2005 La Tour Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1123468 93 points Wine Spectator

 Shows interesting aromas of chocolate, meat and berry, with hints of fresh cèpe. Turns floral and aromatic. Full-bodied, with soft, velvety tannins and a medium finish. Very balanced and pretty. Elegant and seductive. This is the last year of LTHB. Best after 2014.  (3/2008)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ruby-red. Plum, black raspberry and cedary oak on the nose. Pure but a bit tightly wound, with lovely texture and uncompromising dryness to the dark raspberry and tobacco flavors. With aeration, this gained in depth and breadth and showed lovely sweetness, but there's very firm acidity here for the vintage. Built to age. Should make an excellent last vintage for this bottling.  (6/2008)

Jancis Robinson

 Fragrant cassis and cassis leaf and a sweetness of damson. Firm but so smooth. Lovely dense but fine fruit and fine-fruited perfume right across the palate. Long, rich and harmonious. Very good length and depth but still elegant and beautifully fresh. 18/20 points. (JH)  (11/2009)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Beginning in 2006, this vineyard became part of La Mission-Haut-Brion’s second wine, so 2005 will be the final vintage of La Tour Haut-Brion. That’s a shame as many superb, under-the-radar wines were produced under this moniker in the forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, and early eighties. The 2005 is a 2,000-case blend of 41% Cabernet Franc, 32% Merlot, and 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, a relatively high amount of Cabernet Sauvignon for a Pessac-Leognan property. It offers classic notes of scorched earth, asphalt, smoky black cherries, and roasted herbs. (RP)  (4/2008)

Wine & Spirits

 The rich scent of new oak gives a French roast coffee flavor to this wine's tarry tannins. The fruit falls in a lighter, redder zone, like persimmon, while it still has the primary, purple grape-skin character of youth. A tense, earthy young wine, this should evolve well.  (10/2008)

Wine Enthusiast

 This wine is something of a collector’s item, since this is the last vintage it was made before integration of the vineyard into La Mission Haut-Brion. It’s a lively, ripe, cassis-flavored wine, with soft, rounded tannins and fresh acidity. It finishes light.  (6/2008)

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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.