The 2005 reds from Burgundy have been resting for adequate time for those lucky enough to have them. It was a vintage that delivered wines with an immensely strong tannin backbone. Firm to the extent that they seemed stand-offish, the wines reached a point at which they simply needed the weathering of time to grade tannins into finer layers. They also came across as a little monolithic or blocky, the detail and interest buried deep.
A dozen years is a good rule of thumb for most quality reds in terms of reaching a point at which their true character is revealed. And so the offer to taste 20-odd 2005 reds hopping from Volnay to Gevry- Chambertin was a good one. The fact that the wines were all 1er Cru or Grand Cru level bar one added further fuel to the fire of interest, as did some fresh porcini mushrooms plucked from the Adelaide Hills. The tasting was presented at Adelaide wine merchant, East End Cellars.
It was a tasting that revealed much about the vintage and the terroir, but also confirmed that old adage of producer trumps all other influences along the Côte d’Or. The overall impression was that while the sands of time may have softened the impact of those swarthy tannins, the wines are still in a phase of building interest. They will, by and large, be better again in five to six years, possibly more.
2005 Nicolas Rossignol Volnay 1er Cru Santenots is complex with layers of spice, cedar, pepper and cherry. The palate is direct, taut and packed with firm but fine tannins and acid registers firmly.
2005 Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay 1er Cru Champans has big, ripe dark fruits and a round presence on the palate. There’s an earthy plushness here and a good spread of tannin, too.
2005 Domaine Aleth Girardin Pommard 1er Cru Les Charmots has a bit of reduction, which delivers a tarry wine to start, building to earth and spice. The palate is succulent, juicy and taut developing into smooth and velvety in the mouth.
2005 Domaine Billard-Gonnet Pommard 1er Cru Rugiens (Bas) is an older school expression – slightly locked up. It offers succulent dark cherries and blueberries, and a long-structured finish.
2005 Domaine Violot-Guillemard Pom-mard 1er Cru Rugiens (Haut) is very fresh and fragrant with plenty of dark cherries and berry fruits, finishing smooth and even. It would benefit more time in bottle.
2005 Domaine Bruno Clavelier Corton Le Rognet Vieilles Vignes has firm tannins and bright acidity. There are plenty of dark cherries delivered with genuine power and refinement. Impressive now; better in five-plus years.
2005 Prince Florent de Merode Corton-Renardes was one of the stars of the tasting and one of the most complete wines. Earthy dark cherries and berry fruits; very powerful and concentrated. Excellent now with plenty of time still ahead. Notably, Domaine de le Romanée-Conti has sourced its Corton from these plantings since 2009.
2005 Domaine Georges Mugneret- Gibourg Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Vignes Rondes stood out for perfume and elegance, offering bright red and dark cherries framed in earth and spice. Deep and convincing palate, terrific reach and drive here. Drink or hold.
2005 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges is a bold, meaty array of dark cherry and earthy characters, older school structure and thick tannins.
2005 Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Brulées was the best wine of the tasting, showing depth and richness. Slightly meaty spiced dark cherries, long and layered, this will drink well across the next decade.
2005 Gros Frère et Sœur Richebourg has aromas of black tea. It’s subdued and lacking presence. All earth and undergrowth. Slightly disappointing.
2005 Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot is nicely in sync. A complete offering with brambly dark cherry fruits, some earthy aromas and an expressive rose and violet floral edge. Bright red fruit finish. Drink or hold.
2005 Domaine Château De La Tour Clos Vougeot Vieilles Vignes is showing plenty of dark fruits and impressive tannin density with detail and power. Really convincing. It is an excellent wine and was one of the highlights. Drink or hold.
2005 Geantet-Pansiot Chambolle- Musigny 1er Cru was a gift to the cork gods – tainted.
2005 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru has crushed rose and violets with earthy forest floor depth, cedar and spice. Ripe red fruits, bold but balanced. Drink this soon.
2005 Hubert Lignier Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Les Chaffots is nicely layered with red cherry, raspberry and more savoury earthy notes. Excellent palate structure, very composed and fresh. Drink or hold.
2005 Dominique Laurent Clos de la Roche is big on oak and very much in the meaty, reductive zone. The fruit is there, tannins are resolved and this will bloom in five to six years.
2005 Domaine Denis Bachelet Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes has stylish complexity. It’s gently meaty with plenty of dark cherries, and a lick of iodine, too. Good acidity, this is lithe, juicy and fresh. Drink or hold.
2005 Domaine Rossignol Trapet Latricières-Chambertin is very composed and balanced. It offers complex dark fruits with succulent sweet cherries.
2005 Domaine Trapet Latricières-Chambertin is swathed in spiced dark cherry aromas and flavours. It is built on juicy assertive tannins and is full of energy. Great drinking.