The outstanding characteristic of 2005 will be its drought, from winter to autumn, with a hot spring and summer, but without the excesses of 2003. For the best terroirs, those that allow roots to grow deep, the climatic context of this vintage was ideal. As an outcome, 2005 might well turn out to be the best wine ever produced.
Winter was cold (1,1°C below the 30-year average) and dry (40% less than the normal rainfall), making it comparable to the winters of 1991–1992, 1992–1993, and 2001–2002.
From mid-April to mid-June, the weather was dry and sunny, warmer than usual (around 2°C above the average, and 5°C above the average for the last ten days of June). Bloom, under these conditions, was short and fast, from May 20th on, but only three days in advance compared with the last ten years (mid-bloom was on May 30th).
Summer received half its normal rainfall, whereas the average temperature was 1.7°C above normal. This consistent drought limited the size of the berries, which were especially small on the Cabernet Sauvignon. The véraison (when berries turn from green to blue) came rather early, around one week in advance over the last ten years, and 3 to 4 days earlier than in 2003.
Ripening continued during drought conditions, keeping the grapes small as they ripened to perfection. A constant north-west wind blew, bringing cool nights.
Under these conditions, we could wait serenely for the best time to pick. The ripening period turned out to be especially long during which the grapes were able to mature slowly. We then picked from September 26th to October 21st.
The musts were rich in sugar with excellent balance. The wines are remarkable, with aromas that are at the same time elegant, intense and complex. On the palate, the attack is quite mouth-filling, almost creamy, the development is intense in an explosion of aromas. The finish is surrounded by very noble tannins, which are stunningly supple and savoury.