The 2005 Mouton Rothschild will have to take a back seat to the prodigious 2006, but administrator Philippe Dalhuin deserves considerable credit for pushing Mouton to higher quality levels over recent years. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest mostly Merlot, the dark purple-hued 2005 exhibits a restrained but promising nose of cedar, tobacco leaf, creme de cassis, and toasty oak. Full-bodied, tannic, and extremely backward, with the vintage's tell-tale acidity, it appears to be even more closed in the bottle than it was from barrel. It does possess a long finish and multilayered mouthfeel. This is an undeniably outstanding, yet restrained, shy wine for a Mouton Rothschild. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040+
Probably the greatest Pape-Clement ever made, the dense purple-colored 2005 (a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon) exhibits sumptuous notes of smoky scorched earth, graphite, melted licorice, and blackberries. Once past the exquisite perfume, the wine reveals full body, extraordinary concentration, plenty of chocolate, smoke, cassis, and blackberry flavors, and that unmistakable volcanic ash-like earthiness that comes from this appellation. The tannins are slightly sweeter than those found in most northern Medocs, but this is still a backward, large-scaled effort that requires 7-8 years of cellaring. It should last for 30-35 years.
Also declared a "sleeper of the vintage" by Robert Parker, this delectably mouth-filling wine offers blackberry and currant fruit well-seasoned with mocha and cocoa notes. Muscular tannins are grippy but well-integrated with the fruit, and the freshness of the tannins promises excellent aging ability. Best from 2014 through 2022, but drinking quite well now with 30-45 minutes in the decanter. A super value in a fine Bordeaux. — Ben Giliberti