb job with the white wines Readers should also know that Delas recently purchased 37 acres of vines in Crozes-Hermitage, so they will be augmenting their production from that appellation. The bottled 2005 reds include some interesting efforts from some of the better villages in the south. The Chateauneuf du Papes and Cotes du Rhones were reviewed in issue #173 (October, 2007). Robert Parker, Wine Advocate # 175.
Robert ParkerScore: 96/100
A wine that needs to be left alone for another 4-5 years is the 2005 Hermitage Les Bessards. As with the Cote Rotie La Landonne, I tasted this earlier in the year and it showed similar this go around as well. Massive, tannic, concentrated and backwards, with tons of graphite, crushed rock and smoked meats, it has full-bodied richness, massive tannin and a big finish. I worry a smidge about the overall tannin level/balance here, but I’m still convinced that this wine’s best days lie ahead. Mar 2016, www.robertparker.com
Jeb DunnuckScore: 95/100