Friday, May 02, 2008

2005 Bordeaux - Adams French Vineyards

Bordeaux – Right Bank 2005 (Adams French Imports – Chateaux owned by Steve Adams)

(2008-04-22) I tasted through these wines several months ago, and then this past week I had the chance to take them out into the market and work with them for a solid day. This is always a great way to assess wine because I typically will taste the wines several times throughout the day, thus giving me the opportunity to see how they change, for better or worse.

Overall, I was fairly impressed with these wines as they all showed a high level of quality and winemaking. Each of these Chateaux are owned by Steven Adams, an American businessman, who began to acquire these properties in 2000. His plan seems to have been relatively simple: purchase properties with a good deal of potential yet which had been neglected and allowed to slide into a less than stellar level of production. It would appear that his formula seems to be paying off. Of course, 2005 is a vintage where everyone appears to have made good wine. A true test of these properties would be a tasting comparison of the same vintages from an average vintage. But for the wines at hand I would say that there is the potential for collectors and drinkers, alike. These wines showed well now, but in a number of cases I feel there is good aging potential. Structurally well made, balanced acidity and fruit – all the necessary marks for laying down for future consumption. Here are the wines:

Ch Douley 1er Cotes de Bordeaux, 2005
Second wine to Ch Lagrosse
Color is bright cherry red
Big, round juicy nose – some spice wrapped around cherry-tart, red liquorices?
Supple approach – med-bodied
A mild grip on the finish – quite pleasant and drinkable
2nd and 3rd fill wood – 80/10/10 – Mr/CS/CF – 13%alc

Ch Lagrosse 1er Cotes de Bordeaux, 2005
Bright cherry color
Touch more alc on the nose – loads of deep cherry fruit with some raspberry
Very easy and approachable – fuller than the Douley
Bigger finish, and definitely drier and more extracted
Use 30% NF
Long dry finish that will smooth over time
80/10/10 – Mr/CS/CF – 14%alc

Ch Lagrosse Les Comtes 1er Cotes de Bordeaux, 2005
Deepest color of the three – blood red tones
Opulent new oak aromas dominate – surrounded by sweet raspberry tones
Super supple and juicy on the palate – plush
Medium dry finish that has good fruit at the core – great length and drinks easy – pleasurable
70/20/10 – Mr/CF/CS – 14%

Ch Roc de Candale St Emilion Grand Cru, 2005
Deep raspberry red
Spices and sweet oak with brambly berries
Smooth and polished on the palate
Quite well balanced with a decent grip on the finish
Oak flavors are in the background
This was one of my favorites through the day and would easily be a recommend for a lay down
90/10 – Mr/CF – 14%alc

Ch du Candale St Emilion Grand Cru, 2005
Very deep color
Big nose loaded with spices and summer berries with some earthy tobacco notes
Richand texturally very well balanced
New oak flavors echo in the finish – this is a big wine
Grip and length are the finish
80/20 – Mr/CF

Fleur de Fonpledgade St Emilion Grand Cru, 2005
Very dark color
Roasted, toasted aromas, wood spice, tobacco and black cherry aromas
Big, elegant feel on the palate – loads of layered fruit – deep and supple
Dry, delicious finish
Good length (not quite as long as the Candale) but lasting and complex – great drinking, quite dry
80/20 – Mr/CS

As I tasted these wines through the day – the fruit came forward and each wine rounded out – particularly the Roc de Candale and the Lagrosse Comte. These wines are all a bit higher in alcohol than I would really like, but it was not really showing too strong as each of these wines show the fruit of the vintage. It should be noted that the consulting winemaker is Michel Rolland – I’ll let you formulate your own opinion on that one.

Overall, a strong collection of wines at quite affordable prices. Steve Adams is not only the owner of these Chateaux but he also has an import company that brings the wines into the US – this eliminates a layer of cost. Good for us.

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