2005 is a truly great, pure Château Margaux vintage!
First of all, it has all of its class: that incomparable nose of finesse, grace and depth that belongs solely to its terroir and is only found in a few dream vintages. It also has its power: its concentration is exceptional, superior to 2000 and even 2003. It comes through first in the colour, which has unprecedented intensity, and on the palate with extraordinary density and length. And yet its power does not have the last word; voluptuousness and harmony are also the hallmarks of this vintage. The Cabernet Sauvignon (85% of the blend) is of course largely responsible for this balance, as it reached perfect ripeness without the alcoholic degree going over 13. The only Merlot which joined it (8% of the blend) is the only batch which didn’t reach 14°. Finally, beyond all these qualities and all this grace, Château Margaux has one essential virtue, which it will go on having for many more years; it is the ability to bring as much enjoyment in drinking it as in tasting it.
The colder than average winter delayed the bud-break by a week compared with the usual dates. Then, a hot, sunny spring brought about even vegetation growth and led to a quick flowering as from the first days of June on exactly the same dates as the previous year. Thanks to excellent weather conditions, the setting was perfect, but the crop potential turned out to be lower than in 2004, displaying significantly fewer bunches per vine.
The weather was fine and sunny throughout the whole of the summer, and above all, particularly dry: barely 100 millimetres of rainfall between May 1 and the beginning of the harvest! We had never seen such weather before. Luckily, the hot weather was not extreme. It doesn't bear thinking what such a drought would have done to the 2003 vintage! But the great terroirs (and this is partly why they are great terroirs) have an amazing capacity to smooth out nature's excesses. They seem to react with the same sense of moderation and balance which is the hallmark of the wines they produce. (Picking began on September 20th)