Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rating: **+ $$$$ Chateau Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France, 2005 - Wine Review

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Initial review, by way of background: This is Chateau Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France, 2005, aged for 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels and finished at 13.% alcohol.  The 2005 vintage in Bordeaux was highly vaulted, but many of the wines remain young at five years since vintage date.

In the glass: Dark magenta, violet and brick at the edges, opaque from about a half inch in from the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, modest nose showing some mint and black currant, touches of dark oak and earth.  Seems to have power in reserve, suggesting more to come with air or time in bottle. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are a bright and full-on acid attack to the mid-palate, bringing pomegranates and ragged tannins

In summary: Overall, this definitely needs some air time.  Before longer decanting, rates only stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus because of promise.  Hold still, though, we'll need to check this with longer decant...  Following a two-hour decant:  Aromas have moved further into reserve.  On the palate, acids have receded too, leaving scratchy tannins and dark charcoal behind, hiding the fruit from view.  We'll need to take this one on faith for more to show in the future.  Putting the other bottles away for awhile.

With longer decant, several days kept cool in partially filled bottle without vacuum:  The aroma has held consistent, though more muted and a bit tired.  On the palate, a better balance is evident, though offset by a move toward oxidized. 

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