2005 Bordeaux: France’s New Beginning?

The Berry Brothers buying team has recently returned from Bordeaux and there is little doubt that 2005 is one of the greatest vintages of all time."


"Wine experts are unanimous that 2005 Bordeaux is the greatest vintage in living memory, according to wine importers Wands Limited.


"2005 is a knockout. Not only is it exceptional, say those who have tried the wines, it is singular."


"What makes it really unique is, across the board, from the little guys to the white Bordeaux to the great chateaus to Sauternes, they appear to be all spectacular."


"The 2005 Bordeaux vintage promises to be one of the best for years."


"After 28 years of tasting Bordeaux, 2005 cannot be compared to any previous vintage in my experience. I have never tasted so many extraordinarily rich, concentrated, massive wines   yet with such precision, delineation and freshness."


"There is no doubt that 2005 is a great Bordeaux vintage and among the best in the last 40 years. Is it the best?"

French wine may have been taking its licks recently but from the looks of it we may be forgetting that the country is still a wine powerhouse the likes of which exist no where else on the planet.

Falling prices, falling market share and another “whoops” at the recent Old Bordeaux Vs. Old California tasting can easily give the impression that France is getting the worst of global wine expansion. Yet, when you see the kind of attention the 2005 Bordeaux vintage has gotten since the Bordelais opened their doors to media and trade, well, there’s just nothing else like this kind of feeding frenzy.

Only a great Bordeaux vintage has the ability to capture the attention of the world. A Great Hunter Valley or even California vintages is good for a few stories. But a 2000 or 2005 Bordeaux vintage gets everyone down right giddy.

As you can see from the quotes above, the assessment of this vintage is just not outstanding, it’s purely excitable. How much of this is “vintage of the century” marketing hype? Some, but not enough to justify the kind of praise we are seeing released from writers and trade as the dawn of the 2005 futures season comes upon us.

For the trade, that’s the name of the game: getting access two years in advance to some of the precious cargo from Bordeaux that will be turned over in due course to hungry restaurants and wine drinkers. Any committed wine retailer worth its salt is now offering a number of chateaux for delivery in 2008. And with the commotion over this vintage, combined with a decent economy and an infusion of new drinkers….the chase is on.

As long as Bordeaux receives this kind of respect the rest of France remains a threat to the Other World wine industries. It seems likely that the kind of commercial example Bordeaux sets combined with the importance of the wine industry to the French economy means that country is likely, over time, not just to get its wine house in order but to make a renewed run at sitting head and shoulders over the rest of the world, as it once did.

It just may be that with the release of the 2005 vintage in 2008 we’ll be seeing lots of words and lots of voices dedicated to the prospect that “France is Back.” Much depends upon the degree to which the French Government and the European Union officials respond to the current state of the industry.

No matter what, it is impressive to see how a single wine region has the power like no other to put the wine world on tilt like Bordeaux can.

2 Responses

  1. I'm Not Buying... - June 7, 2006

    Back? When were the classified growths gone? I don’t think this changes anything…
    How about this sort of PR? http://www.decanter.com/news/86042.html
    Several sources are reporting that despite the quality, the massive price hikes have led to activity that is slower than 2003 at the same point.

  2. French Pinot - February 1, 2007

    French Pinot

    Dominus Ch teau Talbot Smithfield-ham ravioli, roas

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