Chateau Lassegue 2005 | Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Wow. That's the initial impression on the nose, which is generous with aromas of numerous black fruits, spices, mineral, and earth tones. I could sit here and smell the wine all day, the fragrance is so lovely — and continuously evolving. Which takes me to a vital point: decant this wine, several times.
At minimum, I recommend “triple decanting,” which means, pour the wine out of the bottle and into a clean, dry, glass vessel — such as a decanter — then pour it into another vessel (or, back into the bottle, using a funnel), then pour it back into the decanter, then repeat the cycle one more time. This back-and-forth effort from one container to the other will aerate the wine, allowing the deep aromas and delicious goodness to begin to emerge.
I say “begin” because this wine is still quite young, despite being eight years “old.” There are many layers to this complex juice, and only a hint of them are showing themselves right now. Generally speaking, I like to drink high quality (read: expensive) wines when they're younger than most serious enophiles and critics would recommend, but in this case, even I would stash this in a cool cellar for another four or five years — at minimum. I'm certain this wine will continue to develop and mature for 10-15 years at least before it starts a descent.
As with all wines I've tasted by winemaker Pierre Seillan, Chateau Lassegue is perfectly balanced. In other words, the full-flavored, complex fruit is wrapped tightly — and preserved — with ample, appropriate levels of ripe (but not harsh) tannins and lively (but not sharp) acidity. This is a huge wine that is just beginning to take baby steps toward childhood, and you can experience the layers by decanting and tasting the wine over the course of a long evening — this is one to contemplate. Personally, I triple-decanted and then poured 2-3 sips at a time, every 15-20 minutes; the aromas and flavors opened up, evolved, and became increasingly appealing throughout a period of four hours. And here's the best part: though it is young and tight, it can be very enjoyable right now with food — I enjoyed it with a filet mignon (it would be even better with a fattier cut, such as a ribeye or prime rib).
I'm not sure how easy it is to find 2005 Bordeaux from any producer — it has been hailed as the “vintage of a lifetime” by some of the most respected critics — but if you see Chateau Lassegue 2005, and can afford the price tag, I highly recommend you purchase whatever you can without hesitation.
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This wine was provided as a press sample from the winery.