2005 La Louviere, Pessac-Léognan (Elsewhere $45-$65)

SKU #1045752

90 points Wine Spectator: "Black in color, with intense aromas of blackberry, raisin and toasty oak. Turns to violet. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a mineral, licorice and berry aftertaste. Tight. Best after 2013." (03/08) And, according to Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Full red-ruby. Youthfully medicinal aroma of kirsch Juicy, primary and tightly wound but with good underlying intensity. This classically dry, structured, serious wine will need several years of bottle aging. Finishes with ripe, spreading tannins." (May/June '07) This wine's youthful aromas tend towards kirsch and toasty oak. It is in the classic Pessac style - not over-extracted - juicy, with tons of backbone and good underlying intensity. Finishes with ripe, rounded tannins. This classically styled, dry, serious wine will need several years of bottle aging, and will improve for 10-15. A great cellar candidate. Buy it by the case. (Clyde Beffa Jr, K&L Wine Merchants)

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By: Mahon McGrath | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/19/2009 | Send Email
This a fine, well composed red. The wine is trim, and wears its flavors in a closely wound but accessible style, with dark fruit complimented by licorice, mineral and cedar. Everything here is well defined and in balance. The tannins are silky enough to suggest that with a short sojourn in the cellar, on the order of five years, will be enough for this 2005 to blossom, perhaps well ahead of your other, more backward wines from the vintage. A pleasure!

By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/13/2009 | Send Email
I often imagine the vine as a family tree, stretching back centuries, in this case, to 1550 or so, when La Louvière acquired its name from the many hungry wolves (louves) that roamed the deep forests of the Graves, well before the construction of the elegant 18th century chateau that adorns the label of this flagship wine. This brief history lesson makes me appreciate even more the imposing qualities of the 2005 La Louvière, a wine with a lot of time on its hands. Firm and taut as a young wolf, with the strong heart to endure and improve for a decade or more, gracefully maturing into a benchmark Pessac-Léognan, stylish and fleshier, more supple and savoury as the willful tannins are further seduced by the dark and persuasive fruit. If you really can't wait, then bite the cork, figuratively, and decant for an hour before enjoying with gently-braised lamb shanks.

By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/2/2009 | Send Email
The first Bordeaux I ever drank was a red wine from the Graves region. Ever since I have had a particular affection for the unique mineral character of these wines. The 2005 La Louviere is a great example of the type. In the glass the wine draws you in with a wonderfully expressive nose. It fills the mouth with sweet, dark cherry fruit with just a hint of Pessac gravel peeking through. It finishes with firm tannins. The surprising weight and texture of this wine really shows the strength of the 2005 vintage. At less than $30 it will more than repay a few years in the cellar. Decant for one hour for near term drinking.

By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/27/2009 | Send Email
This amazing bargain is rustic and hearty with complex aromas of scorched earth and blackberries. Although dark and structured, this has delicious flavors of dark currants and sweet berries on a long, balanced frame. Decant now, but hide some away in your cellar too.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/24/2009 | Send Email
Bordeaux like this makes me proud to work at K&L. Clyde finds deals like this with frightening regularity, and is bringing this particular gem to the Signature wine club... If you want a fruit-forward, international style wine look somewhere else, this is old school Graves, with leather, minerality and earth to spare. The 2005 La Louviere also has the cool, restrained black fruit that Cabernet rarely gets outside (or now even inside) of Bordeaux. It is also concentrated - not big or monolithic, but focused and chiseled. Given how well past vintages have aged, this is a wine to enjoy over the course of a few decades, and I at this price I can afford to get enough bottles to enjoy its evolution. Where am I going to fit this in my cellar!
Top Value! Drink from 2012 to 2025

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Pessac-Leognan/Graves

- Graves is the large red and white wine region located to the southeast of the city of Bordeaux along the Garonne River. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red wines from the area, while the whites are mixtures of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The most important area within the Graves is the village of Pessac-Leognan. Most of the great chateaux, including Haut Brion, a premier cru and the only wine outside of the Medoc to be included in the 1855 Classification, are located in this small appellation. Graves derives its name from the rocky, stony terrain of the region. Many people believe that the stony soil radiates the day's heat at night and thus makes the grapes ripen earlier than the other regions in Bordeaux.