Monday, July 20, 2009

**+ $ 2005 Chateau Bujeau La Grave, Bordeaux, France - Review and Rating

Original review, October 2007:

It's no secret that the 2005 Bordeaux vintage is getting incredibly high marks - considered one of the landmark vintages. It's also the case that I haven't had a chance yet to try a single 2005 Bordeaux. I'm still waiting for my pre-release orders to ship.


Here I am, then, with a practically-free (about $10) 2005 Bordeaux from Gironde, France, as my only introduction to the vintage. So, I'll stop complaining already and try the wine!

In the glass, Chateau Bujeau La Grave is deep, almost opaque mahogany. The nose pushes slightly out of the glass, first showing a bright, plumy edge like you might see in the 2005 vintage Beaujolais wines. It is a bit huskier, though, suggesting some currant and oak with the plum.

On the palate, the tannins come in first, pretty silty with a touch of acid. Fruits, notably blackberries, emerge from the acids and, along with some hot alcohol, reach into your upper palate. Good concentration and overall good showing for $10 for Bordeaux, but not what I'm counting on for the rest of the 2005 crop. Two stars on the Spirit of Wine scale, since I did enjoy the experience, but might not be inclined to find my way back to Chateau Bujeau La Grave again in the near future. I'd add a plus, however, because of its concentration. Shows some promise for a couple years of aging.

According to the merchant, "Pleasing ripe cherry, cranberry aroma - very good depth of fruit, medium body, good structure, soft tannins and red currant flavors. We can't keep enough of this one on the shelf." I don't disagree with the description, though obviously my enthusiasm is a bit more subdued.

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Updated review, July, 2009, almost two years later. The deep mahogany color is still there for Chateau Bujeau La Grave. It has not begun "bricking" at the edge, but turns a medium red right at the rim. Aromas are now ripe and reasonably bold. They have lost the purple Beaujolais plummy edge. Instead, there is a bit of alcohol heat wrapping a more ripe, black, prune element. The Bujeau La Grave shows at 13.5% alcohol, so it is merely modest by many of today's red wine standards.

On the palate, think tannic prunes. A deep mid-mouth fruit is immediately overtaken by enormous tannins that come rushing across the tongue, lodging in every core of your cheeks. It keeps the finish fresh and lingering. I'd keep the score at two stars, with the plus now awarded for its power and longetivity. Could actually be served well with a bit more time.

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