Does Bordeaux 2005 loose to 2000 at the low end?

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Does Bordeaux 2005 loose to 2000 at the low end?

Postby Ryan M » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:15 pm

Hello All,

So, the debate over where 2005 ranks among the great Bordeaux vintages will go on for a very long time, and in fact, it's not one that even can be answered until 20 - 30 years out when we see how they perform on the long haul. Based on the current snapshot we have, it seems to me to break down like this: The high end Chateaux are comperable to 2000. The mid-range Chateaux do seem to be the real succes story, and the although the prices have gone up even there, the quality really does seems to have bested 2000. But, from my own tastings and from other batches of notes I've seen, it seems like the low-end wines are a bit dissappointing compared to the overall quality of the vintage, and to the same range of wines from 2000. Most of what I've had from both vintages is the under $20 stuff. And in that range, I haven't had a single 2000 that wasn't quite good. On the other hand, the comperable 2005's have been quality wines, but just don't seem to offer as much. I'm not the only one to have noted the suprisingly lack-luster performance of the lower 2005's. The surprising thing here is that both vintages are praised for extraordinary depth of quality. But it seems like the 2005 magic just doesn't go as deep as 2000. And for the low-end stuff, we already have a good sense of their 'track-record' as these are mostly wines destined for 5 years or so of life. If it were just me, my impressions would not be robust, as I have to date a relatively small sample of each vintage, and there are likely 'random selection' effects. But then, random samples also have the potential to tell you a lot. Anyway, these are just my thoughts on the matter, and I'm curious if the impression I've gathered so far does in fact reflect a general consensus, and I invite anybody and everybody to contribute their opinions.

Thanks,
Ryan
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Re: Does Bordeaux 2005 loose to 2000 at the low end?

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:25 pm

Ryan,

I (and my dad) have had similar experiences, but that's largely because the 2005 sub-$20 wines are lesser wines than the sub-$20 2000s. In 2002 I bought La PRade for $14.99. It's now $24.99. The game has changed.

I still prefer the 2000s, but I don't see either vintage having a distinct advantage.
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Re: Does Bordeaux 2005 loose to 2000 at the low end?

Postby Ryan M » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:42 pm

Hey David,

The price inflation may in fact be the sole origin of this 'effect,' and that is a possibility I should have included. But I agree with you, and this may be a significant part of what I'm reacting to, in that I also prefer the style of the 2000's. The 2005's I've had, and I have had some quality ones, mostly make me think - 'Well, this is a quality Bordeaux, but not necesarily anything special.' Whereas it seems to me that each 2000 I've had there was something exciting, something special, something that told of the greatness of the vintage. Course, there are a lot of variables in all of this, but at the very least it seems there is some general truth to my [probably biased and opinionated] impressions.

Thanks,
Ryan
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
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Re: Does Bordeaux 2005 loose to 2000 at the low end?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:17 pm

Ryan, Hi.....

Barrel, advance and then release tastings point me in David's direction. That is to say, match chateau by chateau and overall I found equivalent quality between the two vintages. Indeed, however, stylistically one can see differences and whether one prefers this or that will depend largely on personal taste. My own taste takes me more in the direction of the 2000 wines and that because of the lower-rated chateau, I was able to buy low and thus, largely because of price, decided to give most of the 2005 wines a miss.

Best
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Re: Does Bordeaux 2005 loose to 2000 at the low end?

Postby Chuck Johnson » Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:02 am

Hi Ryan,

I have tried several 2005's in the $20 range and felt a little disappointed, though they were certainly drinkable. I thought, perhaps it's a bit too early yet, so I decided to look around and try a few more before making any judgements.

Like you, I have tried to determine some of the things that may be influencing my evaluation. After reading your comments, a few questions occurred to me:
1. Is my/your evaluation of the 2000's based upon a current or very recent tasting of them or from your recollection of how they tasted around 2003? (Is it possible that sometimes memory embellishes things a la the good old days syndrome?)
2. Is it possible that your taste buds have gotten a bit more sophisticated and selective over the last 5 years? (In my case, unfortunately, mine have gone in the opposite direction. As I have gotten older, I have found that my nose and taste buds have become frustratingly less sensitive to the beautiful bouquets and flavors of some benchmark wines, which knocked my socks off when I was younger.)
3. Is it possible that you might have to buy a $30+ wine, considering today's prices, to level the playing field for your comparison?
4. Are you comparing wines from the same/very similar areas? Wine growing has been expanding into many new areas over the last 5 years. In 2000, were you drinking petite chateaux, cru bourgeois or ordinaire?
Good Luck! I hope you latch onto some real finds. Over the years, I have found some dark-horse winners and have occasionally splurged on some benchmarks that are now ready to drink. I hope that my nose and tasters can hang on for just a while longer.
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Re: Does Bordeaux 2005 loose to 2000 at the low end?

Postby Ryan M » Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:30 pm

Hello Chuck,

There are probably more variables than I would like to / am able to admit, but I think I can respond to your questions with some level of confidence:
1. One of my curses, and one which has allowed me to get so far into wine at a relatively young age, is that I have an extraordinary memory for wines I've tried and tasting notes I've written. I will note that, over the years, if we use score for 'quanitative comparison,' the scores I've given to wine have more or less matched Rogov's, without (or at least I would guess) any inflation/deflation. So, I think that my memory is good enough to provide a basis for comparison. And everything I've said is of course totally, completely unbiased, spoken with godlike omniscience ;)
2. My tastes, in terms of how I respond to the 'quality' of a wine have stayed pretty consistent, but my experience, and the quality range I am familiar with has vastly expanded. I believe that from the time I started writing formal notes, my evaluations have been consistent. But the context and perspective in which I see a particular wine is totally different.
3. Probably. I do acknowledge that price inflation may be the sole origin of this effect.
4. Geographically, comperable in the sense of the 'distribution.' But basically the same quality range: ordinaire.

The more I think about this, it probably really is just price inflation, together with the fact that I simply prefer the style of the 2000's. And actually, in terms of style combined with value, I think I'd even prefer the 2003's over the 2005's. But it's all just my opinion of course . . . .

Best Wishes,
Ryan
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
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(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)
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