The 2005 Clos de la Roche Cuvée Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru is a controversial wine in my experience with a couple of bottles, including one served blind showing Grenache-like traits. Returning to this vintage after four years, I remain unconvinced by the nose. Here, there is a wet clayey aspect and a lack of fruit that you would expect for this feted millésime. The palate is medium-bodied and demonstrates more freshness than the previous bottle. A fine sappiness upholds freshness, and it’s pretty linear in style, just lacking dimension and nuance toward the finish. This represents one of the better bottles I’ve tasted, certainly superior to one shown in London before, yet I would have expected more. Tasted at Ponsot’s 150th anniversary vertical at the Domaine.
This beauty had not come my way since I first reviewed it from bottle in 2008 and it continues to shine beautifully. There is some secondary development lurking in the background of the wonderfully spicy aromas of both red and dark currant, violet, game and newly turned earth. The dense, powerful and sappy flavors are still blessed with seemingly endless reserves of dry extract while the supporting tannins, while certainly present, are no longer so prominent as to render the strikingly long finish unduly compact or too tightly wound. While this should continue to age effortlessly for years to come, it’s not so far away that it couldn’t be enjoyed now. A seriously lovely Clos de la Roche.