This begins with a sexy roasted fruit character on the nose, then opens up to hints of spice, chocolate, wet earth, and dried flowers. The palate is incredible, with a concentration that builds, and a finish that remains agile and racy. Very defined and beautiful wine with great length and freshness. This still needs some time in the bottle. Pull the cork in 2018.
Shows violet, olive and sliced plum on the nose, with Indian spices and hints of cappuccino and chocolate. Complex. Very pretty and aromatic. Full-bodied, with wonderfully sweet fruit and chewy yet ripe tannins. Last for minutes on the palate. The best young red ever from this producer. Best after 2011. (JS)
A stunning effort from Alexander Thienpont, the 2005 Vieux Chateau Certan (a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc) reveals an inky/blue/purple color along with a rich, sumptuous perfume of black olives, lavender, roasted herbs, licorice, pain grille, and oodles of truffles as well as creme de cassis. In the mouth, hints of chocolate and charcoal also make an appearance along with good acidity, fabulous purity, and a full-bodied, powerful mouthfeel. In keeping with the style of this terroir, the wine is reserved and restrained, but deep. It should develop magnificently, and age for 30-40 years. (RP)
Bright ruby-red. Very closed nose hints at licorice and nutty oak. Sweet and broad in the mouth, with a chocolatey ripeness but less energy and grip than the 2006. This is more mouthfilling, and more sexy today in the middle palate, but may ultimately be less complex. Or is it just more reserved today? Finishes with substantial tannins that call for at least several years of aging. (ST) 92+
Quite exceptionally energetic wine. Bright crimson – not one of the deepest colours – and wonderfully fresh, lively, racy wine that is beautifully balanced. Rich, broad yet not at all heavy – really rather like a racehorse at the peak of its form. Undoubtedly very ripe Merlot but Merlot with the greatest aspects of finesse. Already explosive. Lovely texture. Great lightness and life – complete. Alexandre Thienpont, who also did brilliantly in 2004, found his Cabernet Franc a bit austere in 2005 and has favoured Merlot in the blend for this magnificent grand vin. (JR) 19-/20 points
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