On opening, this starts off with a fairly closed profile -- some black fruit over gentle oak spice notes -- but with several hours of air, the fruit takes on a sweeter profile and the overt wood tones fade, leaving behind integrated spice notes all underpinned by some earthy notes. In the mouth this remained less expressive, with fairly imposing tannins dominating the mid-palate. Yet the wine has an innate balance and revealed layers of fruit on the moderately long finish that point to a very positive future.
By the end of the bottle this had really begun to pull itself together with brighter fruit and nice emerging earthy complexity that began to reveal an aromatic autumnal tobacco-y element. This is real Bordeaux, the like of which seems to be increasingly hard to come by. Fruity but not fruit-driven, tannic, a bit hard, but complex and with a certain elegance. It's a wine that is just coming into its own and should evolve well over the coming 5-7 years.
The 2009 is being offered these days on futures for about the same price. I have not tried the 2009, but assuming one has a line on well stored bottles of this 2005, I would opt for this. It's not a wine that shows much appreciation so there is no reason to buy it on futures, yet it is a wine that requires some time in the cellar. Even more reason to buy something a little closer to its peak.
If you like more traditionally styled Bordeaux, check this out.
90pts potential / 85Bv today / Drink 2012-2017
For more information. go to 2005 Epicurea de Château Martinat