Château La Conseillante 2005

Château La Conseillante 2005, Pomerol, Bordeaux, 13.5%

(Peter, 8-8.5/10, March 2018)

The 2005 vintage is one of our all-time Bordeaux favourites from the modern era. The 2009 and 2010 were labelled great but all too often the top wines are overblown, borderline egotistical. With the 2005s, there’s a coolness and classicism – call it refreshment value – that’s what Bordeaux should be all about. They sing.

We’ve tasted through the vintage a few times in recent years and the likes of Lafite, Mouton, Margaux, Cheval Blanc, Le Pin, Haut Brion, Pontet Canet, Ducru, Montrose and Léoville Poyferré, du Tertre and Figeac have all stood out.

This occasion was a charity dinner expertly put together by the Goedhuis team in support of the James Wentworth-Stanley Memorial Fund (suicide prevention) and The Bee Hive (education for young people with learning difficulties). More than £300,000 was raised on the night thanks to some very generous donors who were presumably buoyed by the fine range of 2005s on tasting as well as the clear worthiness of these causes.

But one wine that really caught the attention on the night was this Conseillante. A perennially expressive yet elegant Pomerol, it’s also not as stratospheric in pricing as some of its neighbours. It’s also steadily improving over time in bottle – always a good sign. It was beautifully expressive and engaging in its scent, with hints of roasted pepper and ripe dark fruit. Intense but elegant, with spicy overtones: a beautiful marriage of austerity and supple richness.

You can find some if it knocking around the fine wine merchants and brokers – J&B and BBR have it around £200 per bottle in bond, hardly cheap but compare this to fellow Pomerol property L’Eglise Clinet at £370 or St Emilion superstar Ausone at north of £1,000 (yes, per bottle).