Very intense and powerful, with blackberry and chocolate aromas. Full-bodied, with fabulous velvety tannins and a long, long finish. This coats every inch of the palate. Gorgeous and stylish. Best after 2017.
For opulence, decadence, and sexiness, this 2005 is hard to resist. One of the vintage's most flamboyant efforts, it is a gorgeous blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. With a stunningly exotic nose of espresso roast, a juicy meat and herb concoction, spice box, chocolate, incense, and copious quantities of sweet, ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit, this full-throttle St.-Emilion exhibits good structure (because of the vintage's sound acid levels) and high, but velvety tannin. It is a brilliant effort from proprietor Stephan von Neipperg. I would not discount its aging potential as the 1990, which I thought would have a short aging curve, is still going strong at age 18. The 2005 should easily last 20-25 years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030.
92-94 Barrel sample. Stefan von Neipperg is making impressive wine at this property, which will surely be reclassified as Premier Grand Cru Classé this year. This 2005 is intense, polished, but still packed with a fine, elegant structure, with the added complexity of herbs and dried fruits.
International Wine Cellar
Medium red. Reticent aromas of red fruits, coffee, roasted meat and mocha; a bit low-toned today. Superripe, sweet and densely packed; large-scaled for a wine from this property but quite closed today, hinting at an almost roasted ripeness. Atypically deep cabernet franc here. Finishes with broad tannins and lovely floral lift, leaving behind a captivating violet perfume in the empty glass. Very unevolved wine, in need of a decade of patience and likely to merit a higher score at its peak.