2005 Rauzan-Gassies, Margaux
Solid, dry tannins, very firm and hard, but they are also ripe. The wine has high extraction, very dark fruit flavors, but resists being too huge. This could well turn out to be a very elegant. (RV)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Significantly better from bottle than it was from barrel, the 2005 Rauzan-Gassies appears to be the finest wine this estate has ever produced. Dense purple-hued with a beautiful perfume of camphor, creme de cassis, licorice, bay leaf, and incense, it is a full-bodied, stunningly concentrated, broad, rich Margaux with lovely integrated tannins. This backward 2005 will handsomely repay cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2030+. (RP)
Wine & Spirits
All boats rise in a vintage like 2005, and the notoriously sleepy second Rauzan-Gassies turned out to be one of the surprises at our tasting. It starts with a dark scent of tobacco and then cassis pours out of the middle of the wine. At first, the fruit seems a little weak in the finish, but the center feels lush and silken and, with air, the pebbly tannins extend a sleek plummy flavor. You'll get more from the super-seconds, but this is a fine wine on its own terms.
This very ripe and slightly viscous bottling makes comparisons to California Cabernet inevitable, and, from its sweet and mildly mocha-like nose to its rounded, ever so slightly soft palatal feel, it would be right at home in a crowd of Napa's best. If showing some tannin at the finish, it is never astringent or tough, and it should come into its own relatively soon.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good full ruby. Blackberry pastille, licorice and violet on the nose. Juicy, moderately dense and dry; rather powerful for this Margaux, perhaps a function of extraction. Concentrated but distinctly dry-edged on the back, with tough tannins. (ST)